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Thread: DWG Sub 24 Trip

  1. #1

    DWG Sub 24 Trip

    I had the pleasure of being able to do a quick sub 24 hour jaunt into Delaware Water Gap/Sunfish Pond last weekend. I went with the hope that I would get some good rain if not a little snow. I have been building and tweaking a lot of my equipment and really wanted to test it out. I tagged along with a scout troop that I used to be the scout master for and had a bunch of great guys to hang out with and laugh at my crazy 'banana hammock' (as the scouts so loving refer to my hammocks). Unfortunately we didn't get any snow or rain, but we got pounded all night long with wind gusts. The weather reports that show that we had 30-40 mph wind gusts and a temperature low of about 27 degrees. I have hung in the wind in the past, but for some reason the wind on this trip really made life miserable. I think this may have been one of the first times hanging where I actually didn't sleep well, being too worried about how my gear was going to hold up. Some of it failed, the rest worked perfectly. As I lay there throughout the night I put together a list of things that I need to fix and others I was really happy with.

    1. Braided mason line really works well. I use it on my tarp guy lines and was really nervous when I realized how much wind I had to deal with. The mason line stayed tight and did not break, nor did it show any signs of being abraded from the amount of punishment it received. I had purchased a large quantity of glo-cord to replace my guy lines with but never got around to doing it before the trip. I may not do it now, considering how well the mason line held. The only thing I am not happy with about the Mason line was how it really bites hard when tied into a prussic and is under a lot of tension. I have been using a tarp ridgeline setup similar to what Paul at Arrowhead Equipment is selling. The prussic on the glo-cord worked awesome and setup was really quick. However the next day I noticed that the mason line prussic had started to fuse into the glo-cord due to the stress the line received over the night. It was bad enough that I think I will need to replace the glo-cord line.

    2. Y shaped stakes are great, however in that amount of wind and the soft soil that I had to deal with, they failed miserably. I couldn't get them to stay in the soil. In the end I went and found four large rocks and placed them directly on top of them. This saved me from having them tear out during the night which was a great relief. In the future, I am going to purchase the longer version of these stakes. I found some that are 8 inches long versus the six inch ones I have. The extra weight will be worth it if I can get them to hold better then the shorter ones.

    3. Grizz's Beaks work really well. I had been playing with doors for my OES Deluxe Spin for some time now, and never found anything that worked for me. After seeing Grizz's post about his beak earlier this year I built my own and played with the dimensions. I made them out of some extra 1.1 sil-nylon scrap I had left over and built them to just see if it was a workable solution for me. Needless to say, they saved my bacon last night. The wind was coming at me from all directions and if it wasn't for those doors I would have been slammed by a wall of icy wind every couple of seconds. Mine clip on within a matter of seconds and seal relatively well to the tarp. I did have an 'aha' moment at three in the morning and I came up with an idea on how to make them better for me. I plan on building and testing a beak that is all one piece instead of a two panel design.

    4. Even with the Spinn tarp pulled as tight as I could get it, the tarp was extremely loud. It was louder than even the blue poly tarp that my buddy had pitched over his hammock next to me. I could not have got my tarp any tighter, but it still sounded like a kite ripping through the air. I donít know if there is really anything I can do about this, I do have to say the tarp worked very well and handled the wind with no issue other than the sound. It has however got me seriously thinking about going back to a silnylon tarp, even with the weight penalty.


    5. I built a new 2/3 under quilt a couple of days before this trip. I used 1.1 DWR and a piece of 5oz Climashield XP. I built it with shock cord channels on all four sides and it could not have been simpler to deploy. The only thing I did wrong was I cinched the ends to tight and I found that when I got of the hammock at 3 am for a bio-break the quilt slipped off my right shoulder and it took me a few minutes to figure out why butt/back was freezing. I am going to add a tie out on the quilt that hooks to the Black Birds shelf lines to help keep it in position in the future. All in all I am really happy with the quilt. I built it large enough that I will use it as my top quilt for the summer and my fall/winter/spring under quilt. It has a slight differential cut and works really well with the Black Bird. It packs smaller than a football, probably smaller if I used a compression sack. This was a very easy/cheap project. I built this quilt for under $40 and I expect it will get me down into the 20ís.

    6. I picked up a JRB Weathershield 2 from HappyCamper. I was curious to see how well it worked and if I really needed it. I can say that it was obvious when I had it on versus when it was off. It really worked well to cut the wind. I did notice a slight amount of condensation in the bottom of in the morning, but my quilt was dry. All in all this is one of the KISS pieces of gear that really works.


    I know it was a long winded post, but I had a lot of time to think about stuff while I was hanging there throughout the night hoping the morning would come.


    DG

  2. #2
    Dutch's Avatar
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    Thanks for the TR. I too think about gear when I am out in my hammock. THat gives quite a bit of time when it is dark for 14 hours.
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  3. #3
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Wind can be a challenge from time to time in a tarp ..... all part of the tarp game. Just think about the times when you are just hanging under in glory just admiring the piney woods!
    I agree ...a weather shield really helps.
    Thinking hurts.
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  4. #4

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    Thanks for posting the TR - I can respond to it instead of posting my own. I also did a quick trip to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area on Friday night. I missed being sub-24 hours by 2 minutes!

    I was further north than you. I camped about mile 16 or 17, a mile south of the road by Blue Mountain Lake. I got there with just enough time to hike in, find a spot and set up before donning the headlamp. The wind was indeed wicked, biting through my clothes on the trip in. It was 44 degrees at the car and got down to 34 during the night at my location. With all that wind, I found a spot on the east side of Kittatinny Ridge that was about 15 or 20 feet below trail (ridge) level with a sort of shelf about ten feet wide. A drop off from above was just behind me. I thought a large truck was coming down a highway at times the wind was so loud but I got only an occasional gentle breeze in my protected hideaway. The leaves didn't even rustle but a couple of the mightier gusts did sway the tops of the trees I was on. The noise kept me awake for a while and woke me a few times. The next day I enjoyed watching the patterns the wind made on Fairview Lake about 400 feet below me.

    Responding to your bullets above:

    1> I wanted to rig a tarp ridge line but thought it better to set the tarp before dark. Glad to hear yours worked well if the mason's line did act up.

    2> I used 2 six inch Y stakes and they held fine but I was out of the wind. I used a Speer Winter tarp and most of the tie outs went to trees or logs.

    3> No need for beaks with SWT but glad to hear they worked because I have two tarps where they may come in handy. When you try out your 'aha' moment, post pictures and instructions.

    4> I've heard Spinn can be noisy and it often was when I was sailing. Ear plugs??? If you're like me, ear plugs in the piney woods are sort of an oxymoron.

    5> I used a 2/3 down quilt I made a month or so ago. Had to get up 6 or 8 times before I got it adjusted well. I originally had an all-bungee suspension but swapped out the side channel bungee for flat cord and cord locks. It turned out that a single run of bungee from head to foot let the quilt slide around too much because the quilt is rectangular and the channels don't "grip" the bungee. Now the bungee runs from the corners to the head end hammock suspension and to the foot end hammock suspension. There is also bungee across the head and foot end to "open & close the windows", as Pan would say. My ultimate issue was that I didn't have the quilt tight enough from head to foot. Once that was solved, I warmed up all over.

    6> Wish I had had a weather shield as what little wind I got seemed to cut through the TQ around my feet. I wrapped my rain jacket around my feet and it helped.

    Maybe we can get together for a NJ hang sometime. My apologies to Knotty for not thinking to call him to see if he could go but it was a last minute thing.

    Jay

  5. #5
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    DG, Glad the weather shield worked for you! How low did you have your tarp that night?
    I intend to live forever, or die trying. -- Groucho Marx (1890 - 1977)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    Thanks for posting the TR - I can respond to it instead of posting my own. I also did a quick trip to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area on Friday night. I missed being sub-24 hours by 2 minutes!

    I was further north than you. I camped about mile 16 or 17, a mile south of the road by Blue Mountain Lake. I got there with just enough time to hike in, find a spot and set up before donning the headlamp. The wind was indeed wicked, biting through my clothes on the trip in. It was 44 degrees at the car and got down to 34 during the night at my location. With all that wind, I found a spot on the east side of Kittatinny Ridge that was about 15 or 20 feet below trail (ridge) level with a sort of shelf about ten feet wide. A drop off from above was just behind me. I thought a large truck was coming down a highway at times the wind was so loud but I got only an occasional gentle breeze in my protected hideaway. The leaves didn't even rustle but a couple of the mightier gusts did sway the tops of the trees I was on. The noise kept me awake for a while and woke me a few times. The next day I enjoyed watching the patterns the wind made on Fairview Lake about 400 feet below me.

    Responding to your bullets above:

    1> I wanted to rig a tarp ridge line but thought it better to set the tarp before dark. Glad to hear yours worked well if the mason's line did act up.

    2> I used 2 six inch Y stakes and they held fine but I was out of the wind. I used a Speer Winter tarp and most of the tie outs went to trees or logs.

    3> No need for beaks with SWT but glad to hear they worked because I have two tarps where they may come in handy. When you try out your 'aha' moment, post pictures and instructions.

    4> I've heard Spinn can be noisy and it often was when I was sailing. Ear plugs??? If you're like me, ear plugs in the piney woods are sort of an oxymoron.

    5> I used a 2/3 down quilt I made a month or so ago. Had to get up 6 or 8 times before I got it adjusted well. I originally had an all-bungee suspension but swapped out the side channel bungee for flat cord and cord locks. It turned out that a single run of bungee from head to foot let the quilt slide around too much because the quilt is rectangular and the channels don't "grip" the bungee. Now the bungee runs from the corners to the head end hammock suspension and to the foot end hammock suspension. There is also bungee across the head and foot end to "open & close the windows", as Pan would say. My ultimate issue was that I didn't have the quilt tight enough from head to foot. Once that was solved, I warmed up all over.

    6> Wish I had had a weather shield as what little wind I got seemed to cut through the TQ around my feet. I wrapped my rain jacket around my feet and it helped.

    Maybe we can get together for a NJ hang sometime. My apologies to Knotty for not thinking to call him to see if he could go but it was a last minute thing.

    Jay
    Jay, thanks for the TR. I was wondering if I would run into any other hangers up there crazy enough to play in the cold. We will have to get together sometime. Thinking back on it I believe my site selection was my undoing and also a perfect eye opener. I couldn't find a really suitable campsite, to much thorny undergrowth around the trees. It was getting dark, so instead I setup on an less then optimal bald knob that seemed to act like a wind tunnel.

    I am still tweaking my quilt, not sure exactly how the end product will turn up. I may also get rid of the long side bungees. What is the diameter of your side channels? I believe mine are at about half inch and so far the friction seems to hold it in place, but I haven't used it extensively enough to know for sure.



    Quote Originally Posted by HappyCamper View Post
    DG, Glad the weather shield worked for you! How low did you have your tarp that night?
    Hi HappyCamper the weather shield was great! I had the tarp about 2 inches off the ground, pitched in a tight A frame.

    Thanks everyone for the responses.

  7. #7

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    damngoat,

    The side channels on my quilt are longitudinally differentially asymmetric. Can't figure that one out? I'll translate to DIY language: "I can't sew a straight line." The channels were supposed to be 3/4" but they vary down to about 3/8" in a couple of places. You know, it's funny because my "aha" moment while listening to the wind howl was how to sew a straight, uniform channel with two rows of parallel stitching. If it works, I'll broadcast it.

    MICROCLIMATE! My whole mood changed when I got out of the wind. While hiking in, I noticed a remarkable difference in comfort when the trail went behind a rise. I had found a windbreak of evergreens a few minutes earlier but all the hangeable trees had poison ivy if you looked closely. The place I ended up was even better! Even the next morning the wind was bitter up on the trail (AT) on top of the ridge.

    I had the lee side of my tarp pitched high to look at the lights and the lake below. The windward side was about 6 inches above the ground but their was no wind due to the hill on that side.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JayS View Post
    damngoat,

    The side channels on my quilt are longitudinally differentially asymmetric. Can't figure that one out? I'll translate to DIY language: "I can't sew a straight line." The channels were supposed to be 3/4" but they vary down to about 3/8" in a couple of places. You know, it's funny because my "aha" moment while listening to the wind howl was how to sew a straight, uniform channel with two rows of parallel stitching. If it works, I'll broadcast it.

    MICROCLIMATE! My whole mood changed when I got out of the wind. While hiking in, I noticed a remarkable difference in comfort when the trail went behind a rise. I had found a windbreak of evergreens a few minutes earlier but all the hangeable trees had poison ivy if you looked closely. The place I ended up was even better! Even the next morning the wind was bitter up on the trail (AT) on top of the ridge.

    I had the lee side of my tarp pitched high to look at the lights and the lake below. The windward side was about 6 inches above the ground but their was no wind due to the hill on that side.
    I have also been challenged in that area. I can't sew or cut fabric in straight line either, I think that is why my quilt came out slightly differential. Man if you were able to have a side of your tarp up in that wind, you really got a gem of a spot. I talked with another hanger in my party and he like you didn't experience anything that I did. He was down a lot lower on the ridge nestled into a pocket and said he rarely got any wind, but could hear it ripping through the trees.

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