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  1. #1
    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    Help Evaluating My Upcoming Purchases

    Sorry to drop this newb'ish stuff here but I don't have any hiking buddies that are experienced enough with hammocks ensure I'm on the right track and not missing anything.

    After spending a couple of nights below 45* in Yosemite this year in an ENO with no underquilt or pad and a LaFuma 1000 35+* bag, I donít think everyone here would argue that I seriously need to rethink my hammockís setup. And for those of you asking, ďWhat was he thinking?Ē I can only plead ignorance to the effects of compressing your insulation and moving your body up off the ground for air to flow under it. What can I say, itís been my first full year of camping and I tend to be a handís on learner (or in this case, a frozen bottom learner). So as I spent those few wonderful nights in Yosemite shivering out of control from 2am to about 4am and then reliving my Navy days doing jumping jacks as the sun rose to warm up, I promised myself I would get up to speed on getting a warm nightís rest. Thatís when I found this site.


    Iíve been lurking here for a couple of months trying to answer as many of my newb questions without asking the same questions that have been asked many times over. The more I read here and reflect on my Yosemite trip the more I hear, ďStimpy, you IDIOT!Ē playing over and over in my head. So Iím dedicating 2010 to redoing my entire backpacking/camping load out. This project is also being spurred on by my pending move from the California to Indiana. For the first time I have to consider regular rain and winter conditions. I think Iíve narrowed down most of my gear needs, and I want to run it by everyone here before I start spending money. My first setup was purchased on a whim and I paid for it with 3 torturous nights of near-sleep. My current plan and reasoning is:


    Hammock Ė WBBB DL1.7 I like my ENO but I think itís a good time to swap it out and keep it around for day hikes. I want a sleeve for my CCF and a bug net and though I know those are easy DIY projects; but the ENO is a single and a hair camped for me at 6í2Ē and 240lbs. The WBBB defiantly looks more roomy and fills the other two features I want in a hammock.


    Underquilt Ė I think Te-Wa has me sold on his design. I like the ĺ UQís concept and have gone back and forth on Te-Wa vs the Yeti. I think the little extra length that Te-Wa provides would suite a my body length more appropriately. Please correct me if Iím wrong.


    Tarp Ė Speers Winter Tarp. I know itís a little big and bulky for summer use but I like the idea of added coverage in wind and rain. I want to be able to pull up a log if it starts down pouring and cook a meal and enjoy the day without being overly confined. Plus, dollar for dollar I think this tarp may be one of the best deals out there.


    Overquilt Ė Iím stuck here. Iím really looking at the JRB Sniveller line of quilts. Iím thinking the Sierra Sniveller due to its extra girth. Iím fairly broad through the shoulders and I donít think No Sniveller will give me the coverage I want without gaps. Iím just debating if I will actually use the poncho feature or if it sounds better in concept then in practice. Does anyone use this feature regularly? Outside of the No Sniveller line most other quilts seem to be too similar to stand out. It appears to me that they come down to basic temp rating and who gives you an extra inch or two in length or width.


    Suspension Ė Iím going to go with the stock webbing option on the WBBB. Seems simple enough and doesnít require me to fiddle with knots in the dark. I like the looks of the Dutch clip but I have yet to figure out where to buy them. Iím sure Iíve overlooked them on a site somewhere.


    Undercover Ė Would a Six Moons Design Gatewood work as an undercover on a WBBB? At $135 itís an extravagant solution in my mind, but having a ground option of a hanging location isnít available is nice. Or is there another Ponch Shelter that could also be used to fill the undercover need that comes in a little cheaper?


    Winter (freezing and below) Ė I have an Army 3 piece system that is extremely bulky but will get me though just about anything until Iím ready to spend money tweaking it out. Granted, Iíll probably need to build a pulk to lug the thing around but I could use the exercise.


    Sorry to put so much into one long post but I am hoping by putting all of my ideas in one post, everyone here can help find the holes in it.

  2. #2
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Everything looks like a good choice. I don't see your need for an extra undercover, tho. Your present choices of sleeping bags will work as a top quilt for the time being. Good luck on your choices. An optional ccf pad would be good thing to add, both for added insul. and for a grounded setup.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBreckenridge View Post

    Tarp Ė Speers Winter Tarp. I know itís a little big and bulky for summer use but I like the idea of added coverage in wind and rain. I want to be able to pull up a log if it starts down pouring and cook a meal and enjoy the day without being overly confined. Plus, dollar for dollar I think this tarp may be one of the best deals out there.

    Suspension Ė Iím going to go with the stock webbing option on the WBBB. Seems simple enough and doesnít require me to fiddle with knots in the dark. I like the looks of the Dutch clip but I have yet to figure out where to buy them. Iím sure Iíve overlooked them on a site somewhere.

    I think you are on the right track for your gear. I'm sure the Speers tarp is awesome but if you are looking for a good deal you might want to check out this site:

    http://backwoodsdaydreamer.webs.com/tarps.htm

    The owner is a member here and I really like the tarp I got from him.

    The Dutch clips are sold at the store here:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/store/

    And I think they are still in stock.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Formerly 'TroutEhCuss'
    Trout's Avatar
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    Six years ago, I moved to Elkhart, Indiana, from Sacramento, California. This year, I re-entered the world of backpacking after being gone for nearly 20 years. The only thing I had done in the years in between was car camp and day hikes. My first backpacking trip this year I froze and shivered like you did and also was uncomfortable because of the ground. My other trip this year was a four day - 42+ miles. I learned a lot and was better prepared, but still had problems. This year I am hitting the road multiple times and spending my three weeks of vacation out on the trail - better equipped and certainly more informed.

    Where in California do you live and where in Indiana do you plan on moving too? There isn't any hiking to be done in Northern Indiana, so be prepared to go South or North. It sounds like you have much of the same conclusions that I've come to think.

  5. #5
    New Member Ronnwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBreckenridge View Post
    Undercover Ė Would a Six Moons Design Gatewood work as an undercover on a WBBB? At $135 itís an extravagant solution in my mind, but having a ground option of a hanging location isnít available is nice. Or is there another Ponch Shelter that could also be used to fill the undercover need that comes in a little cheaper?
    Check out the JRB Dri Ducks Mod http://www.jacksrbetter.com/DriDucksPoncho.htm.

    1) It doubles as your rain gear (assuming you're comfortable with using a poncho, which has its pros/cons of course)

    2) Its $36 + shipping for the poncho and the mod

    3) It weighs 8.5 oz which is lighter than the Gatewood

    4) If you have to go to ground, you can use your hammock as the ground-sheet and lay the poncho over your quilt(s).

    5) Its specifically designed to fit hammocks

    Dri Ducks are definitely a little more fragile than the Gatewood. Worst case, if you do tear it, then its not that expensive to replace. Anyhow, food for thought

  6. #6
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Unless they have a new model, the Gatewood isn't breathable. You don't want to put a vapor barrier outside of your underquilt or all of your body moisture will freeze inside your insulation. DriDucks is breathable, though.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    Sorry it took me so long to get back to my post everyone. Between packing at the house and prepping work for a regional transfer of my position and soon my entire department I've been tied up.


    Poker88 Ė Thanks for the link to the forum store. I didnít know one existed.


    TroutEhCuss Ė Iím moving from Santa Clarita, CA (just north of LA before the Grapevine) to Valparaiso, IN. Iíve been looking and have come to accept that I will be driving an hour or three to get to any good hiking greater than 5 miles in length. Iíll stick with country roads and Dunes National Coastline for regular day hikes, and may have to get used to walking some loops multiple times over to get a good 10-15 miles in. Though my day hikes will be limited, there looks to be a lot of great places to take overnighters to in MI, IL, MO, WI, and to the south.


    Ronnwell & JustJeff Ė The price of the DriDuck is defiantly more appealing to me. The vapor barrier issue is something I have to read up on. I donít have a good gasp of their benefits or even how to use them. If I decide to just buy rain gear and skip the poncho all together, what type of materials should I look at for an undercover. Do I even need an undercover? I have to assume that with rain and wet snow I need something to protect the down underquilt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    If your tarp is adequate, you don't need a separate undercover. Might be useful for heavy fog areas, and it does offer an additional layer of protection and bit more warmth, but not needed for most trips.

    Vapor barriers are designed to be worn against the skin or over a silkweight baselayer, and then the insulation goes on the outside. If you put insulation between your body and the VB, you'll end up a soggy mess. Read Stephensen's Warmlite page for a pretty good writeup on VBs.
    http://www.warmlite.com/vb.htm
    ďRepublics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.Ē ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
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    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  9. #9
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post

    Vapor barriers are designed to be worn against the skin or over a silkweight baselayer, and then the insulation goes on the outside. If you put insulation between your body and the VB, you'll end up a soggy mess. Read Stephensen's Warmlite page for a pretty good writeup on VBs.
    http://www.warmlite.com/vb.htm
    Excellent link Jeff. Explains a lot to me that I was confused about. I spent a lot of time Saturday messing with different layers of clothing. I've been experimenting with a tyvek coverall as a VB, but wasn't using it correctly. I think I'll try it out again using this info and see if I can make it work.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    ďI go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.Ē
    - John Burroughs

  10. #10
    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
    If you put insulation between your body and the VB, you'll end up a soggy mess.
    http://www.warmlite.com/vb.htm

    And there is another reason I froze in Yosemite. I had on my Montbell Inner Vest under my windbreaker. That windbreaker has a dual layer that may be a VB, or at least acts like one. I always feel humid in that jacket and looking back, I put it on over my down vest.
    Last edited by Breck; 12-09-2009 at 07:08. Reason: Wording.

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