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  1. #1
    Senior Member drewboy's Avatar
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    Successful hammock experience

    Thanks to the information shared by all the folks here, I just had a very pleasant and successful 5-day backpacking trip in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado. I thought I'd pay back to the list with some of my experiences and observations. I am fairly new to hammocking.

    My hammock was a Hennessy Hyperlite backpacker A-sym (~16.5oz w/o tarp). This hammock worked extremely well for my size and weight (5'10", 178lbs). This was probably my first time backpacking that I actually slept in past first light and did not feel the need to get up early due to body aches from sleeping on the ground. I'm still experimenting a bit on pillows, but I found that a minimalist pillow works best for me. I had an inflatable Montbell that was too much pillow, and using no pillow at all was not quite comfortable on my neck. The best solution for me was when I bunched up my thermawrap jacket and used that as a head pillow. The Montbell inflatable was more useful as a leg pillow.

    Given the amount of rain that could be expected at my destination, I upgraded the standard HH rain fly to the new Speer 8x10 cat tarp (~13.5oz). I was able to set this to a nice tight pitch and got a great amount of coverage. I snake skinned my tarp, and also used those nifty figure 9 gadgets to make setting up the fly a breeze, and always set the tarp up first to develop a good routine for camp setup when it is raining. I always tied the rideline tieouts to the trees, and on the side tieouts I used the Jacks 'R Better self tensioning lines. I never had any issues losing my pitch, and I also found the STL's were very useful in providing more range in stake location in case of a rock or other obstruction in the ground.

    I tried various solutions for under hammock insulation while preparing for my trip. I initially purchased a Hennessy Supershelter. I found this to be a reasonably easy to use, compact and light solution. My experience matched others in that it provided enough warmth down to perhaps the mid to upper forties. Since my need was for something that could work down to the upper 30's for my upcoming trip, I began to explore alternatives. There seemed to be many alternatives for supplementing the SS system with addiitonal closed cell foam pads. I did in fact order a couple of the GG 3/8" CC foam pads to use in conjunction with the SS. But in the end, for me it boiled down to what is the simplest to use and most compact solution. With the ULA Conduit pack I was using, I had a limited amount of pack space. I decided to order and try out the Jacks R Better Nest underquilt. I already had a No Sniveller quilt and was very happy with it. The Nest/No Sniveller combo for me was the ultimate solution and I never looked back. Weight wise, comparable to the SS with GG 3/8 foam pads (if you go the TeeDee route with the 2 extra pads in a cross configuration). Bulk wise, the quilt much more compact and easier to pack. The quilt mounting system for me was very straight forward and worked right out of the box. I stayed very warm the entire trip. My only issue was that it got too warm at times. I had to tone back on my usual habit of wearing more clothes to bed to stay warm. Removing the Nest and stuffing it into the stuff sack for me was a much easier operation than getting the SS open cell foam pad back into it's stuff sack, I always found that to be a pain. One thing that the SS offers over the Nest combo was a waterproof bottom. Jacks R Better offers a water protective/breathable undercover solution for a few more ounces, but currently the Weather Shield is out of stock. I was initially apprehensive about having a down quilt exposed like this, but it did not turn out to be an issue for me. Admittedly the rain was minimal this trip so I cannot say how well things would work in a torrential downpour. I would like to think that the Speer tarp and DWR finish on the underquilt would be plenty of protection for most conditions.

    So at present I feel pretty good about the hammocking solution that I'm using. Going to the Nest really seemed to streamline the amount of gear I carried as well as the ease of my setup and takedown. I am getting a pretty good routine established for camp setup, but still I am a bit slower than my hikiing companions who are using double wall tents. One area that I want to explore more is the use of rings for tying the hammock to the trees. I'm still a bit fuzzy on how to retrofit my hammock for these. Weight wise, If I compare this solution to using a tarp/bivy combo and also including a GG bug netting and 2/3 length inflatable insulated mat for a reasonable amount of comfort I pay perhaps an ~8oz penalty for going this route over the ground route. For me, that is a good compromise for the big enhancement I get in my outdoor experience.

    Thanks to all the folks on this list for their help.

    Andy

  2. #2
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Drewboy,

    Glad that your first trip worked out so well... Welcome to the world of experianced hangers...

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    In answer to the question 'how do I retrofit ring buckles to my HH', the picture below shows it well:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery...&searchid=1109

    Just tie the rings onto the original support ropes about 1-2' out from the hammock by wrapping the rope 3 times around the two rings and securing with a bowline (that process is called an ascender knot), or use some other wrap knot to attach the rings. Get a length of webbing (I use 13' on each end) with a sewn loop in one end (I got mine from Ed Speer), put a biner (I use a Camp USA Nano Wire gate now sold at my local REI) in the loop and off you go.

    Excellent write-up. Thanks for the trip report.
    Bad spellers of the world Untie!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Oh, two things I'd change from the picture: I would wrap at least twice around the tree before clipping the biner around the main line, and tie a slip knot in the webbing behind the rings after tightening to make sure they don't slip.
    Bad spellers of the world Untie!

  5. #5
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Great trip report drewboy,

    Definetely switch to the ring/buckle system. I have both the rings and the buckles on my hammocks. Both work well. Here's my latest pic of the buckles I just received:http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery...r&imageuser=45

    Link to the buckles:
    http://www.onrope1.com/store/index.p...d=118&parent=4
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  6. #6
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    a minority view on using rings/buckles

    drewboy-
    enjoyed the writeup. Reminded me of my recent trip to the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

    Here's another take on using rings or buckle w/o hacking the HH rope. The basic idea is to use the webbing and rings to refine the hang, not define it. You can get by with less webbing (6 ft at each end should be ample), at the cost of needing to retie the rings between hangs.

    With the webbing threaded through the ring/buckle with a enough standing end to secure with a safety knot (ring) or just grab (buckle), wrap the webbing 'round the tree (a couple of times if diameter permits) and clip with the biner. Now do your first bit of tightening with the rope through the rings. I find that two full turns with 2 half hitches are secure, are easily undone, and can be tied when the rope is under tension (harder to do if you take a couple of turns and then use a bowline). Alternatively you can eyeball the length of rope needed at each end and secure the rings using a couple of turns and a bowline (bowlines also loosen up easily).

    Anyway, once you have the basic lengths and tensions set, you can tighten up using the webbing.

    Or you can just carry the extra few feet of webbing and not worry about it.

    Grizz
    Last edited by GrizzlyAdams; 07-22-2007 at 20:57. Reason: make it appear that I do in fact speak English

  7. #7
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Sounds like my first hammock in the Winds!

    Good report, Drew boy! Sounds much like my first hammock adventure last Sept for 1 week in the Wind Rivers, Wyoming. Except I used the HHSS all the way. My first night ever in the hammock was the first night of that trip. That first night worked out poorly do to user inexperience and error. But all 4 nights following that were grand and converted me permanently to hammock hanging. If for some reason you should ever decide to play with your SS again, remember that extra clothing in the undercover will really boost it's range. Though the weight of the clothing may require a little practice tensioning the undercover) Or even better- an almost weightless( considering the added warmth) and super cheap Garlington insulator in the undercover beneath the HH pad will add a ton of warmth.

    Also, The Weminuche mention brings memories. Of a long ago trip ( no hammock, and heavy packs!) to Chicago Basin and over a pass down to I think it was a Johnson Creek and out to some large reservoir ( name? Can't remember) south east of Chicago Basin.

    Great pics, Griz and Shadowmoss and FF, of the rings/buckles! OK, I see from your post that rope1 is a source for the buckles. Any other source? Webbing from Speer and maybe other places. What is the source for the rings? Also, does anybody know if Lowes or Home Depot carries any workable rings or buckles?

  8. #8
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Great pics, Griz and Shadowmoss and FF, of the rings/buckles! OK, I see from your post that rope1 is a source for the buckles. Any other source? Webbing from Speer and maybe other places. What is the source for the rings? Also, does anybody know if Lowes or Home Depot carries any workable rings or buckles?
    Strapworks for polyester webbing (I'm told that Ed Speer sells polypro)

    For the rings, SMC or USOutdoorStore or RockandRescue, or ... just search on SMC descending rings.

    I have gotten load rated rings from Lowes, although not for this use. 1", 200 lbs rating. A bit close to the margin, best to go with what the climbers use.

    Grizz

  9. #9
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Good report, Drew boy! Sounds much like my first hammock adventure last Sept for 1 week in the Wind Rivers, Wyoming. Except I used the HHSS all the way. My first night ever in the hammock was the first night of that trip. That first night worked out poorly do to user inexperience and error. But all 4 nights following that were grand and converted me permanently to hammock hanging. If for some reason you should ever decide to play with your SS again, remember that extra clothing in the undercover will really boost it's range. Though the weight of the clothing may require a little practice tensioning the undercover) Or even better- an almost weightless( considering the added warmth) and super cheap Garlington insulator in the undercover beneath the HH pad will add a ton of warmth.

    Also, The Weminuche mention brings memories. Of a long ago trip ( no hammock, and heavy packs!) to Chicago Basin and over a pass down to I think it was a Johnson Creek and out to some large reservoir ( name? Can't remember) south east of Chicago Basin.

    Great pics, Griz and Shadowmoss and FF, of the rings/buckles! OK, I see from your post that rope1 is a source for the buckles. Any other source? Webbing from Speer and maybe other places. What is the source for the rings? Also, does anybody know if Lowes or Home Depot carries any workable rings or buckles?

    That's the only source of the buckles that I've seen. Why do people call them Crazy Creek buckles when their not made by Crazy Creek as far as I can tell? I've searched all through the internet and have never found them offered by Crazy Creek. Is it a discontinued item from Crazy Creek? Might start calling them cinch buckles. It's a cinch to use. Just curious.
    Last edited by FanaticFringer; 07-23-2007 at 07:19.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  10. #10
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticFringer View Post
    That's the only source of the buckles that I've seen.
    Yep, after a thorough search myself, I believe OnRope1 is the only source that sells them outright.

    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticFringer View Post
    Why do people call them Crazy Creek buckles when their not made by Crazy Creek as far as I can tell? I've searched all through the internet and have never found them offered by Crazy Creek. Is it a discontinued item from Crazy Creek?
    They got that name from JustJeff, I believe, because that's where he first saw them, and he actually got his from them I believe. I guess they are used somehow as a part of the Crazy Creek Cribs.


    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticFringer View Post
    Might start calling them cinch buckles. It's a cinch to use.
    I agree that they should probably be called cinch buckles, and I've used that term here before, but it hasn't 'stuck' yet.

    Props go out to JustJeff and BlackBishop for finding/sharing the info originally about the buckles!
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

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