As a California hiker, I'm gonna say, stick with the pad. Get something together to give the neoair wings to use in the hammock, or go with a 3/4 length UQ plus the neoair under your legs, and go for it.
PCT is not something you want to be without options for. Folks who don't hike much over 10,000 feet don't get it. If you are in the treeless reaches and your knee starts to pitch a fit, you want to stop, but it's nine more miles to treeline? sucks. Don't get me wrong, UQ are the greatest thing for comfort, but if you are not going to be one of those hikers who knows they can for sure get that extra 10 miles to trees, it might be better to play it safe. Not to mention all that desert hiking at the start of the PCT - can't hang from joshua trees!
Take 8-10 foot tree huggers. That will give you more hanging opportunities.
The tarp issue - you might be one of those who prefers hanging closer to the ground? I personally prefer a tarp to be way above the hammock! gives me room to stand up in. But for what you're doing, I would think about how the tarp might be pitched in a ground configuration as well. I have no experience with the superfly or how big it is.
I use a JRB top quilt all the time, on the ground, in the hammock - wonderful quilt. I gave up sleeping bags before I started to hammock and haven't regretted it.
Last edited by lori; 03-13-2011 at 23:01.
BTW, I'm a cold sleeper, frequently go out in high elevation Sierra - it's 30-20F year round at some elevations - and the NeoAir and JRB 3 season quilt have been brilliant for me. You need to have the layering system so you can add clothes in the event of weather causing sudden temp drops. But I've only had to sleep in more than one layer of clothes once.
Well, I'm not a seasoned hammock vet like some of those out here, but I have done my fair share of tinkering to try to figure out what would work for me. That said, what you observed about the sleeping bag getting squashed is most definitely true. I sleep with a down TQ and down UQ which together weigh about the same as a traditional down sleeping bag. Really, all you are doing with the combination is creating a sleeping bag with a hammock in the middle. Once I got the UQ cinched up tight (I tightened the end suspensions and added really thin shock cord from the sides to my ridgeline which pullled everything up tight), I no longer experienced any cold spots underneath me (very nice ). I tried a synthetic TQ that I made myself, but it didn't really drape very nicely over me, so I bit the bullet and bought the down TQ. The TQ is rated to 25-30 degrees, so I was near the bottom of it's stated range and was plenty warm. I also added the 2 or so ounce down hood and it really made a difference as well. I actually modified my TQ a little bit to make it really pull in nicely for me. The Hudson River TQ that I bought is designed so that you can also use it as an UQ by adding suspension. That said, it has two tie-out tabs on the top and two additional tie-out tabs down each side. I took a piece of 3/32" shock cord and connected the two top tabs and the first set of side tabs. By putting those over my head and putting my feet in the footbox, the whole thing really surrounded my body but I couldn't even feel the shock cord. Let me know if you need to see pictures of what I'm talking about.
Originally Posted by shybird
With regard to the Superfly w/doors, when it's colder, I pitch it lower to the ground, which makes me have to bend over a little bit underneath it, but keeps it closer to the hammock. You probably know this, but you need to run your tarp line underneath the hammock suspension to get it low enough for this (Got that from Shug's videos). Not sure exactly what you mean by the side tieouts, but I stake the bottom of the tarp pretty close to the ground then put shock cord on the middle pullouts (in the middle of the tarp sides) and connect that over a hiking pole and then to the ground. That really "fattens" the tarp without widening the footprint. It also does a great job of keeping it from bumping into the hammock, even when I'm using my blackbird with the tieouts deployed.
The overall height of the tarp is going to be a compromise between standing comfort and wind passing underneath. I think that you'll find that with a good TQ/UQ combination, the wind underneath issue won't be a big one (you'll be hanging above that opening anyway) and you'll be able to hang it a little higher so that you can stand underneath. Good to know that you have both options, though.
A little wordy I know, but hope that it helps some. I spent a number of nights just hanging in my back yard on on my back porch trying to get things tuned in. Once I got into the woods, I felt like I had 95% dialed in and felt pretty comfortable.
If you have other questions, feel free to ask and PM if you would like.
Look forward to reading (and hopefully watching) the fun that you'll have on your hike!
You know, the bag will work fine as a top quilt. If you actually bought a top quilt, it would be lighter.
I don't think there is a good way to get around the fact that a underquilt works
I have an IX underquilt, (3 layers) that I made myself. Mac here on the forums makes them as well. It weighs about 19 ounces and you don't have to stress about getting it wet.
See, if either the first or last part of your journey was going to be cold, I would tell you to take a simple, DIY hammock without a bug net (cold - no bugs) and then swap it out for your mosquito-proof hammock when you reached warmer temperatures. With a simple DIY hammock you can put your sleeping bag AROUND the hammock and arrive at some very comfortable temperatures. This advice is rendered useless because you'll be in the desert, where it is in fact cold, but you also want critter protection.
Um.. as far as protecting the down, there are climashields that are simple and made out of sil. basically a second hammock hanging under the down, if that is what you choose, to protect it from moisture.
I'm with whoever said to get a summer UQ and augment it with your pad. I've not tried it myself, but I know my IX gets me to 35 easy. It's 3/4 length and I just put a 12' square piece of reflectix under my feet.
I hike primarily in the East so do have limited experience in areas without trees. I think that the recommendations on the top/bottom combinations are still valid, but you definitely need to consider your options when the terrain forces you to go to ground.
Originally Posted by lori
Meet up with a local hanger and test a quilt (a underquilt). I think you'll be suprised at the heat. Possibly gather a few of the locals together in a "hang and show me" groupfest?
Should you quit hanging....
... your asking the wrong crowd.
Ambulo tua ambulo.
lori... your suggestions and advice are very helpful... thank you... i'm still very much on the fence but for sure, the pad must come... i guess i'd make some longer huggers, i have only the stock HH huggers...
sn... yes, i was hanging the tarp as you describe and trying to keep it low (bc i was getting so cold) but even tying out the middle points of the superfly (all four of them), i'm still having the hammock touch the sides... and when i'm getting in, i'm basically creeping along the side of the tarp... i haven't experienced condensation yet, but isn't it best to be able to avoid touching the insides of your tarp?
i'm going to keep trying i guess. warbonnet was really quick in answering my questions about the superfly before i bought it, but he hasn't replied about my inquiry to return it. i'm guessing that no answer is my answer... and i understand. i'm going to get a warmer bag and stick with my neoair. also got the gossamer for shoulder wings... i'm still resisting the UQ leroy C: if i can warm up on top with a warmer bag, the neoair and smartwool instead of synthetic will possibly be enough. at least until i'm not hiking so many miles, and weight is such an issue...
i may take pics and PM you steelernation about superfly setup help...
again, thank you all for the support and well-wishes! have a great day!
I did a 10 part video series for the new guys ....may give you some answers or thoughts.
Shug's Hammock How-To
Hope it may help some,
Go with the lightest setup that you can put together. If it's a tent, go with it.
Especially early on, when you're still getting you're trail legs, limiting that weight is going to be much more beneficial than the theoretical better nights sleep you'd get in a hammock.
I live in the sierras and hike at those altitudes all summer long and ski all winter long.
While I havent even gotten my hammock yet, I can tell you I have purchased a uq and already have a top quilt. I have also gotten a torso lenght foam pad as my uq is only 3/4 length and I want the ability to go to ground.
With a 3/4 uq and the foam pad along with my hiking poles, I believe I can hang most of the time, sleep on the ground when it dictates, and be at least tolerably warm all the time.
Obviously nights on the torso pad on the ground will not be as comfy in warmth or sleeping comfort, but you wont feeze and you should be able to sleep. And all in all there is not a significant weight penalty (the light torso pad about equals what it weighs to go to a full uq.
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