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Thread: Tweak my setup

  1. #1

    Tweak my setup

    My current setup is pretty simple, and is designed to be both flexible and weatherproof. That said, I've only recently added a hammock to the mix. What I need help with is finding a few tweaks to optimize the hammock part.

    Call me strange, but my first priority in camping gear is to be prepared for anything that is likely to come my way. I really do live by the motto: "Safety First". I love having a light pack, but I'm willing to sacrifice a little weight if it makes me more safe. Even going to ground is very comfortable and warm with this kit, but I'd like to have a more weather resistant option for staying in the hammock.

    Here is a basic outline of my kit:

    Shelter: 8x10 homemade silnylon tarp
    Insulation: MSS Bivy/bag + blue walmart ccf pad
    Hammock: Cheap gathered-end hammock from Academy

    I am going to build a custom hammock using the best materials I can find, but that's where I could use some advice. The Military Sleeping System is amazing, and the whole system hinges on it. What I need is a hammock system that keeps wind away from the bivy bag. I'm not worried about rain or freezing temperatures at all due to the amazingness that is the MSS bivy, but wind will steal heat from the compressed loft just like any other sleeping bag. I'm not even worried about wind on the bottom of the hammock where the pad will be. What worries me is that wind will whip around the sides, where the loft of the bag might still be compressed.

    So I guess the question could be narrowed down to this: how do you reduce the impact of wind on the sides of your hammock? Keep in mind that I have the option of building any required features into the structure of my new hammock.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lymphocytosis's Avatar
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    Assuming you want to stick with a pad, sounds like you need wings on your pad to protect your sides where the loft is compressed. Look up the Speer segemented pad extender here on the forum AKA SPE to give you an idea of what I mean. Then you have closed cell foam wrapping up your sides where the bag in compressed. It will protect you from losing heat there.

    As far as actual wind blocks go, I think most of us learn to rig our tarps for that purpose.
    Last edited by lymphocytosis; 09-12-2011 at 17:44.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member taylo's Avatar
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    My first advice,
    That walmart blue pad is going to make you sweat. You will wake up with a wet back in the mornings.
    Also, I'm guessing your hammock is single layer, so that pad is not going to stay put. You will wake up with half of it laying on the ground.

    Soooo... Get an underquilt. Check out DIY poncho liner underquilts on here if you want to go cheap. Or check our Arrowhead Equipment's KAQ synthetic underquilts. They're a great cheaper alternative to down quilts. I have one and love it.

    Your tarp upgrades can wait till last. An underquilt is a first priority.

  4. #4
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    If you are not in a rush and what you have is workable, I'd suggest taking plenty of time and looking at lots of options including ways to adapt your pad to your system and Underquilts.

    Since you already indicated you might make the Texas Group Hang in November, if you are patient enough to hold off a couple of months, you'll be able to see and "test drive" a wide range of set ups. Most likely we'll have 50 or so hangers and I can almost guarantee that no more than 2 or 3 people use the exact same set up.

    Show and tell and trying out each others set ups is a big part of the experience. There is also going to be a swap meet/gear sale most likely and you may find a deal on something that would fit your bill perfectly.

  5. #5
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snarlbuckle View Post
    So I guess the question could be narrowed down to this: how do you reduce the impact of wind on the sides of your hammock? Keep in mind that I have the option of building any required features into the structure of my new hammock.
    First, the folks that I've camped with that use the MSS have not had any complaints about wind issues.

    For me, my tarp pitch and placement is my wind screen and I can't recall a time of wind ever whipping in over my bottom insulation.

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