Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. #1
    New Member Hairball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Hammock
    GT Double
    Tarp
    None yet
    Insulation
    Ridgerest pad
    Suspension
    Whoopies & Webbing
    Posts
    43

    Finally had it with ground dwelling

    Hey gang! I need to vent and I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but bear with me as there is a point too all this I promise. Sorry in advance for the wall o' text.

    Did a little solo overnight backpack trip this weekend in the Colorado Rockies (Abyss Lake trail on Guenella Pass, for the curious.) I wanted to get out there for a night before winter sets in at that elevation. It's been quite a while since I did any *real* backpacking and I learned 2 very important life-lessons on this trip.
    1. My old 2-man tent with rain fly and footprint, down sleeping bag and giant inflatable sleeping pad weigh a freaking ton and take up a huge amount of pack space
    2. Even with the REI camp bed 3.5" inflatable "luxury" pad sleeping on the ground was horrible

    Some may recall that not long ago I joined the community here and got myself a hammock: a grand trunk double and it's great, but it's all I have. No tarp or bottom insulation system yet. Because of that I had to go with the ground setup this time. The sleeping pad I brought was totally overkill for any sane backpacker, but I already knew my old thermalrest foam pad didn't work well for me so I tried the super thick REI camp bed 3.5 along with a nice inflatable camp pillow.

    It was bad, bad times.

    I can't believe how uncomfortable I was. It got down to maybe 33 degrees, but temp wasn't a problem. I ached all over, developed a headache and overall probably got a total of 3 hours actual sleep though it wasn't continuous.

    So the good news? I think I'm truly done with sleeping on the ground. It's hammock time.

    My double size hammock is pretty big for solo backpacking, but still much lighter/smaller than my tent setup so I'm not worried about "having" to get a better hammock just yet.

    There are 2 key things I know I need:
    1. Tarp
    2. Bottom Insulation

    I'm going to keep reading through the relevant sub-forums here and hopefully come up with a plan. I love being out in the wild, but the experience is pretty tainted when you have a crappy night.
    Last edited by Hairball; 09-14-2011 at 09:39. Reason: fixed some nonsense

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    West Texas
    Hammock
    WB Traveler
    Tarp
    DD Tarp 3x3
    Insulation
    GarQuilt/Jarbridge
    Suspension
    Whoopies
    Posts
    464
    Sounds like it was a successful trip!

    You've hit 'rock bottom' and realized that you need to be off the ground from now on.

    So congrats on your discovery! :-)

    Good luck and godspeed in your quest to find a tarp and UQ. I don't think you could go wrong with any of the cottage industry goods available via the forums.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Veto 65's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Cohoes, New York
    Hammock
    WBBB 1.7 DL
    Tarp
    Chinook 9.6x9.6
    Insulation
    AH New River UQ
    Suspension
    Came with the BB
    Posts
    860
    Images
    6
    That is a great line, "It's hammock time". Just be patient. You are changing your way of sleeping in the woods. Some of your gear can be used but not all of it.
    It took me over 2 years to get to where I am now and I still need gear, lightweight tarp, top quilt, etc. If I didn't have a good job it would have taken even longer.

    Hang in there so to speak.
    I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. - E. B. White (1899 - 1985)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Buffalo Skipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pensacola
    Hammock
    WB Traveler 1.7 single
    Tarp
    HG Cuben
    Insulation
    Incubator & Burrow
    Suspension
    Whoopies/MSH/strap
    Posts
    864
    Images
    97

    There is a Learning Curve

    Sorry to hear of your poor ground experiences. Mine were not quite so bad, but it was the same type of discomfort which led me to a hammock.

    You specifically asked about both top quilts TQ and underquilts UQ. I have two UQs which work great for where I camp. I am finicky, but in the last year, I am very happy with my choices. My "winter" UQ is a full length hammock gear 20° Incubator (800 fill down), and I have a custom Arrowhead Equipment Jarbridge River (3 oz Climashield) good to about 45°.

    When I first got my hammock (GT Skeeter Beeter pro), I made a DIY underquilt from an old cheap second hand sleeping bag. Though it worked for me for a few months until replaced with a real UQ, the experience taught me quilt a bit about UQs and how they do and don't work. It accelerated my learning curve.

    I cannot comment on top quilts directly. For my winter camping this past year, I have used a Kelty Light Year 25° down mummy bag (650 fill?). It is made to zip 1/2 way, so I have used it somewhat like a TQ. Though functional, I always knew a dedicated TQ would be easier to use and probably more comfortable. I have a Hammock Gear 20° Burrow (900 fill with overstuff) on order, and I cannot wait until I can try it in freezing temps (these words from a native Floridian! ). For spring/fall and summer, I have used a fleece liner and supplemented with a thin fleece blanket for the cooler nights. It really isn't enough, but I recognize that this is an equipment issue rather than a problem of the hammock. In fact, I have several very addequate sleeping bags which I could take, but they are bulky and I am too lazy to plan for the extra space, even when "car camping." I am budgeted to aquire a warmer weather TQ in a few months for the upcoming spring/summer.

    These are all choices. The comfort level I am experiencing in my hammock is immeasurably above how I felt on the ground. It will have taken me a year and a half to pick up most of what I need to make my hammock experience what I want it to be year round. But it is worth it, to me. I have spent about 45 nights in my hammock since last October, and ZERO nights on the ground. My back loves me for it.

    Hope that helps you out.
    “Indian builds small fire and stays warm, white man builds big fire and stays warm collecting firewood”—unknown

    “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea”—Karen Blixen

  5. #5
    Senior Member Southpaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Madison, TN
    Hammock
    WBBB, DIY, ENO DN
    Tarp
    Superfly
    Insulation
    Incubator
    Suspension
    3 days
    Posts
    447
    Images
    6
    I'm really happy with my full length Leigh Lo quilt and the Warbonnet Superfly. I have the Blackbird hammock, but when I bought it and the Superfly I wasn't even sure if I wanted a hammock. My rationale was that, the Superfly would work with a Bivy if I decided to go that route. I know it's bigger than some people might want, but it's nice to know I have adequate coverage no matter what mother nature throws at me. As for the quilt, the price and size are just right. Plus it's made right here in my back yard.

    So I guess what I'm saying is Superfly and Leigh Lo.
    Last edited by Southpaw; 09-14-2011 at 15:43.

  6. #6
    AaronAlso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Hammock
    WBBB 1.7DL
    Tarp
    HG CF 4s
    Insulation
    Shamu & RAB
    Suspension
    All in One whoopie
    Posts
    709
    Images
    16
    On the cheap you can use the ridgerest in the hammock, maybe DIY a hybrid PLUQ/SPE it won't be hard. That would cover you bottom half pretty well down to 50*F or so, for certainly less than $50 (that's a very high estimate) You can then pick-up a PU coated tarp like the guide gear, chinook or equinox brands for $50 or less.

    For less than $100 you could be ready for spring at least.
    "The more laws that are written, the more criminals are produced." - "The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be." - Lao Tze

    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

    Ephesians 6:10-17

    Hammock Forums is my social network.

  7. #7
    Stormstaff's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Kankakee, IL
    Hammock
    Dangerbird
    Tarp
    OMW
    Insulation
    Burrow/Incubator
    Suspension
    Whoopies/ Dutch
    Posts
    1,298
    Any chance the fly from your tent could be fashioned into a tarp?

  8. #8
    RootCause's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    MN
    Hammock
    WB Traveller, & my DIY gathered-end
    Tarp
    DIY 10x10
    Insulation
    Pads, usually
    Suspension
    Several types
    Posts
    608
    Images
    4
    Your ground gear can work well in your hammock - try it out. Many people (myself included) use CCF pads (or in my case, a Thermarest inflatable) down to low 30*F temps with no problems. That down bag will still work for you too, just use it as a quilt unzipped rather than trying to crawl into it in the hammock.

    8x10 blue poly tarps work to start. Re-using the tent fly is normally difficult because they're shaped to be domed with poles. DIY tarps are easy, and there are a lot of good options in the world depending on your price and coverage needs. I suggest searching the archives here....

    Try it out and upgrade as you learn more about your hammock preferences....

    Welcome to the ranks of the outdoorsmen with an elevated perspective!

  9. #9
    New Member Hairball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Hammock
    GT Double
    Tarp
    None yet
    Insulation
    Ridgerest pad
    Suspension
    Whoopies & Webbing
    Posts
    43
    hehehe figured everyone would see this as a good thing, not a bad one.

    Yeah no go on the tent tarp. It's made to be domed, as the previous poster said, and has all sorts of made-specifically-for-my-tent elements about it. I'll look elsewhere for a tarp.

    My sleeping bag won't make a great TQ because it's got very little insulation on the bottom side, plus has extra insulation over your core body area:
    http://www.amazon.com/Sierra-Designs.../dp/B004KQDMPU

    But I could still use it like an actual sleeping bag for the moment. I'm sure it'll be... weird to be cocooned in the bag *and* in the hammock. Probably wake up panicked because a giant spider must have wrapped me up.

    The hard part of all this is not the research (I enjoy that!) or the decisions (can also be fun) but of course it's the justifying to the wife.

    EDIT: On further thought, it's a little chilly today with current temp only 52F. Maybe tonight would be a good hang in the garage and experiment with sleeping pads night! I have a couple of different pads to choose from so should be interesting.
    Last edited by Hairball; 09-14-2011 at 11:46. Reason: Typos - my God, man! The Typos!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Law Dawg (ret)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Left Coast
    Hammock
    WBBB XLC 1.1 dbl/ Traveler 1.1 dbl
    Tarp
    Toxaway & Bullfrog
    Insulation
    Incubator & Burrow
    Suspension
    Adjustable Webbing
    Posts
    2,281
    Quote Originally Posted by Hairball View Post
    Some may recall that not long ago I joined the community here and got myself a hammock: a grand trunk double and it's great, but it's all I have. No tarp or bottom insulation system yet.
    The Grand Trunk is a double (according to my Google Ka) so can it fit a ground pad between the layers? Your plan to experiment at home is a good one and one of the things I really enjoy doing still...call it my Vario backyard lab (the Traveler is there right now). As to weight how about upgrading the suspension etc?

    UQ, TQ, and Tarp; I really like my Hammock Gear 3 season Burrow and Incubator and it was backyard lab work that made me decide (rather quickly) that pads stink. I'd recommend you consider saving for some good down gear and cut through the wait time. Maybe a 3 season Phoenix over the Incubator for backpacking.

    Tarp, I really like my AHE Toxaway for coverage and simplicity but the choices are huge.

    Welcome to the sane side of sleeping outside!
    Mark is the name and If there is more than one way to understand what I just said....I meant the good one.

    Earth First! We'll dirt bike ride the other planets later.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •