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  1. #1
    New Member
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    new at hammocking, have random questions

    please let me know if this is in the wrong forum, thanks!
    AT THE BOTTOM ARE MY BASIC QUESTIONS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ, THINK I GOT CARRIED AWAY SORRY, NEW AT THIS!

    Hey everyone, I'm a boy scout of a high adventure backpacking troop and last time I went backpacking was in Sproul State forst in Pennsylvania. There I met another backpacker who was using a hammock and talked with him, he convinced me to make the transfer to hammock camping. I did some research, watched some videos and decided on buying a Warbonnet Blackbird Double Layer 1.1. Everyone was really pleased with the blackbird and didn't have anything bad to say about it. I'm the first in my troop to test hammocks so I can't get advice from there. I'm going to Monogahela National Forest in West Virginia in a little over 2 weeks and was woundering on my hammock set up and had some questions that I can't find awnsers to.

    First, i bought the Adjustable Webbing Suspension with my blackbird and was woundering if I should mod it in any way. I love the lightest setup possible and hate extra weight I don't need/can get rid of. I've seen some people have climbing O rings instead of the buckles and dutch clips instead of caribeeners. Should I make the switch? I bought the 1.6 oz set of caribeeners because they seemed very light and versitle but I can always get dutch clips.

    Second, I was woundering about snake skins that I've seen on hennesy hammocks? could i use these with my blackbird and would they even be useful at all? They seem like a very good idea but I haven't seen anyone usign these with the blackbird so maybe it isn't.

    Also I have a question about underquilts/pads. I have a thermarest neoair since I have been tent camping my whole life and It's an awesome pad, super light and blows up to almost a raft. Can I just continue using my neoair for the summer or should I not even bother carrying the weight? And then invest in an underquilt later (since their $190-$215 at warbonnet) or shoud I actually get one before my trip? Also what temp of underquilt should I get since I normally camp fall or spring not too much in the winter, but still in some cold weather? Warbonnet underquilts seem very expensive so ya woundering if theres anything better/cheaper/lighter out there. Also I saw someone using those tarps with the 1 reflective side and he pointed the reflective side up and used it as a wind break/heart reflector, could I use this technique effectively?

    And lastly I bought the Warbonnet Asym-Diamond tarp since it was light and I don't want the extra weight of doors or the huge tarps, I see why people like them I just don't want one. Which leads me onto my question of can I tie this tarp to my suspension of my blackbird? or just go ahead and tie to to the tree. I've seen hennesy hammocks with the tarp tied to their guyline (i think its called) and they just use the snakeskin to put it all together, is this smart for a blackbird? or just go with what everyone else seems to be doing.

    So to sum up
    Should I do adjustments to my hammock to make it lighter (O rings, dutch clips, or anything else)?
    Should I use Snakeskins on a Black Bird?
    Carry neoair, or save the weight?
    Do i need a underquilt now, or can I wait for fall?
    What type of underquilt for ohio fall/spring weather?
    Can I tie my tarp to my suspension webbing, or just to a tree?

  2. #2
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Should I do adjustments to my hammock to make it lighter (O rings, dutch clips, or anything else)?

    You have lots of studying to do when it comes to modding your suspension
    with O-rings, Dutch Clips, etc. Truthfully in this regard you're not modding the hammock but the hammock suspension (a hammock mod would be for example adding a footbox on a gathered end hammock). So modding your suspension depends on which suspension you get when you get your hammock.

    Should I use Snakeskins on a Black Bird?
    You could use snakeskins but I bet most of us who use a BlackBird just use
    the Bishop bag that comes with it.

    Carry neoair, or save the weight?
    I've got 2 neoairs, tried both in the hammock--not for ME, just too narrow
    and I get CSW=cold shoulder wrap.

    Do i need a underquilt now, or can I wait for fall?
    Depends on how cold YOU get, how cold it gets outside where you are.

    What type of underquilt for ohio fall/spring weather?
    See above, I think it is still quite a bit chilly in Ohio, give us some
    temps you'll be hangin in so we might make recommendations.

    Can I tie my tarp to my suspension webbing, or just to a tree?
    Most of us suspend the tarp from tree to tree independently of the
    hammock-that way when you get into the hammock (it will pull down some)
    the tarp will stay taught.

    Good questions-keep 'em coming

  3. #3
    Senior Member Brother Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nataPOtata View Post
    Also I have a question about underquilts/pads. I have a thermarest neoair since I have been tent camping my whole life and It's an awesome pad, super light and blows up to almost a raft. Can I just continue using my neoair for the summer or should I not even bother carrying the weight? And then invest in an underquilt later (since their $190-$215 at warbonnet) or shoud I actually get one before my trip? Also what temp of underquilt should I get since I normally camp fall or spring not too much in the winter, but still in some cold weather? Warbonnet underquilts seem very expensive so ya woundering if theres anything better/cheaper/lighter out there.
    I used a thermarest pad in the beginning. It did the trick, but was kind of a hassle in my opinion. Insulating your bottom is important, think about bridges freezing first. I would not leave home without something, and your pad will work until you decide to drop the money on an underquilt. Temp ratings on the UQ depends on whether you're a cold/warm sleeper and expected lows (30s are typical in fall/spring here in OH). 20*F is the safest bet, but if you sleep warm a 40* with some overstuff may work (I prefer HammockGear. Good people, you can give them a call or send an email with questions and they will help you out. Plus, they are fellow Ohioans). I prefer a full length uq, less fiddle factor. Prices are pretty typical across the board.
    Those who speak don't know, those who know don't speak.

    “They deem me mad because I will not sell my days for gold; and I deem them mad because they think my days have a price. ” ― Khalil Gibran

  4. #4
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Welcome. Yes, you can save a few ounces by changing your suspension to a combination of Amsteel 7/64" whoopie slings and shorter 1" wide tree straps. I use 6' long whoopies and 5' long straps but that depends on how big your trees are. The 5' straps work great up to 18" diameter trees. And, i love my Dutch clips.

    Air mattresses and hammocks don't usually work out very well. Until you can get an underquilt, consider using ccf pads. You need at least a 30" wide one for hammocks, which you can make by cutting up a couple of narrow pads and putting the pieces together with duct tape. If you do much camping, you're going to want an under quilt eventually. You'll need to figure out what the coldest temperature is that your going to be camping in.

    In my opinion, snakeskins for hammocks just adds a lot of unecessary weight. The WBBB comes with a great double ended stuff sack. BTW, snakeskins for tarps are a much more attractive option.

    Tie your tarp to the trees. Tying it to the hammock suspension complicates things way too much. You want to be able to make independent adjustments to your tarp and hammock.

    And most importantly, have fun and be safe out there!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  5. #5
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Baby steps. Use what you've got. Evaluate it. Make it work. Get some experience under your belt, and then make some informed upgrade choices.
    Dave

    http://www.uark.edu/misc/xtimber/rna/pattonsbluff.html

    It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.
    John Steinbeck

  6. #6
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nataPOtata View Post

    First, i bought the Adjustable Webbing Suspension with my blackbird and was woundering if I should mod it in any way.
    So to sum up
    Should I do adjustments to my hammock to make it lighter (O rings, dutch clips, or anything else)?The adjustable webbing is what I recomend to all the scouters here that order the BlackBird. It's easy to use and there's no way to forget any of the straps on the tree when you pack up and hike away. For you I'd recomend that you use it as is for a couple of trips and then if you still want to mod it, do it then.
    Should I use Snakeskins on a Black Bird? NO!! The bag it comes in is ingenius and oh so easy to use.
    Carry neoair, or save the weight?You need "insulation" under you to stay warm, not air. Air is cold!!! I used an Exped pad to start with, it's got down inside it. See if Wallmart has those cheapy blue pads. You will need something!!
    Do i need a underquilt now, or can I wait for fall?You will need something, see answer above.
    What type of underquilt for ohio fall/spring weather?we need more info on temps and how you sleep (warm or cold)
    Can I tie my tarp to my suspension webbing, or just to a tree?
    My husband had to do this once with his Blackbird and tarp because the trees were so big and far apart that his tarp didn't reach to the trees. Otherwise, no, tie to the tarp to the trees. If it's raining in the morning, you will need to take down your hammock first and the tarp last.

    Do you have any trees at your house that you can practice with?? Or go to a local park and practice?? This will help you figure out how to pack your gear in your backpack and how to set up your camp before you actually go on your trip.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    nataPotata,

    You've welcome to bring your gear up and test drive any of my quilts, I'm just up the road from you in Sunbury, live across the street from the old middle school.


    David

  8. #8
    DivaB's Avatar
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    We try to do a monthly hang and your more than welcome to come and see the different set-ups and try some things out. It's a great way to meet your fellow hangers, ask questions, and see things first hand. We also keep things very family friendly. Here is where we're trying to plan a June hang http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=53364

    Here's a link for next weeks. I'm not sure how this one is going, and if they've pinned down a site or not. The Holiday weekend kind of interfered with this one. You can always PM Bannerstone, who I think is still planning on going. http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=52554

    Just randomly keep checking the calendar for Ohio Hangs.

    Looks like Medicine Man did great taking care of your questions.

    By the way, welcome to the forums, from Ohio.

  9. #9
    sargevining's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgringo View Post
    Baby steps. Use what you've got. Evaluate it. Make it work. Get some experience under your belt, and then make some informed upgrade choices.
    Plus 1 on the baby steps. If your goal is to get into the woods with a hammock, you have achieved that. The next step would be to do it comfortably. A GI Poncho liner will cost you about $20 and there is plenty of information on how to make one into an underquilt. Its a pretty good piece of gear to have in any event, and the Do It Yourself experience is in keeping with the Scout Ethos. As an Underquilt, it should serve you needs until fall.

    Later, when you've become more experienced at hammock camping (after you've fallen on our butt a couple of times), then go for the modfications, if you think you need to.

    That's how I'm attacking it. I've been using my Hennesey now since Christmastime. I now know what needs what needs to go into the pack first, second, and last, what needs to be done to get camp set up in minutes, and I know what to bring with me (because I've forgotten some things in the past).

    I'm now ready to do some modifications, but I'm experimenting with an ENO Single Nest first so I don't bugger up a more expensive (and perfectly working) hammock system. If I bugger up the mods on the ENO, I still have the Hennesey to take out when I want to.

  10. #10
    Teegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgringo View Post
    Baby steps. Use what you've got. Evaluate it. Make it work. Get some experience under your belt, and then make some informed upgrade choices.
    Quoted for truth and wisdom. I recently got into hammocking, and was very eager to shave ounces, and still am for that matter. But the truth is, don't fix it if it ain't broke.

    It won't take long for you to catch up to speed on hammock lingo and technology, especially if you watch Shug's videos and prowl these forums frequently.

    For now, I'd refrain from making changes so soon. You may find that when you try everything out, it's perfect for you. Or you might find your OWN solution that no one here has thought of yet!! Innovate, create, brag about it.

    One thing is for sure, you're on your way to some fun nights out.

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