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  1. #1
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    Advice for first cool-ish hang

    My eight year-old son and I are going on his first cub scout camping trip next weekend and plan to use our hammocks. I'm pretty new to this, in case you aren't able to tell.

    I was planning to use two sleeping bags each, one under and one over. It's car camping, so weight isn't a concern. I also have a reflectix pad for me and a full-length thermarest for him. My question concerns the bags:

    I can get by with a thread injector. I'll be using synthetic bags (older but certainly serviceable). Should I split one or two of the bags and make underquilts, or am I just as good off using them as they are directly underneath us? My thinking is that with synthetic insulation, compression may not be that big of a deal to make it worth the effort of making UQs out of the bags, and doing so will make them unusable for other purposes such as overnighters at friends' houses and the like - more likely for him than me, I'm afraid.

    So what do you all think from your experience? Get out the scissors, sewing machine, and some shock cord and get to work, or throw the bags in the hammocks and enjoy the simple life?

    I'm in central Missouri. The current forecast guesses at upper-30s to lower-40s for the nights.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Kyle's Avatar
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    You don't necessarily have to lay on the "under" bag. Some people manage to hang a bag, unaltered, under the hammock. I guess just larks head onto a bunch at each corner. Sealing might be tricky, but I'm sure it can be done. Even with synthetic, depending on the ratings and materials of the bag, laying directly on them could well compress them enough to get you guys cold at those temps.

  3. #3
    MDSH's Avatar
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    Instead of cutting things up try a Garlington-type solution, maybe even using your ponchos to string insulation up under your hammocks until you get a feel for things.

    I tried sleeping on a pad in the hammock at first. It was a wrestling match all night long.

    Splitting one bag into two UQs might not be wide enough. Modifying my 20* bag made a very nice UQ that extends way up past my shoulders. That wil come in handy when it gets really cold and I'll supplement it with a 40* summer UQ when that happens, Lord willing.

    What great fun with your son! Enjoy -- they grow up so fast.

    Mike

  4. #4
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    A synthetic bag when layed on looses about 1/2 of its warmth in my experience. My 20 bag is only comfortable to about 40 when used alone for instance.

    No sewing needed if you don't want for an uq. Use a larkshead on each corner and biner them to your hammock suspension. May need to use a Prussik to get the fit tight enough. It isn't the best option but certainly passable.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the kind suggestions. I'm trying a few out in the yard now. I'll let you know what works out.

  6. #6
    titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    2 bags each? leave the TQ whole and cut up the other for a tighter fit. OR leave them both whole- see what works. A whole sleeping bag might be saggy under the hammock, making air gaps.

    sleeping bag Wrapping around gives you a bit of leeway with the cold (you have to tuck a top quilt) - if you roll over you're not going to come untucked.

    TH
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
    Winter: total 2521 (~89oz)
    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    i must say, i have been recently hanging with two bags, i lay one down in the hammock then get in one on top of the 1st. ive been pretty warm. i use my heavier bag to lay on not in. just so i dont compress it so much. seams to work for me at least.

  8. #8
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    Do you open the bottom bag or lay on it double-layer? I rigged it up to work with one hanging under, as others have suggested, but it ain't exactly elegant. Not that this is necessarily a goal, but your solution is sure simpler! I may have to try it. I suspect I'll roll off the bottom one unless I open it and go wide (as I am wide).

  9. #9
    titanium_hiker's Avatar
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    SGT Rock found that using an old, hard to compress synthetic bag worked, as he wasn't compressing the insulation. He found that when he moved to a nicer bag (down, compressible, higher rating) he was suddenly cold. How can this be? Oh- it's the compression factor.

    I'm not surprised you guys are finding that laying on sleeping bags works- just be aware there are reasons why people push the UQ barrow- mostly because laying on the bag doesn't work when you're back packing and have a lightweight, compressible but high fluff sleeping bag/quilt.

    In case you were wondering, here's the garlington insulator: http://www.garlington.biz/Ray/Hammoc.../Insulator.htm

    TH
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
    Winter: total 2521 (~89oz)
    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

  10. #10
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    Hang one bag whole underneath the hammock. Seal the head and foot ends by bunching up the sleeping bag ends.

    Anything you compress will loose insulation. I would NOT trust compressing a synthetic bag in cold temps in the 30's-40's. I have been chilled around 50deg with a synthetic bag alone. I had to get up in the middle of the night and throw my pad underneath (double layer hammock so it goes between the layers) to make it through the rest of the night. At first it is comfortable, but as the night wears on you'll really regret it. Do it right up front and sleep a full night.

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