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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    25 degrees in a pair of Warbonnet Blackbirds

    This week, my fiance and I decided to take our hammocks out for an overnight in Steele, Alabama, to do some camping and climbing. This was her first night in her new Warbonnet Blackbird, and I'd had a few nights in mine.

    Weather: Lows in the mid 20s overnight with some serious wind gusts. This was by far our windiest night camping in quite a while and it caused some complications. More on that later.

    Her setup: Warbonnet Blackbird with Speer 8x10 tarp. She was pitched parallel to the direction the wind was blowing, with the wind blowing in from her foot end. We staked the tarp low and tight, and after a bit of tinkering decided to cross the foot-end tieouts to close off the foot end and reduce the drafts. For the middle tieouts, we used the Warbonnet shockcord tieouts, down to the stake, and then looped back up to the tarp. This seemed to work really well and saved a pair of stakes. She slept in a Big Agnes 0 degree down bag, with an Exped Downmat 7 in the pad slot, wearing Capilene 3 baselayers. She described the night as "toasty".

    My setup: Blackbird with Warbonnet cat cut hex tarp (basically the superfly without the doors). Pitched low and tight, but there was no way to close off an end, so I was pitched perpendicular to the wind, so it was hitting the broad side of the tarp. I was sleeping in an REI PolarPod 0 degree synthetic bag, with an Exped Downmat 7 DLX in the pad slot of the Warbonnet, wearing Capilene as well. I was generally warm, except the pad still has a tendency to slide up to my right side, out from underneath me.

    On to the problems:

    Getting the tarps pitched well in the gusting wind was a royal PITA. We used Figure 9's for all our guylines, and to tension the tarp's connection between the trees. During setup, with the tarps flapping around wildly, the figure 9's would keep coming lose, and everything would lose tension. Honestly, the figure 9s did not impress me on this outing. I ended up finishing them off with slipped half hitches, which seemed to improve the holding power. I also haven't completely decided on the best way to connect the whole guyline setup with the figure 9s and will be playing with that more.

    I also used my Trangia alky stove to do all of our cooking and heating of water, and it was very inefficient on fuel, due to the wind. The little windscreen that comes with the stove was pretty ineffective, and I'm thinking of picking up one of the aftermarket windscreens to try out. Luckily we were car camping and I brought along a big metal bottle of the fuel, as we ended up filling the stove four or five times in one night.

    Despite the problems, I slept like a log, and was well rested for an amazing day of climbing on some beautiful southern sandstone. The biggest downside was - I was so darn comfy I stayed in the hammock past 9 am, and wasted away a few hours of climbing time!

  2. #2
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    JrB tensioner kit would work better, IMO than Figure 9's. Use those on the ridgeline only.
    at least she is still your fiance! and that's a great thing!

  3. #3
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Thanks for trip report! I'm like Mike I only use figure 9's on tarp ridgeline and have JRB tensioners on my big tarp. Have some homemade tensioners on small tarp.

    Don't you love your Exped mat? I'm wondering if you don't put it in the pad slot and sleep directly on it if it will keep it from slipping. I sleep directly on mine and haven't noticed any movement like that.

    My son bought me a "factory seconds" Caldera Cone for my alki stove and ti kettle for Christmas. It's in the mail, can't wait to try it out to see how it improves performance of stove in cold weather. I was out day hiking today in 23 degree weather usng my stove for some cocoa and lunch and I agree with you, with wind and cold, the fuel efficiency really drops.

    Best part about hammock camping is that feeling of bliss in the morning from a comfortable night's sleep. Never had that on the ground!

  4. #4
    Member Chethro's Avatar
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    I'm planning on using figure 9 biners with my set up. I kinda figured you would need to tie a knot once everything is adjusted. Where did you put your figure 9's? I was planning on hooking the biner side to the tarp.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    I used the biner nines on the ridgeline, with the biner clipped to the tieout points. On the stakes, I tied the guyline to the tieout points, with the regular non-biner 9 in the middle of the line, then the line looped down around the stake and back up to the 9.

    I was using a combination of kelty triptease reflective guyline and some of the black guyline that comes in the figure 9 multi-packs. Neither seemed to hold better or worse than the other.

    I'm not crazy about the stretchy tarp tensioners, both from a bulk standpoint and a versatility standpoint. I can use figure 9s for all kinds of stuff in addition to tying down my tarps, so that's why I'm using them. I might at least try making up some DIY tensioners, though, and see how they work out.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    I'm thinking of picking up a pack of grip clips, and using one of them to give me a place to tie the downmat in place inside the pad slot. When it's in the slot, the foot end never moves, but the head end does. When I use the downmat in the hammock, it still shifts around at the head end, and the foot end is poorly behaved as well. The only way I can keep the mat in place inside the hammock is using the pad straps with my REI sleeping bag, and I really hate having my bag strapped in place and being unable to move it around.

  7. #7
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustardman View Post
    Getting the tarps pitched well in the gusting wind was a royal PITA. We used Figure 9's for all our guylines, and to tension the tarp's connection between the trees. During setup, with the tarps flapping around wildly, the figure 9's would keep coming lose, and everything would lose tension. Honestly, the figure 9s did not impress me on this outing. I ended up finishing them off with slipped half hitches, which seemed to improve the holding power. I also haven't completely decided on the best way to connect the whole guyline setup with the figure 9s and will be playing with that more.

    I also used my Trangia alky stove to do all of our cooking and heating of water, and it was very inefficient on fuel, due to the wind. The little windscreen that comes with the stove was pretty ineffective, and I'm thinking of picking up one of the aftermarket windscreens to try out. Luckily we were car camping and I brought along a big metal bottle of the fuel, as we ended up filling the stove four or five times in one night.

    Despite the problems, I slept like a log, and was well rested for an amazing day of climbing on some beautiful southern sandstone. The biggest downside was - I was so darn comfy I stayed in the hammock past 9 am, and wasted away a few hours of climbing time!
    That is wonderful that you both slept so well and warm!
    I use the small figure 9s and wrap twice and have always held well.
    With the stove a higher windscreen will help .... I make them by triple folding heavy duty tin foil and folding edges. Works great and is light. Also block wind with pack, logs, rocks or whatever is handy. The alcohol stoves take practice so continue the quest!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by HappyCamper View Post
    My son bought me a "factory seconds" Caldera Cone for my alki stove and ti kettle for Christmas. It's in the mail, can't wait to try it out to see how it improves performance of stove in cold weather. I was out day hiking today in 23 degree weather usng my stove for some cocoa and lunch and I agree with you, with wind and cold, the fuel efficiency really drops.
    Best part about hammock camping is that feeling of bliss in the morning from a comfortable night's sleep. Never had that on the ground!
    True ... practice for the conditions and expect to use more fuel in colder weather... Fun though ain't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chethro View Post
    I'm planning on using figure 9 biners with my set up. I kinda figured you would need to tie a knot once everything is adjusted. Where did you put your figure 9's? I was planning on hooking the biner side to the tarp.
    The 9s with the beener work good right on the tarp. I do not use those but keep my 9s very close to my tarp in most cases.
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
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  8. #8
    slowhike's Avatar
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    I find it helpful to add a simple over hand slip knot on the Figure 9s on my ridgelines. Quick & simple way to keep the line in place once it's locked were you want it.

    And snake skins on a tarp are a really big help when you find your self setting up a tarp in the wind.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  9. #9
    on the corner guylines, try going around the stake,then back through the corner ring on the tarp and then just tie it off with a slipped half hitch or 2.

  10. #10
    Member
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    Thanks Mustardman
    I love firsthand reports like yours.
    Until now I’ve been unsettled on adverse-wx tarp setup;
    “cross the foot-end tieouts to close off the foot end” …”and middle tieouts … shockcord … down to the stake, and then looped back up to the tarp … work really well and saved a pair of stakes” paints a beautiful picture for me.
    Thanks again
    John

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