I'm brand new to this forum and the world of hammock camping (First Post!). I'm interested in making my own start-up gear from inexpensive components or with what I already have available. I already have a hammock (ENO doublenest) and suspension straps (ENO Atlas--the non-stretchy kind) for family camping. I also have an REI tarp that should work fine as a rainfly, plus plenty of cord for ridgelines/guylines and stakes for anchors. I'd like to make my own underquilt and bug net to complete a hammock set-up for 3(Minnesota)-season backpacking. Right now, life precludes me from hiking more than 2-3 days at a time, so while size/weight are important factors, they aren't THE important factors. My main goal is to make rugged, functional gear cheaply, using materials I already own.
All that said, I'd like some feedback on a couple of ideas I have for insulating a PLUQ with down (as a PLUQ alone just won't cut it in Minnesota most of the year). My first design idea is to 'quilt' the two halves of the PL together by stitching 8-10" pocket-cells along its length. I have plenty of down/feathers from an old, ripped comforter that I can use to stuff the cells. After sealing in the down, I would finish using the no-sew PLUQ method of threading suspension paracord/cinch cord through the PL hems. My second idea is to make a standard no-sew PLUQ, and then modify an old down parka to slip in between the PL layers--perhaps adding fasteners of some sort to keep it in place. This way the UQ becomes more modular: I can use the PLUQ alone in the summer, then add the parka for warmth during the fall/spring. This design also allows me to add other insulation (e.g. space blanket) on an as-needed basis. The downside of this design is that the parka will be a bit shorter than the the PLUQ, so I will need some way to keep my feet and legs warm enough (one solution I've considered is turning the parka sleeves into leg warmers, and then cinching the hood around both feet ).
Any comments, tips, etc would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.