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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    NW NJ
    HH Hyperlite Zip
    HH Asym tarp

    VT in July, keeping warm at elevation. Suggestions please.

    I'm switching over from tent camping to hammock camping for my yearly section hike of the AT. I'm going from NY to southern VT. Start date s July 4th weekend. I am getting concerned over keeping warm enough in VT if this summer in VT is as wet and chilly as last summer.

    Been clearing out the gear closet, On hand I have:
    • A HH hyperlite hammock, ( hammock fabric--30D high tenacity, high thread count nylon taffeta with heavy duty ripstop; fly (canopy) fabric--1.1 ounce 30 D silicone nylon )
    • Hennessy stock Asym Tarp
    • A Thermarest Z Lite regular (To be cut into one section of 6 segments , and one section of 4, to fit as the support for my frameless backpack) with two extra section I could use for wings...
    • A new roll of Reflectix BP24010 24"x10' Foil Insulation (which I had actually bought to make cooking pot cozies out of, and HVAC tape for the Reflectix
    • A Mountain Hardwear Lamina 35 degree (Regular) synthetic sleeping bag.
    • A Gossamer Gear sit pad (but no where to store easily)
    • silicone caulk and mineral spirits
    • A ten pack of space blankets.
    • I can pick up some scrap Tyvek from some buddies.
    • can pick up a wallyworld CCF pad.

    TO increase difficulty level, I don't even have the hammock yet, it's in transit.

    Am I pushing my luck if I get unlucky with low 40's night temps and multiple days of scattered showers at 1000+ foot elevations for 3 to 5 days?

    I don't have time to experiment and I don't have a way to sleep at low temps before I hit the trail.

    What is a proven system for using what I have on hand, with buying as little extra as possible... and adding as little weight as possible?

    I'm reading through the old threads on the forum but don't have time to start DIY hacking apart reflectix, ccf pads, car visors etc to test this before I leave.
    SO I'm looking for a know solution...

    My thoughts right now:
    Keep the ZLite , cut into section of 6, and a section of 4.
    Buy velcro tape
    Add loop velcro to back of Zlite
    Add hook velcro to bubble side of reflectix (bubble side up)
    Add silicone caulk and mineral spirits to ZLite to prevent sliding
    Set up the Zlite and Reflectix in a T shape, to create wings.

    One last thing, how do people keep multiple ccfs together if they are NOT overlapping ?
    Last edited by yekmar; 06-19-2013 at 09:10.

  2. #2
    A multi day hike isn't a good way to test gear for the first time. You will most likely be miserable or worse. Get a under quilt and top quilt and ditch all the Velcro, caulk, pads and other junk. But don't test gear on a multi day hike.

  3. #3
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Gainesville, FL
    DIY Gathered End
    DIY Asym
    DIY Modular Quilt
    +1 on the beforehand testing. FLRider's First Rule of New Gear: test it for at least one night under the expected conditions before my life depends on it.

    However, at those temperatures, your Z-light, with wings added, plus your 35* bag used as a top quilt, should keep you warm. What I'm worried about isn't warmth; it's keeping dry. You're going to need a tarp of some sort to keep you dry through the evenings. What are you looking at for that, and what's your budget? There're many different ways to skin that particular feline, so some input might be helpful in steering you.

    But, before you go out, make sure you test things as much as is possible!

    Hope it helps.
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."

  4. #4
    goanywhere's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    DIY Gathered End. (Knotty mod)
    DD 10'x10'
    DIY PL and old SB
    Straps/cinch buckl
    +2 on all the above. I think you're tempting disaster to try out a totally new sleep system on the trail. I'm a newbie to hammockology. I'm planning a 7 day trip in September (Australian outback), and I'm testing and trialling gear all the time now (partly for fun but also to take as much guesswork out of things as possible). I've slept out in my hammock 3 times now and things are going well, but I'm praying for a sub-zero frost in the next few weeks to really test things out in my backyard to give things the big tick before the trip.

    You definitely need a tarp. Wet gear is worse than the odd cold night, but both together are deadly. You can always go to ground if you can't get the bottom insulation sorted out on a very cold night, but you can't get warm in wet gear if it get's cold no matter which way you go.

    Reflectix and similar foam type reflectors work well, but aren't good right next to your skin as they are a moisture barrier and will lead to dampness. I'm currently testing the large truck reflectors (2) under a self-inflating mat inside the hammock with good success so far. For me the mat is more comfortable than sleeping on the hammock itself, it seems to make a smoother base for me to sleep on. So your Z mat with reflectix underneath should work down into the 40's no problem with a decent sleeping bag.

    You really need to test out your system at least twice before you take it away, otherwise just go with the tent this time, and give yourself time to test out the hammock system for next time.

    Just my 2c, all the best for your trip!

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    NW NJ
    HH Hyperlite Zip
    HH Asym tarp
    Thanks for the feedback,

    I borrowed a down 50F sleeping bag liner,
    and bought a sea to summit coolmax sleeping bag liner,
    total weight for TQ will be 25 oz.
    And probably way too warm.

    Still stumped on the bottom,
    made a DIY DriDucks Emergency Poncho UQ, but that seems more for protection from water than for insulation. It also doesn't work well with the Reflectix wings,

    I tried the ZLite 3/4 and reflectix wings, and didn't seem too bad, but it weighs quite a lot,

    Getting discouraged on the hammock as a section hike shelter system, or at least on my purchase, the weight penalty over my tent system is in the 2 pound range.

    I have a credit with the local outfitter, going to go "borrow" a NeoAir XLite Large (25 inch width, 77 inches long) and see if that works better. The only inflatable I had on hand was the one my Sis-in-law uses for car camping, it seemed like a decent floating platform in the hammock.

    I'm spinning on a well worn hamster wheel.

    If I can get sorted by the weekend I'm going to spend a 2 night , 1 day hike on the AT in NJ/NY on home turf where I know the trails inside out,

  6. #6
    I don't have any idea how you managed to gain 2 lbs switching to a hammock.


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