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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Splice View Post
    I've got two experiences:

    In the first one, I was set up in a cathedral ring of a redwood tree. The new trees were probably over 100 feet tall. The fog/rain/mist would condense on the upper branches and then fall onto my tarp in huge drops. I think that the drops actually sprayed through my silnylon tarp. My Peapod got damp. The down seemed unaffected. I pitched my spare silnylon tarp under the first and solved the problem.

    In the second, I was hiking in a area where hammocks are forbidden. I got drenched in an afternoon thunderstorm. My down bag was in a garbage bag but I hadn't sealed it well enough. There were 2 or 3 fist-sized patches where the down was soaked near the head but the rest of the down was fine. It took a few hours for my body heat to dry out my wool shirt and sleeping bag. I started off cold that night but work up warm.

    I wear synthetic insulating layers to give me some insulation, even if my down gets soaked. BTW, when washing a sleeping bag, it's takes some work to get the down saturated with water.
    That was pretty much my experience. I have a TNF down jacket that I bought on my southbound AT hike. I wore it almost daily for 3 months and used it as either a pillow or wraped around my feet at night. It saw a lot of use in a little time.

    Long story short I thought it would be a good idea to hold a fish against it and clean fish wearing it. Not the smartest thing to do when animals around. So I tried submerging it in a washing machine full of water. Long story short it took a lot of effort and time to get and hold it under water. Soaking it wasn't as easy as I thought. I don't think I got it all the way wet.

    After that and getting my quilts damp with dew (in a shelter or cowboy camping) I'm not concerned with getting them wet.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by I Splice View Post
    BTW, when washing a sleeping bag, it's takes some work to get the down saturated with water.

    good point, it really does seem to have some natural water resistence.

  3. #43
    i'm guessing alot of folks might get their down pretty wet once or twice and then they learn pretty quick to take precautions to keep it from happening again. sure there are freak accidents, but i agree with BB; in a hammock, you should be able to stay alot drier than on the ground and keep your down dry enough.

  4. #44
    Senior Member Coldspring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Splice View Post

    The military generally use a different temperature rating system than other folks. There are a bunch of sleeping bag warmth standards (and they are all suspect), but since the military is concerned with young, well-conditioned, highly active men, the kind of people that sleep warm, the military temperature ratings reflect that.

    I've considered buying military surplus down bags but there just wasn't enough loft to take me anywhere near the bag's temperature rating.
    Does the military have any decent gear or clothing? The uniforms I've looked at were low quality and poorly sewn. The bags I've seen were heavy, cheap looking, and bulky...they'd take up most of a backpack by theirselves. And how do they wear those boots? Are they comfortable? Isn't a lot of military gear made by prison labor? I know there's a difference in a $40 military surplus item and a $300 WM item, but you have to consider that one weighs less than half the weight of the other and packs to a 1/3 of the size, that is considerable.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldspring View Post
    Does the military have any decent gear or clothing? The uniforms I've looked at were low quality and poorly sewn. The bags I've seen were heavy, cheap looking, and bulky...they'd take up most of a backpack by theirselves. And how do they wear those boots? Are they comfortable? Isn't a lot of military gear made by prison labor? I know there's a difference in a $40 military surplus item and a $300 WM item, but you have to consider that one weighs less than half the weight of the other and packs to a 1/3 of the size, that is considerable.
    Field jacket liners and pants, wool glove liners, and that is about all the GI stuff I have any use for. Mickey mouse boots if I lived in snow country for sure. Get a Feathered Friends or Western Mtn bag. SOCOM units buy COTS (commercial, off-the-shelf) they don't use the issue junk either.

  6. #46
    Member I Splice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldspring View Post
    Does the military have any decent gear or clothing? The uniforms I've looked at were low quality and poorly sewn. The bags I've seen were heavy, cheap looking, and bulky...they'd take up most of a backpack by theirselves. And how do they wear those boots? Are they comfortable? Isn't a lot of military gear made by prison labor? I know there's a difference in a $40 military surplus item and a $300 WM item, but you have to consider that one weighs less than half the weight of the other and packs to a 1/3 of the size, that is considerable.
    East_Stingray likes his sleeping bag.

    I've not found any military item that I would want to take backpacking, except for a Swedish Army Match and an Esbit stove. The basic Esbit stove is reasonably light and cheap, even though it's made of steel. That stove was developed for the German Army. Tough the titanium wing Esbit stoves are much lighter. Now I'm experimenting with going stoveless. That's even lighter.

    The "down" bags that I looked at had a noticeable amount of large feathers. They were also about $30. For almost a factor of 10 in cost, I could be convinced to go with gear that is a few ounces heavier. Those bags just weren't warm enough for me. If they looked like they could have kept me warm to anywhere near their rated temperature, they would have been a great deal.

    I've heard a lot of people praise GI boots for comfort and durability. I've never had a pair and they weigh a lot more than anything I'd want to hike in does.

    Military gear tends to be rugged and heavy.

    I've not run into any real surplus that was shoddy. The filling in those sleeping bags was about the worst quality item that I've seen.

    There are a bunch of terms stores use to precisely describe different kinds of gear. They range from "military style" like this shirt http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=529583 to "military spec" like this t-shirt http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=529584
    to "new military: to "used military"

    I'd expect shoddy workmanship and materials to be more common in military-style merchandise than in "new military" stuff.

    I don't know about prison labor. There are millions of non-incarcerated Chinese, Vietnamese, who would fight to work for what a prisoner in the US makes.

  7. #47
    Member I Splice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldspring View Post
    Does the military have any decent gear or clothing? The uniforms I've looked at were low quality and poorly sewn. The bags I've seen were heavy, cheap looking, and bulky...they'd take up most of a backpack by theirselves. And how do they wear those boots? Are they comfortable? Isn't a lot of military gear made by prison labor? I know there's a difference in a $40 military surplus item and a $300 WM item, but you have to consider that one weighs less than half the weight of the other and packs to a 1/3 of the size, that is considerable.
    Sorry to reply twice but I love the lightweight polypropylene sock liners (A-A-50015C Type II). Very thin and light.

  8. #48
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    Sounds like you've already made up your mind about military gear, so we probably won't have much of an influence on you. I have the new military sleep system (2 bags and a bivy which all nest). I take the 30 degree bag with me a lot. I like it, the zipper means business, and it keeps me warm (and is also a low-impact color). It weighs 3lbs, which is about on par with the cheaper 20 and 30 degree down bags I've seen (the military uses polarguard 3d).

    I don't use down, and when you compare the military bags with commercial synthetics, the weight is negligible and the price makes a big difference.

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