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  1. #11
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    I just remembered: Cannibal, didn't you get your WB Syn UQ wet a couple of times on the AT?Also, Preachaman and every one with him got all gear soaked in an Ozark extreme storm.

    So, guys, how did that work out?
    Yep! Sucked too.

    Long story-short; Piss-poor set-up and a nasty storm where the wind shifted 90 degrees, resulted in my hammock acting as a swimming pool. I was not in it; I was guarding my down topquilt over in the shelter. Because the hammock was unweighted, bunches of water pooled on the top of my uq. When the storm passed, I went out and dumped the water out of the hammock and uq. There was a puddle several inches deep on top of the uq. The insulation did get a little wet, but not as bad as I thought it would have been. I dried the hammock best I could using a pack towel and unzipped the uq a few inches (love that fancy zipper).

    I was warm enough through the night. Wasn't a good night going to sleep in a wet hammock with a damp uq when temps were in the high 20s; buy by-golly I did it! The hammock was dry by morning and the uq seemed fairly dry inside. If I hadn't of left my boots out in the open in the rain so that they could freeze solid by morning....it might have been an OK morning. Why is it the only way I learn a lesson is through pain and suffering?
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  2. #12
    Senior Member DougTheElder's Avatar
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    Recent posts about large tarps in high winds have had me thinking about how I should be prepared, and what I would actually do, in the event of an absolute tarp failure in blowing, drenching rain. In this situation, the immediate concern is not whether my quilts are down or synthetic, DWR, or not, etc., but what is the appropriate first reaction. My plan, for now, is to protect the insulation as quickly as possile. To that end, I have purchased an over-sized 3-mil trash bag that I will keep immediately accessible. If my tarp blows away, my first reaction will (hopefully) be to stuff my quilts and other insulating clothing that may be loose in the hammock into that bag. Actually, I think the hammock and all its contents will go into the bag. Then I'll worry about getting myself dry. I'd rather be left standing naked in a freezing rain holding a sack of quilts than to be naked under a wad of saturated quilts. (Try to get past the visualization.) What is your first response plan?

    To stay on topic: I have only down quilts and have only been wet as a result of condensation, but I plan to get synthetic alternatives to use when high humidity, fog, rain, etc., coupled with poor drying conditions are expected. Summer humidity in the South is often such that it doesn't matter if it's raining or not.
    Sometimes even a Blind Hog finds an Acorn

  3. #13
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    I'm on the coast of NC, very near to SC. Humidity is a problem here. I have down over quilts and a down sleeping bag (not used with my hammock though). Before getting my hammock, I've been through some really awful storms in my tarp/tent. The worst storm I've weathered kept me up all night just wiping the inside walls of my tarp (the rain or very heavy condensation was coming through). I must have fallen asleep because I woke up the next morning feeling pretty warm. I had one of my down quilts over me and my exped mat under me. After getting up, I discovered the bottom edge of my quilt, where it was on the ground, was soaked but the down inside was still sort of dry-ish. (maybe not fluffed up as high as usual) But under me, under the exped pad, was a huge pool of water. My camp towels were soaked with water. I packed up. I think if I'd had the sleeping bag it would have been much worse as the cover of it isn't waterproof. My quilt has the coated waterproof silnylon cover on it. I think doing everything you can to keep your stuff dry, weather it's down or synthetic will do a lot for how well you can survive a really difficult situation. I'm fixing to make myself a climashiedl uq instead of a down one simply because It's easier to work with than stuffing a quilt with down. If I don't end up liking it after I test it out, I know I'll be ordering some down and making another one.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
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    So far:

    synthetic is cheaper and easier to work with for DIY - I get that. I think that when you work with simpler designs this tradeoff is less of an issue. In another thread it was pointed out that some of the smaller quilt models are the same cost... for DIY, i have worked with synthetic but the notion of sewing baffles and handling down scared me. I have seen on the Garlington website the "bag of feathers" - essentially a down quilt without baffles - that would not be beyond me, but the baffles do have a purpose and having a multifunction piece of gear is a bit more important to me.

    Having two ways of protecting quilts sounds reasonable to me. I carry the heavier duty trash/compactor bag anyway, and will be taking the driducks poncho anyway. I'd be inclined to stuff everything in the pack and stuff the whole works in the bag, in a worst case situation.

    I have also thought that the tarp, if not damaged too badly (say a couple guyout loops give way and there are some tears) might make a quick and dirty hammock wrapper to keep the essential gear out of the elements in the worst storm. I have also thought of making mods to the HH stock tarp to make it an undercover if I don't sell the ULB I'm not using for anything but loaning to others.

    Keep the anecdotes coming, the more you know, the better prepared we are.

    I made a synthetic underquilt, full sized, that just didn't hang right on the HH - I've been keeping it to re-use the components to make a smaller UQ, probably something similar to the Yeti. After trying that out I find that my skills are best suited to finding the appropriate gear on the internet and clicking the Paypal button.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Coldspring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by east_stingray View Post
    Everyone always tells me that synthetics are much heavier, but I can't find a down 30 degree bag that's significantly lighter than my military patrol bag (polarguard 3D) and also a reasonable price. I've only found one at all, and it was over $500.
    http://www.westernmountaineering.com...2&ContentId=69

  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by east_stingray View Post

    Synthetics have gotten much better than they used to be, and in my experience the only real downside to them now is that they don't last as long. Everyone always tells me that synthetics are much heavier, but I can't find a down 30 degree bag that's significantly lighter than my military patrol bag (polarguard 3D) and also a reasonable price. I've only found one at all, and it was over $500.

    At any rate, I have zero experience thus far with hammocking, but I imagine on the down-vs-synthetic issue it's much like ground camping.
    I agree that synthetics are much better than they were (I had synthetic bags in the 70s that would have made fine anchors) but I have a synthetic quilt and a down quilt that are not much different in size or temperature range. The down quilt is lighter and packs down to a third of the size of the synthetic; I can fit two of the down quilts in the same space in my pack as the synthetic.

    I don't think I run as much of a risk being wet as when I was on the ground. This may be an error in my thinking. But I am a three season four season hiker, by which I mean, my location will change in winter - I will be cold but not necessarily wet and definitely not snowed on. I will be on the coast and while there is still a danger of storms I do watch the weather forecasts and have yet to get caught in it. I like to think being careful and avoiding times and places where I'm most likely to get wet will prevent it, however, I'm trying here to be proactive and plan for the eventual unexpected deluge.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori View Post
    ...I have also thought of making mods to the HH stock tarp to make it an undercover...
    This seems like a useful idea. I have seen a thread on the topic, but looked and cannot find it--anyone seen it?

  8. #18
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    You quickly pointed out that it could be had for under the $500 I quoted, and for that I thank you. I couldn't find a quality one for that cheap when I was looking. I still have problems forking over $330 for a bag. Maybe I'm just not being reasonable, but I paid $40 for the military bag. It does weigh somewhere between two and three pounds, however.

    I think with a down bag like that I would still want a synthetic in case I knew that the weather was going to be bad on a particular trip. Maybe I just need to get better at staying dry.

  9. #19
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    For those of you who use quilts exclusively, is it a hard switch to make when you've been bag camping your whole life? I've known people who ground camped with quilts, and I never understood how they could do as good of a job keeping you warm. I thrash a lot in my sleep and I'm afraid I'd end up with an open edge or something.

    Keep in mind that to date I haven't done any hammock camping. After getting some awesome direction from this site I put in a BB order with Brandon.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by east_stingray View Post
    For those of you who use quilts exclusively, is it a hard switch to make when you've been bag camping your whole life? I've known people who ground camped with quilts, and I never understood how they could do as good of a job keeping you warm. I thrash a lot in my sleep and I'm afraid I'd end up with an open edge or something.
    Not at all. In fact, it was probably one of the easiest transitions I've ever made. It helps that it simply makes sense. As for the open edges, I find that I move less under a quilt. The only time I've had any tangle or draft issues was when using a silk liner in a vain attempt to gain a few degrees of warmth. I'm convinced that it is the confinement (bag) that makes me toss and turn in my sleep. Take a blanket with you next time you go camping and see how it works for you; I think you'll be surprised.
    Trust nobody!

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