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  1. #1
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    Newbie with some questions.

    Hi all, I recently read a post in BPL forums about hammock camping and they lead me here. I have been continuing to try to lighten my pack and hanging seems like a great way to cut some bulk and weight out of my current set up. But I do have a few questions--please excuse my lack of knowledge I have done a bunch of searches and read through a number of posts to try and find some answers and just end up with more questions so any help would be very appreciated.

    1. I live in Idaho so even summer night temps in the mountains and get fairly cool 30-40 degrees is not out of the question on a day that was in the upper 80's so some sort of insulation is going to be a must, I believe. I have several thermarest's in the Prolite variety. From my reading they may work if they are very under inflated (less slipping around) if I understand correctly? But it may also be inadequate coverage for my shoulders. I am not a big guy so I want to try the thermarest because I have it and not replacing all of my gear would be nice at least to start.

    2. I was thinking about how to make a fairly light -warm pad and want to know what some of you more experienced folks think of this idea before I possibly wast my money. What I had in mind was buying 1/8" volora foam or Evazote foam and laminating on an AMK Heat Sheets emergency blanket to the under side of the foam. Would this work? Could this keep me warm into the high 30's? Also Could this be a better set up than just using a truck windshield reflector. They are defiantly cheeper and may be something I try but they are fairly bulky or so it seams from looking at them at Wally last night.

    3. I have been looking at a new sleeping bag for a few months and am planning on pulling the trigger on that this week. But now with thinking about a hammock set up I am a little unsure of what to do for sure. The bag I have been wanting only has a 1/2 zip but dose add a foot box vent. I am thinking about the HH Hyperlight and was wandering what every body thinks of - stepping into the bag with feet out through the foot vent and pulling the bag up like a pair of pants then sitting back into the HH. I know this is more work than using a quilt or full zip bag but - I tend to sleep a bit cool and want the coverage of a full bag and this bag is significantly lighter than all the others I have been looking at with full zips. Also I want the bag to be still applicable to my ground setup because my five year old son is going to be coming with me more and more over the next few years so we will still be using the tent a fair amount.

    4. Anybody from Idaho around here? I looked at the google map and did not see anybody any closer than the OR coast or the CO front-range area. I did see the talk about doing a Hang in ID but looks like that may have moved to Oregon.

    Thanks for any help that anybody can give me, I apologize for such a long post but obviously I could use the help.

    Paul

  2. #2
    New Member trail's Avatar
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    Well I use a 24 in.full length:mellow thermorest base camp,I think the wider the pad the less it moves around.The pad does move quit a bit more in my hhexp a-sym than my amazona mosq.h..I don't think you save enough weight with a closed cell to worry about it.Main thing is comfort to me.I don't use apad under 50 degree's.If I do get a cold spot I lay my coat under the cold spot and i'm fine.Having the footbox would be nice if you have to get out in the middle of a cold night.That way you can just lay right back in and not have to adjust the bag so much.I need a bag like that for sure.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Welcome to the forum!


    Quote Originally Posted by pgibson View Post

    1. I live in Idaho so even summer night temps in the mountains and get fairly cool 30-40 degrees is not out of the question on a day that was in the upper 80's so some sort of insulation is going to be a must, I believe. I have several thermarest's in the Prolite variety. From my reading they may work if they are very under inflated (less slipping around) if I understand correctly? But it may also be inadequate coverage for my shoulders. I am not a big guy so I want to try the thermarest because I have it and not replacing all of my gear would be nice at least to start.
    Insulation is usually necessary up to about 60-70F while sleeping in a hammock. You can easily use a thermarest in a hammock - you can supplement it if you find it isn't wide enough by checking into a pad extender, into which you can insert "wings" of blue ccf (cheap at Walmart, easy to cut up).

    2. I was thinking about how to make a fairly light -warm pad and want to know what some of you more experienced folks think of this idea before I possibly wast my money. What I had in mind was buying 1/8" volora foam or Evazote foam and laminating on an AMK Heat Sheets emergency blanket to the under side of the foam. Would this work? Could this keep me warm into the high 30's? Also Could this be a better set up than just using a truck windshield reflector. They are defiantly cheeper and may be something I try but they are fairly bulky or so it seams from looking at them at Wally last night.
    Check around in the forum here for more info - this is not a new idea and others have done this or similar. There's probably even an article on how to do it.

    3. I have been looking at a new sleeping bag for a few months and am planning on pulling the trigger on that this week. But now with thinking about a hammock set up I am a little unsure of what to do for sure. The bag I have been wanting only has a 1/2 zip but dose add a foot box vent. I am thinking about the HH Hyperlight and was wandering what every body thinks of - stepping into the bag with feet out through the foot vent and pulling the bag up like a pair of pants then sitting back into the HH. I know this is more work than using a quilt or full zip bag but - I tend to sleep a bit cool and want the coverage of a full bag and this bag is significantly lighter than all the others I have been looking at with full zips. Also I want the bag to be still applicable to my ground setup because my five year old son is going to be coming with me more and more over the next few years so we will still be using the tent a fair amount.
    It's easy to use a bag as a quilt by unzipping it down to the footbox size of your choice. You will find that a hammock in moderate temp ranges won't require a full bag to keep you warm. Subzero temps are another story. I sleep cold and quilts are fine for me, even on the ground - I started using quilts before I used a hammock. My first quilt was a homemade one that's quite a lot larger than some of the square quilts available for purchase. The only thing about a quilt is you need a warm hat - but I like that better too as I find sleeping bags claustrophobic and being able to move my head independently of the quilt works better for me.

    4. Anybody from Idaho around here? I looked at the google map and did not see anybody any closer than the OR coast or the CO front-range area. I did see the talk about doing a Hang in ID but looks like that may have moved to Oregon.
    Nope, but I'm in California, and therefore weird - to outsiders because California is just weird anyway, to other Californians because I do silly things like sleep in freezing cold in a hammock. :P If you come down Yosemite way give me a holler.

    Thanks for any help that anybody can give me, I apologize for such a long post but obviously I could use the help.

    Paul[/QUOTE]

  4. #4
    New Member trail's Avatar
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    Wings on your pad is a hassle when you can use 24 inch pad.Moderate temps you don't need apad.After quit a few tries at 55 with the wind blocked -no cold spots (now that is using a sleeping bag).If it is warm enough to use a quilt(when it doesn't matter if you wake up and it's half open)I would use a light fleece.Just been there.Also a fleece would do fine under you(and your bag)with temps at45.Everybody is diff.,Experiment.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ky chris's Avatar
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    Lori,

    What's you headwear of choice when using a quilt?

    ky chris
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  6. #6
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    Well, that depends. I made a bomber hat out of the same material as the Ray Way quilt - it's too warm for anything 30+. So I use a balaclava (I have a light one and a fleece one, can be layered) or fleece beanie with a cuff that rolls down over the ears. On one outing I forgot a hat and tied my fleece over my head, rolling up the body of the shirt under my neck for a pillow. I have also used my coolmax buff as a neck gaiter as an extra layer.

  7. #7
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    Welcome aboard.

    I experimented a little with pads. I still keep a torso one for camp and when it gets cold. No need to go crazy with them. A simple closed cell foam pad (ccp) works good enough. My cheap walmart one gets me into the low 40's to 30's. YMMV

    Something that may help I do from time to time with head gear is I use my down jacket when it's cold half as a pillow and half as a head cover. Keeps my head warm and lets it air out a little. I pull that down to my nose and my quilt up to my mouth.

    Most of the time it is a wind proof fleece hat that goes year around.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  8. #8
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    If you are going to hammock and use a sleeping bag, get one with a full zip. You'll eventually get tired of that half zip, IMO. Sleeping bag with full zip or quilt will be much more versatile. Especially a sleeping bag or quilt you can wear.
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  9. #9
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyCamper View Post
    If you are going to hammock and use a sleeping bag, get one with a full zip. You'll eventually get tired of that half zip, IMO. Sleeping bag with full zip or quilt will be much more versatile. Especially a sleeping bag or quilt you can wear.
    I am quite the opposite. I have a full zip which I bought intentionally because it WAS full zip. I have since stitched it off so the zipper will only go down so far and I don't have to fight to keep the foot box from disappearing. Different strokes for different folks.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  10. #10
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Thanks for all the suggestions. Finding out about others experiences really dose help to get to the best solutions when trying to learn about something new. I am still trying to sell some old gear to be able to get a hammock but I have a better idea about how to get started now. One other question that I had thought of after trying a HH at a local store over the weekend was what dose everybody do for a pillow? Laying in the HH at the store it felt as if I might do without one, and I have not seen any discussion here about options for pillows. Any Suggestions/thoughts?

    Thanks Again
    Paul

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