Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Washington State
Help Me Make Do (for now)!
Either my kids are getting bigger or our 3 man tent is getting smaller. Either way, I ordered a silnylon tarp to increase our sheltered space and stowage. Then I thought, If I have the tarp, I could probably make a hammock pretty cheaply/easily to incease our sleeping space as well. So I ordered some 1.6 Oz Ripstop Nylon and after searching on the internet bought some whoopee slings for my suspension. I will be hiking in the Cascades and the Blues in WA in August and September. and wish to experiment with the hammock with items I have on hand or can get pretty cheaply. If I decide that the hammock will work for me, I can try and develop it better for next year. I have been reading a lot, but there is some serious informational overload out there, so I figured I would fire away questions and see what the concesus is!
I currently have a Marmot 40 degree sleeping bag that I intend to use in the hammock. My main worry the under insulation. I have an old Ridge rest pad, an old Therm a Rest pad, and a Synmat UL 7 (When it comes to pads and a few other things, I buy myself cool new gear and kick the old stuff down to the kinder). Which of these do people think would be best in a hammock? Why?.
Do I really need to worry about cold shoulders and hips? What is the best cheap and easy (and not too heavy weight) solution for this problem when using the types of pads I have mentioned? remember, the kinder are young and I am carrying most of the gear for 3, so extra insulation cannot add a whole lot of weight)
A home made bug sock of toulle looks to be inexpensive (even if it does not last more than a couple trips), which I am sure I will need where I hike,
Thanks for your attention and any other thoughts you may have on making due with normal backpacking gear while testing out a hammock...
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: SW Idaho
Hammock: Black Bird 1.1 Dbl
Tarp: AHE Shangi La
Insulation: KAQ Prototype
Suspension: AHE Whoopie Slings
You will probably be best off with the RidgeRest. Closed cell foam works pretty well and the Ridge rest's are usually a little wider than the others...at least some of them are. Yes you will need to try it and be sure that your shoulders and hips and all of the rest of you get good coverage from the pad or that you use another pad to supplement coverage in those areas. If your going to be at much elevation you know how much the temperature can swing overnight. It's very easy to feel a chill at even 50 degrees in a hammock. In the mountains of WA I am sure you have the same sort of temp swings we do here in ID, 80 during the day and 40 at night. Very chilly to potential for Hypothermia in a hammock without good insulation.
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Agree with pgibson but also keep your eye open for any kind of big thin sheet of polyethylene packing foam or a scrap of reflectix. You want some wider insulation under the pad that wraps up higher around your shoulders. Any uninsulated nylon will be cold as the outside temperature and a collapsed down filled bag will not help much. OTOH that is where you often end up with a hand or maybe arm so adding something will make a big difference.
Another thing that helps is a space blanket either under your pad or over the ridge line with a bit of elastic cord to hold it in place. You do not want total coverage but some wind block/dead air over your lower body will heat up a bit and cut a lot of heat loss from moving air and radiation.
Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Waynesville, Ohio
Hammock: Eno DN or DIY
Tarp: HG Winter Palace
Insulation: HG TQ&UQ, DIY
Suspension: Whoopies or rings
Segmented pad extender would solve your shoulder and hips worries and easy to make
I would recommend watching this series of Shugs videos if you have not already
"I love not man the less, but Nature more."
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Central, MA
Hammock: Switchback/Lite Owl/WBRR
Having all the vast cumulative experience in this forum a relative newb like me has nothing to add for advice on the mechanics.
Having had four kids all grow'd-up and now being a new granddad I just wanted to say. You sound like an awesome parent.
Those are the best days right there...