PDA

View Full Version : Hammock heaven or hammock hell...



sheldon
08-27-2005, 22:47
I just returned from a 6 day 5 night family camping trip in New Hampshire, an ideal opportunity to try out my HH ultralite backpacker with a bailout option (fat-assed family tent) if things didn't work out with the hammock. I had tried to set up the hammock once before the trip with disastrous results, tree huggers slipped, couldn't get the ccf pad underneath me without folding up or sliding around, not exactly a confidence builder. Upon arriving at the campsite, I went about setting up the screen tent and then the family tent, finally attempted to set up the hammock. This time, it went up fairly easily, and when I gingerly got in, the tree huggers held and it actually felt pretty comfortable. My three year old wasn't convinced and I could not coax her (or my wife) to try it out. Temps that night dropped into the upper 40's, little wind, clear conditions. I had purchased from JRB the no sniveller quilt and had been urged by Jack (not sure which one) to get the nest underquilt as well, but I figured I could get by with the quilt as a blanket and use a thermarest under me for warmth. At first it was ok but as the night went on, I got colder and colder as I got wet from lying on the pad. Finally at 4AM, I retreated to the tent, could have sworn I heard the 3 yr old snickering...Jack had included a note with my quilt urging me to use it as an underquilt and use a sleeping bag over me as a blanket in the hammock, sage advice that I blithely ignored. Second night I rigged the no sniveller as an underquilt and threw my sleeping bag over me. Temps dropped to the mid 40's light breeze, clear conditions. What a difference! Warm, cozy, and no cold back or sides, awoke at 7AM without the usual aches and pains associated with sleeping on the ground. Three yr old wants to try the hammock, wife glaring at me, her back hurts, I try to suppress grin. Third night, temps go up, clouds arrive, on and off rain, not much wind, I am high and dry with stock canopy, though I think a larger one would be ideal for cooking/dressing etc in the back country or for protection in the hammock with driving rain/wind. Each morning, I can't help but notice lack of aches and pains I normally have with tenting, my 52 yr old body is happy. Fourth night, I am in the tent with the 3 yr old, my wife pleads her case for a night in the hammock. I'm in pain sleeping on the ground again, but I can't stop grinning, my wife is in the hammock, there is a god...Next morning I approach the hammock apprehensively, I've got my miniature swiss army knife in my pocket for protection in case my wife attacks me, but she's still sleeping, blissfully. The 3 yr old wants to know if she can wake mommy up, I say, good luck...
I will of course be purchasing the nest underquilt and will continue to learn the art of hammocking, thanks to those here who have offered encouragement and advice.
HH hammock, $170
JRB quilt, $219
Look on my wife's face when the 3 yr old woke her, priceless...

Buckingham
08-27-2005, 23:00
Sounds like you had a great time, glad to hear it. Your story is a heads up for me, heading out in 11 days for my first hammock experiance, but now I'm a bit worried. I have neither the time or money to get an underquilt:eek: Hope I don't freeze my tukis off.

attroll
08-28-2005, 00:12
I got my JRB under quilt this last Wednesday and have not tried it yet. If I don't try it Sunday night then I will be bringing it with me on my Labor Day weekend while doing part of the 100 mile wilderness.

Patrick
08-28-2005, 03:41
Great post to read. I'll also be trying out my UltraLight Backpacker on a trip starting labor day. I'll be in Massachusetts, where it looks like it's been in the 50s at night lately. My plan has been to try it out with just a CCF pad underneath to see if that's okay.

You're making me wonder if I shouldn't try to get something together for an underquilt before then. I've kicked around the idea of buying a sleeping bag and cutting it up for a quick and easy underquilt. HTO has a North Face bag for $70 that uses their proprietary insulation. It's rated at 20 degrees and weighs a bit over three pounds, so I figure I could have an underquilt for a pound and a quarter or so.

What kind of pad were you using? I've always used Z-Rests on the ground. I read an article somewhere recently saying that the cheap REI pads are actually much better insulators in a hammock. I found one at Target that's apparently the same material and thickness, but is 27 inches wide. After trimming it a bit it's now 8 oz.

Anyway, thanks again for the post. Sounds like you had a good time.

sheldon
08-28-2005, 07:22
Patrick, I tried the REI CCF pad, there inexpensive blue one and found that it was difficult to get underneath me and keep underneath me. It was my first time trying the hammock so I was tentative rolling around in it to position the pad beneath me. My sense of using a CCF or a thermarest type pad is that not only are they not as comfortable to sleep on as the hammock itself, but you may find yourself as I did, warm on top but cold and possibly wet from sweat and condensation on your back, not a very nice sensation at 4AM in mid 40's temps. Clearly there are folks who are doing just fine with some type of pad rather than an underquilt, but here in New England where the temps are consistently below 50 degrees at night, I'de opt for some type of underquilt, no wrestling to get and keep it beneath you and no wetness to freeze your back and possibly wet your sleeping bag. Only potential downside to underquilt, no option to get to ground as you have no pad.
Great post to read. I'll also be trying out my UltraLight Backpacker on a trip starting labor day. I'll be in Massachusetts, where it looks like it's been in the 50s at night lately. My plan has been to try it out with just a CCF pad underneath to see if that's okay.

You're making me wonder if I shouldn't try to get something together for an underquilt before then. I've kicked around the idea of buying a sleeping bag and cutting it up for a quick and easy underquilt. HTO has a North Face bag for $70 that uses their proprietary insulation. It's rated at 20 degrees and weighs a bit over three pounds, so I figure I could have an underquilt for a pound and a quarter or so.

What kind of pad were you using? I've always used Z-Rests on the ground. I read an article somewhere recently saying that the cheap REI pads are actually much better insulators in a hammock. I found one at Target that's apparently the same material and thickness, but is 27 inches wide. After trimming it a bit it's now 8 oz.

Anyway, thanks again for the post. Sounds like you had a good time.

attroll
08-28-2005, 11:59
I have a down throw quilt that I got a Wal-Mart for $15 but that might be something to try. I was going to try and make an under quilt out of it but never got around to doing it. I ened up buying the Nest from JRB. I plan on trying it out tonight. I will give a report on how I liked it tomorrow.

Well I am off to set my hammock up and put the quilt on it.

rpettit
08-28-2005, 15:15
What is the quilt made off? I have always found the coverings to be made of cotton.

Just Jeff
08-28-2005, 15:35
If you're going to use a pad, I'd recommend a CCF pad with a SPE. With a SPE, you keep your options open to go to ground if needed. I've heard people are comfy with a BA, but I'm not sure if you can sleep on your side in one. A SPE gives enough room to sleep on your side if you want to.

If you can make or buy an underquilt, that's most comfortable in my opinion.

peter_pan
08-28-2005, 19:04
Sheldon,

This note is to your wife since you obviously don't listen to me ..... Young lady, When Sheldon gets a Nest he will have two quilts capable of serving as under quilts...This obviously means he too can be comfortable if he gets another hammock.... As it is obvious too me, you know how to sleep in comfort...using his hammock and the No Sniveller under quilt...Enjoy your campouts...

Pan

PS... what a great trip report.... Thanks for sharing

attroll
08-28-2005, 19:04
What is the quilt made off? I have always found the coverings to be made of cotton.
The quilt I am refering to is cotton with down in it. It may not be the best but I just thought it was worth mentioning being only $15. It will be under your tarp so it should not get wet. Not that I would use something like this on extened hikes but it might be worth a try on some short one.

rpettit
08-28-2005, 19:41
The quilt I am refering to is cotton with down in it. It may not be the best but I just thought it was worth mentioning being only $15. It will be under your tarp so it should not get wet. Not that I would use something like this on extened hikes but it might be worth a try on some short one.
Keep me posted on your results. I am presently using a Supershelter undercover with open cell foam bedding from Wal-Mart. I'm certain the down quilt weighs much less.

Lanthar Mandragoran
08-29-2005, 11:03
$15 Down quilt from walmart? I may have to go looking for that...

attroll
08-29-2005, 12:00
$15 Down quilt from walmart? I may have to go looking for that...
I bought it over a year ago so I don't know if they even carry it anymore. It was in the linin area. I was not a full quilt but a half size one.

mohara43
08-29-2005, 12:08
I just returned from a seven day portage in Algonquin Park, using a Hennessey Ultralight. Temps got into the low forties, and this seemed VERY COLD! I had no pad, only a 20 degree rated North Face bag. I learned the hard way that insulation doed nothing when it is compresed. Can anyone let me know a good source for gathering more information on the JRB items (nest and under-quilt) and the No-Sniveller? I am planning a through-hike for next year, and would like to get the equipment dialed in ASAP. I am looking for a simple, packable solution.

trippclark
08-29-2005, 12:19
I just returned from a seven day portage in Algonquin Park, using a Hennessey Ultralight. Temps got into the low forties, and this seemed VERY COLD! I had no pad, only a 20 degree rated North Face bag. I learned the hard way that insulation doed nothing when it is compresed. Can anyone let me know a good source for gathering more information on the JRB items (nest and under-quilt) and the No-Sniveller? I am planning a through-hike for next year, and would like to get the equipment dialed in ASAP. I am looking for a simple, packable solution.

http://www.jacksrbetter.com

TrailSweeper
08-29-2005, 13:06
Take a look at this,
http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgipage=proframe&prod_id=1004335
I was wondering if something like this would work. I am just getting into this hammock thing and have made a Speer type hammock. I am currently working on sewing a 8 x 10 tarp out of silnylon.

Thanks

food
08-29-2005, 13:50
I slept in my hammock over the weekend with an over night low of 27.5 degrees.

Worn was expedition weight long underwear, fleece socks, REI Sqall hat. I had gloves, a light balaclava and an insulated jacket in the hammock but never needed to wear them. The bag is a Nunatak Arc Alpinist with the straps snapped over the bag. The under quilt is a Jacks R Better Nest - the original 1.5" loft version - the new ones are 2" loft. A 60X25X3/8 blue closed cell is mostly used as the ground cloth under the hammock, but it gives the option of sleeping on the ground and can be pulled inside the hammock when the temperature drops.

I sept cozy and did not need to use the pad, jacket, gloves or balaclava. :jump

YMMV.

neo
08-29-2005, 15:32
I just returned from a 6 day 5 night family camping trip in New Hampshire, an ideal opportunity to try out my HH ultralite backpacker with a bailout option (fat-assed family tent) if things didn't work out with the hammock. I had tried to set up the hammock once before the trip with disastrous results, tree huggers slipped, couldn't get the ccf pad underneath me without folding up or sliding around, not exactly a confidence builder. Upon arriving at the campsite, I went about setting up the screen tent and then the family tent, finally attempted to set up the hammock. This time, it went up fairly easily, and when I gingerly got in, the tree huggers held and it actually felt pretty comfortable. My three year old wasn't convinced and I could not coax her (or my wife) to try it out. Temps that night dropped into the upper 40's, little wind, clear conditions. I had purchased from JRB the no sniveller quilt and had been urged by Jack (not sure which one) to get the nest underquilt as well, but I figured I could get by with the quilt as a blanket and use a thermarest under me for warmth. At first it was ok but as the night went on, I got colder and colder as I got wet from lying on the pad. Finally at 4AM, I retreated to the tent, could have sworn I heard the 3 yr old snickering...Jack had included a note with my quilt urging me to use it as an underquilt and use a sleeping bag over me as a blanket in the hammock, sage advice that I blithely ignored. Second night I rigged the no sniveller as an underquilt and threw my sleeping bag over me. Temps dropped to the mid 40's light breeze, clear conditions. What a difference! Warm, cozy, and no cold back or sides, awoke at 7AM without the usual aches and pains associated with sleeping on the ground. Three yr old wants to try the hammock, wife glaring at me, her back hurts, I try to suppress grin. Third night, temps go up, clouds arrive, on and off rain, not much wind, I am high and dry with stock canopy, though I think a larger one would be ideal for cooking/dressing etc in the back country or for protection in the hammock with driving rain/wind. Each morning, I can't help but notice lack of aches and pains I normally have with tenting, my 52 yr old body is happy. Fourth night, I am in the tent with the 3 yr old, my wife pleads her case for a night in the hammock. I'm in pain sleeping on the ground again, but I can't stop grinning, my wife is in the hammock, there is a god...Next morning I approach the hammock apprehensively, I've got my miniature swiss army knife in my pocket for protection in case my wife attacks me, but she's still sleeping, blissfully. The 3 yr old wants to know if she can wake mommy up, I say, good luck...
I will of course be purchasing the nest underquilt and will continue to learn the art of hammocking, thanks to those here who have offered encouragement and advice.
HH hammock, $170
JRB quilt, $219
Look on my wife's face when the 3 yr old woke her, priceless...


i love my hammock,my wife loves her hammock,my 2 sons love their hammocks:cool: neo




http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/7105/sort/1/cat/50


http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/7868/sort/1/cat/500/page/3

0/page/1



http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/6420/sort/1/cat/500/page/11




http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/7889/sort/1/cat/500/page/3



http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/6654/sort/1/cat/577/page/3

sheldon
08-29-2005, 21:53
If it's any consolation, my wife says I don't listen to her either. And yes, you'll be hearing from me on Wednesday (day off from work) about purchasing a Nest from you...they are really great products!
Sheldon,

This note is to your wife since you obviously don't listen to me ..... Young lady, When Sheldon gets a Nest he will have two quilts capable of serving as under quilts...This obviously means he too can be comfortable if he gets another hammock.... As it is obvious too me, you know how to sleep in comfort...using his hammock and the No Sniveller under quilt...Enjoy your campouts...

Pan

PS... what a great trip report.... Thanks for sharing