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View Full Version : Bivy, hammock, bug net...oh my



VashFive
04-29-2015, 16:06
Hey all,

First time posting. I'm planning on hiking Woody Gap to Dick's Creek in late July. I'll be taking 4 days and am looking for some shelter advice. I normally use a 5lb Eureka tent, but sadly I've had to decommission it. A friend is offering me some alternate options. I'd like to make a move to a light weight system, and figured this would be a good (cheap) chance to try something new.

I have 3 options for my shelter: 1. Woodland Camo bivy: 38oz
2. ENO dounble nest hammock: 22oz
3. Catoma Bug Net: 30oz

I know preference has a lot to do with this, but any practical advice would be welcome. I'm really interested in anyone whose used the Catoma Bug net.

Thanks!

Tim_807
04-29-2015, 16:14
For an overnight in July a the hammock would have the additional benefit of being cooler. In fact usually the concern is keeping warm. With a hammock you typically need insulation underneath when the overnight lows are below 70F.

bigcranky
04-29-2015, 16:17
First, :welcome to Whiteblaze.

A bivy, especially a waterproof bivy like Goretex or something similar, isn't very useful on the AT in summer. Do a little thought experiment and consider being inside the bivy and you *really* have to go pee in the middle of the night, and it's pouring rain.... all that rain will come inside the bivy as soon as you open the top, and soak your bag (plus there's the question of what to do with your gear). I have a nice breathable non-waterproof bivy that I pair with a small tarp, which works pretty well. But it's still something of a PITA.

The hammock will work, but it will need a rain fly and some bug protection. Also will need a short closed cell foam pad for torso warmth, even in the summer. I use a hammock now for my summer hiking and love it - very comfortable.

Does the BedNet have the rain fly? If so, it could work just fine.

Of course you can just sleep in the shelters, which many hikers do. But there is no guarantee of space.

tnvarmint
04-29-2015, 16:18
If the weather is good then I would say Hammock all the way. Once you get off the ground you will never want to go back. You will probably want some form of tarp overhead though if the weather isn't going to be all sun and rain free.

VashFive
04-29-2015, 17:08
Thanks for the advice. I figured all options require a tarp component. Some questions though: 1. Can I get by without a bug net for the hammock? 2. Can I get by with a cheap blue tarp? 3. Should I be concerned about the 1lb difference between the bivy and hammock?

Thanks again for the help.

Tim_807
04-29-2015, 20:55
1. I'm not as familiar with that part of the trail to know how bad the bugs are in July. There are some really simple bug nets you might be able to make. Risk had a "quarter-weight (http://www.imrisk.com/hammock/ultraquarterweight.htm)" bug net that is just a piece of chiffron folded and sewn down the sides, weighted with quarters.

2. A cheap blue tarp would weigh more but there is no real reason it wouldn't work. You would want at a 9'x10' tarp (minimum) to pitch as a rectangle.

Bigfoot86
04-29-2015, 21:31
Go to dutchwaregear.com and get a nylond hammock for thirty dollars and a simple whoopie suspension. For bug protection get a fronkey style bugnet and a tarp and it will say little and will take up less room in your pack and will fell very comfortable. You can use a pad in a hammock, i did this past weekend down to 10 degrees. Sleeping bag as top insulation.

daddytwosticks
04-30-2015, 07:14
That time of year down here I typically shelter hop. Nothing like being under a solid roof when the summertime thunderboomers let go. In this case, I usually carry a poncho-tarp or a regular silnylon tarp. This year, I'm using a cuben shaped tarp. I also bring some sort of bug protection, such as a SMD meteor bug bivy or just a piece of no-see-um mesh. Mosquitoes have not been an issue for me this time of year. :)

4shot
04-30-2015, 07:34
That time of year down here I typically shelter hop. Nothing like being under a solid roof when the summertime thunderboomers let go. In this case, I usually carry a poncho-tarp or a regular silnylon tarp. This year, I'm using a cuben shaped tarp. I also bring some sort of bug protection, such as a SMD meteor bug bivy or just a piece of no-see-um mesh. Mosquitoes have not been an issue for me this time of year. :)

Shelter hopping is OK if you don't mind them,,,but please, gentle readers, notice that daddytwosticks also has a BACKUP plan. Hiking without your own shelter in the mountains at any time of the year is a dangerous plan. Unfortunately you see it. Although the practitioners of this are probably not likely to read WB

burk
04-30-2015, 08:04
Hike Georgia section every July never had bug problem. Just cool at night. Do use a sleep pad of some kind.

bigcranky
04-30-2015, 08:13
Totally agree on the late afternoon thunderboomers. The typical July weather pattern has afternoon thunderstorms every day - they might not hit you, but they often will. A hammock does work better for getting off the ground IF you have a good solid tarp and know how to pitch it.

But the lightest solution is to just pitch the tarp. Here is a video showing how to pitch an 8x10 blue tarp using some tent stakes and a stick or hiking pole (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8NdoM2bXoM). It's simple, elegant, fairly light, and cheap. (The video is pretty bad quality, but whatever.) Bring a sheet of plastic to put on the ground, a sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and a piece of bug netting for your face at night.

VashFive
04-30-2015, 11:46
Thanks everyone! Lots of simple solutions, the kind I like best. I'm leaning toward the bivy and tarp. I feel a little safer in a down poor at night in a the bivy over the hammock. Additionally I've used a bivy and not a hammock in the past. My only reservation is the extra pound....I might try a hammock next time.

Great community here!

Thanks again!

LesterC
05-02-2015, 17:40
Warbonnet Blackbird w Edge tarp


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Rising3agle
05-05-2015, 05:43
Go to dutchwaregear.com and get a nylond hammock for thirty dollars and a simple whoopie suspension. For bug protection get a fronkey style bugnet and a tarp and it will say little and will take up less room in your pack and will fell very comfortable. You can use a pad in a hammock, i did this past weekend down to 10 degrees. Sleeping bag as top insulation.

Bigfoot's advice is pretty solid; you can get a NylonD or Argon hammock from Dutch ($35) with the suspension ($35) and a fronkey bugnet ($50) - total weight, 20oz. 8 yards of silnylon from RSBTR, giving you a very large 12ft x 10ft silnylon tarp ($50) at ~19oz. Or get a bit fancier, make a decent tarp - or buy one from a cottage vendor for ~75-100

all of that will run you about $200 by the time you get some zing-it and pegs, and weigh under 40oz for the complete setup. Not in the ultralight category by any means - but it does get you off the ground, give you a sizable shelter, and keeps the bugs off you. There are other, better, more-thought-out solutions - but as a quick comparison, 3lb for a comfortable shelter that doesn't require a whole lot more than a couple trees to set up is pretty nice; those Eureka 1-person tubes weight about 2.5lb just in themselves.

not sure on your sleep comfort, but I'll take a hammock over a ground-bivy any day of the week. Nothing beats a good night's sleep, cradled in a hammock. In march when I was in VA on a section, it stormed pretty bad most of the night starting at 1930hr, and I had small rivers running under my hammock. If I had been on the ground, I would probably have been drenched (but could have moved into the shelter - no one hikes in VA in march, it's COLD there!).

if you bought the gear above (or something similar) and hammock camping works for you, the only thing you'd have to do is get confident in the gear. Even something as inexpensive as above would carry you through most storms - definitely any storm a bivy / tarp would get you through. You could set it up in your yard and spend some nights in it when it got unpleasant, or take a couple short trips to see how it would work for you

whatever you do - have fun, and good luck!