View Full Version : Novel Hammock Tips from Ed Speer

04-17-2003, 12:49
The April issue of Hammock Camping News, published by Ed Speer of Speer Hammocks (www.speerhammocks.com), included the following interesting info that I had never seen before:

The most exciting discovery is insulator bags made with slightly inflated heavy-duty trash bags. They offer remarkable warmth for only a few ounces! When placed between a hammock and an outside shell, such as a silnylon bottom sheet or the Speer PeaPod sleeping bag, the trash bags can provide 1-5" of insulating thickness! 1.2-1.5 mil yard bags are suitable, however 2.5 mil trash compactor bags provide greater puncture security. A small amount of air is trapped inside each bag before twisting the ends and securing with strong rubber bands or small shock cord bands to seal them. Trapping too much air causes a bag to "balloon" out, making it difficult to keep beneath you.

The thermal effectiveness of the bags can be greatly and simply increased by placing extra pack items inside--such as one's down jacket, sweater, fleece pullover, any extra clothing, or even your rain gear, wind suit or ground sheet. Since these items are already carried in one's pack, they take on multiple uses and no additional weight is needed for the bottom insulation! When folded and inserted into a bag before closing, a 2-oz reflective emergency blanket can add great warmth! Even leaves can be used as inside insulation! The bag does not need to be completely filled w/ insulating items--generally only 1-2" thickness of insulation works fine as a bottom layer inside a 3-5" thick air-filled bag. One to three bags will provide all the coverage needed and at 1.5-2.5 ozs/bag, the total extra pack weight may be only 3-8 ozs! Note that a silnylon shell may add an additional 6-10 ozs. However, those already using the Speer PeaPod will not need the silnylon shell.


Useful recent hammock camping tips from the list include: Shelf liner to prevent slipping nylon air mats. Rubberized non-slip shelf liner works great to stop Therm-A-Rest type nylon air pads from slipping out from under a hammock user. The generic brand from Wal-Mart (12" X 15', 2.6 oz) cost only $0.94.
27" wide foam pad from Target. Excellent wide, non-slip sleeping pad (27" X 72" X 3/8", $10).

04-17-2003, 15:02
Having made an underquilt and used is quite successfully I have just completed a 'Garlington Taco' which is a a sil-nyl 'taco' that waps around the bottom of the HH and up to the netting or beyond as you see fit...this taco waterproofs the bottom of the HH, blocks wind, as mentioned in the above post holds insulation up and against the bottom of the HH without compressing it...the Garlington Taco out of sil-nyl weighs 6-8 oz and is attached to the foot end and head end of the HH at the support ropes....
Now check this out....I have a Golite Fur quilt and I have discovered that it fits perfectly inside the Garlington Taco, all I had to do was unzip the Fur's foot box and slit it about 3 feet up the middle matching the slit in the HH !!!!! Yeah for those of you who do not want to sew a quilt you can use a Fur!!
When we sewed the taco we sewed an entrance much like that on boxer shorts and it is almost self closing like the HH slit itself. Yesterday I discovered that the Fur as 'underquilt for the HH will burn you up in late spring, summer and early fall, but the beauty of the taco is that you can add insulation as you see fit and Speers idea of stuffing clothing etc inside the taco is not a new idea at all and has been hatched over a the lightweight backpacker for some time, that is where the idea of using garbage bags filled with air originaly came from, that is from Garlington himself! What I will be carrying for summer hikes is a thin layer of Radiantek and augmented with air bags if needed.
I did try the sleeping bag in a sleeve (a modified Rab Top Bag) and found it a *itch to get into in inside the hammock.

04-17-2003, 16:38
Hey Simva the Medicine Man do you have any pictures off what you have done. I would like to see it. I have an HH and I am interested in seeing what it looks like. Also how much more weight does it add to the HH?

04-18-2003, 07:53
Atroll, pics are possible, I do have a digital...so next week when I get some time I will try to take some photos and learn how to post them.....
the weight question is an interesting one...
the garlington taco weighs from 6-8oz depending on material
and size, with sil-nyl lighter than tyvek
my first underquilt which attached by d rings on the hammock and
mitten hooks on the underquilt weight 18 oz. It was made of
the cheapo walmart stuff-plain nylon, polyphil insulatin and a
layer of radiatek (listed from outside to inside)
the Golite Fur (which I had and was forgotten) I dont know the
weight of and its no longer listed at Golite.com
my upperquilt is an Arc Alpinist and weighs 22oz.
But the comfort in sleeping in the hammock as you know cannot be measured.