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  1. #1
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    Default first time hammocker- what do I need to stay warm?

    I will be hiking NOBO from May to late august- how much insulation and warmth will I need? I have a hennessy ultralite backpacker and a 40* marmot bag right now.

  2. #2

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    Get on https://www.hammockforums.net and do some reading.
    You will need an underquilt or decent pad to lay on to avoid CBS = cold butt syndrome.
    Backpacking light, feels so right.

  3. #3
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    Yeah I really shouldve looked around a bit before asking this question. Now if I could only figure out how to delete this thread to hide my rashness...

  4. #4

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    You will definitely want a pad and/or a warmer bag, at least until you get into Virginia, in my opinion. When in May are you leaving? Florida isn't the best location to test cold-weather sleeping setups, but I'd suggest at least trying the setup you have under different conditions and seeing how you feel.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiptoe View Post
    When in May are you leaving?
    Around May 6.

  6. #6

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    Hammockers either go with an underquilt or pad for bottom insulation. Your marmot bag will probably work for may to august.

    I would say pick up a 3/4 length 20* underquilt and sitpad if funds allow for it.

    nothing wrong with a used underquilt from a reputable cottage company.

    underquilts take hammocking to a whole new level.

  7. #7

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    and if you wanted to go the pad route, I would pick up one of gossamer gears thinlite pads. Most important thing is they're extra wide.. like 40 inches or something. That's what you want in a hammock. regular 20" pads don't offer enough bottom insulation for shoulders and such. too much fiddle factor.

    It's just a pain to pack.

    what kind of tarp you got with that Hennessy?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post

    what kind of tarp you got with that Hennessy?
    I have the tarp that came with it.

  9. #9
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    Is there a place I can go to look at the cheapest underquilt options? I guess I was a little hasty buying my hammock and didn't know I would need a whole other piece of equiptment. Im on a kind of tight budget as it is.

  10. #10

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    Cheapest underquilt that I know of is still $100. It's the 3/4 length Jarbidge by Arrowhead Equipment. You'll need a piece of closed cell foam to keep your lower legs warm. It's rated to 25 for the 3-season if my memory serves, and I use it all the way through summer (just hung looser when it's hotter out).

  11. #11

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    Hopefully you have a newer model with side entry. The original with bottom entry made using underquilts or pads impossible. I had mine modified to close the bottom slit and add zippers to both sides. A string tied onto the zipper pull makes it easier to close the zipper when laying down. I normally use a Thermarest Prolite 3 with my Hennessy.
    Backpacking light, feels so right.

  12. #12
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    You will need a pad for the shelters in the Smokeys, this may affect your choice between pad or underquilt.

  13. #13
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    I've used my hammock down to about 20 degrees w/ just a sleeping pad. If you roll off the pad, it gets awful cold. I wouldn't invest in under quilt personally. It's not going to be all that cold.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Second Hand View Post
    I've used my hammock down to about 20 degrees w/ just a sleeping pad. If you roll off the pad, it gets awful cold. I wouldn't invest in under quilt personally. It's not going to be all that cold.
    The entire point for most people who choose a hammock is because, for them, it's so much more comfortable than sleeping in a tent. Those same people, by the vast majority, find an underquilt to be exponentially more comfortable than using a pad in a hammock. So in a nutshell (speaking for myself and a large portion of hammockers) using a pad in a hammock defeats the entire purpose of using a hammock to begin with. YMMV or course as it's all personal preference.

    If I had the choice of using a pad in a hammock, or sleeping in a tent with said pad, I'd vote for the tent.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dochartaigh View Post
    The entire point for most people who choose a hammock is because, for them, it's so much more comfortable than sleeping in a tent. Those same people, by the vast majority, find an underquilt to be exponentially more comfortable than using a pad in a hammock. So in a nutshell (speaking for myself and a large portion of hammockers) using a pad in a hammock defeats the entire purpose of using a hammock to begin with. YMMV or course as it's all personal preference.

    If I had the choice of using a pad in a hammock, or sleeping in a tent with said pad, I'd vote for the tent.
    I switched to a Hammock for hiking the LT. The ground gets awfully muddy and there are plenty of trees around. I have never used my hammock without a pad, even in the summer, simply because if your hiking on the AT or LT, you spend most nights in shelters and you'll need to carry a pad anyway.

    An under quilt never made a lot of sense to me. It's just added weight for an AT hiker in my opinion.

    What does YMMV mean? All of these new acronyms have me totally lost! I'm only 32, but when I have to message the kids just out of college at work, I swear it's like we speak two different languages! Now I know how my father felt!

  16. #16
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    I think its "your mileage may vary". I'll be testing my hammock tomorrow night with a pad, reflector, and 25* bag. Probably somewhere on the Coosa Backcountry Trail, not sure. May get down to 20* or so. It'll be the coldest temps I've hammocked in.

  17. #17

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    I use a back country bed with a heat reflective air mattress in the attached sleeve. I also use a heat reflective emergency blanket underneath. Have also used a hot water bottle along with good smart wool long underwear. I have been into the upper 20s and slept fine.

  18. #18
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dochartaigh View Post
    The entire point for most people who choose a hammock is because, for them, it's so much more comfortable than sleeping in a tent. Those same people, by the vast majority, find an underquilt to be exponentially more comfortable than using a pad in a hammock. So in a nutshell (speaking for myself and a large portion of hammockers) using a pad in a hammock defeats the entire purpose of using a hammock to begin with. YMMV or course as it's all personal preference.

    If I had the choice of using a pad in a hammock, or sleeping in a tent with said pad, I'd vote for the tent.
    And speaking for just about any hammocker that I know, no way in hell am I sleeping in a tent if I have an opportunity to sleep in a hammock.

    Pads are designed to be flat. Their R-value is based on stable temperatures underneath. But hammockers have been using pads for a long time. It may be a case of "you don't know what you're missing" with an UQ, but go ahead and use the pad and you'll be fine. Its not a perfect marriage, but there's no need to get anything more than what you were using for your tent.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisJackson View Post
    25* bag.
    Scratch that. Taking the big bag instead. It's cold out on the porch! Would've been a good backyard test but...not going to be in the backyard...

  20. #20

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    Pads are cheaper than underquilts, and don't feel bad about the Hennessey hammock. I've been using one since 2006 and I love it. I do use a 9x9 tarp, no longer made, from JacksRBetter, and that's a bit more forgiving to set up than the small tarp that comes with the hammock. I also have a Gossamer Gear wide pad, which is currently cut down to a width of 30 in. It's a little bulky to carry but it cuts down on drafts.

    For the record, I'm a very cold sleeper. Last year I hiked mid-April to mid-May from Daleville to Damascus (Virginia) and there were nights in the 30s. You'll be at higher altitudes when you get to the Smokies. You can get good gear advice, I'm told, at Mountain Crossings outfitter, which is right on the trail about 30 miles into your hike, if you need to make adjustments after you start.

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