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  1. #1
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Default Hammock Insulating Sleeping Pad

    I just had the opportunity to spend 30 minutes in my new Hennessy Hammock in 50-degree weather. I was trying to stay on top of a deflated 3/4 Ultra Light Thermarest in a 15-degree down mummy. Everything was fine if I stay on my back and on the sleeping pad. Unfortunately, I'm a side sleeper, and as soon as I rolled I fell off the pad the pushed my knees and butt against the walls of the hammock. It was amazing at how quickly anything that wasn't insulted got cold; literally less than a minute.

    Per comments on Sgt. Rock's http://hikinghq.net, I'm about to purchase (on rush order since I'm leaving this weekend) a large 1/4" Evasote pad from http://owareusa.com/sleep.html. While I hate to give up my Thermarest since I also plan to sleep in shelters occasionally, this pad is at least wide enough at 40" that I can double it to half an inch.

    Does anyone have any other lightweight suggestions for hammock insultation or setup to help me get through possible 30-degree nights next week? Should I consider wearing fleece as well?
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  2. #2
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Default

    I tried using a fleece blanket with the sunscreen as reccomended by some other Hennessy users and found it didn't work. I've just got a new pad from Wal-Mart of all places. It's called an Ozark Trails Eggcrate pattern pad. It's 24" wide which is why I got it, but the surface also is similar to that rubbery stuff you can put on your kitchen shelves to make them grip better. So far test results are good, but then again Louisiana hasn't been cold yet.

    I like to have extra clothing ready in case I do get cold, so wearing fleece might be a good idea.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  3. #3

    Default

    Kerosene, if your in a 15 degree goose down mummy bag I don't think your have any problems at all with temps in the 30's.

    Take along some fleece just in case, but I doubt if you'll need it.

    I'll be doing the same thing next week. I also have a 15 degree goose mummy for my clark. I don't foresee any problems.

    I survived a couple of bad nights in the 20's with a crappy 25 degree bag. I used a survival blanket. I can't say I was warm, but I was still breathing the next day.

    There's a bag called a Big Agnes that has a pocket for an inflatable pad inside of the bag.


    I'd like to touch base after we both get back to see how it went.

  4. #4

    Default Oware Enzofoam pad

    I got one of the Oware 1/4 inch pads a couple months ago and it has its pluses and minuses. The main thing I didn't like about it was that it made it more difficult to get arranged in the hammock due to a surface that tended to grip harder than the other pads I have used. The Oware pad also tended to develop wrinkles where you are laying in the hammock and tended to suck up water (sweat) resulting in often packing a slighly wet pad in the morning. On the plus side it did come up around my shoulders once I got it arranged so I did not need my usual extra clothes to pad the area by my shoulders.

    With respect to what I use now - a cheap blue half inch closed cell 20 inch by 72 inch pad from Walmart for temps above 40 deg F and a Thermarest Guidelite or LE full length for when the temps are below 40 deg F (LE for when it might get under 30 deg F). For insulation around my shoulders I stuff some fleece clothing or wear a thick fleece pullover.

    As for sleeping style - I found that I could adjust to sleeping on my back in a hammock since I am not really laying flat - my hips are somewhat flexed (even in the diagonal position in the Hennessy) which relieves the tension in my lower back enough to be comfortable.

  5. #5
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Default

    Ditto to HOI on back sleeping. the more I use a hammock, the less I sleep any other way in one than on my back.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  6. #6
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help and suggestions. I've ordered the Oware pad and I'm thinking of lugging along a pair of fleece pants, just in case. I should've done an overnight in the hammock before going out for a week, but I'll survive. Can't wait to head out this weekend!
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  7. #7
    GA-VA/ME-VA '04
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    Default full length pads

    I know this probably falls under the "stupid asked questions"catagory,but I can't figure something out.I have never seen one up close but I understand you enter the hennessy hammock from underneth.If you use a full lenght pad, will it get in the way of you entering and exiting?Can someone explain how to get in and out with a full length pad?I like the whole hammock idear,I think I may get one,just don't want to give up my long pad.Thanks

  8. #8
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Default

    My 60" long pad overhung the entrance to the hammock by a foot or so. I ended up simply folding it over and sitting on top of it as I entered, then pushing it back down over the entrance when after I had scooted up. I didn't find that I needed a full length pad to insulate my feet however. Apparently there wasn't enough pressure to compress the down.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  9. #9
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Default to the rescue hamock users----

    A friend who lives down the lake from me (Check it out Ripshin
    Lake on www.topozone.com, type it in the first search box you see
    then look for the AT as it crosses Little Rock Knob 2 miles away
    from me and the Roan), anyway my neighbor down the lake just painted his house...being nosey (sp?) and needed a paint job myself I ask him how much he responded 'round 8k'....well his house is smaller than mine and I did recently paint my house for less than $600..so what gives? he used a paint for insulation not color, his old paint wasnt even that old...search for 'ceremic paints' and learn of the new technology that weighs next to abs. nothing....a layer of paint got him almost an extra 10R in his housing insulation, imagine what 1/2 once could do for the pads the hammock hangers need..I tried to post a link but as fate would have it my comp. says I am out of free memory.
    OK, found a link to a comp/retailer or whatnot that sells ceramic paint:
    http://ceramicadditive.com/aboutus.html

  10. #10
    Section Hiker 350 miles DebW's Avatar
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    Default Hammock Website/Tips

    Have you all seen this site?

    http://www.speerhammocks.com/

    The guy (Ed Speer) is selling his own brand of hammocks and accessories, a book on hammock camping, as well as offering tips and make-your-own directions. He sells a sleeping bag that goes around the hammock and can be worn as a robe as well. Maybe you can do without a foam pad in cold weather if the sleeping bag is outside the hammock so the insulation isn't crushed. Might be alot of interior space to warm up, though.

  11. #11
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Default

    Speer hamocks are interesting. He also now has a hammock camping newsletter, and in a good spirit also mentions other camping hammock manufacturers.

    http://www.hammockcamping.com/Newsletters/Dec 2002.htm
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  12. #12
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Default been thinking, maybe youve had this thought too

    after much thought on the hammock/pad/cold weather thing I believe that the answer to many problems is a sleeve on the bottom of the hammock, maybe out of sil-nyl, maybe better out of something breathable, maybe out of mesh.....
    of course we love the Hennessey Hammock and therein lies a small problem-the opening on the bottom of the hammock, but there is a solution.
    Picture the hammock from the bottom. picture a rectangular panel of mesh from the head area to the opening of the slit...and an opening into the mesh panel perpendicular to the slit from one side of the hammock to the other....this is where the pad is inserted..and if what i have read is correct then most of the insulation compression is from the slit, i.e. from our buttocks up.....and now optional mesh panels, also rectangular on either side of the slit....
    So three mesh panels added to the bottom of the Hennessey Hammock and three pieces of closed cell foam.
    Granted the foam for the two pads adjacent to the slit can be much thinner since it has been pointed out that the legs/feet compress the insulation of our sleeping bags the least.
    Your thoughts please SGTROCK and DebW.......
    Also too bad once can't get therm-a-rest pads in these dimensions!
    Regardless I think this is a viable option for this very important reason.
    Say I did spend the major dollars for the custom Feathered Friends and then decide to use it in your basic tent, or better yet say it turns out to be a major bitch getting into it after the pad is inserted and the entire gizmo is in the hammock.
    This idea kinda mirrors the Clark (I think it is) which has the pockets under the hammock but using a mesh panel the size I mentioned above the slit up to the head end of the hammock would give good continuity.
    Now here is a debatable point I want you two in on....how wide should the pad be? 24 inches seems like the number I keep hearing--and since Santa isnt here yet I dont know exactly how wide the hammock is...so before I have someone sew on the mesh, since the pad can go on the bottom, is 24 optimal or is 26 better?
    Enough for now, you can probably tell it is slow tonight in the hospital!

  13. #13
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Default

    Actually your under the hammock pockets have already been done by Clark Hammock. The way you climb into a Clark makes these pockets very handy for stuff, but the best part is in cold weather, you could stuff them with spare clothing, a cut up pad like you mention, dry leaves if you don't want to carry extra weight (good luck finding dry leaves in the spring on the AT), or even newspaper.

    I did a review of the Clark Ultralight where it only has one pocket and reccomended changing to mesh. Besides using it to stuff insulation, you could also put your extra gear in there. Your backpack (depending on modle) could actually serve as a piece of insulation if you oriented the pocket in the right way and made one big enough. True it wouldn't be as accessable as a Clark pocket while your in there, but don't put the stuff you need under you, take it inside. Another benifit to mesh is damp stuff would have air circulation to it.

    Your idea of sil-nylon pockets however I would frown on. I looked at attaching the Gearskin to the hammock and found that the dissimilar materials would have different stretch qualities. The end result would have been either tearing the hamock, tearing the Gearskin, or ripping out seams. I thought about using velcro instead, but the gearskin is so narrow it would be hard for it to always be perfectly centered. Now I just stuff it into it's own mesh pocket to use as a pillow or to store it inside a stuff sack.

    I say try the mesh pockets, sounds like a winner.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  14. #14
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up great insulating pad

    i am using a pad i bought at walmart $14.99,it is 24 x 72 in.i cut it down to
    54 in.long,now 24x54,it is .25 closed cell with egg carton open cell foam on the other side,it works great,very light.very comfortable in my hammock,even comfortable on ground or in a trail shelter,great multiuse pad.

  15. #15
    Registered User Fiddleback's Avatar
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    Default

    I've got the same pad from oware. The pad does cup nicely providing some extra insulation and wind block on the sides. And while it wrinkles as mentioned above, I found the wrinkles tended to go away if I was careful to smooth out the creases as I got on it. The pad does not slide or move around in the Hennessey...which is a big benny given everything I've read and heard about others' use of pads in hammocks.

    On the trail, with no sleeping bag, I've been down to 28F wearing an insulated jacket and pants set with polypros. I've done 23F in the backyard switching out the polypros in favor of a set of Smartwools. Again, no bag or quilt but I think I've hit the limit with that system and particularly that pad.

    On two occasions (including the backyard experiment) I covered the oware pad with a very light fleece throw (Campmor). Both times I did not experience the wet shoulder/back in the morning that I did when I didn't cover the pad (only did three hours in the backyard). I think I got the idea from Sgt Rock's site...the throw cost another 13oz, a total of 20oz in combo with the pad.

    FB

  16. #16
    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    I have the Target 24" wide blue closed cell pad, for less than $10. I've trimmed off the corners to make it fit the Speer Hammock. It works amazingly well.

  17. #17
    Registered User Palmer's Avatar
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    Question

    I'm curious to know more about the Target pad (since I have one). Can anyone give a temperature range estimate for it? I'm a little afraid to take the hammock out with temps dropping into the 20s at night. Will the Target pad keep me warm in the 20s? Thanks.

  18. #18
    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    Speer's hammock book suggests a 15F rated Bag and a 2 inch pad for 20-30 degrees. I used his Peapod, which is said to be good to 40 degrees, along with the Target pad, a Thermorest 3/4 Ultraguide pad and a zero degree WM sleeping bag. The coldest was in the mid-20's and I was toasty.

  19. #19
    GAME 2000
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Palmer
    I'm curious to know more about the Target pad (since I have one). Can anyone give a temperature range estimate for it? I'm a little afraid to take the hammock out with temps dropping into the 20s at night. Will the Target pad keep me warm in the 20s? Thanks.
    My guess is that the 3/8" thick solid closed cell pads that Target cells are worth about 20 degrees of insulation... if that is all you use underneath, that would take you to about 50 degrees, without wind.

    Youngblood

  20. #20
    Panama Red
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    Default Therma rest

    therma rest makes a pad to pad link that is made of something that holds tight to the pad and has the same exterior material as the pad. i think this might do the trick if you attach it from the pad to the hammock. and if you care about interior decorating they will color match it to your pad .

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