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  1. #1

    Question Bottom Insulation on the AT: Some Specific Questions

    Hello hangers,

    I've chosen to hang for the thru-hike and I'm currently debating the last details of my shelter setup. My last major questions deal with bottom insulation, so let me lay out my thoughts here.

    I'm starting my hike in mid-April and, should all go well, planning to finish mid-September. Having done my almanac research, it looks like I'm going to be up against average lows in the 40s (with potential for cold snaps) at the start and looking at cooling temperatures at the end of the hike.

    Here are the two setups I'm considering and I'm looking for some feedback:

    1) 1/4" CCF pad from Lawson Equipment (74"x24") or equivalent. Will this be sufficient for the cooler temps? And will it be too hot for the warm nights? I would go with a double-layer hammock in this case.
    http://lawsonequipment.com/All-Produ...-Pad-p951.html

    2) Hammock Gear Phoenix Fractional 40F UQ. Is this overkill, meaning too warm for my needs in the summer season? Or could I be comfy with it throughout the entire hike? I would go with a single-layer hammock in this case.
    http://www.hammockgear.com/phoenix-40/

    I appreciate your feedback and advice. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    1) CCF is a barrier, not an insulator, but I believe it will work just fine for keeping you warm. Pads in general are never too hot, although I'm sure you'll have nights where you ditch the pad for the cooling comfort of the hammock.

    2) this UQ is definitely not overkill, and in fact could be very marginal at the ends of your hike where you're likely to be in the 30s and might see 20s. Down has the capacity to get too hot in warm weather, but in general it takes being really really warm before that is the case.

    IMO, I would go with #1 here for these 2 choices. The pad IMO has a greater range of effectiveness temp-wise than does the 40 degree UQ.
    "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

  3. #3
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    Hi, new here, but I've given thought to this. My plan is to also stay in shelters occasionally, as well as hang. I'm all about comfort, and that pad appears too thin for me, and not much of an R value. Why not a lightweight air pad? Perhaps not optimum for the hammock, but they work fine and were used before the idea of an underquilt. There are several (expensive) pads weighing less than a pound. I'm getting the Big Agnes Q core SL, at 17 oz, with an R-value of 4.5 and 3.5" thick. Ahhhhhh! Have you seen this video? Shug has lots of great info on all aspects of hanging. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFWs6...542287C5641193

  4. #4
    Registered User Survivalen's Avatar
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    Hi- I would go with a goose down 40 UQ , goose down 45-50 TQ and a mylar blanket between the 2 layer hammock in the 30's...wool hat and socks with a base layer should keep ya light,tight & toasty...I would also keep the pad if you go to ground.

    Survivalen
    http://www.versashelter.com * Home of the Raptor Sleep-Shelter * See us on Kickstarter!

  5. #5

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    I used a pad for years - recommend an SPE if that is your only bottom insulation. It has wings for shoulders/elbows/knees, an easy DIY. However, I have recently switched to an underquilt, and there is no match for the comfort. 40 degree should be fine most of the trip, but you may be sleeping in your clothes a few nights. The UQ would be my choice.
    Last edited by chiefduffy; 03-01-2013 at 08:34.
    Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran

  6. #6
    aka Kudzu
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    Down is awesome. You can always vent if it's getting too warm.
    JaxHiker aka Kudzu - WFA
    Florida Trail Association: NE FL Trail Coordinator (Gold Head to Stephen Foster)
    Problems on the trail? Have a great experience? Please let me know. trails at northfloridatrailblazers dot org
    Blazing Trails with Kudzu @ www.idratherbehiking.com
    Follow me @idratherbhiking

  7. #7
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    The Hennessy Super Shelter should be adequate for the range of temperatures you will experience.

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