18310Application to test Blue Ridge Camping Hammock - Pam
- Apr 30, 2006Application to test Blue Ridge Camping Hammock
I have read the entirety of The BackpackGearTest Survival Guide v.
1202, including Chapter 5. My tester agreement is on file. I agree
to comply with the current testing and report requirements.
Date: April 30, 2006
Personal Biographical information -
Name: Pamela Wyant
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
E-mail address: pamwyant(at)yahoo(dot)com
Location: Western West Virginia, U.S.A.
Backpacking Background: Spring 2006 starts my third year of
backpacking. I've progressed from day-hiking and single overnights
my first year, to weekend trips the second, and finally to a 7-night
trip on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia this year. I hike and
backpack mainly in the hills and valleys of West Virginia, and use a
hammock sleeping system. For a two-day trip my typical pack weighs
22-30 lb (10-14 kg) including consumables, and I'm still trying to
lighten that a bit.
Field Information -
I would be testing the Blue Ridge Camping Hammock primarily on
weekend backpacking trips in eastern West Virginia, and western
Virginia, in elevations from 2500 to over 4000 feet (750 to over
1200 meters). I would also test the hammock at Girl Scout camp in
the eastern and central part of West Virginia, with elevations from
550 to 1000 feet (150 to 300 meters). Temperatures would likely
range from lows at or near freezing to highs up to or above 90 F (25
C). Weather could vary from mild and dry to windy and rainy, or
anything in between those extremes. Rainfall is usually ample in
these areas, with normal monthly levels ranging from 3-5 inches, and
humidity levels from May through August are often high.
My current plans for backpacking trips include: a 2-night trip to
the Canaan Valley area in the eastern mountains of West Virginia at
the end of May, a two-night trip in western Virginia in mid-July, a
2-night trip to the Otter Creek are of the Monongahela National
Forest in eastern West Virginia at the end of August, and a 2-night
trip to the Seneca Creek Section of the Monongahela National Forest
in late September. I would also test the hammock at several Girl
Scout camping events, which are scheduled throughout the late spring
and summer months.
Additional background information
I love hammock camping. I currently own a Hennessy Hammock
Ultralight Backpacker Asym, and I take it everywhere I backpack and
many places I camp. I've even spent a couple of nights in the
backyard for fun and to test various insulation systems.
When I first decided to start backpacking, a friend and I shared a
tent. After two semi-sleepless nights on the hard ground, I decided
there had to be a better way. Checking some backpacking forums, I
was intrigued to find backpackers using hammocks as a sleeping
system, and loving it. The more I read about it, the more I thought
this might work for me, especially when I found out side and even
stomach sleepers were using these systems comfortably and saving
weight at the same time. I took the plunge and ordered my Hennessy,
and have never regretted it. I sleep great! No stiff and sore back
the next morning, no aching hips or shoulders from trying to sleep
on my side on the hard ground.
Being quite honest, I'm not overly interested in testing this
particular hammock, because it weighs over twice what my Hennessy
does! However, I'm willing to make the sacrifice of carrying a
couple of extra pounds if I'm needed for this test, and will report
fairly on the features and quality of the Blue Ridge Camping Hammock
on its own merits.
I would be taking the Blue Ridge Camping Hammock on each backpacking
trip I take during the test period, and on a few weekend camping
trips. I would be using it in varying temperatures as outlined in
the Field Information section of this application, as my sole source
of shelter. Trees are generally ample in the areas I backpack, and
it should be easy to find suitable trees for rigging this shelter.
However sizes vary widely, and I am interested to find out how
adaptable the rigging system is. Can I easily use both small and
large trees for support? How easy is it to rig the hammock? The
manufacturer's website doesn't tell much about setup, and the
pictures are fairly small and don't clearly show the setup. Are
there webbing straps or padding to use to help protect the tree bark?
For my Initial Report, I plan to report on
Weight & approximate dimensions
Instructions are they easy to read, clear, and easy to follow?
Product Description description of the fabric, poles, any included
stakes, guylines, and stuff sack, any special features (such as the
net bag inside the hammock) and placement of such features. Also
the method used to attach the hammock to a tree (cord, webbing,
Ease of Set-up a brief description of how the Blue Ridge Camping
Hammock is set up, how a trial set-up in my yard works, and
approximately how long the first set-up takes.
Quality of Construction do all the necessary areas seem securely
stitched? Are the cords and lines sturdy in appearance? Does the
fabric seem of good quality?
For my Field/Long Term Reports, I plan to report on -
Durability how has the hammock held up after field testing and
long-term use? Has anything torn loose or broken? Does the fabric
or any of the lines show excessive wear? Has the no-seeum netting
developed holes or runs? Has anything stretched or started to sag
excessively when set up? Have I had any warranty issues?
Ease of Set-up/Take down Do I find the hammock easy to set up and
take down and pack away? Have I become faster at it with more
experience? Is it more difficult to set up in different weather
conditions (rain, wind, cold, etc.)? Does wearing gloves alter the
ease of set up? Is it possible to use the tarp without the poles
for a weight (and time) savings?
Entering/exiting/moving around Is it easy to get into and out of
the hammock? Do I ever feel unbalanced or in danger of falling when
I do so? If I need to shift positions does the hammock rock
excessively? Where does the hammock zip for entry/exit? Can I find
the zippers easily in case I need to exit quickly in the middle of
Fit/comfort Is the hammock comfortable and is it a good fit for
me? Can I sleep on my back, my side, and even on my stomach in
comfort? Do I sleep well all night and wake refreshed, or do I
toss and turn restlessly in discomfort and wake with a sore back or
neck in the morning? Can I comfortably change clothes in this
hammock if I need to? Do I need an extra insulation system or is
there any sort of built-in insulation? If not, what sort of
insulation system do I find works well?
Maintenance Does the fabric need treatment or the tarp need seam
sealing to remain waterproof?
Pack life Is it easy to carry the Blue Ridge Camping Hammock along
in my pack? How compactly will it pack away? Is it squishable so
it can fit around odd shaped items?
Personal impressions do I find I want to continue using the Blue
Ridge Camping Hammock after finishing the test, or will it be
relegated to a "loaner" model when I want to take along a friend?
Does it have features that would make an extra two pounds worth
carrying? Is there anything I would like to see improved or
anything I particularly like about it?
Recent completed test series:
LuxuryLite Travel Pillow
AntiGravityGear Universal Alcohol Stove Accessory Pack
In addition to these two recently completed test series, I have
completed test series on:
Dunham Waffle Stomper Terrastyder Low shoes
Grabber Performance Group Warmers
Imlay Canyon Gear Canyon Knife
Brunton Glorb Lantern
Dunham Alcatraz shoes
DeLorme Earthmate GPS LT-20
I have completed a total of 7 owner reviews, 3 of which were in
response to monthly calls for owner reviews.
Link to all my completed reviews & reports:
Big Sky Products Warm-N-Cozy Epic Jacket initial and field reports
complete. Long term report due June 13.
Big Sky Products Warm-N-Cozy Epic Pants initial and field reports
complete. Long term report due June 13.
Big Sky Products Warm-N-Cozy Better-than-Fleece convertible jacket
initial report complete, field report due June 13.
Black Diamond Mountain Series Enduro CF Hiking Poles initial
report complete, field report due date not yet posted.
Granite Gear Stratus Latitude Pack initial report complete, field
report due June 27.
Klearwater Water Treatment initial report complete, field report
due May 30.
Current applications out: none at this time.
Other BackpackGearTest activities:
Currently monitoring Duofold Multisport Mid-Layer Jacket test and
Suunto Vector test
Mentor program (currently as mentor, formerly as mentee)
Owner Review editor
Past tests monitored:
Spenco Backpacker Footbeds
I have sufficient time to test and report on the Blue Ridge Camping
Hammock in addition to completing tests and reports on my current
test series. Testing the hammock will not conflict with any current
tests. I have demonstrated I can handle multiple tests at the same
time, while submitting reports in a timely manner.
I would like to thank BackpackGearTest for providing opportunities
to test a variety of gear, for all the help given me in the process,
and for the chance to apply for this test.