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18310Application to test Blue Ridge Camping Hammock - Pam

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  • pamwyant
    Apr 30, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Application 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
      Age: 48
      Gender: Female
      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.

      Testing plan –

      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
      the night?

      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:

      Current Tests:

      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.