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15223Re: [Hammock Camping] HH on PCT report

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  • Scott Macri
    Aug 11, 2006
      I too take longer than I like to setup my hammock. I think we will get
      faster with experience. If I were you I would scrap the pad, mini stakes,
      mini biners and the extra set of straps. This will help lighten your load.
      I might even consider dumping the tyvec, but that's just me.

      Instead of using the pad you can stuff your extra clothes, rain gear and
      space blanket under, or above your underpad. You should put the bulky stuff
      under the underpad, and the thin light stuff above the underpad. You can
      even stuff some dead leaves and earth in the supershelter to add to the

      Scott A. Macri
      Trail Name: Mowgli

      On 8/11/06, Brian Lewis <brianle@...> wrote:
      > I'm a fairly new hammock camper, and I just came back (Tuesday) from a
      > 10-day (150 mile) trip on the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington State
      > that I did with a couple of "dirt campers" (solo tent dwellers).
      > I used my HH UL backpacker asym, with the supershelter system
      > (undercover and underpad). I brought a 54" long ccf pad for inside as
      > well to hopefully ensure sufficient warmth, and I have a lightweight
      > down bag rated at 32 degrees that I used as a blanket. I also brought
      > a space blanket for optional use in between the layers.
      > Lowest temperatures were somewhere in the 30's. My cheap thermometer
      > told me it never got below the low 40's inside the hammock (I hung
      > this from the ridgeline inside). Only a couple of the nights were
      > cold, but my 54" long ccf pad wasn't long enough, so I sacrificed my
      > shoulder area (wore more clothes there) to ensure the ccf pad extended
      > to my feet (and I just yesterday bought a longer and wider ccf ...).
      > Feet and butt were coldest. No real problems, but I did satisfy
      > myself that the space blanket really does help when temps are low. A
      > standard space blanket, btw, also has the same problem my pad did ---
      > too wide but not long enough. Kind of a hassle to put in and take out
      > the space blanket each night too.
      > Speaking of which, my total setup time is still substantially slower
      > than my dirt camper friends. Tear-down is just as fast, but
      > estimating or measuring space between trees (to decide how high to
      > hang), maybe clearly some sticks etc from the ground area, getting
      > straps sized to trees (I carry two sets of two sizes), getting things
      > level, getting things taut, etc etc always took me longer. I might
      > continue to get a little faster at this, but I think my setup time
      > will just flat be slower than for pitching a tent. So be it.
      > Hiking with dirt campers made me a little concerned about finding good
      > hanging spots nearby, but in none of the ten nights did I have any
      > significant problems. Sometimes I was a bit farther from camp-central
      > than others, but no worries. OTOH, it was very handy some nights
      > that I had a hammock as we sometimes struggled to even find two flat
      > spots for their solo tents at some of the sites.
      > On my last night out I was pretty confident and setup with no problems
      > until I sat on the hammock to tighten up knots/etc ... and realized
      > that one of the trees I had tied to was dead (all the bark was there,
      > this wasn't immediately obvious). The way I found this out was that
      > the tree started to give way (my way). I hopped off/out quick enough
      > that it didn't come down and I didn't even have to move much, as
      > another nearby tree offered an alternate anchor point close enough.
      > That same night I had a big rock with the remains of a small tree
      > stump poking up about where I ended up handing, and thought I had hung
      > high enough to avoid issues. Nope. At some point I realized this
      > somewhat pointy tree stumplet was poking me in the back/side. Whacked
      > on it in the dark with a big rock, raised my foot end slightly higher
      > and tightened cords and that solved it.
      > Using the supershelter system I'm still really enjoying a compression
      > stuff sack to keep the underpad in as part of the system. Works
      > great, saves some hassle.
      > Overall most nights the weather was surprisingly warm and dry (no
      > dew), to the point that I finally stopped putting up my tarp and left
      > my bag in its stuff sack hanging just outside the hammock until maybe
      > 2 am or so. This isn't what I consider typical for the pacific
      > northwest! A little warm underneath, but I left the undercover and
      > underpad in place knowing things would get colder later in the night.
      > No major condensation problems, but always some with the ccf pad in there.
      > Trees are big here in the NW. I bought 72" straps from HH to augment
      > the 42" straps that come standard. Mixing and matching these always
      > got me through. I use the standard HH wrap on one end, and a figure 8
      > and tautline hitch on the other (the figure 8 loop helps me quickly
      > figure out which end is which when pulling the hammock out of the
      > compression sack). On the tautline hitch side, sizing the strapping
      > to the tree is easier because if it comes out a little long I just run
      > one end of the strap through the other and tie off to that. This
      > solution doesn't work well with the HH wrap/knot.
      > I had been having trouble with a sort of crick in the small of my back
      > on earlier trips. I had very little of this after the first couple of
      > days on this trip. Dunno if I just got over it, got used to it, or
      > was so tired I didn't notice it! <g> The hammock system worked
      > fine, with setup/tinker time and temperature control the biggest
      > issues. I didn't encounter enough rain to comment on. I did have a
      > very windy night, and my dirt-camper-constrained location wasn't in an
      > ideal direction to the wind at that site. Weighting the side corners
      > of the tarp made a big difference; I just wrapped a mini-bungy cord
      > around a piece of volcanic rock for both sides and hung them from the
      > supplied plastic hooks. The noise of the flapping tarp would
      > otherwise have been pretty annoying.
      > I originally was willing to try the HH based on the low weight of the
      > base hammock, just under 2 pounds. I reckon, however, that by the
      > time I add up all the hammock-specific crap I'm carrying I've lost the
      > weight battle substantially ... hammock + standard tarp + undercover +
      > underpad + two sets of straps + compression stuff sack weigh 3-1/4
      > pounds. Add in a space blanket, a ccf pad, light stakes, mini-biners,
      > an optional tyvek ground cloth in case I have to pitch as a ground
      > tent, maybe a line level, maybe the HH funnels for rainy nights, and
      > the total comes to over four pounds. My bivy sack + a thermarest
      > come out at 3 pounds.
      > The flexibility of setting up just about anywhere tilts me to accept
      > the extra pound. Grumblingly. <g>
      > Brian Lewis
      > P.S. Someone asked the weight of the standard HH fly (tarp) alone.
      > Mine is 7.6 ounces. That counts the thin plastic bag I carry it in,
      > but I think that's almost negligible.

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