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4287[Hammock Camping] Re: Ed's Winter Hammock Hike

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  • Dave Womble
    Jan 3, 2004
      > Great photos Dave. Looks like you had a ball. Sorry to miss you
      on the
      > 31st.
      > Rick


      Sorry I missed you. We finished a day early, I was only a couple of
      hours from home and I had been out in the woods for a while... so I
      bolted for home instead of killing time for a day in north GA. In my
      defense, I spent a lot of time in north GA this year. I was at the
      outfitters at Neels Gap for a couple of hours the weekend before
      Thanksgiving with a group of hikers that were involved with a seminar
      that REI put on. Wished you could have joined us for the last leg of
      the hike, we could have adjusted or mileage to meet you near the last
      paved road crossing and hike the last day & a half with you. Maybe I
      will catch up with you on another trip.

      Ed & I both learned a lot from the trip. Some things worked well,
      others didn't quite work as well as we hoped. But we were able to
      handle what we ran in to.

      The winter tarp worked pretty well except for my waterproofing job
      and I also need to add a few more stakes to keep in more taut. I may
      want to add some shock cord with limits to maintain the tautness when
      the silnylon stretches. I believe it only trapped a couple of
      degrees of heat, but more importantly, it keep me from losing heat
      from the occasional swirls & breezes that are unavoidable unless you
      are completely concealed from the wind. I think that this helped a
      good bit when the temperature dropped to the lower limit of my
      insulation... it kinda makes 20 degree weather feel like 20 degree
      weather even in slight winds that might make 20 degree weather feel
      more like 10 degree weather or worse. Of course, the winter tarp is
      more complex and has a weight penalty so it is difficult to say that
      the same comfort couldn't be had using other insulation techniques
      that were simplier and maybe even more weight efficient. At the
      least, it is another approach that some folks might prefer and some
      might not (it is sorta a hammock tent made out of a flat tarp),
      however, it does give you some 'room' where you are out of the wind.

      The closed cell foam kinda worked. I basically had a stack of three
      of the standard blue 3/8" closed cell foam pads from REI (they
      weren't all the same length but they were all 24" wide). These kept
      me warm enough, but after 14 hours on them on a long winter night, I
      found that I need more cushioning for my tush (I felt almost
      bruised). I also found that stuffing clothing to get insulation on
      the edges around my shoulders was just too much trouble and that
      using a section of a Zrest didn't work well because any air gap
      allowed cool air to get to me. One night I substituted a 3/4 length
      Ridgerest for one of my longer 3/8" pads and this felt a whole lot
      better on my tush, so from no on I will use that when I am stacking
      multiple pads and will place it on top of the stack. I am also
      replacing my 24"x44" cut & taped pad with my 30"x44" cut & taped pad
      so that I won't need extra insulation around my shoulders. The cut &
      tapped pads fold accordian style into a 24"x11" stack or 30x11" stack
      and are used as the back support/cushion for my Golite Breeze
      backpack. The wider 30" pad means that the pads will have to extend
      5" into my extension collar when it is in my backpack. Anyway, what
      I used were three stacked pads: one 3/8"x24"x44" and two 3/8"x24"x56"
      with a seperate 3/8"x20"x11" in my backpack under my feet. What I
      would take if I had a 'do-over' would be a stack of three pads: one
      3/8"x30"x44", one 3/8"x24"x67" (I taped the foot pad onto the 56"
      long pad) and one 5/8"x20"x48" Ridgerest pad on top.

      I must say that I took a lot longer to make/break camp than Ed did
      with his 'mountain of down' and I was more worried about me staying
      warm than I was about Ed staying warm... I think Ed has this figured
      out better than I do.

      Oh yeah, there were a couple of things that I have used before that
      also worked well on this trip. I have accessory cords tied into the
      knots of my two-layer hammock so that I can attach my pads to the
      same postion every time. They worked fine, just as the have in the
      past. Also, the shock cord harness system that I have for attaching
      two closed cell foam pads on the back of my Golite Breeze backpack
      performed fine and didn't have any breakdowns.

      So, is anyone up for another winter hike in the southeast? The
      Pinhoti Trail is pretty sweet this time of year. The Foothills
      Trail, the Bartram Trail, the Chattooga Trail and the AT south of
      Fontana Dam?

      aka Youngblood
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