786RE: Hammock Camping Newbie to the group
- Mar 4, 2003David:
First let me compliment you on your writing skills. Your
post was a pleasure to read.
I've used a variety of hammocks and pads, and share your
dislike of the intrusive feeling of the pad, even when it's
well-behaved. Here are the things I've experienced and
observed. (My apologies to the rest of the list, who have
heard me say these things many times already.)
You may be able to eliminate the pad entirely if you get a
Pea Pod sleeping bag from Ed Speer, or if you build one
yourself. This is a bag that goes around the outside of the
hammock. Since the insulation below you isn't compressed, it
keeps working, and you stay warm. I've taken mine down to
the low 40s without a pad.
Alternately, you might add a Garlington Insulator shell and
suitable insulating material to your rig.
My simple hammocks (Tropical Hammock from Nomad Travel, and
Crazy Crib from Crazy Creek) both have two layers of fabric.
I slip my closed-cell foam pads between the layers, and they
do stay put. The closed-cell foam conforms better to the
hammock shape than a Therm-a-Rest.
Sewing a liner onto your hammock would probably work, but
take care to verify the required size by experiment, rather
than relying strictly on calculation.
When I sleep directly on top of a pad, I use a special
technique for turning. I push my fist against the pad,
support part of my upper body weight on my fist, turn my
torso, then lower myself back to the pad and arrange my hips
and feet. This keeps the pad under me. It's almost an
unconscious move by now, and I doubt I even have to wake up
to do it.
Finally, I can recommend the Mountain Hardwear BackCountry
in any length. This is a combination pad -- part
closed-cell, part open-cell. It has a fabric casing. The
casing is slippery on the bottom and grabby on the top, so
it tends to follow me as I move. This is more a
consideration for closed hammocks like the Hennessy.
This pad also has a great shape for hammocking. All the
extra corners and width are already removed. I've cut the
corners from all my closed-cell pads so each is completely
round at both ends. This shape also seems to do well in a
Hope this helps you. There are LOTS of experienced and
enthusiastic hammockers on this list, and you're bound to
benefit from their knowledge. I sure do.
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