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Re: Hammock Basics?

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  • Dave Womble
    ... Steve, you have a lot of questions. Good questions, but a lot of them and you probably aren t going to get all the answers you seek in a nicely laid out
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 30, 2007
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      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "steve_n0tu" <s2ranch@...> wrote:
      >
      > I'm enticed to purchase a hammock! Been reading about them and a little
      > confused about the condensation issue and the mirade of accessories and
      > continued discussions on on pads, underquits and nests etc.
      >
      > Ok so once I have my hammock what else do I need to stay warm? And
      > what's the deal on condensation? That word scares me as I have down
      > bags! I've been a using a tent/tarp as a ground hugger for years. My
      > normal setup for tent/tarp in CO backpacking down to about 30F is my
      > 30F down bag on top of a Prolite 3/4 foam pad. I use my bag half
      > unzipped quilt style and sleep in silk tights (top and bottom) If it's
      > gonna be really cool I add more layers of fleece (tops and bottoms)and
      > ski hat. I don't normally sweat and tend to side sleep the best. But I
      > think that's because on the ground back sleeping usually isn't to
      > comfortable for me?
      >
      > The lightweight, quick setup and getting up the off the bumpy ground
      > aspect of hanging between trees sounds kinda appealing! Can I adapt the
      > gear I own now to 'hanging' or do I need another whole $$investment to
      > outfit my self for hammocks? Are there any hammock tutorial sites
      > around?
      >
      > Thanks, Steve
      >


      Steve, you have a lot of questions. Good questions, but a lot of them
      and you probably aren't going to get all the answers you seek in a
      nicely laid out package. Ed Speer's book comes closest to doing that
      for backpacking hammocks and will do a good job of answering your
      questions but what it can't do is tell you all the hammock related
      gear that has been introduced since he wrote it. Heck, new hammock
      gear gets introduced all the time so no written document can stay up
      to date on all of that. But Ed's book covers what was available at
      that time, the tradeoffs associated with them, and the basics of
      hammock camping. Nobody has come out with anything particularly earth
      shattering since then, just different ways of doing the same things,
      some with improvements and some with just a different set of tradeoffs.

      Basically you have a couple of classes of hammocks, bottom entry and
      top entry. They have their tradeoffs like ease of entry, using as a
      camp chair, how they handle insulation, comfort, etc. And within each
      subset there are tradeoffs as well-- size versus comfort and weight,
      how they handle bugnets, two-layer bottom for inserting pads, etc.

      Then you have tarps and the issues associated with them-- coverage,
      weight, ease of setup, wind protection, does it sag to much, does it
      easily shed rain and or snow, etc.

      Once you get past all those issues, then you have the issue of bottom
      side insulation. There is using pads, underquilts, sleeping bags
      designed to enclose a hammock, insulated hammocks, or even a double
      bottom where you put loose or bagged insulation in it. (And this is
      where the condensation issue you mentioned comes in to play...
      breathable bottom side insulation versus non-breathable bottom side
      insulation. The pad you currently sleep on is non-breathable and tent
      floors are non-breathable, you don't have a choice with that when you
      sleep on the ground. In a hammock you do have a choice, you can use
      breathable bottom side insulation if you choose and have less issues
      with insensible perspiration or even sensible perspiration (sweat).)

      It can get rather involved to work through all that, and there are a
      lot of opinions on what works well and what doesn't. And of course,
      some options cost more than others.

      Dave Womble
      aka Youngblood
      Developer of the Speer SPE and SnugFit Underquilt
    • steve_n0tu
      Dave your reply was most helpful! Thanks! It appears I ve got a lot to learn and experience w/hammocks. Yet another journey begins. Steve
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 30, 2007
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        Dave your reply was most helpful! Thanks!

        It appears I've got a lot to learn and experience w/hammocks. Yet
        another journey begins. Steve
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