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Re: [Hammock Camping] Down Air Mattress

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  • gear_collector
    As an alternative to the DAM, you might consider the Insul Mat Max- Thermo or the Big Agnes Insulated AirCore mat. Both are partly filled with Primaloft
    Message 1 of 10 , May 29, 2004
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      As an alternative to the DAM, you might consider the Insul Mat "Max-
      Thermo" or the Big Agnes Insulated AirCore mat. Both are partly
      filled with Primaloft insulation and you can blow them up with your
      mouth rather than the special bag. The $65 BA mat is 20 oz and rated
      to 15F, and the $54 Max-Thermo is 23 oz (no rating but seems to be
      equivalent to BA).

      I considered the Exped DAM but went with these (Max-Thermo for
      girlfriend, the lighter BA for me on solo trips) and am very
      pleased. By far the most comfortable pad I've ever used as I'm sure
      the DAM will be as well. My thermarest and other pads will be on
      ebay shortly never to be used by me again. Like the DAM these things
      also pack down to the size of a nalgene bottle, especially the
      slightly smaller BA. They're much cheaper but one trade-off versus
      the DAM besides the higher R rating on the DAM is the custom sizing
      you're getting. The Primaloft pads I have are pretty narrow (to
      better fit the sleeve on my BA Horse Thief) so I may need to stuff
      some clothes or something along the sides so my arms don't touch the
      hammock body when it's very cold.

      Side note, I experimented with a custom made undershell with down
      quilt which worked fine (got down to 25F with no problems) but was a
      pain to setup and took up much more pack real estate than the BA
      insulated mat. With a sleeve on the bag so it stays put, I find the
      insulated mat has become my preferred method of staying warm. This
      seems a bit contrary to the prevailing posts about down underquilts
      but it works for me and I find I'm much more at ease knowing I can be
      very comfortable on the ground if I have to go there.

      Please let us know how the DAM works out, it looks like a fantastic
      product. BTW, the DAM sounded quite durable as are the primaloft
      pads so hopefully you can leave the extra 9 oz. target pad at home.
      It should come with a patch kit in the stuff sack as well.

      David
    • Coy
      to bad the ba aircore and insul mat max-thermo dont take the cue from the dam and make a much wider pad at the shoulders. I think I would get one if they
      Message 2 of 10 , May 29, 2004
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        to bad the ba aircore and insul mat "max-thermo" dont take the cue
        from the dam and make a much wider pad at the shoulders. I think I
        would get one if they did. 25 in at the shoulders, 22 at the hips
        tapering on down to about 18 at the feet would sure make for a nice
        hammock pad. the medium sized dam is sized about right for me but a
        size up and down for bigger or smaller folks would be nice in other
        brands as well.

        Coy Boy


        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "gear_collector"
        <dwadsworth@m...> wrote:
        > As an alternative to the DAM, you might consider the Insul
        Mat "Max-
        > Thermo" or the Big Agnes Insulated AirCore mat. Both are partly
        > filled with Primaloft insulation and you can blow them up with
        your
        > mouth rather than the special bag. The $65 BA mat is 20 oz and
        rated
        > to 15F, and the $54 Max-Thermo is 23 oz (no rating but seems to be
        > equivalent to BA).
        >
        > I considered the Exped DAM but went with these (Max-Thermo for
        > girlfriend, the lighter BA for me on solo trips) and am very
        > pleased. By far the most comfortable pad I've ever used as I'm
        sure
        > the DAM will be as well. My thermarest and other pads will be on
        > ebay shortly never to be used by me again. Like the DAM these
        things
        > also pack down to the size of a nalgene bottle, especially the
        > slightly smaller BA. They're much cheaper but one trade-off
        versus
        > the DAM besides the higher R rating on the DAM is the custom
        sizing
        > you're getting. The Primaloft pads I have are pretty narrow (to
        > better fit the sleeve on my BA Horse Thief) so I may need to stuff
        > some clothes or something along the sides so my arms don't touch
        the
        > hammock body when it's very cold.
        >
        > Side note, I experimented with a custom made undershell with down
        > quilt which worked fine (got down to 25F with no problems) but was
        a
        > pain to setup and took up much more pack real estate than the BA
        > insulated mat. With a sleeve on the bag so it stays put, I find
        the
        > insulated mat has become my preferred method of staying warm.
        This
        > seems a bit contrary to the prevailing posts about down
        underquilts
        > but it works for me and I find I'm much more at ease knowing I can
        be
        > very comfortable on the ground if I have to go there.
        >
        > Please let us know how the DAM works out, it looks like a
        fantastic
        > product. BTW, the DAM sounded quite durable as are the primaloft
        > pads so hopefully you can leave the extra 9 oz. target pad at
        home.
        > It should come with a patch kit in the stuff sack as well.
        >
        > David
      • Dave Womble
        ... heading ... my ... sleeping ... shock ... weather ... Well, I finished my little walk on the Georgia section of the AT. The tarp worked fine, it stayed
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 6, 2004
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          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@y...>
          wrote:
          > But right now its way too warm where I am at to not appreciate a
          > hammock for what it is best at, a warm weather shelter. I'm
          heading
          > out for a little walk in the morning on the AT and I'll be taking
          my
          > two-layer hammock with only a 24"x44"x3/8" pad and an 18 oz
          sleeping
          > bag. I'll probably be too warm! I'll also take along my homemade
          > 8'x10' catenary (ridgeline & edges) tarp with the self limiting
          shock
          > cord arrangement. I haven't taken very many trips with this
          > particular tarp and I don't think it has been exposed to high winds
          > and rain at the same time... hmmm, I'm not sure if I want the
          weather
          > to give it a real good test or not.
          >
          > Dave

          Well, I finished my little walk on the Georgia section of the AT.
          The tarp worked fine, it stayed taut every night without any
          retensioning or flapping and I think at one time or another I got hit
          with pretty good winds from every direction. Had high winds and rain
          one night on the peak of Springer Mountain and it did great... I was
          only partially hidden by a bush so I got lots of wind driven rain,
          fortunately all of it was broadside to the tarp and everything stayed
          dry.

          I was surprised at the amount of undergrowth along the trail, don't
          recall every seeing the Georgia section of the AT so close to being
          overgrown over such a wide area. The undergrowth was so thick and
          high that in some pretty long stretches it may have been easier to
          find spots for tents than for hammocks. If it wasn't for established
          and worn down camping areas, it would have been difficult to hang
          hammocks. One night I spent a lot of time trudging through the brush
          (I haven't been sensitive to poison ivy) where I told my companions
          we would camp for the night and finally found what I thought were
          suitable trees. After I stomped down and/or snapped off some of the
          undergrowth I noticed that poison ivy vines were all over the trunks
          of the trees. I'm not interested in getting poison ivy on my hands,
          so I decided to just leave a note for the folks behind me and go on
          ahead and camp at a forest road crossing (Cooper Gap) where there was
          a larger established camp site. Very frustrating. There were some
          areas where everything wasn't totally overgrown, but they seemed to
          be spotty until I got near the North Carolina border.

          On the other hand, the hammock and tarp setup worked great. I was at
          the Low Gap Shelter in Georgia on saturday night and it was very
          crowded. I stomped down a little vegation on the outskirts of one of
          the tenting areas and setup my hammock with the tarp at standup
          height. Later on three fellas set up various size tarps just a few
          feet down slope from me. Well, about an hour before daybreak it
          started raining, and raining. And then it started raining real hard-
          sheets of water on the ground had two of them retreating to the third
          guys 10x10 tarp. Shoot, I just used my umbrella to retrieve my food
          bag and cooked my breakfast sitting in my hammock out of the rain.
          They were real impressed with my setup and asked a lot of questions
          before they left.

          Dave
        • Rick
          Great report Dave! I also found the trails overgrown. Worst place was the Smoky Mountains. Like you, I mainly found places to hammock camp around established
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 6, 2004
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            Great report Dave!

            I also found the trails overgrown. Worst place was the Smoky Mountains.

            Like you, I mainly found places to hammock camp around established
            campsites. However, there were plenty of places in between where the
            undergrowth was sparse, and there was no poison ivy... just not nearly
            so much choice as in early spring.

            >Well, I finished my little walk on the Georgia section of the AT.
            >The tarp worked fine, it stayed taut every night without any
            >retensioning or flapping and I think at one time or another I got hit
            >with pretty good winds from every direction. Had high winds and rain
            >one night on the peak of Springer Mountain and it did great... I was
            >only partially hidden by a bush so I got lots of wind driven rain,
            >fortunately all of it was broadside to the tarp and everything stayed
            >dry.
            >
            >I was surprised at the amount of undergrowth along the trail, don't
            >recall every seeing the Georgia section of the AT so close to being
            >overgrown over such a wide area. The undergrowth was so thick and
            >high that in some pretty long stretches it may have been easier to
            >find spots for tents than for hammocks. If it wasn't for established
            >and worn down camping areas, it would have been difficult to hang
            >hammocks. One night I spent a lot of time trudging through the brush
            >(I haven't been sensitive to poison ivy) where I told my companions
            >we would camp for the night and finally found what I thought were
            >suitable trees. After I stomped down and/or snapped off some of the
            >undergrowth I noticed that poison ivy vines were all over the trunks
            >of the trees. I'm not interested in getting poison ivy on my hands,
            >so I decided to just leave a note for the folks behind me and go on
            >ahead and camp at a forest road crossing (Cooper Gap) where there was
            >a larger established camp site. Very frustrating. There were some
            >areas where everything wasn't totally overgrown, but they seemed to
            >be spotty until I got near the North Carolina border.
            >
            >On the other hand, the hammock and tarp setup worked great. I was at
            >the Low Gap Shelter in Georgia on saturday night and it was very
            >crowded. I stomped down a little vegation on the outskirts of one of
            >the tenting areas and setup my hammock with the tarp at standup
            >height. Later on three fellas set up various size tarps just a few
            >feet down slope from me. Well, about an hour before daybreak it
            >started raining, and raining. And then it started raining real hard-
            >sheets of water on the ground had two of them retreating to the third
            >guys 10x10 tarp. Shoot, I just used my umbrella to retrieve my food
            >bag and cooked my breakfast sitting in my hammock out of the rain.
            >They were real impressed with my setup and asked a lot of questions
            >before they left.
            >
            >

            I also camped at Low Gap. I used two trees just down slope from the
            shelter and just past the bear cables. A picture of my set up there can
            be seen:

            http://www.imrisk.com/atsouth/P5170020_web.JPG

            Note the bear cable fittings at the right of the picture.

            Again, I really enjoyed your account.

            >
            >
            Risk
          • Dave Womble
            ... Mountains. ... the ... nearly ... Yeah, I was shocked. I had previously hiked all but the last three miles of Georgia since the first of the year, most of
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 6, 2004
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              --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, Rick <ra1@i...> wrote:

              > I also found the trails overgrown. Worst place was the Smoky
              Mountains.
              >
              > Like you, I mainly found places to hammock camp around established
              > campsites. However, there were plenty of places in between where
              the
              > undergrowth was sparse, and there was no poison ivy... just not
              nearly
              > so much choice as in early spring.
              >

              Yeah, I was shocked. I had previously hiked all but the last three
              miles of Georgia since the first of the year, most of it within the
              last two months. I couldn't get to some of the places that I had
              hammock camped earlier. I had remembered a great spot on Sassafras
              Mountain that I couldn't even find/recognize. I found the scenery
              was not nearly as nice as it was prior to the green explosion... some
              of it isn't even visible now. The hiking was probably more enjoyable
              then also- its not much fun making contact with brush, grass, leaves,
              etc as you hike along, especially if it is wet. But, as usual, the
              trip was fun.

              I took along my sighting compass and had loaded the waypoints of some
              of the prominent peaks on my GPS. At overlooks, I could use the GPS
              to get the range and bearing of different peaks and then see if I had
              a line of sight to them. It was neat! At one point on Wildcat
              Mountain we had lined up from left to right: Cowrock Mountain,
              Levelland Mountain, Blood Mountain and Slaughter Mountain. I was
              even able to spot Brasstown Bald and Yonah Mountain from places I
              didn't know about (these Stone Mountain and Rabun Bald are probably
              the most recognizable peaks in Georgia). Anyhow, this is something
              that I have being playing around with for a little while and have
              been having some fun doing.

              Hey Ed, I meet a guy named Miles (?) at Low Gap Shelter that
              mentioned to me that he had done a little trail magic for Ed Speer
              when he was on the AT in 2000. I told him he ought to log on to this
              site and say 'hi'.

              Dave
            • Ed Speer
              Don t remember him Dave, but then lots of people helped me on each of my hikes. Hope he signs on ans says hi....Ed
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 7, 2004
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                Don't remember him Dave, but then lots of people helped me on each of my
                hikes. Hope he signs on ans says hi....Ed

                > Hey Ed, I meet a guy named Miles (?) at Low Gap Shelter that
                > mentioned to me that he had done a little trail magic for Ed Speer
                > when he was on the AT in 2000. I told him he ought to log on to this
                > site and say 'hi'.
                >
                > Dave
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