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1st weekend backpacking in homemade Speer hammock

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  • Kathy Kantz
    After experimenting in the backyard and car-camping I finally got out for an actual backpacking trip with my new hammock. I knew I would need more warmth so I
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 8, 2004
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      After experimenting in the backyard and car-camping I finally got
      out for an actual backpacking trip with my new hammock. I knew I
      would need more warmth so I had this bright idea. Using my 20" X
      72" blue foam Walmart pad, I would need something to widen the
      insulation. I recently installed a laminate floor in my house and
      had some leftover pad, which is basically 1/8" of foam with plastic
      backing. Very lightweight. I cut a piece to fit the hammock and
      off I went.

      The first night my upper half was warm but for some reason my hips
      and legs were cold. My fleece jacket is thicker than my fleece
      pants to I figured that was the reason. I have a trash bag that I
      line my pack with to keep things dry, so I stuck my legs in it,
      inside my sleeping bag. As expected, I soon got warm and a little
      clammy from the vapor barrier. I eventually shed it and stayed warm
      the rest of the night.

      The second night was a different story. I'm not sure if it was
      because we were camped in a damp area near water or it was just a
      warmer night, or my body was just warmer after a full day of hiking,
      but my entire bottom side was damp and clammy from sweat, this
      without using the trash bag. I eventually got up and removed the
      flooring wonder material and I was more comfortable after that. My
      tarp was just covered with dew. The others in my hiking group
      (tents and hammocks) reported lots of condensation.

      Conclusion, love the hammock, but I need more experience with it. I
      really enjoyed being able to sit on the hammock and remove my shoes,
      then stand up under my tarp, lay out my sleeping clothes on the
      hammock and change clothes. I definitely need to try a Pea Pod, and
      use a wider pad, possibly under the hammock as I seemed to wrestle
      with the blue pad trying to angle my body to lay flat. Also I need
      to string a clothesline under the tarp and hang a small mesh bag for
      my flashlight and anything I may need at night.

      I also liked being able to find two suitable trees faster than I
      could have found a flat spot and preened it of all twigs, etc.

      Kathy in Indiana
    • dlfrost_1
      ... Insulation works by slowing the passage of heat. However, your extremities generate less heat than your torso, so coldness is felt there first. What your
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 8, 2004
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        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy Kantz"
        <kathykantz@s...> wrote:
        > The first night my upper half was warm but for some reason my hips
        > and legs were cold. My fleece jacket is thicker than my fleece
        > pants to I figured that was the reason.

        Insulation works by slowing the passage of heat. However, your
        extremities generate less heat than your torso, so coldness is felt
        there first. What your cold legs are telling you is that the
        insulation you had was barely adequate for the given conditions.

        > I definitely need to try a Pea Pod, and
        > use a wider pad, possibly under the hammock as I seemed to wrestle
        > with the blue pad trying to angle my body to lay flat. Also I need
        > to string a clothesline under the tarp and hang a small mesh bag
        for
        > my flashlight and anything I may need at night.

        Lots of folks use the 24" wide "eggcrate" pads that WalMart sells
        because they're wider and because they seem to ride well in a
        hammock. You can also cut a thinner pad in half and lay it
        underneath crosswise at the shoulder--so they stick out like wings--
        to get more wrap-around at that point.

        You can trim two opposing corners off of the pad(s) to get a better
        fit when laying it partway across the centerline, Hennessey style.
        Fold the corners back and hold them with safety pins temporarily
        while you figure out how much to cut and at what angle. (Be careful
        the pins don't open accidentally during testing.)

        In both my hammocks (Hennessey, homemade) I have a length of line
        dropping out of each end for (a) sliding myself into position by
        pulling, and (b) attaching storage pockets of some sort (mesh bag,
        whatever) at the upper end(s). Bugnet ridgelines are rather
        convenient for hanging lights though...

        Doug Frost
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