Well, I had my very first night outdoors in a hammock - in my HH
ultralight backpacker - over the weekend. Here's what I learned.
First the good news: I was snug as a bug in a rug! The thicker (looks
to be about 1cm) HH underpad kept me warm - almost too warm at first.
I slept with a modified Blue Kazoo (the hood taken off and about 1/4 -
1/3 of the total down taken out from the underside, effectively making
it a "top bag"). I had a mylar reflective emergency blanket on top of
the underpad and was also wearing thin thermal underwear. It didn't
get as cold as I would have liked, though, despite being only a couple
of hundred metres lower than some late lying snow. I camped at the
side of a sub-alpine lake at about 1150m and it dropped to about 8C
(46F). I'm pretty confident that this combination ought to have me
comfortably down to around freezing, perhaps a tad lower. Of course,
mileage may vary. I've not tried the thinner underpad, so can't really
compare. I was pleased to see that no condensation developed on the
mylar reflective blanket, and only a little on the underpad around the
edges where the mylar had slipped off, despite considerable
condensation on the fly.
The not so good news - well, not so much news as something that I
learned. It's definately not that easy finding a decent pair of trees
in the sub-alpine. (Or else I was just unlucky.) Few trees (they were
all pines) were the right distance apart, and those that were the
right distance apart were often either aligned along a precipice or
had smaller trees between them where the hammock would lie. I ended up
having to use a couple of trees on a precipice almost directly over a
rushing creek. It was a *noisy* night. Also, being on a precipice, I
couldn't peg out one side properly. Sleeping was less than ideal as I
couldn't utilise the diagonal as well as I'd have liked. Getting in
and out (as well as setting up) was a delicate business.
Still, it's all experience. I might take some extra rope in the future
to increase my set-up options.