Building a new hammock for the Easy Survival Hang this weekend. 10ft long, multiple side pull outs, dual layer so you can insert a pad or extra insulation, zipper bug net, left or right lay, 63 inches wide, removable top cover, extremely flat lay, whoopie slings, oh, and it's camo! Just a few things to finish - ridge line organizer, some trimming of excess fabric and it will be done.
You betcha! After a year long test of different styles, shapes, materials, etc. I have found MY perfect hammock sock. Hammock socks are made to block wind and retain heat by wrapping a breathable material around you and your hammock - sort of like a cocoon. Here in Indiana where the temperature falls to single digits in the winter, a good underquilt and a sock can let you be very comfortable during really cold temperatures. Any drawbacks? Oh yes! Socks can trap condensation from your breath. This is why socks must be constructed from breathable materials. Some people will need whats called a "frost bib" - a piece of absorbent cloth that hangs from the ridge line in front of your face - to capture a lot of the moisture you breath out at night. If you don't follow moisture control, you can wake up with a layer of frost inside your sock (and you) on a really cold night. Also, you will need to vent the sock a bit. I use adjustable shock corded ends on my sock, so I can regulate the ventilation. My hammock sock has a large zippered door for entry and exit. My sock is also bigger than most - lots bigger! The bottom of my hammock sock actually sits on the ground. It has a waterproof bottom and is big enough for me to store my pack and boots inside easily. I can also stand up inside the sock to change clothes if needed. The rest of the sock is made from DWR 1.1 ripstop. Temperature gain with my sock averages 15 degrees and 20+ degrees if I use a small tea candle light hanging from the ridgeline. So if the inside of my sock is 35 degrees and it's 15-20 degrees outside, guess what? I'll sleep very well indeed. The picture above is the final version of my hammock sock. It weighs 10.2 oz. This is my tester. It was constructed with the TED bug net design by Pipsissewa on hamock forums. Excellent design, but I found that in high winds, it would balloon open from the top, so I just sewed closed the top. The door is shaped from 7 ft of zipper coil in an upside down curve with dual zippers. You can see the open end that can be closed in seconds. The finished sock weighs 8oz less as it doesn't need near the amount of shock cord the tester has. For really cold camping - like below zero, you can make the material from canvas to get vapor permeability and wind resistance. It's gonna be heavy though, but works extremely well!
Well, getting older is no fun - you just can't carry the fantastic loads of 20 years ago. By fantastic, I mean 50-70 lbs of gear - in one backpack! Today the average is half that - 25-35 lbs. The ultra lighters are in the sub 20 or high teens range. I like my creature comforts, so I'll limit the load to under 35lbs. I should mention that this is also carrying 4 days of food and 2 liters of water. The top lid on my Dana ArcFlex Terraplane now contains my Warbonnet BlackBird hammock, a Warbonnet Mamajamba tarp w/panel pulls and removable doors for each end, titanium stakes for the tarp and hammock pull outs, a 6ft x4ft sylnylon ground sheet, a 66" x 46" 3 season down underquilt and full suspensions for the hammock/tarp/underquilt. All this weighs 1 oz under 5 lbs. A complete sleeping system for temps down to 20 degrees! I will note that the pack lid (empty) is 1 lb all by itself and the total weight of the Terraplane backpack is 7 lbs empty. Heavy pack? Oh yes! Back in the early 1990's this was the best Appalachian Trail pack you could get. It's still sinfully comfortable and hasn't come close to wearing out in 20 years of hard use. These packs were fitted to you by the dealers when you bought them for the princely sum of $425.00. My fitting took 2 hours as they had me try it empty, full, going uphill and down, etc. You didn't leave the store until it was just right. Ok - so now we're at 12 lbs for total pack weight. I use a military sleeping bag system as a top quilt, so it can weigh anywhere from 2 - 3 lbs depending on which bag I use - the green one or the black one. So lets call it 15 lbs for temps down to 20 degrees or so. Water - I always have 2 liters in my pack - each liter weighs 2.2 lbs - so thats 4.4 lbs added to the pack = 19.4 lbs. My rain gear which also doubles as insulation if it gets cold weighs 8oz for the jacket and pants = 20.2 lbs. Food - Oatmeal, packs of tuna and chicken, instant rice, soup mix, coffee/tea/cocoa/powdered milk and snacks for 4 days is 5 lbs = 25.2 lbs. Stove w/4 days of fuel - I use a budlite rolled stove (1 oz) and 8 oz of fuel = 25.8 lbs I use a titanium spork (less than 1 oz.) and eat out of the pot. The pot is a titanium tea pot that weighs 4 oz. We're up to 26.2 lbs. Other stuff - camera, phone (which doubles as a book reader and gps), knife, toothbrush/toothpaste, ibuprofin/small med kit/compass - cause it doesn't need batteries/ water filter (Sawyer weighs 3 oz!), and nick-nacks weighs 2.7 lbs = 28.9 lbs Extra clothes (socks, hat, underwear, long johns for unexpected bad / cold weather is 2.3 lbs. Thats 31.2 lbs total weight. Ta-Da! I should note that I carry 4 days worth of food instead of 3 just in case someone comes up short. For a 3 day hike, I feel I'm all set to camp comfortably in the "wild" woods. Left to right: Pack lid, WBBB hammock, Tarp w/doors, 3 season down UQ and on the bottom is a 6ft x 4 ft ground sheet.
After fussing with my UQ suspension, I decided to make a new one. It uses less shock cord per side and the suspension will work on 8ft to 11ft hammocks. First you need 4 - LineLok 3's and 4 mitten hooks from DIY Gear Supply and 80 inches per side (160 inch total) of 1/8" shock cord. Get some 1/2" Grossgrain or webbing and sew the lineloks to your hammock at each corner. Run the shock cord thru the side channels and put the mitton hook on the shock cord. Thread the shock cord thru the lineloks and your done. I saved about 4 ft of shock cord and can now adjust the UQ suspension from inside the hammock with one hand. It's also much cleaner looking. The linelok 3's hold the 1/8" shock cord very well, but not so well with the 3/32".
As one who would rather pedal a bicycle across the USA instead of driving, I have a great resource for bicycle touring gear. Lots of gear and lots of good advice and a great forum to chat with like minded individuals. http://www.cyclocamping.com/ This is my touring rig. It has a lot more dents and dings, but after 8 years and 40,000+ miles on it, it still rides great!
Greets all! This post is for those of you who want to make stuff sacks for your underquilts or top quilt. For the Foyle (60x46) you will need a piece of material 18Lx22W inches. For the Barnaby and Lewis you will need a piece of material 22Lx24W inches. These dimensions are with a 1/4" seam allowance. NOTE: these dimensions do not make for a super compressed tight stuff sack. If you want something that will take 20 minutes to pack, knock off 2 inches all the way around. If you need a great tutorial see here: http://www.hikernerd.com/2011/09/diy-stuff-sack.html Have fun!
What are draft tubes? Draft tubes will seal the gaps at the head and foot ends of your hammock underquilt. The biggest problems with not getting the most out of your underquilts temperature rating are gaps between the hammock and the underquilt itself. A gap will let cool air in and let heat out - hence the "cold butt syndrome " and a general feeling of loss of heat from the underquilt. It doesn't matter what the rating of the UQ is - if there are gaps to let the heat escape. Draft tubes help to seal those gaps and trap more heat. A very easy and effective modification. You can make draft tubes for any underquilt out of scrap nylon ripstop - it helps if the material is calendered and down proof. Using regular plain weave nylon will work, but you will have "leakage" - small down feathers coming out of the material. For my UQ, which is 66" long by 46 inches wide, I made 2 tubes - 3 inches wide by 47 inches long. Why 47 inches? Simply because you may need to add more down to the tube when the UQ is hung from your hammock to test the fit. The draft tube has to have enough down to flex, but not too much or it will be too stiff and not seal properly. If one end is pinned closed instead of sewn, you can add a little more down or subtract some if there's too much. Adding the draft tubes is very easy and requires a simple straight stitch to attach it to your UQ. My tubes are 3 inches wide - there's no rule here - you can use 5 or 2 inches if you want. I simply folded a piece of scrap ripstop in half and measured 3 inches from the folded edge. Next I measured 1 inch down for the edge that will be sewn to the UQ ends. Now sew along the 3 inch line. Do the same for the other line only if you want. Cut the fabric at the at that line - this 1 inch seam will be sewn to the UQ. Fold and sew one edge of the tube. You should now have a tube measuring 46.5 inches by 4 inches wide. Its easier than it sounds. Now take the tube and stuff it with down - just enough for it to loft the entire length of the tube. Pin the edge closed. Now I sewed the 1 inch wide seam 1/8 inch below the rolled shock cord channel of the inside or the side that goes against the hammock. When done, it should look like the picture - you should be able to "flop" the tube down. The edge on the right is where the shock cord goes thru the channel. DON'T sew thru the shock cord channel. You want to be just below it. Almost done! This is what it will look like with the tubes folded out. We're going to roll or fold it inside the the other way. This is how it will look with the draft tube folded inside. Now why did I do it that way? Because all I need to do to vent the UQ if I get too warm is reach over and pull the tube "out". When I cool down, I just roll it back in. I don't have to undo the suspension to make a gap to let cool air in. In this picture you can see the end that's pinned shut with the UQ pulled away from the hammock body. I did have to add a bit more down to firm up the fit. And that's it. This mod will work especially well with 2/3 or 3/4 underquilts. The effect is dramatic to say the least. You can feel the UQ warm up much faster and you will stay warmer in cool/cold weather. When your comfortable with the seal around your hammock - have someone in the hammock so you can look closely for any unsealed gaps and readjust and add/subtract down for a tight fit - you can sew the edge closed. TA-DA!
OK - First Class shipping to Germany is $15.08 ---- Priority Mail is $24.95. The delivery time difference is 7-10 days - Priority is faster. These prices are for 1 quilt - TQ or UQ. The Priority shipping box is very small and I can only cram 1 quilt in it. If you order 2 quilts, I will have to use First Class - the price is still $15.08. Priority shipping on a medium box (holds up to 4 quilts) is $59.95! Guess what Express (3-5 days) is? $79.95! I also will be filling out all the customs forms.
Was recently gifted with a Royal Purple 90x132 Crinkle Taffeta table cloth - Thanks Mike! I've been wanting to try one of these for a hammock for quite awhile, but kept hearing stories about "thin spots" in the material that can cause an abrupt chair height fall to the ground. After carefully checking the material, I didn't find any inconsistencies at all. I also heard that it was heavy and only good for car camping. Well, it does weigh 22 oz, but that's not terrible for the 90x132 size. Using amsteel whoopies, it will only weigh about 24 oz. Not being a weight weenie, I've decided that I can tough it out and carry it with no problem. It's already hemmed on all four sides and if you use a very thin cord, you can make a gathered end or just make another wider channel. I made a 1" hem at both ends and used some mule tape to make the channels - overkill?, oh yes! While there's nothing spectacular about the length (10 ft - the channels eat a foot), the 90" (7.5 ft) width is where the magic happens. Extremely flat with left or right hand lay, you can pretty much use any position without running out of material. The only down side is floppy sides - no real big deal. I bounced around trying make the material fail to no avail - it's strong! If you don't want to sew, then make knots at the ends instead, it's all good. For those who want to buy one, they're on sale at Tableclothsfactory for $17.00. You can make a very nice hammock for less than $35 with suspension - whoopies or straps.