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  1. #1
    Senior Member danadear's Avatar
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    Questions about hammocks...

    First bike tour begins Monday...woo hoo! Just a short 5 day tour from Lexington SC to Charleston SC...two days of riding, then stay in Charleston a couple of days and play and two days back. We are camping on the way there and the way back and have decided to use hammocks instead of a tent. Do you use a sleeping bag and a pad in the hammock? Just a bag? It's going to be warm but I've heard you can get chilly in a hammock. Just wondering what most people do.

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    We definitely use bags, and pads most of the time. The only problem with hammocks is that since you'll be compressing your bag on your backside, it won't offer much, if any, insulation. Insulation requires loft. Sleeping pads for ground camping are actually used for this purpose as well, in addition to comfort. Typical pads like you use on the ground are pretty crappy in a hammock... you move around too much and they can slide out from underneath you. Hennessey makes an insulation system. I've tried it and didn't like it at all. Overpriced and difficult to get setup correctly. If you're serious about hammock camping, a hammock underquilt is the absolute best way to go. Just search "hammock underquilt" in google and you'll find a few suppliers. Perfect Trees and Jacks 'r Better are a couple that I've seen good reviews from.

    I should also note that everyone is different with respect to what temperature they start to require the need for a pad in hammock. Most people seem to be okay above 70 degrees, but anywhere below that I definitely need one. Any bit of wind can even make 70-75 degrees seem cold, at least to me.

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    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Check out the Hammock Forums. there is a lot of information about insulation. Most people don't use a bag in a hammock, some use a pad. It seems like most use an underquilt on the outside of the hammock.

    The problem with a bag is that when laying in a hammock, you will compress the bag and won't have much insulation. Pads work, but are often too narrow for use in a hammock. The underquilt will allow you to lay in the hammock without compressing the insulation. It is also made to wrap around your sides.
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    June in SC? i doubt you'll need a pad OR a bag.

    I would only take a light bag for a quilt. Hammocks arent good for winter camping, but summer camping in SC you should be fine. What are the nightime temps?

  5. #5
    Slow Rider bwgride's Avatar
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    I use a hammock when I camp (unless terrain dictates otherwise). The weather expected for SC during the upcoming weeks will be warm, I suggest a very lightweight blanket to place under you (inside hammock) and over you if you get cool. Personally I don't use a blanket at all under temperatures drop below 70, then I just sleep on top of my summer down sleeping bag.

    For winter camping I use a Big Agnes sleeping bag (which has no insulation on the bottom), and I use two foam pads inside the hammock. One is thin but wide and deep (40x60), and the other is more traditional 20x72 but 1" thick. A few months ago I was warm in 18F with that combination. As noted above under quilts are in vogue, but expensive and not required to stay warm as I demonstrate above. Here's a link to hammock insulation forum:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/f...splay.php?f=88

    with specialized sub-forums on pads:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/f...splay.php?f=10

    and under quilts:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=9

    A benefit of pads is weatherproof durability and lightweight. My two pads together weight 20oz, but I use my wide pad (40x60x1/4) for weather into mid-30F and it weights only 6oz.

  6. #6
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    I've found that nothing beats a thin alu-foil pad like the kind people put in their car windshields to keep the sun out. Having the foil under your skin in the sleeping bag reflects the heat back to your body fantastically. And, it weighs practically nothing. Try it!
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    Pad inside bag

    I've experimented with different permutations of the hammock and pad combination. My preferred set up presently is to use a Thermarest ultralight 3/4 pad INSIDE my sleeping bag which is a down EMS Sebago innerbag rated to about 30*. The benefits for this system are 1. the pad and bag stay combined very well. I don't find myself slipping off of the pad during the night. 2. insulation under the body is always there no matter what my body position since I rotate inside the bag, the bag & pad don't move. and 3. If I find myself in a treeless situation I can always sleep on the ground. I'll have the pad for those emergencies such as the time I slept in the portico of the Essex County Court House in Guildhall, VT.

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    I always end up cold in the hammock, no matter how hot the evening is so I just stick whatever camping mat foma thingy I have with me in the hammock, lay on top of that and sleep.

    I love hammocks. I hate tents, sleeping on the ground.

    robi

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
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    Slept in my first hammock tent (Hennessy) over Memorial Day weekend in Ohio. I had a light sleeping bag, and I think every night I ended up pulling it on in the middle of the night. It wasn't really cold, but I was glad to have it. I also had a pad to sleep on. It just got in the way. After a night or two, I took it out. I'm sure it'd be valuable in the cold, but it was a very pleasant weekend. And Ohio in May is cooler than SC in June/July. I'd have a light bag, just in case, and maybe a change of warmer clothes for the night time, but you will almost definitely not need to worry about any under-side insulation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danadear View Post
    First bike tour begins Monday...woo hoo! Just a short 5 day tour from Lexington SC to Charleston SC...two days of riding, then stay in Charleston a couple of days and play and two days back. We are camping on the way there and the way back and have decided to use hammocks instead of a tent. Do you use a sleeping bag and a pad in the hammock? Just a bag? It's going to be warm but I've heard you can get chilly in a hammock. Just wondering what most people do.
    Yes, I use my sleeping pad and sleeping bag in the hammock. The sleeping pad keeps the hammock from pea podding me to much.

    The other thing is the sleeping pad does add some insulation, so if it is going to be cool.....

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    I would sleep on an unzipped Big Agnes, with the pad underneath. Any skin contacting the fabric of the hammock will be attacked by the famous Carolina skeeters. They be big in Lexington, but nothing compared to the low country.

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    I use a shorty pad in the hammock, an overquilt on top, and an old synthetic insulation bag underneath me inside the hammock. It works nicely, because even though the synthetic material is compressed right under me, its thickness does not go to zero (and is augmented by the pad), and it lofts up at the sides.

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    Senior Member nancyj's Avatar
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    The way it has been here, I would sleep nakid and cover myself with bug spray! I can guarantee you that you will NOT get cold!

    Seriously I would consider a bag liner instead of a bag. Bugs are bad this year.

  14. #14
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Just wondering, how are hammocks for side sleepers? Try as I might, I just cannot sleep on my back, and I can't really picture how well a hammock would work like that. Can a fellow side sleeper allay my fears and allow me to make my first foray into the wonderful world of hammocks.

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    heck I even have slept on my stomach in a hammock... side is the way I sleep in general and the hammock is very comfy that way....

    robi

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    Just wondering, how are hammocks for side sleepers? Try as I might, I just cannot sleep on my back, and I can't really picture how well a hammock would work like that. Can a fellow side sleeper allay my fears and allow me to make my first foray into the wonderful world of hammocks.
    First understand I toss and turn in the night. I sleep on my sides, back, front and then toss and turn again in a normal bed.

    I think it depends on the hammock and how you hang it.
    I have an Eagle's nest Hammock. I find I sleep best when the hammock is strung tight.
    In it I tend to sleep on my sides and back. I don't see how anyone can sleep on their front in that hammock. It would bend you in the wrong direction.
    To be honest, side sleeping in a hammock is easier than on the ground or even in a regular bed. In a regular bed or on the ground my knees are hitting together. In a hammock my knees are offset a little.


    The biggest problem I have with a hammock is using it around civilized people in civilized parks. I never could change cloths without standing up outside the hammock. In many parks hanging from the trees would get you kicked out (or just finding two trees that you could hang from would be a problem). You also have to leave your gear on the ground underneath you. I never cared for this in snake country.

    Then there are the other hammocks. I can only sleep on my back in a back yard hammock. I could never get comfortable on my side and I always felt like I was falling out. The tent in the trees hammock is a different animal. I have very little experience with the design.

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