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Ultralight camping - sleep system

In the hiking and camping world everything is a system or a kit. It feels awkward to use the glossary but at least we are all talking about the same thing. And I'm glad I did not coin the term or I might be postal by now.

Reading the first few points in this ultralight camping book I decided to go back over my pack. While I returned my Yukon Outfitters El Capitan for a sternum strap repair I decided to put my latest day hike system in my 400g haversack. Needless to say it felt heavy.

Here are the weights of my hammock gear(approx weight):

  • friendly swede bugnet (meant for ground camping and can be clipped but no zipper) - 150g
  • Yukon outfitter bug net - 320g
  • seatosummit bug net - 82g
  • seatosummit coolmax adapter w/insect shield - 280g
  • seatosummit thermolite extreme - 14 oz/399g
  • friendly swede sheet - 250g
  • other liner - 250g
  • Yukon fly and lines - 480g
  • 2goSystems poncho - 320g
  • Yukon featherlight and webbing cinch - 680g
  • Yukon V1 and webbing loops - 570g
  • 2goSystems Bivy - 480g
  • headnet - 30g
I have not included a ground tent here even thought I have an ultralight SMD. Big Cypress is just too wet this time of year.

Where and when will I be hiking? For the foreseeable future I'll be hiking on the Florida Trail. That means lots of critters and plenty of water or rain. And then there are the temperature swings. And so with my ultralight nerd persona in action it's time to put some kits together:

Day hike
I don't need much more than water, snacks, rain jacket, compass, map, camp stool and maybe a hammock to take a nap. A poncho or tarp might be better than a rain jacket as it's versatile. Neither of the bug-nets are needed if my clothing is pre-treated with permethrin.

320g + 570g + 30g = 920g(32oz)

Overnight Summer
The summer and fall are very wet in Florida. Mosquito population blooms and it is hot and humid. And while you might not want to hammock in the nude to stay cool blankets, quilts and liners would seem to be hot or hotter. Therefore bug-nets have the advantage pointing out that the sea2summit is 82g. And since we know that rain is the thing then a proper tarp with more coverage is the thing.

480g + 570g + 82g = 1132g(39oz)

The head-net might be needed too but not necessarily as part of the sleep system. Also the hammock needs to be pre-treated with permethrin too. The hammock underside may be unprotected with the 82g bugnet.

Overnight Winter
Simply but; there are fewer bugs, less rain, and temperatures drop in the winter and spring. Granted it's only about 2 to 4 months of the year depending, however, one can skip the bug net and add the coolmax liner. [a] the coolmax has a pillow insert which is helpful in a hammock [b] insect shield [c] I was hoping I could find some thermal value on the seatosummit website but there isn't any.

280g + 570g + 320g = 1070g(37oz)

I could add the insulating sheets and treat them with permethrin myself. they are slightly lighter than the coolmax but they are slippery (silk like) and I do not like that feeling. Doubling up on systems in Florida like the bivy and a liner is simply not needed when using a tarp or a tent.

In conclusion it seems that the sleeping system is between 2 and 3 pounds. I need to gain some experience because there is something to be said for ground or cowboy camping when it's dry but in either case there is something to be said for just a little insulation for both.

UPDATE here is the winter kit configured. Not pictured is the sleeping bag liner/blanket. Notice the poncho is asymmetrical and that it ALMOST covers the hammock. If it was a strong rain the poncho would have to be lowered a great deal. The grommets on the poncho are very small meaning it's necessary to guy them out.

Yukon featherweight and 2gosystems BOB

packed up


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