Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Lighten up dude

I posted the following question on facebook:
HAMMOCK hikers... With a little extra cash I'm able to get my hammock, tarp, straps, stakes under 1 lb and under $200. But so many of those hammock companies are selling mattresses, pods or under quilts for insulation and additional comfort but I take exception to the weight, volume and cost for even the coldest Florida months.
When you hammock camp what do you bring?

What I received was a mixed bag but while I was expecting to hear from some ounce counters they were silent. What has me perplexed is whether or not the respondents were hikers or campers. And there is clearly a difference when you have to carry all that gear with you. After a recent overnight hike with my 17 lb pack it took 3 days for my shoulders to recover; and this was my summer pack. (3.5 lb water, 2 lb food, the rest was shelter, sleeping kit, water filter, and some misc first aid and fire.)

This is my basic hammock kit. [a] hammock, [b] straps, [c] bugnet, [d] tarp, [e] inflatable pillow. This kit weighs just under 2 lb. The only thing not pictured here is a whoopie ridgeline. Luckily there is room for some compression and it still fits in the JUMBO Ziploc. I think if I converted this to a hummingbird brand I might be able to shed 3/4 to 1 lb but not much difference in volume.

In the Florida summer one can expect the daytime temps to get between 90 and 100 Fahrenheit; in the evenings the temps can drop to between 70 and 80 but that does not happen until 11p or later. In my case I sweat a lot and while going to sleep with my clothes on is normal. Above (on the right; in red) is a sleeping bag liner which is also like a sock and can be a challenge to get into and out of. It did help wick away some of my sweat and it did provide some cooling. On the left is a blanket and behind is a hydrophobic pad. As part of my fall/winter kit they provide insulation from the convection airflow when it's breezy. The summer liner only adds about 1/2 lb and the blanket 1 1/2 lb.

So the lesson I think I'm learning here is that volume is not that big of a deal. While my blanket weighs 23oz so do down sleeping bags and although they have greater volume requiring a larger pack they should no change your load. Of course if your goal is to go light and small then that is a different mission and it's going to cost you.

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