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#154062 - 08/27/11 08:25 AM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: BarryP]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 666
Loc: Upstate NY
barry, that is awesome you have been able to get the pepsi stove to work with such little fuel and also in those temps. I tried and could only get a boil with just under a full ounce in optimal conditions. That was the best I could do. Because it was such a pain to make the stove compared to others I didn't play around much with jet hole sizes etc... Friends have purchased pepsi style stoves with similar results. As I said, awesome you figured it out!

Same with sub-zero temps, do you use HEET (methanol) by chance? I ask because it has a lower vaporization point than ethanol (which I use) and is difficult to light at 0*F without using a wick. The only way I could get it to work is to drop a match into the fuel cup and let the match itself act as a wick. Prewarming the alcohol (body heat) was the only other solution I could find.

One of the cool things about alcy stoves is the playing with them to optimize their performance. Canisters are cool but not as much fun for me.
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#154070 - 08/27/11 04:07 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: BarryP]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Barry

Would you care to be a bit more precise in your data presentation, since others seem to have difficulty in matching your results? smile What weather conditions, altitude, wind, temp, size of pan, type, covered? with what? And at 0 degrees -sitting on what kind of insulation, windscreen? etc.

I don't doubt that you get the results that you think you do, but you either take data differently than many, or you have a "flair" for these stoves that you need to share if you wish to make any universal claims about the general performance of the stove. grin

ALL: This isn't an alky thread nor a hammock thread. We can and have argued about alky stoves (and hammocks) many times elsewhere. Try to come up some other on topic suggestions.
Jim
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#154080 - 08/27/11 10:01 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Jimshaw]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
I did buy a postal scale today as people suggested.

I've been working on food the past 2 or 3 days trying to condense calories. Here is one day's menu. The weight is just for the food and no packaging. Each meal will be packed in a snack size baggie. The snacks will be in one bigger daily grazing bag. I'll probably get rid of the granola bars and just mix my own things. I expect packaging to be another 3/4 to 1 ounce a day.

I found organic brands often have a better nutrient mix. Old style things like Graham crackers and Ritz crackers have more calories and nutrients/ounce. They are cheaper, too. Stay away from anything with a fancy picture on the box or that hints it is lite food.

Calories: 3,063, 59% carb, 19% fat, 16% protein.

Weight 24.3 Oz
Calories/Oz 127

B=Breakfast
M=cooked meal
S=Snack

Serving sizes are in grams

B Bob's Red Mill 8 grain hot cereal 40
B Unswtnd Carob Chips 15
B Biq Health Food Brownie Mix 50
M Bob's Red Mill finely ground potato flour 34
M Dr. McDougal's Black Bean and Lime 47
M Nile Spice Couscous Lentil Curry 56
M Nile spice Couscous Minestrone 52
M olive oil 14
S Natural Grocers Unsweetened Banana chips 120
S Extreme Trail Mix Granola bar 30
S Nature's plus: Exotic Strawberry Plus Ultra Energy bar 60
S Extreme Trail Mix Granola bar 30
S Peanut butter 30
S Classic Rich Crackers 15
S Peanut butter 30
S Classic Rich Crackers 15
S Peanuts 35
S Potato chips 14

Everything can be cooked in the 2 cup pot with my Svea 123 stove, so I'm getting rid of the big pot and the coffee cup. The stove stays. I just like it too much. But I will get a smaller bottle to carry gas for shorter trips.

Instead of coffee, I make a thick hot chocolate with the brownie mix which I eat with a spoon. In the evening, I'll make potato soup from the potato flour instead of coffee. I found a company that dehydrates beans. They look pretty good.

http://readybeans.com

They are in Ft. Collins for anyone who lives around there.

Added: The refried beans are fully cooked. Just add water ans use as a dip, or heat. The pinto beans take 20 to 25 minutes to cook.

Unless I can come up with some new and wonderful ideas (keeping in mind I'm vegetarian) it's going to take about 2 lb to get to my goal of 4,000 calories a day. But for 3 nights/4 days, I think 3,000 calories will work.

The next step is to figure out the cost for each serving and see how much this all is.


Edited by Gershon (08/27/11 10:47 PM)
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#154117 - 08/29/11 01:09 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: ringtail]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
I think the best suggestion of all was to get a postage scale.

Here is what I found I could reduce easily at zero cost. The numbers don't show up well here, so here are the items I reduced. The total savings is 3,178 grams or 7.14 pounds.

This alone will get my pack weight from 43 to 36 pounds. For solo, I can reduce it another 4 pounds with a different tent and probably another pound with a new sleeping bag. Other odds and ends will probably save another pound, so it puts me at 30 pounds for a 4 day trip. As I'm real comfortable with 35 pounds, it puts a 7 day trip easily in reach.

Added: I just realized I'm the water mule, so I can reduce by another 4 bottles of water which is another 7 pounds. That would put me at 23 pounds for a 4 day trip. Now to actually pack a pack and see if it works out. (Is that ultralight yet?)

Full fuel bottle
Half fuel

underwear 2 pr
Commando

Fleece
Long johns

Lots of extra food
Exact food for 4 days

Pots
Not used

Parachute cord
Reduce parachute cord by half

5 pens I found in my pack
1 pencil

Small tube toothpaste
1/2 small tube

4 spare lighters
2 spare lighters

Backup flashlight
Smaller backup

Squirt tops for bottles x 5 bottles
Non Squirt top

Plastic coffee cup
No coffeecup

Toothbrush
smaller toothbrush

2 small camp towels
2 half small camp towels

Full roll Toilet paper
Half roll Toilet paper

Pillow case to hang food
Plastic bag to hang food


Edited by Gershon (08/29/11 02:26 PM)
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#154128 - 08/29/11 03:21 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: DTape]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I have to second the Supercat. It's incredibly inexpensive, couldn't be much easier to make, and it works great.

I made a pepsi can stove first, actually made several, and I also found them all hard to light. They are really cool looking when they're going, and prettier than a homemade cat stove, but those are the only real advantages I can think of.

As far as smashing it by accident, I thought about that too, and concluded that I could do that pretty good, but not really any better than any other stove I could think of.

I checked into the zelph design. Thanks for the pointer to that. It's very nice. It's not as easy to build, cost more, but for the price he's asking for one he's made, it's a pretty sweet deal.

Now I'm going to go look at his wood stove wink
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#154186 - 08/30/11 06:36 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Dryer]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By Dryer
I'm a Svea fanatic. I own both the old Svea, the 123R, and the R8 Hunter. Nothing beats 'em for day packing or car camping. Finest stoves ever made, hands down.
That said, lose those for backpacking. Try Esbit instead, or learn to make "cook fires". I used alcohol for a while but Esbit/cook fires won out.

Lose the tent. My poncho/shelter weighs 7 ounces and my heaviest hammock weighs 2.5 lbs. My tent was also 6 lbs....15 years ago.

Lose the toilet paper. Learn to use what nature provides and a drop of soap, a splash of water. You'll be both cleaner and lighter.



I lost the toilet paper.Even at home. I can get leaves from the garden.

I lost the pack,too. I can make one from a couple straps, parachute cord and the fly for the hammock. The straps and parachute cord will also serve as the hammock hanger and the lines for the fly.

I've been thinking of a hammock anyway as there are more places to camp. At least below the treeline.

Now I'm down to 22.45 pounds for a 4 day trip.

Just one question. Is it reasonable to say a person in the hammock in this video would stay dry?

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#154187 - 08/30/11 07:10 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Gershon]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Google up the Moonbow Gearskin. You're almost there.

I think the guy in the hammock would stay dry. If it got more windy he'd have to pitch the tarp closer to the hammock and make it more A frame rather than leave it open that way. Easier to do with a cat cut tarp with four tie outs than a diamond tarp, if it's real windy.
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#154189 - 08/30/11 08:36 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: lori]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
On a group trip, a sales person from the local outfitter took one of the store's hammocks for a trial run (I think it was an ENO); we got a light rain for a couple of hours during the night, and he got soaked - ended up crashing with another guy in his two-person tent. He never figured out whether it was wind blowing rain in under the fly, or water running along the hanging cord; he said it ran down his neck, so I'm thinking it's wicking in along the cord. Same problem on the second trip with it - no wind this time.

Since I don't use a hammock myself, I can only identify what seems to be a problem with hammocks - I assume there's probably an easy solution to divert rain off the cord before it gets to the hammock?

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#154190 - 08/30/11 08:53 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Glenn]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By Glenn
On a group trip, a sales person from the local outfitter took one of the store's hammocks for a trial run (I think it was an ENO); we got a light rain for a couple of hours during the night, and he got soaked - ended up crashing with another guy in his two-person tent. He never figured out whether it was wind blowing rain in under the fly, or water running along the hanging cord; he said it ran down his neck, so I'm thinking it's wicking in along the cord. Same problem on the second trip with it - no wind this time.

Since I don't use a hammock myself, I can only identify what seems to be a problem with hammocks - I assume there's probably an easy solution to divert rain off the cord before it gets to the hammock?


From what I've read you just tie a piece of parachute cord onto the line and it runs down outside the hammock.
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#154192 - 08/30/11 09:23 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Gershon]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
If he was using an ENO tarp, that was probably the problem. crazy

But seriously, either using rings or a drip line keeps that from happening. Doesn't take much, you can use a shoelace. Or if you're intending to go out in a total deluge, take a larger tarp with doors on the ends.
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#154194 - 08/30/11 10:19 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: lori]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
The idea of a drip line makes perfect sense - I know for a fact that he wasn't using one.

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#154195 - 08/30/11 10:26 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Glenn]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
I saw a Youtube video which described spot selection and orientation. Like a tent, it takes some forethought to keep from getting too wet.

Around here the storms mostly come from the west, so you would want something to shield the wind from the west.

Then you point your feet 45 degrees off from into the wind.

If I get hammock, I'll probably car camp with it when I'm expecting rain and have a tent set up just in case. But I can guarantee it won't ever rain until I go away from the car.
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#154200 - 08/31/11 10:37 AM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Glenn]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By Glenn
On a group trip, a sales person from the local outfitter took one of the store's hammocks for a trial run (I think it was an ENO); we got a light rain for a couple of hours during the night, and he got soaked -


When I first started using my hammock I didn't have a tarp so I just took a plastic tablecloth and set it up more to keep dew off me than rain. I depended heavily on the weather forecast, but I knew the odds were against me and I would get rained on. Here in the Ozarks that often means a fast moving front with strong winds and hard driving rains. The storm might only last 10-30 minutes, and most often the sun or stars will be shining bright a few minutes after it passes over.

So, before buying a tarp I looked into several designs, knew that some of them, despite the claims of keeping you dry, simple would not, here, in the conditions we face. This 12'x12' design did though. I tested it in two, back to back, pretty vicious storms. Even the leaf mulch under it was dry. It stayed pinned down, nothing came loose, and there's room for a pack under it. I really don't see how anything much less than this can be expected to keep you dry.







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#154202 - 08/31/11 11:09 AM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: billstephenson]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Wow Bill, that's exactly what I'm looking for. I'll probably start with something that looks like this. Thanks.
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#154203 - 08/31/11 11:19 AM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Gershon]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Gram Cracker

Finally, I have a trail name. My son gave it to me this morning and it fits what I'm learning to do.

I was weighing my REI pants. 353 grams. Then I took the belt off. 328 grams. A savings of 25 grams. There is elastic in the waistband, so there is no need for a belt. Now I can cut off the belt loops, and I noticed there is a label in it I can cut out.

Kind of a waist (sic) because I realize I can save even more by buying a smaller size. Plus I'll cut the leg off near the tops of my socks and hem them. That part just gets wet anyway.
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#154205 - 08/31/11 01:04 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: billstephenson]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Pretty much what I meant when I said tarp with doors - a large tarp with four tie outs per side. Several of the cottage gear places have those. OES will put panel pullouts on as well.
_________________________
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#154206 - 08/31/11 01:26 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Jimshaw]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
“Would you care to be a bit more precise in your data presentation, since others seem to have difficulty in matching your results? What weather conditions, altitude, wind, temp, size of pan, type, covered? with what? And at 0 degrees -sitting on what kind of insulation, windscreen? etc.”

Sorry about thread drift, but back to alcy:

Good question. I’ll explain 2 stoves. Both stoves are sitting on a ~ 2.5”x2.5” aluminum gutter foil (to reflect heat back up). In the cold this foil also sits on a little ¼” thick CCF. That way the heat won’t be drained out the bottom of the stove. I’ve rested the stove on rock or hard packed snow.
Temperature: 0F
Altitude: Sea level and 12,000 ft (easier at high level for alcy stoves)
Wind: Behind wind blocks like pine trees or boulders so wind could probably be <5mph.
Lighting the stove: At 0F the flame must touch the alcy. At warmer temps only the vapors need to be lit.
Fuel: HEET yellow bottle. I like HEET because it gives constant results no matter where I buy it. Denatured alcohol gives different results every time I use it like burn time and yellow flame instead of blue. With Denatured I have a hard time gauging how much to bring.

Stove 1:
White Box stove, Aluminum wind guard, 1.2L Titanium pot (~6” diameter).
Flare/blossom time: 90seconds in the cold.
Notes: Some people prime this stove by putting a little alcy on the base pad to speed up blossom time. I do not.

Stove2:
Pepsi Stove, Aluminum wind guard, hardware cloth pot stand. 3C Anodized Aluminum Pot from Anti Gravity Gear.
Flare/blossom time: 60 seconds in the cold.

The open jet pepsi stoves work nice at 0F. If they don’t work, I could offer some help on why they’re not working if you can give me pictures and dimensions.
Some tips:
1. Make sure pepsi stove is 1” tall.
2. Make sure pot is 1” above stove
3. Make sure pot is >4.75” dia
4. Try 12 1/8” holes on top instead of 32 pin holes. I have 4 stoves like this that I use all the time with my family in the cold.
5. Make sure inside wall (these stoves are double-walled remember) is tight.

Other fun tidbits: I melt snow with the white box stove since it can hold more alcy and so I can do a continuous stream/supply of melting snow in one sitting; usually about 15 minutes worth. I like cooking with the pepsi stove because of its faster blossoming time. I have several hiking buddies, scouts, and cousins that use this stove in the cold so I am always surprised when someone claims they can’t get it to work. Stay away from titanium stoves in the cold. They are a heat sink in and of themselves and thus kill boil times in the cold.

Hopefully I remembered all the critical details.
Happy cooking,
-Barry

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#154208 - 08/31/11 03:50 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: billstephenson]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Bill,

If found an old piece of fly I had around the house. I can see it's going to work beautifully. For some reason my ends are slanted in which I like. I'm not done setting it up as I need a better spot. But I can see being inside it, I'd feel a lot like a cozy hot dog.

I can see some other possibilities, too. If it's not raining too hard, I can run the line out to a couple trees and make a lean to with a seat in it for cooking. I'll have to get a 400 pound hammock so 2 can sit there.

This is going to be fun to play with. I'll get pictures when I get something nice.


Edited by Gershon (08/31/11 03:51 PM)
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#154215 - 08/31/11 09:22 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Gershon]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
I got a cheap fishnet hammock at the Army Surplus store to play with. for $8.00, it's worth experimenting with until I find what I like.

We had some really strong wind and the tarp held up great. However, I did find if I put less of a slope, it handled the wind better and gave more room underneath.

I think the design I'm going to go with for now is a pup tent in the air but with much less slope to the roof so it covers more ground. I'll have to sew in the ends and put fasteners in them for the door. Me being the way I am, I"ll probably just attach the ends with duct tape for now until I find a design I like.

I've found most anything can be used for a stake. A clump of tall grass, a small tree, a stalk of corn. I didn't have any stakes so I improvised.

Getting into a sleeping bag might be a real adventure. I may go with a quilt anyway. For weather above 50, I'll be fine with long underwear, a fleece and my rain pants and no sleeping bag. If it gets chilly, I'll put on a hat.

If I wanted to make it more airtight I could hang it close to the ground and put a tarp skirting on it.

It just FELT comfortable lying under the tarp. I laid there for an hour and read my Kindle.

I think I'll sleep in it tonight without a bag and see what happens.

Gram Cracker
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#154218 - 08/31/11 10:12 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Gershon]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I can see where, like stoves, designing tarp shelters can be addictive.

After using that one a few times I could see where panel pullouts and more grommets, like Lori mentioned, would be a good thing to have, especially if you have lots of trees to tie off to. You can reconfigure them into a lean-two in no time.

Since I do most my camping in the cooler months, and don't need shade, I really liked the clear plastic. Since I made that one I've thought of a few mods and been looking for some new materials to use. I used 3.5 mil sheet on that one. I think I could get by with something lighter, maybe 2.5 - 3 mil, but I haven't found it yet. And I think could use narrower tape on the edges, smaller grommets, and lighter cord.

One thing I didn't really get a chance to test last year was if the clear plastic shelter gives you any solar heat gain. I was always out hiking during daylight, but I'll make a point to observe it this season. It seems like it should, at least a little.

I also want to do some experimenting on trapping radiant heat from a campfire inside the shelter. I saw a video where I guy used one of those shiney foil-like "Emergency Blankets" inside a plastic shelter to reflect heat back inside. He said it worked pretty good, but there was no real data presented on the video to give an idea of how much warmer it was inside. I didn't try it with that tarp, but I did get a chance to play with that concept this past winter and it showed a lot of promise with the simple experiments I did.

The big drawback most folks will mention about the clear plastic sheet is that it gets really stiff in the cold temps. That can make it harder to work with when you're setting or packing it up. I think, however, that it might also offer a sort of advantage once it is set up. I'll test it in some snow storms this winter to see how it does, but I'd expect that design and material would do very good.

If not, once I get the design nailed down to work with what I have and need I can still spring for some silnylon and make a proper tarp, but those tape and plastic sheet tarps are pretty cheap, fun and easy to make, and they work a lot better than one might expect.

Definitely post some pics of what you come up with, that size and design worked pretty good, but there is lots of room for improvements on what I rigged up and some really great stuff out there to get ideas from.

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#154251 - 09/02/11 08:31 AM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Gershon]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Bill,

Your system for attaching to a tree seems a little heavy. May I suggest an improvement I made up this morning.

Get 4 feet of 5/8 in nylon web belt. Fold one end back on itself and sew it leaving a loop about 3/4 of an inch big. Wrap the belt around the tree and put the free end through from the top down. Slide the loop against the tree.

This will work for a tree up to a foot around.

Adjusting the height is easy. Just loosen and slide.

You could use the same system for the ridge line, but put a loop in both ends of the web belt. Then tie your ridge line to that.

Since I didn't have a sewing kit handy, I made a test model with staples and it works just fine.

Weight per hanger 28 grams/1.0 oz

PS: Spent my first night in a hammock last night and slept great.

Added: Here is a good video on knot to use to attach the hammock to the hanging strap.


Gram Cracker


Edited by Gershon (09/02/11 09:20 AM)
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#154253 - 09/02/11 10:52 AM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Gershon]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Nylon just stretches and stretches and stretches. Try Poly or polypro straps.
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http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#154254 - 09/02/11 11:34 AM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: lori]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By lori
Nylon just stretches and stretches and stretches. Try Poly or polypro straps.


Thanks. The piece I have might be poly pro. I just wouldn't know the difference.

Now I'm reading up on structural ridegelines. They seem almost a necessity, especially for short people. Without them, there is a very small tolerance to how far the trees can be apart and still have the same sag and height above the ground.

http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeHammock4.html

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#154258 - 09/02/11 01:40 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: Gershon]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
Your system for attaching to a tree seems a little heavy.


No, I went with the 5/16" steel chain instead of the 3/8" laugh

Those pics were taken in the forest below my house. I hang a big hammock from those trees and those chains are for that.

I did make some tree huggers for the little hammock though, but I'm not sure if mine are nylon or poly either. Since I don't weigh much, they don't stretch much, but I'll probably find out for sure that they're nylon when my butt's dragging on the ground one cold, wet, morning frown
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#154260 - 09/02/11 02:12 PM Re: Can't get my pack weight down [Re: billstephenson]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
One thing nobody had to teach me is never set up a hammock higher than you want to fall.
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