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  1. #1

    Default Hammock or Bivy for an early 2016 NOBO Thru-hike?

    I had originally planned to pack a hammock, tarp and warmest sleeping bag I could find; I reasoned that as a solo hiker it'll be easier to set up and break down, and I'd still be nice and cozy on cold Feb/March nights. But a friend of mine today suggested a bivy, and now I'm torn. I've never used a bivy, but it's got all of the qualifications I was looking for, plus it should be a little warmer, especially if I can fit a down airmat in there.

    Folks who have used bivvies, or both, weigh in! Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    Have you used the hammock on a zero degree night ? Don't think you will be nice and cozy without an under quilt. With the bivy what pad will you use?
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

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    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    A bivy would be my last choice.

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    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    Early NOBO will definitely want an underquilt and generous tarp for hammocking. If you can get your strap / tarp system down to where you're not dealing with knots, you'll have a fine time out there in the woods and probably move much faster than a tent camper.

    Without wind / rain protection, however, you won't sleep a wink.

  5. #5

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    Early in the season it's much easier to stay warm with less bulk, weight and expense in a tent then it is in a hammock. If you don't have a good cold weather hammock set up already dialed in, you will suffer. It rains too much for just a bivy and when you add a good sized tarp, you might as well have gone with a tent. There's a reason tents are the #1 choice - go with the flow...
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    Registered User Huli's Avatar
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    I use my thermarest in my hammock, really keeps the chill out of the bottom side. I have never tried my bivy, I usually just keep the rain fly super low.

    Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huli View Post
    I use my thermarest in my hammock, really keeps the chill out of the bottom side. I have never tried my bivy, I usually just keep the rain fly super low.

    Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk
    Keeps what temperature chill out? 0F or below? Or just minor above freezing chill? What about 0F, or less, and a stiff wind blowing? What will you use for shelter through the Smokies if you get caught between the mandated shelters? Have the read the rules for GSMNP?

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    Registered User Huli's Avatar
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    I have used it down to 20F with wind, in a 20F bag. Keeping the rain fly low is key. My buddy swears that adding the bug net helps additionally.

    If caught between shelters, you just need to make a smart decision. The fine for camping in a non designated area is much less detrimental then dying because you pushed too hard to make it to a shelter.

    Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

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    I use to hammock camp with a backpackers poncho. Carried a emergency blanket and placed it underneath and would wrap it around to prevent rain splatter and to block the wind. Eventually started using a bivy and an umbrella as the set up was easier. Works great until bug season, where it works but I'd preferred a tent.

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