Appalachian Trail Map

Humvee aka Reality Check, GA·ME, 2005, May-October
Excerpts from forum strings at www.whiteblaze.net
1-5-2005: “after all i have read I think I am going to start my Thru this year in a HH. I think the combo of the Jacks “R” better underquilt and a close cell would do just fine. and if it gets that bad I can always just hop out of the hammock and sleep under the tarp.”

8-13-2005: “I was trying to make the same choice as you before I started my thru-hike this year. I was going to start with a tent and switch out to the HH when it warmed up. I got the JRB underquilt around March of this year and tried it out a few cold new england nights, stayed extreemly warm even in a blizard that hit and dumped a foot of snow. I started hiking in GA in may and have slept in the HH with the underquilt everynight but in the smokies (damn rangers made me sleep in the shelters) and one nasty night on roan MT. It has been the best gear choice i made before my hike. I have replaced about everything i carry, even the pack (on my 4th) but the HH and JRB underquilt have never failed me. I even sent my sleeping pad home after the first month because I never used it. go with the quilt and you wont regret it.. I am still hiking (on a 3 day break in CT at home) and its going to come with me all the way to maine.”

10-13-2005: “In my opinion the JRB nest/NS combo will more then keep you warm all the way threw your hike. I just finished my hike a few days ago and never had a problem staying warm even with all the rain and cold we had up in ME. I slept in my HH almost every night of my trip and never got cold. I picked back up my sleeping pad for the Whites but never had to us it. the JRB nest/NS will be fine.”


6-14-2007: “I would just like to thank the guy’s at Jacks R Better for making my thru-hike in 2005 possible. I first heard about your quilt’s from posts on whiteblaze.net. A few people were talking about how your under quilt solves all the cold weather issues that hammocks have. I was skeptical at first not knowing if it would hold up to the abuse of the hike and keep me warm. But after allot of research and testing I decided to try your Basic 3 Season Hammock Quilt Set on my thru-hike. Your products performed flawlessly and is still the best choice of gear I have ever made.”

“I started hiking in May at Amacolla Falls. During my hike I used a Hennessey Hammock , your Basic 3 Season Hammock Quilt Set, and a madcat tarp as my primary home. I was able to get a wonderful nights sleep on the trail in my hammock. After a month of not sleeping in the shelters I sent my sleeping pad home and slept in the hammock for the rest of the journey. Every night I was warm, comfortable and dry but most importunately mice, bug, snore, and shelter free. Because of your Quilt’s I stayed surprisingly warm even during the most exstreem of weather that year. from that first night at springer to this day your quilt’s have refused to show where and tear and have the same amount of loft as the day I received them. Thanks for making such a quality, trouble free quilt. I will always highly recommend your products to everybody planing a thru hike or any camping activity with a hammock. thanks again for making my thru-hike possible.”

James Thompson AkA Reality Check
GA “May 5th” —} ME “Oct 12th” 2005

Excerpt from a forum string at www.whiteblaze.net
Subject: Has anyone hiked the ENTIRE AT with only a hammock system?
6-18-2007: “hey guy’s i was just searching around and came across this post. I thru-hiked the AT in 05 using just the hammock. If memory serves I only slept in the shelters like 8 times and most of that was in the dam state parks. there was also a few others along the way that switched over and never went back. Strider did more then 1/2 the trail out in his hammock that year also. so it can be done. and is so much better then using a tent. I saw very few tenter’s or tarpers out there that didn’t sleep in the shelters most of the time. if your going to sleep on the ground its allot easer to just sleep in the shelter most nights and not set up a camp. I personally don’t like sleeping next to smelly people that snore and wake me up. i also never had a problem finding trees to hang at along the trail. I Usually set up around the shelters for the company and water but always slept far enough away not to be bothered by anyone.”

“now my advice for anyone that wants to do this is:”

“#1 YOU NEED AN UNDER QUILT !!!! You can survive just fine every night by sleeping on your pad tossing, adjusting, sticking!! . But trust me on this … Spend the money and upgrade to an Under quilt. I am not up to date on who is making under quilt options these days, but i used a jacks R better set and it worked awesome. I never had a cold or uncomfortable night on the trail .. in the beginning and starting at the Whites up i carried a set of fleece pants, top, socks , and hat that i would wear on really cold nights.”

“#2 BIGGER TARP !!!!! Again you will survive every night just fine with a tiny little tarp. But because of the fact that you can’t do anything besides lay down in your hammock you are going to need some room for the “other things” when the weather is nasty. i use a MacCat deluxe tarp that was worth every gram. I only wished it was a little bigger! I slept out during all hurricanes and rain storms that year and never had a problem keeping dry. Because your off the ground only your tarp gets wet and that is easy to dry out.You will also notice that all the tenter’s like to hang out under your nice tarp when the weather is bad. sometimes that was a bad thing now that i think back on it , lol … ”

“The rest is up to you .. i like the HH hammock’s but the other ones out there will do just fine as well. Although i highly recommend full bug net. Nothing is worse then swatting horse fly’s off your face all night. I also used the snake skin things and loved them .. umm what else .. ohh use a carabiner (the real climbing ones !!!) between the tree huggers and the main hammock lines .. saves allot of friction wear on the ropes when your trying to get it set up tight. i never untied the head end off the carabiner. just clipped it to a tree and adjust the foot end to get everything right. I think all my sleeping/shelter gear together runs about 6 lbs summer 10ish for fall, but i could be wrong.. the sleep i got in the hammock was worth everything on the trail. More people need to get off the ground and into the trees.”

Reality Check, GA·ME, 2005