Since Releasing our second top quilt we have gotten a number of folks wanting us to compare the two designs. Here are the detail highlights to help you chose which is the right top quilt for you.
Pack size, weight, widths, color options,
and insulation options are equal between both quilts.
Caring for your Arrowhead-Equipment.com quilts is quite simple.
We use high-quality DWR treated fabrics that will shed most moisture and dust with a simple shake of the quilt. For more stubborn dust, dirt and grime you might pick up in the woods a spray bottle of water and wiping with a paper towel will take off anything on the surface of your Top and Under Quilts.
From time to time a more thorough washing might be needed and for that, we recommend Nikwax Tech Wash. Follow the instructions on the bottle and be sure to thoroughly dry your quilts. And after any trip be certain to give your quilts a day or two to air out and completely dry before being stored long term.
Speaking of long-term storage, be certain to allow your quilts to loft for storing them any longer than a few travel days. All insulation types can be damaged by long-term compression. Just as a spring held under hard compression will not bounce back the same your insulation will loft better if stored in a manner that does not compress the fibers.
For more on Caring for your quilts check out the video below.
So staying warm in a hammock comes down to 2 components, top Side insulation which covers just as it says your top half. You can use any sleeping bag you have or a top quilt. Top quilts are easier to get in and out of but a sleeping bag works too with the zip undone and draped over you like a top quilt would be. In hot weather, you can sub in a blanket too as lightweight as is appropriate...In warm places, a light fleece may be enough or even just a sheet.
The second component is underside insulation. For this you can use a pad like you would on the ground, just keep in mind that a pad distorts the comfort of the hammock, they tend to slip out from under you and they also tend not to be wide enough to cover your shoulders well in a hammock. So the replacement (upgrade) that most folks graduate to after a pad is an underquilt. Underquilts hang under the hammock and insulate you from the convective cooling that hammocks are susceptible to. As they are below the hammock they insulate without being compressed by body weight, they don't change the feel of the hammock and are wide enough to give your shoulders insulation.
Here at Arrowhead-Equipment.com, we are strong proponents of quality Made in America synthetic Under and Top Quilts. We have been building them here in our shop for more than 9 years. Every quilt that we make is 100% Allergen & Cruelty-Free, It's an ideal alternative to down products produced by animals. We build Under Quilts to fit nearly every brand of hammock on the market, including but not limited to our own hammocks. And we offer several designs of Top Quilts and Blankets to suit everyone's sleep style and insulation needs. Check out our full details at our Kick Ass Quilts store page.
If you are new to hammock camping it can be a bit overwhelming. There is a lot of gear that goes into getting fully set up to get off the ground. At Arrowhead-Equipment we stock everything needed, all of it Made in America. So let's break it down and see what you need to get together to start hammock camping.
The basics of hammock camping breaks down into 4 categories: Suspension, Hammock, Insulation, and Tarp. You need a few things in each category to build a hammock camping system and some stuff will carry over from ground camping gear but not all.
The Suspension is made up of the gear that you use to connect from hammock to the tree. The first pice is a set of tree strap...wide (minimum 1") webbing straps that help to distribute the load over a larger area than a rope would. This protects the growth layers in the tree from being crushed. Then there are a number of ways to connect from there to the hammock.
Still feeling overwhelmed? That's ok, there is a good bit to learn to get started hammock camping. The good news is we are here to help you through the learning curve. Here are Arrowhead-Equipment.com we can work with you to get any component you might need or all of them. Check out our complete Beginner Hammock Camping Kits as an option to get you started. And if you have any questions at all we are here to help. Send us an email and we will work to help in any way possible.
In these days of Amazon Prime shipping, many of us have become accustomed to getting everything from food to footwear to camping gear in no time at all. But some are also accustomed to cottage made gear taking weeks if not months to be built. Here at Arrowhead, we have worked diligently to not have our wait times ever grow to those extremes. With many shops, you get two options, built in China and collecting dust on the shelf or built to order - waiting list. At Arrowhead-Equipment.com however we strive to have all of our materials ready and waiting. When we receive your order we get right to work cutting the fabric and sewing your gear that very day. We built each and every one of our Under Quilts, Top Quilts, Whoopie Slings, Suspension Straps, Bug Nets, Hammocks, Hammock Pillows, Hammock Chairs and all of the rest of our Hammock Camping Gear immediately when you order from us. At this time our wait times are less than 24 hours for custom gear built in the USA. That means you never have to wait for any of our Hammock camping and Backpacking gear. Is your Trip next weekend? Sure we can help get you ready.
High quality Topo maps from home! There have gotten to be a lot of good GPS apps for phones but most everyone will still recommend having a high quality printed map in hand is still a must for serious backcountry travel. But finding printed topo maps is getting harder and harder. Most gear stores are no longer stocking printed maps. But for many years we have been printing our own topo maps. It takes a couple of pieces of free software and an inkjet printer but you to can have custom printed topo maps of just about anywhere in the world.
First you will need to download BaseCamp™ from Garmin LINK Several pieces of software download as a suite with Basecamp.
Second Visit GPS File Depot and Choose the State or Country you are looking to print maps for. LINK
Once you have installed the Basecamp software and downloaded the map sets you want from GPS File Depot install the Map set by double-clicking the file extractor. Basecamp Map Manager will open asking you to add to the maps list.
Now you can open Basecamp, click the Maps Drop down from the menu and select the State or country map set. You can now browse the map, zoom in, add tracks, type in notes, and then select an area to print just like printing a standard document.
Be sure to use the Print Preview feature on the print control popup to scale the map, position it and get just what you need in your printed map.
There are a lot of features in Garmin BaseCamp and paired with the free topo maps from GPS File Depot gives you an easy way to make your own custom topo maps.
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Recently I was interviewed for the Hang Your Own Hang Podcast. A monthly podcast about hammocks and hammock related topics. You can find the episode and links to Itunes and Android versions here: http://www.hyohpodcast.com/ahe/
I really enjoyed the discussion and both Mark and Jonathan had a number of great questions. We talked about a number of topics with a good bit of the background of of AHE. We also spent time talking about fishing one of my favorite pass times both on and off the trail. Leave me a comment about what you thought of the the episode.
Lost of folks have questions about how exactly to adjust how they pack their gear with hammock camping in mind. They find that the few different pieces of gear just don't seem to fit in with how they have been loading their gear for a trip. What should be done with the tarp? Where in the pack does my hammock go? How do I adjust the load distribution?
For the most part your core gear will remain in the same areas and the load distribution should be similar to your old groundling gear. But a few gear pieces like your tarp is probably unique to your set up now. Lets break things down into 6 main categories and discuss what gear goes into those categories and how to organize each.
We will start at the bottom of the pack and work upward from there as that's the best way to load your gear.
Sleeping gear - This will be your bulkiest gear items and the base of your pack as they squish down with weight on top of them. For a hammock camper this will be your quilts or sleeping bag. I also lump in any extra clothing items like a sleeping clothing such as thermal layers, Change of socks - shirt - pants and the like.
Food, fuel and cooking gear - This is the heavy items. Your food and fuel tend to be the densest and heaviest items that go into your pack. They should be loaded against the back and from mid back to shoulder height in side of your pack. I tend to add in my cook kit to this area as well as I need both food and cooking gear at the same time and if in bear country both will need to be hung together out of reach with a Bear Line.
Hammock and Sleep System accessories - Next outward from your food should be your hammock and any sleep system accessories. I pack my hammock and pillow, buff, together in this area to fill in around the food bag, stabilizing it from shifting.
Insulation Clothing - Still in the main compartment of the pack above the food bag and hammock should be room for insulation clothing layers. This is stuff like your puffy jacket, warm hat and other light weight gear that you want access to without digging to the bottom. If you stop for a long break or lunch you may want to layer up with your jacket, hat and gloves in cool weather but you won't want to dig to the bottom of your pack to get them. Keep them near the top for easy access and easy re-packing when you get back on the move.
First Aid, Hydration, miscellaneous accessories - In the top panel pocket of your pack is the perfect place to store things that you may need fast or regular access to while hiking. In this pocket I tend to keep my First Aid Kit, Hydration gear, Rest Room kit, photography gear, knife and fishing gear. These are things that I want to be able to get to without digging into the main compartment of my pack. Occasionally I will also have a snack stored in the top pocket so I don't need to dig to deep in the pack for something to eat along the trail, just remember to unpack any wrappers at camp and bear bag them with the rest of your food.
Tarp and Rain Gear - For hammock campers our shelter is our tarp. It is what keeps the rain, snow and even the sun off our sleep gear night and day. Having it and the gear to set it up handy are important...as well as keeping a wet tarp separated from our insulation and dry clothing. Pack your tarp in the outer pocket of your pack along with any Ridgeline, Guy lines and Stakes. This makes it the first thing out of your pack at camp and the last thing in when your pack up again. I also like to put my rain jacket in that pocket along with my foot pad. On a break the foot pad becomes a sit pad on the log, and should a storm come up while hiking my rain jacket is easy to get to at a moments notice.
Hope that these tips help you with your gear packing and organization for this years trips. If you have any questions at all please leave a comment and we will do the best we can to help you get the most out of your gear and trips.
Paul @ AHE
If you have been following our site, social media feeds and forum posts you may have seen us talking about the Hangs we host. However if your new to the hammock world you might say "Hang?" and who would blame you. It's not a term you see used a lot but basically we are talking about a meet up. A hang is just a hammock campers term for a group get together. It's a social event specifically for hammock camping. It's a chance for hammock campers to get together, camp, discuss gear, and hammock camping technique.
Some hangs are based around car camping so that anyone can attend. Some are based around backpacking trips. But the main idea is to find like minded folks that enjoy a more elevated life in the woods.
We at AHE host a few hangs each year to get local folks in Idaho together. This year we have a number of events planned.
Our Spring Meat and Greet is our big late spring/early summer event....and no we did not misspell Meat. As a car camping event we plan a big Pot Luck dinner. It's a chance for all of us to show our camp cooking skills and share a meal around the fire. Even if it's just a bag of chips everyone is welcome to add to the meal.
See more about our hangs here: Hammock Hangs
So join us for one of our upcoming hangs, everyone is welcome and all events are family friendly.
Whats up at AHE, What Happening is our mini Blog about the day to day things that we are working on. Check back Frequently for updates, In Stock items, Specials, Trip Plans (yes that you can join us on) and what ever else pops up.