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Thread: Speed Tips

  1. #11
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    Fastest suspension - daisy chain with or without Dutch Clips. Examples: ENO Atlas Straps, Kammeck Python Straps. Dutch Spider straps, etc.
    Fastest tarp deployment (especially with any wind): Snake Skins - preferably single rather than double.

    Depending on pack, you can keep your UQ on the hammock in your pack. I have a wide Sleeve from Bliss and it will hold a hammock and compressed UQ in one package. I use an UQP and keep it on the hammock.

    I carry a plastic mallet to pound down any stakes - no looking around for a rock. Sometimes people give me flack about the mallet. Then, when no one is looking, they come around and ask to borrow it.

    Take a tape measure out to a park and see how close you can get to estimating tree distance. With practice it gets better. OR outstretch your arms with two hiking poles and see where your desired distance 12 ft, 15 ft, etc. is so you can quickly pick the right trees.

    In your hurry, remember to LOOK UP to check for potential falling branches first. I've saved that step for last before and had to move my setup.
    Also, check the wind direction and factor that in.

    My point is, sometimes I'd get to the right spot, with the right distance trees, and hurriedly set everything up (there's an obligation to get my hammock up before any tent'ers on the trip) - then check for overhead branches (oops) or the pervailing wind direction (oops). Actually, the wind lets me know when I deploy the tarp.

    It is faster for me if I put the hammock up first, then center the tarp on the hammock. But it is better practice to put the tarp up first. Get in that habit so you will not have to re-order your steps if it is raining.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  2. #12
    MAD777's Avatar
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    I delpoy my tarp first, which is stowed outside my pack. It stays in the snakeskin if not raining.
    I keep my top & under quilts attached to the hammock, as well as bugnet (in summer) and stuff it all into a big dry sack. It pops out with everything deployed. I simply use Dutch Whoopie Hooks to attach the small continuous loops to the suspension, which I've attached to the trees first.

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  3. #13
    GilligansWorld's Avatar
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    Personally I think it falls down to your particular setup. Also as has been mentioned specifically by Shug is the amount of practice that you have with it.

    I have a separate setup for my hammock related gear that doesn't include my insulation which resides in what looks like a stuff sack. I have it set up in a particular order to assist my set up - It speeds up the process and basically makes you set things up in a specific order;

    1. Tarp in skins with guy lines tied in pairs
    2. Straps/Stake bag
    3. Hammock
    4. Ground sheet

    After that is set up I have a base that will stay dry from which to unpack everything else.
    When it comes to my pack the insulation sits right on the top, and just below that, as a little bit of extra protection against tears and snags, is my underquilt protector from 2QZQ.

    The only other chore I could see you needing to do is to set up my packable camp chair which straps right on the bottom of my pack. Anything else can wait until you had a proper rest

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  4. #14
    Senior Member
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    Tarp in a skin. Siberian hitch one end, truckers the other. Hammock, blanket,pillow, underquilt, fan, light, and anything else goes in the catch-all sack. Hung with beetles.

    The catch all was a game changer for speed


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  5. #15
    HandyRandy's Avatar
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    Speed Tips

    The previous advice on practice makes you faster is probably the best of all. The points made about tarp up before hammock and vice versa when breaking camp is wise advice as well. Almost every time I break that rule, it backfires on me in various ways. The tip that I would throw in to the mix is to throw the tarp into a half pitch after you finish all the staking. That allows you to hang the hammock easier and quicker, but you are only a few quick steps away from covering up in case you get caught off guard in the middle of the process; and you donít have to dance around the hammock to rig up the tarp ridgeline. You can just keep the tarp in half pitch (meaning untether two stakes and throw half of tarp over ridge) until you actually go to sleep if you are confident of a rain free forecast for the time being; and you are in a sap-free zone.

  6. #16
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    I think the key is to tweak instead of making large changes in your setup. Small changes as you practice your setup/takedown.

  7. #17
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    My two tips are:
    1. Tarp in an outside pocket so you can grab it as soon as you've taken your pack off.
    2. Hamock, suspension, TQ and UQ all in the bottom compartment of my pack so you just have to undo one zip and everything is accessible.

    I suppose that carrying toggles would save you 5 seconds looking for a couple of sticks but I don't use toggles.

  8. #18
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Practice is the big one. Knowing what comes next and doing it is always faster than standing there with a puzzled expression.

    UL helps... Less stuff to begin with.

    Use a systems approach, and prep "units" (shelter, cook, clothing) before packing. For instance, when packing up stove and associated items, finish that task completely and have it ready to place in the pack before getting distracted by something else.

    Pack items in the same order and in the same place every time. When somebody says "I had to dig around in my pack to find xxx" I know right away that his/her packing process could use improvement. Pack things that will be needed during the day on the top and/or outside pockets. Figure out a way to keep soft things against the back so that during the day you don't have a cook kit digging into your shoulder blade.

    Not using too many stuff sacks... a sack inside a sack inside a sack is automatically going to slow the process.

    Pack quilts directly into the bottom of the backpack... quickest and most efficient use of space. I have a DCF pack that is fairly waterproof so I don't even use a pack liner. Been doing this for more than 7 years now and no wet quilts. Straight out of the hammock into the pack, UQ first because when unpacking I like to put the TQ inside the hammock first because that makes it easier to attach the UQ.

    If it isn't raining, I like to put up hammock first because it's just easier to get to everything and make small tweaks, and to center the tarp over the hammock. I've developed my own method for taking down the tarp by folding it in zig-zag fashion along the ridge line, then tucking in the outside edges and rolling while expelling air pockets, with the guy lines wrapped around the bundle, tangle-free, before putting it in its stuff sack.

    In general, don't be too persnickety about dampness. Many times quilts are going to be at least slightly damp when you pack them, even if there's been no rain. This is why the double- and even triple-stuffing of quilts is really an exercise in futility... it's just locking in the moisture anyway. Tarp is almost always going to be moist, ranging from damp to just plain wet. If you wait until everything is really dry before you pack, you won't get out of camp until noon or maybe 2 days later depending on weather conditions.

    Much of what I learned about packing speed and efficiency came from a couple of guides with the American Alpine Institute. Back in the 1990s some friends and I were taking an 8-day course for glacier travel and crevasse rescue (Mt Baker/Colfax glacier) and one of the things that impressed me most was how mind-bogglingly fast these guys were when it came to de-camping. That became a separate lesson that was not on the syllabus, but the philosophy has been applied many times over for backpacking.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  9. #19
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    Hammock: whatever suspension you like, then a Whoopie hook or similar to attach it to the hammock (or put the adjustment at the tree end, I guess). Keep hammock/quilts all together (in catch-all sack or otherwise) so you literally just put the suspension up, hook the ends of the hammock up, and you're done.

    Tarp: I have a bit of lightweight cordage attached to my tree straps, so that it goes around the tree as the hammock does. Attach tarp to that cord with Dutch hook or similar and adjust however you like (hardware, UCR, tie a knot, whatever). Guy out in whatever way you like: differences there are pretty minimal. Snakeskins help if it's windy, but aren't necessarily quicker in general than just a bishy bag.

  10. #20
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    This may be a noob suggestion, but I've started making sure that I pack in the reverse order from how I unpack. This way the stuff that I want to unpack is on the outside, or top of my pack. The stuff that I want to unpack last ends up on the bottom.

    I also like the idea of keeping "systems" together. As you pack, think about how you're going to want to unpack. Then practice until you do it right without thinking about what comes next.

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