I posted on the gear forum but was directed here for more info. I have a hh explorer deluxe and i have gone 3 times with it. I got a little cold last time so i am going to get an underquilt. Any experience w the potomac KAQ that is supposedly specifically made for the hh line. Also i asked whether it is better to string a separate ridgeline for the fly or tie directly to the hammock line as hh suggests. I am going in may to the q and i assume a 20 degree big agnes bag w the air mattress and the urnderquilt should suffice to keep me warm. what do u all think?
I have no working knowledge of HH or KAQs but I know others here do. So take this with a grain of salt. I would set the tarp up independent o the hammock. I like to put mine up first and the hammock second. This is handy if it's wet out. Your hammock and gear stays dry.
Also, if you have a warm enough UQ you shouldn't need a pad. Its much more comfortable without one. The bag should work ok though sleeping bags can be tricky to squirm into once inside the hammock. I suggest placing a small piece of plastic under your hammock to stand on. Get into your bag standing up and climb in. I'm not sure how this would work with a bottom entry though.
I know there are much more experienced hangers here than me so I'll defer to them once they submit their opinions, but in the meantime...;)
It seems that most use a ridgeline and attach their tarps with prussics from what I gather, but to this time I've not used a ridgeline. With the niteize carbiners it is plenty easy to adjust the tarp and tension so that is the way I go. Maybe I'm missing something else to why people like a ridgeline for their tarp. Once you have your tarp up you can easily put your hammock up underneath, and this method is especially nice if it is raining out.
As far as the UQ goes. I would say that it is overkill to use that and a pad just because of the extra mass you end up carrying.
"Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more."
Paul at Arrowhead Equipment is great to do business with. He made me a underquilt for my hammock. I had him sew in extra insultex insulation so I'm good to go down to 20 deg. It is so warm and I'm very happy with it. I would do the same for yours. That way you will not need a pad with the Big Agnes bag. Ask Paul what he thinks the Potomac with extra insultex sewn in is good for as far as temp range. He will make just about anything for your hammock. You can contact him on the Arrowhead Equipment web page.
With respect to the ridgeline the *best* thing to do is have a separate line for your tarp, attached to the trees, not the hammock suspension. That way you can get the optimal hang for your hammock and a nice tight pitch for the tarp. There's also no chance your tarp will sag when you get in the hammock.
I originally had an HH BPUL with the KAQ Potomac. The UQ works just fine with the HH. You just push it to one side when entering/exiting using the bottom slit. It will require the extra insulation to get you into the low 30s high 20s.
I prefer a separate ridgeline. I use prussic knots and minibiners to attach the tarp to my ridgeline. Then I can slide the tarp back and forth to get correct coverage.
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