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Hammock vs. Tarp/ Bivy vs. Tarptent
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Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Hammock... on 03/24/2010 10:43:55 MDT Print View

Brian B. states in relation to hammocks "the absolute best for someone who has back issues".

As a person with back issues (fusion L5-S1) I could not disagree more. I tried a friends WB Blackbird for a single night and could hardly function the next day. My back issues dictate that I sleep on a surface that is both hard and flat. Sounds kinda like the ground. :)

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
more hammock info! on 03/24/2010 11:10:34 MDT Print View

Ok, just weighed my modified hammock. 3 lbs 2 oz with bug netting, an 8x10 tarp and a stuff sack. Plus 1.6 lbs for my montbell and 14 oz for a neoair and you've got a total of 4 and half lbs for shelter plus sleep system. So definitely not the lightest, but one I prefer. I like the bridge hammock because it lays much flatter than other hammocks. It's not the lightest, but for me it was more comfortable.

hammock pro's

same opportunities for an unobstructed view as ground sleeping - on nice nights, forgo the tarp, and on bugless nights, forgo netting too.

you can pitch almost anywhere. over a puddle, over rocks & roots - although technically you shouldn't pitch over anything that you wouldn't be ok with falling in!

comfort - no slopes, no bumpy roots and rocks, no wet ground

comfort in rain: set up your tarp, then leisurely set up your hammock underneath, change clothes, climb into hammock nice and dry. (as opposed to setting up your contrail in the rain, then crawling into with wet clothes on to change.)

hammock cons:

Some feel constricted

Takes experimenting to figure what works in terms of warmth

Too many options in terms of warmth and how to hang! Overwhelming!

Kind of a pain when you have to get out and pee multiple times a night

You will not have all of your gear instantly accessible.

Not the lightest option unless you go with a pretty pared down set up.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Re: Re: hammocks can be just as light- Cuben on 03/24/2010 11:14:18 MDT Print View


In March of 2007 I made my first Cuben Fiber Hammock. I used some 0.47 ounce per sq yard Cuben. The Cuben part of the Hammock weighed 2.36 ounces.

Cuben Hammock Thread

I took the pictures using a 10 second delay on my camera and the last picture of me laying in the hammock looks like the width is narrow. I just didn't have time to get completely into the Hammock before the camera took the picture.

The finial weight of the Hammock System is a factor of how you decide to hang the Hammock. Using a decent size set of ropes / tree huggers etc, to avoid damage to the trees and my first complete ready to hang setup weighed under 7 ounces.

This weight could be reduced another ounces or two based on your "tie-up" system.

The width of this Hammock was about 48" or the old standard width of the Cuben I used. I now have Cuben that is about 54" wide and a second Cuben Hammock could be a bit wider.

Edited by bfornshell on 03/24/2010 16:38:08 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: hammocks can be just as light on 03/24/2010 11:15:29 MDT Print View

Anna... I thought you were talking about your hammock being "just as light"? Hexamid with bug net and cuben floor?

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
The peeing issue on 03/24/2010 11:17:32 MDT Print View

>Kind of a pain when you have to get out and pee multiple times a night

Good point! Kinda takes the joy out of staying well hydrated, especially for those of us with older bladders and kidneys.

Stargazer, frequent waterer of trees

Edited by nerdboy52 on 03/24/2010 11:18:27 MDT.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: hammocks can be just as light on 03/24/2010 11:18:45 MDT Print View


Edited by annapurna on 05/01/2010 22:13:53 MDT.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: Re: hammocks can be just as light- Cuben on 03/24/2010 11:19:45 MDT Print View

Cuben Hammock Thread

Bill, are you sure the URL is correct? It refers to itself.

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
tree watering on 03/24/2010 11:23:10 MDT Print View

waking up multiple times a night is the bane of my existence.

however for men this can be a much easier issue - even in a hammock!

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re:hammocks can be just as light on 03/24/2010 11:24:18 MDT Print View

I just realized that the weight for my contrail plus neoair plus sleeping bag is the SAME as the hammock set up!


Now I just have to go over the math again to make sure I didn't mess up!

Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
re: Hammock... on 03/24/2010 11:27:30 MDT Print View

Experience will vary with the individual. But with that said, I have also read many accounts of people who thought their backcountry days were over due to back issues, and hammocking was their salvation. Like most things, there is a learning curve on how to use them. There are techniques for properly hanging them to get the correct sag angle, and also better ways to lie in them. Don't let your first attempt drive you to a potentially incorrect conclusion. I've been hanging for several years now and initially it took me a few times to get it right. There are also a lot of different hammock styles and tradeoffs you can make.

This is a very active field right now, and innovation is happening at a rapid pace. The improvements in suspension techniques alone have been particularly exciting over the past year, and these make hanging and adjusting a hammock very easy for almost no weight penalty. The newness of the gear and techniques tend to put people off a little bit at first. There are plenty of knowledgable and helpful people both here and over at Hammock Forums that can answer questions on how to get started.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
good points andrew on 03/24/2010 12:00:11 MDT Print View


hammocking was my salvation, thats probably why im so adamant about it. Before i discovered it, i gave up backpacking because of spondylolisthesis. Now i wakup without an ache. After walking all day and being forced to sleep on the hard ground, i would toss and turn all night trying to get comfortable, wasting energy, and waking up tired the next day and in pain. Now when i wakeup, im in the exact same position(fetal) as when i fell asleep.

Its true that the innovation is daunting. But thats what makes HF so great. Once you empower yourself, learn new knots, learn how to sew an uq, tq, whoppie slings, utility constrictor ropes, learn differntial baffles, how to make prussic knots on a ridgeline, the list goes on, you really gain a confidence in your ability to make gear and be successful in the outdoors.

Edited by isaac.mouser on 03/24/2010 12:01:42 MDT.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
ul hammock correction on 03/24/2010 12:04:26 MDT Print View

correction guys, the ul hammock is not called camp nano(thats a carabiner, lol, don't know how my brain made that connection, but anyway), it is called the GRAND TRUNK, it is 7oz. with a cuben tarp, you could be looking at a sub 1lb shelter. But i hear its mighty thin, dunno though, never tried it.

(OBOZ) - F

PICS a few weeks ago on 03/24/2010 12:05:38 MDT Print View

hammock winter hikehammock winter hike 2

TomD I understand where your coming from. For you the pressure of the flat surface feels good against your back. But with the hammock there are no pressure points what so ever. This is great for someone with a bad back. Sleeping at an angle you are perfectly level, not bent like a banana. I'm going to try to find the avatar pic over at Hammock forums of a fella that has a xray of his back and post it here. Its incredible.I'll never complain about 2 slipped/bulging disks to this man.

Edited by OBOZ on 03/24/2010 12:10:19 MDT.

Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
Hammock site selection on 03/24/2010 12:08:05 MDT Print View

Here's a photo from a trip I took last year in the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness that shows what is possible with hammock camping regarding site selection. Good luck to the ground campers here!

Hanging a hammock across a stream bed

And one more photo showing a group of us camping out in a dry stream bed at Parson Spring on a different trip.

Hammock camping near Parson Spring

(OBOZ) - F

nice pics on 03/24/2010 12:14:37 MDT Print View

OH I did discover something with the first time winter hiking with a hammock and with women in the group. Changing your clothes! LOL I had to be a contortionist in my hammock to get changed and out of my snow wet clothes.

Here is Tbacks Avatar:(small) but you get the idea:tback

Edited by OBOZ on 03/24/2010 12:18:20 MDT.

Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
Changing clothes in a hammock on 03/24/2010 12:57:05 MDT Print View

Actually, my experience changing clothes in a hammock is quite good. I use the hammock like a chair and have a very easy time changing out of my clothes underneath a tarp, if privacy is required, compared to doing the same thing crawling inside of an UL style tent, or sitting on the ground underneath a tarp. Even more so if it's raining outside. Here's a picture of me sitting on my hammock enjoying the living space under the tarp.

Sitting on my Traveler Hammock

BTW, I already posted on another thread about my Nano 7, but since we are talking about it here, I'll cover it again. I've taken my Nano 7 out several times and it's worked well for me. A little smaller than I'd like compared to other hammocks, but still comfortable enough. It's my go-to hammock for SUL long mileage hiking adventures. After a retrofit to amsteel whoopie slings and polyester tree straps for suspension, it weighs in around 8 oz total. I also use an MLD cuben hex hammock tarp that weighs 6.4 oz that gives me plenty of coverage, and a 2/3 length down underquilt for bottom side warmth that weighs 12.5 oz. That's a pretty light setup for this kind of comfort. I posted a picture of this setup on another thread.

Edited by drewboy on 03/24/2010 12:58:39 MDT.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Changing clothes in a hammock on 03/24/2010 13:32:20 MDT Print View

1) changing clothes is easy as in a UL tent. andy's photo proves the headroom isnt an issue. for privacy, dont be so damm conservative. nobody's going to laugh at you in your underwear, even if thats what happens in that one dream when youre at school...
2) thanks guys for sharing some great photos - doesnt hurt that i see my products in use, and others see them too! :)
3) i am pretty sure that for me, there is not a ground pad out there, or one that will ever be invented, that is as comfortable as a warbonnet blackbird/UQ combo. it just cannot be done.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
forget watering trees on 03/24/2010 13:56:06 MDT Print View

i carry a gaterade bottle i pee in, when im done just put the lid on, go back to sleep. Works great in a hammock. Makes peeing no big dea at all.

Also in a hammock liek the blackbird, there is a LARGE gear shelf. A pocket in the fabric that i can stuff my thermawrap, balaclava, water filter, 2 pairs of gloves, clean socks for the morning, food, clothes for the next day, hygiene bag and more into. So access to gear is not an issue with this hammock at all. If you don't have a hammock like that, you can make a bag, strap a small bag onto your hammock ridgeline(if your hammock has one) and put your gear there. There is no reason you can't have access to your stuff in a hammock as well.

Edited by isaac.mouser on 03/24/2010 14:00:01 MDT.

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: forget watering trees on 03/24/2010 14:06:40 MDT Print View


Not if you are female!

Peeing in a bottle while laying down... not gonna run the risk of that. I just don't see it ending well. And I refuse to carry any sort of urination aid device marketed towards women!

And yeah, I have a small gear bag attached to my hammock - but I just put essentials like my headlamp in it, not everything. So that is why I mentioned that. I'm not exactly going to be able to make myself a pot of tea while reclining in my hammock! (although I could get up, grab the stove, sit back in my hammock and relax under the tarp while doing so!)

Eddy Walker

Locale: southeast
Re: forget watering trees on 03/24/2010 15:03:13 MDT Print View

a lot easier to get up and go than to have to deal with a bottle to pee in. If it is raining just go to the edge of the tarp and the rain will wash it away.

Edited by Ewker on 03/24/2010 15:03:46 MDT.