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Hammocks vs Tents
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Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
Hammocks vs Tents on 02/20/2011 08:10:31 MST Print View

Recently I became interested in the advantages of using a hammock, and I purchased the Clark Jungle Hammock. I absolutely love the comfort of a hammock now, and sleep much better in one. However, there's one thing I didn't think about before purchasing one.

At the campsite, I really enjoy the few hours in my tent during the dark hours before going to bed. There's lots of room to move around, and I feel very safe and comfortable in my tent.

The first time I brought my hammock car camping, though, the idea of having to confine myself in it for the next few hours before I went to sleep didn't sound fun at all. I did bring my tent too, so opted to sleep in it that night.

I'm curious, how do people make good use of time, say between 7 and 10pm, when camping in a hammock?


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Hammocks vs Tents on 02/20/2011 08:17:34 MST Print View

I seem to never be awake for more than a few minutes before I fall asleep in mine. I use a Hennessey, which can be used as a chair too. I hang out with everyone else before it is time for bed. Sit pad. You will be more rested and will be able to hike longer. Spend less time in camp. Sweet dreams.

Edited by kthompson on 02/20/2011 08:54:19 MST.

Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
hammock on 02/20/2011 09:48:40 MST Print View

Thanks Ken.

I actually went on a trip with a bunch of friends, and also found that I spent time with the group until it was time for bed and then jumped in the hammock.

I think being solo on my car camping trip led to me feeling somewhat exposed out there in my hammock. This is probably part of the learning curve involved when transitioning from tent to hammock camping.

The comfort of a hammock, in my mind, can't be surpassed, so I'll definitely be looking into getting past some of these challenges.

Thanks again for your help. Before sleep I usually do some reading too. I made it a point to leave my laptop in my car :) (needed it for business the next morning).

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
what I do on 02/22/2011 21:19:59 MST Print View

Read, listen to music, watch video, journal.

David Reidy
(kingstumps70) - F
tents vs. hammocks on 05/02/2011 12:13:16 MDT Print View

I'm officially switching back to hammocks.Its just way more comfortable to sleep in,and better on my back.Pus lighter to pack and way less bulk.

Edited by kingstumps70 on 05/02/2011 12:15:33 MDT.

wiiawiwb wiiawiwb
(wiiawiwb) - F
Weight on 05/29/2011 14:09:50 MDT Print View

I'm curious how many hammock/tarp/lines/UQ setups will weigh less than a tent and mattress.

I would look to choose a hammock setup for its comfort in spite of the weight penalty.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Hammocking Weight on 05/30/2011 06:30:58 MDT Print View

Since you asked here's my setup:

Grand Trunk Nano-7 Hammock with tree straps and whoopie slings - 10.83 ounces
DB Bugnet - .67 ounces (yes - only 19 grams)
Lawson Equipment HexaLite 11'x9' tarp with guylines and 4 stakes - 10.37 ounces
Te-Wa Summer Breeze Underquilt (good at least into the 40's IME) - 10.83 ounces

Total weight? 32.7 ounces

I add my BPL UL60 Quilt (12.91 ounces) for a total sleep system weight of 45.61 ounces that has me comfortable down at least to 40 degrees and would probably be fine into the 30's. Hammocking doesn't have to be heavy...

One other note: My tree straps are considered pretty heavy. I use 1" webbing and have a 6' strap and an 8' strap because I've found it gives me the most flexibility as to where I hang. There are lots of people who wouldn't be caught dead with a strap longer than 3' or so.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Hammocking Weight on 05/30/2011 06:49:45 MDT Print View

"There are lots of people who wouldn't be caught dead with a strap longer than 3' or so."
Wow. That would be totally useless out here in Redwood country. Wouldn't go around some branches. The 8' ones are too short sometimes. Nice hammock setup Kevin. Huge tarp.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Hammock Setup Weight on 05/30/2011 08:49:56 MDT Print View


Thanks for the comment. I hike mostly in Pennsylvania where I rarely have to go to a tree larger than 1 foot in diameter, but there are times when I need the extra length.

The tarp is a brand new one from Lawson Equipment (formerly Mountainfitter). It's an 11'x9' hex hammock tarp and it's a work of beauty. He now has it posted on his website ( and it's on sale...

bj bretzke
(lilorphanbilly) - F

Locale: Montana, MT (Stealth Mode)
Re: Weight on 06/02/2011 18:50:29 MDT Print View

It is pretty hard to get lighter than the tarp, mattress, bivy system. It is also pretty hard to go back to ground after hanging for a night or two.
As to the OP I like to set the height of my hammock so I can sit comfy and then do my whatevers. It leaves enough space for gear underneath and it's not so far to drop when something fails in the middle of the night.
I use my mattress instead of an UQ. The foil/foam reflective windshield shades also make dandy thermal breaks. They can usually be found in most dollar stores
I have made several MYOG hammocks made from the tarps that cover lumber in lumber yards. They are almost free weigh a couple oz. and last for a full season if folded and tied properly.
That said I am taking my WWII jungle hammock this weekend. It weighs a ton by most standards but it is almost stormproof and can go to ground if needed. The weather is/has been totally whacked.
Maybe post a pic for me so I can compare to the WWII?
On the ground
on the ground
Welcome to the Fold,

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Weight on 06/03/2011 12:13:13 MDT Print View

"It is pretty hard to get lighter than the tarp, mattress, bivy system"

I think it CAN be.. but it is totally possible to remain below the weight of many bivy systems, as well.

Many hammock rigs are in fact, a tarp, mattress, bivy system, just off the ground.
I like that many of us hangers are doing so well in the UL range, its good motivation and inspiration for those who seek to go lighter with a hammock rig.

my lightest, most crazy set up is a WB traveler w/ whoopies, a zpacks hex Cuben tarp, and a summer UQ - all three for under 2lbs (27.5oz, total)
that's the weight of most commercial bivy+pad combos, without even adding a tarp.. ;)

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 06/03/2011 12:17:23 MDT.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Kiln Dried on 06/03/2011 15:26:56 MDT Print View

I love the kiln dried hammock!!! ;)

Seriously good use of found material!

Cary Beuershausen
weight on 06/10/2011 12:55:16 MDT Print View

I think for many of us hammockers it's not difficult to come in at or under a comparable tent system. However, I think the hammock affords greater flexibility and more comfort (for most people).

I've read many times about people having a hard time finding a suitable tent site. I can't think of a single time (below treeline) where I've read the same being said about hammocks. Likewise many people sleep incredibly well in a hammock. I can't stand sleeping on the ground anymore.

I like that I can stop pretty much anywhere I can find two trees. The weight will vary depending on conditions. If I don't carry an underquilt and other cold-weather gear it's very easy to keep things light.

Edward Riley
( - MLife
Hanging a Hammock on 03/04/2014 12:43:21 MST Print View

Question: Is any company trying to incorporate the light weight insulated air mattress technology into a hammock for insulation (like the Neoair)? So instead of putting some kind of pad inside or using an under quilt, the hammock could be blown up once it is hanging and the whole hammock would be insulated. My guess is that a hammock like this could weigh less than 2 pounds and be good down to VERY low temps--like 0° F.

As for what to do with your time in camp with no tent, the hammock should enhance your freedom. If it is raining, you have more space under your tarp than you do in a tent and if your friends will hang around under your tarp, you can lower your hammock and sit it in it and be very comfortable.