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Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
What's Your View Towards Hammocks? on 03/11/2011 13:16:58 MST Print View

Over the past couple of years I've been experimenting with a backpacking hammock. Last week I set it up in a screened-in outdoor patio and I've been experimenting with different types of insulation, hang adjustments, and working with various knots.

While I was doing this I realized that I haven't seen much discussion on hammocks here in the forum and I'm was curious about what people think about them, and how they rest with the lightweight backpacking community.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

Jeff

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: What's Your View Towards Hammocks? on 03/11/2011 13:47:55 MST Print View

Mixed results for me.

Where I live (So. California), finding trees to hang the thing off of can be difficult. Basically, I only bring the hammock if I'm going to an area I know well and know that there are suitable trees. Also, the hanging straps that came with my Hennesy Hammock are kind of short. They're very limited as to what size of trees they can go around. I've taken to carrying climbing webbing with me so I can supplement the hang straps.

In cool weather, I don't like them a bit. I've spent nights in the hammock, chilled, where I'd have been fine with a similar sleep set up on the ground.

On the other hand, in good weather, it's the best sleep I've ever had on the trail. Super comfortable.

HJ

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: What's Your View Towards Hammocks? on 03/11/2011 13:55:01 MST Print View

we have a reasonable hammock forum here. it can only grow with your input. there is no reason for anyone to be cold in a hammock with all the current methods of staying warm, down to Zero and below.
i agree, HH straps are way short. fortunately, hammocks are largely a DIY and Cottage item, so finding ways to improve the suspension is just a simple matter of shopping. Strapworks, for instance, has polypro 1" webbing for very cheap, and you only have to bartack to make a tree hugger. DIY down underquilts are a different story, you can take on the exciting task of making one to suit your needs, or you can purchase one from any of the fine vendors.

its so nice to see something that started 5,000 years ago (mayan) getting proper recognition in today's outdoor equipment spotlight.

go hammocks!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: What's Your View Towards Hammocks? on 03/11/2011 13:58:26 MST Print View

Love hammocking. My preferred method of backcountry sleeping. Been nice and warm and toasty and comfortable down to 3 degrees (and snowing).

Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
Views on Hammocks on 03/11/2011 15:27:31 MST Print View

Thanks for your input guys. This is very helpful.

There does seem to be a learning curve regarding how to keep warm, but I'll continue experimenting until I find the best system(s) for me. I personally have always found it tough to get comfortable sleeping on the ground, so figuring out hammocks seems like it will be a worthwhile endeavor.

Edited by northshorehc on 03/11/2011 15:32:39 MST.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Views on Hammocks on 03/11/2011 16:03:53 MST Print View

I made one (Speer-like) with a modified end gathering for comfort. But, I simply sleep better on the ground. I usually only use it for afternoon naps when car camping now.

For insulation underneath, I liked using an Exped Downmat rather than a CCF pad or underquilt. It insulates much better than an underquilt if you have to sleep on the ground for some unexpected reason too. I found that it helped me lay flatter too.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Views on Hammocks on 03/11/2011 16:15:39 MST Print View

To quote myself:

In cool weather, I don't like them a bit. I've spent nights in the hammock, chilled, where I'd have been fine with a similar sleep set up on the ground.
Emphasis added.

I know there are ways to stay warmer in a hammock (underquilts, etc.). At a certain point, at least for me, the weight added up to more than what I would need if I slept on the ground. The hammock then got relegated to warmer weather use.

HJ

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Views on Hammocks on 03/11/2011 16:18:32 MST Print View

"the weight added up to more than what I would need if I slept on the ground"

Yup. Staying toasty in cold weather in a hammock, for me, means carrying more weight in my pack. But, for me, it's completely worth it, as I sleep much, much better, and wake up much more refreshed, when sleeping in a hammock. And I mean, by far.

But that's me. We are all, of course, different.

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Views on Hammocks on 03/11/2011 17:58:15 MST Print View

Yup. Staying toasty in cold weather in a hammock, for me, means carrying more weight in my pack. But, for me, it's completely worth it, as I sleep much, much better, and wake up much more refreshed, when sleeping in a hammock. And I mean, by far.


A big +1

Best sleep ever.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Re: Re: Views on Hammocks on 03/11/2011 18:08:22 MST Print View

yes-
but-
lol

many 3 season UQ's just as light as pad
you can get by with a nightlite, but why?
even 3 season neo-air almost as heavy as te-wa Freeze

winter: same deal. many 0 degree UQ's weigh between 18-24oz

if you need example, see my pack list good to 20 F

I would never sleep on a 3/8 torso ccf to save 8oz. that's absurd.
my $0.02

(be mindful that my current pack is for carrying a 5 day food load, with 4 liters of water. for 2-3 day trips, i use a pack that weighs 17oz)

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 03/11/2011 18:12:33 MST.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Hoo-rah for Hammocks! on 03/11/2011 18:12:43 MST Print View

Doug and Ken say:
"Yup. Staying toasty in cold weather in a hammock, for me, means carrying more weight in my pack. But, for me, it's completely worth it, as I sleep much, much better, and wake up much more refreshed, when sleeping in a hammock. And I mean, by far."

Same here. The increase in weight is minimal, the increase in comfort is phenomenal!

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
Side sleeping in a hammock? on 03/11/2011 18:20:18 MST Print View

Is there a trick to side sleeping in a hammock?

I only have one night in a Hennessy Asym. I was on a pad and the pad kept working it's way in-line with the ridge, which had me following the arc of the hammock.

I'm going to get an underquilt and try that.

Based on that one night, though, I can definitely see the potential......

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Side sleeping in a hammock? on 03/11/2011 19:21:57 MST Print View

Underquilts will add a level of comfort unatainable elsewhere.

Dale South
(dsouth) - M

Locale: Southeast
Hammock Forum on 03/11/2011 19:49:40 MST Print View

There is a forum dedicated to hammocks, hammockforums.net. I have been a member there for six years. Some wonderful, cleaver and smart people over there. Check it out. You can learn new techniques for lighter, easier and quicker DIY suspension systems, under quilts, top quilts, hammock socks and thousands of other ideas.

I have slept warm and toasty down to 1.8 degrees with 40 mph winds and snow in mine. My lightest system for hammock and rain fly is less than 16 oz including suspension and rain fly guy lines. My under quilts weights are similar in weight to pad weights for sleeping on the ground.

Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
Interesting Thread Guys on 03/12/2011 06:48:07 MST Print View

Thank you sharing some of your views. This has been a very interesting article for me to read.

I too am sold on the comfort of a hammock. Soon after I first slept in a hammock I said to myself, "Wow, this is incredibly comfortable. Why aren't they more popular?"

But as I started to learn ways of keeping warm and how to hang my hammock properly, I came to realize that hammocks, at least winter hammock setups anyway, can be kind of a complex system.

Edited by northshorehc on 03/12/2011 09:36:15 MST.

Paul Wozniak
(PaulW)

Locale: Midwest
shoulder pinch on 03/12/2011 09:35:53 MST Print View

I couldn't get comfortable with the shoulder pinch. Sort of like trying to sleep in a taco shell. This in a Speer homemade. I am 6'0", 210 lbs.

Solutions???

Jeff Brown
(northshorehc) - F

Locale: New England
Shoulder PInch on 03/12/2011 09:41:52 MST Print View

Hi Paul,

I don't have a solution, but you might want to check out the BPL hammock section, or start a thread on the topic if necessary. I'm sure someone can help you out.

Edited by northshorehc on 03/13/2011 06:56:11 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"What's Your View Towards Hammocks?" on 03/12/2011 10:37:07 MST Print View

"What's Your View Towards Hammocks?"

Hostile... just kidding.

In my own personal process of simplifying my backcountry experiences, I eliminated hammocks from the equation. What I found was that after a 10 hour day of hiking all I really required to get a solid night of rest was a warm meal, pad, and quilt, for me this is lighter and significantly more simple than rigging a hammock suspension, hammock, tarp, underquilt, and topquilt. It boiled down to eliminating extraneous items, weight, and bulk from my pack- hanging above the ground is an unnecessary measure for me to take in obtaining sleep while backpacking... I do willingly accept a less than hammock level of comfort in the evening by choosing to sleep on the ground and I'm ok with that.

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: "What's Your View Towards Hammocks?" on 03/12/2011 11:05:56 MST Print View

Eugene. With a little practice you should be able to rig up a fully tricked out hammock in less time than setting up a tarp. Easily.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
What's Your View Towards Hammocks? on 03/12/2011 11:47:49 MST Print View

No really any trees where I hike. That made my view easy.