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What's Your View Towards Hammocks?
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The Cossack
(thecossack) - F

Locale: sedona
hammocks on 03/12/2011 12:58:13 MST Print View

best sleep since the womb

i have a cheap light hammock from hammock bliss and for me it is the way to go-
simple- light and cheap

15 oz with whoopie slings and tree huggers-

25 bucks for the hammock

gossamer gear pad for cold temps down to around 20- 30 bucks

8x8 tarp 30 bucks

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F

Hammocks on 03/12/2011 15:03:11 MST Print View

Excited to see this post as I've just got myself a Hennesy Ultralight Backpacker for cheap and have never tried hammocks before.I plan on using one all over California and maybe Oregon.

I'm surprised to see so few people leaning towards this option as hammocks seem pretty light compared to the lightest tents and even some tarp+bivy combos.

Plus the multiple use aspect seems great - chair during the day, bed at night. Bug, mice, small animal protection since you are in the air. The tarp that comes with many hammocks can be used for shelter even when the hammock itself is not deployed. Hammock can also be used to pull all food and gear into the air away from bears if you plan on a day hike out of the camp.

Chris Peichel

Locale: Eureka
Hammocks on 03/12/2011 19:16:59 MST Print View

Hike high, sleep in hammock

Way better then sliced bread

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
DIY forthcoming on 03/12/2011 19:57:47 MST Print View

I have a Henessey, but I keep thinking of stuff I want to do with it based on other setups (manufactured and MYOG) I've seen. But I'm just getting started. Therefore I tell myself firmly and often: NO major purchases or mods until I have enough practice with the hammock I DO have to know exactly where it doesn't measure up.

I've never enjoyed sleeping on the ground. I roll around too much to be able to stay on a pad, and spend too much time on my side to be comfortable on one. The hammock keeps me contained in comfort while still allowing me to fidget. I was apprehensive to take the plunge for my first backpacking shelter, but I'm glad I did.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Good job! on 03/12/2011 20:13:23 MST Print View

You won't regret it.


Jeffrey McConnell
sparked an interest on 03/16/2011 19:25:53 MDT Print View

I've recently become interested in hammocks as well. Never really considered one before until recently. I think it may handle my constant tossing during the night better than a pad on the ground. I'm thinking of starting off with a no frills Warbonnet Traveler (double) and get a bug netting sock made by a member over at hammock forums for when the bugs are out. Pretty low cost way to try out hammocks ($75 hammock + $50 bug net). I have high hopes. Now only if the thing wasn't back ordered...I hate waiting.

Dale South
(dsouth) - M

Locale: Southeast
RE: Hammock on 03/17/2011 19:27:46 MDT Print View

I'm 62 with bad knees and two things have allowed me to continue to enjoy backpacking, ultralight gear and hammocks. I can no longer sleep on the ground in any comfort. No sleep and then I'm too tired to hike.

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
Do you get used to sleeping in a hammock on 03/22/2011 01:05:10 MDT Print View

Hi Guys,

Glad to see this forum as I have a burning question...

Do you get used to sleeping in a Hammock or should I be blown away by it the first time I try and sleep in it?

I was really excited about sleeping in a hammock after what everyone has said about them.

Firstly I found that doing anything is about 100 times harder in a hammock as everytime you try and readjust your mat, toss and turn or do just about anything there is nothing to push off from and the hammock seems to fight against you. Secondly, it is just really hard to sleep somewhat bent up in an airborne nylon sack.

Is this the normal process of getting into the hammock scene ( I have a hennessy A-Sym Expedition) or should I throw in the towel now?



Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Do you get used to sleeping in a hammock on 03/22/2011 06:29:42 MDT Print View

Everyone is different. My first night in a hammock I slept 14 hours. Like a rock... My choice for 11+ years.

chris markley
(motorapido) - F
Re: What's Your View Towards Hammocks? on 03/22/2011 06:54:34 MDT Print View

If your down bag has a zipper in the footbox, you won't need any new gear. My winter sleep system consists of a Grand Trunk Nano 7 ultralight hammock, whoopie sling suspension and 1 inch tree straps hooked with a Marlin Spike using found trail sticks. Pull the hammock & suspension through the bag at the footbox zipper. When the hammock and suspension and bag are all packed inside the compression sack (Kelty Lightyear 20 degree bag), my whole sleeping kit weighs 56 ounces. Add 7 ounces for my tarp and suspension and you've got a complete 3.9 pound sleeping system. If I add a mylar vapor barrier inside the bag (cheapo emergency survival mummy bag made of mylar and just a couple ounces) and use my down jacket as a top quilt on top of the mylar VBL and inside the sleeping bag, I'm good to about zero degrees. It all packs super small. Is it ultralight? Depends on how you define it. But what would your complete ground sleeping system from zero to 20 degrees weigh? The same? More? And oh, the comfort, to rock gently like a little baby all snug and warm in the hammock.

Here's a video of my Kelty Lightyear Down 20 degree sleeping bag with a Grand Trunk Nano 7 hammock pulled through the bag, creating an all-in-one cold weather sleeping system. Simple. No expensive, fiddly top or bottom quilts to mess around with. No pad required.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Do you get used to sleeping in a hammock on 03/22/2011 06:56:17 MDT Print View

Like Ken, the first time I used one was the best sleep I'd ever had in the backcountry.

If you're a tosser/turner, simply grab some of the hammock fabric to assist your rolling around, it becomes more of a pull maneuver instead of a push maneuver - it's very easy to get used to.

Can't tell you about the second - I've slept curled up in my hammock with no issues. As far as the mat, I don't use one so also can't help you there - except to recommend using an underquilt instead.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: What's Your View Towards Hammocks? on 03/22/2011 06:56:20 MDT Print View

Switching to a hammock would add weight to my pack, but that's not the main reason I don't use them. I don't use them because I've found that I can't sleep because of the slight movements that a hammock allows. No amount of spectra and extra lines will make a hammock completely immobile, so it's not going to work for me unless I take some kind of pill to force myself to sleep. Sleeping in a hammock is also riskier during windy winter storms. I do like the idea of sleeping cleanly off the ground, but since I can't sleep that way, I'll successfully sleep on the ground and keep my weight savings.

tommy d
(vinovampire) - F
Toying with the Idea on 03/22/2011 07:30:28 MDT Print View

I've been thinking about giving hammocks a try. I backpack in the Northeast, primarily in Vermont and New Hampshire. Over the years, one of my biggest headaches has been finding nice, open campsites in the dense, overgrown, young forests where I camp. Finding a good space on the floor has been a PITA on many occasions, while at the same time I've walked by tree-after-tree and thought: "Gee, I could setup a hammock right there."

My GF has a hammock, so I may give it a try this spring once mud season is over. I'll be looking at the hammock forums this weekend, but if there are any other good "intro to setup" links, please share them with me.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Toying with the Idea on 03/22/2011 07:45:35 MDT Print View

The Warbonnet site has setup videos for their hammocks, you might find that useful.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Do you get used to sleeping in a hammock on 03/22/2011 11:29:26 MDT Print View

@Jeremy: there have been, in the last 3 years, about 3 times I went to ground for various reasons. Camping along the Tonto tr. was one occasion where I purposefully brought my Prolite since I knew that out of the 4 nights out, Id be on the ground at least once.

here's the long and short of it: I have used down underquilts since my first few hangs. Its very hard to discount the comfort and ease of an UQ compared to pads. Anyway, using a pad even with my hanging experience has always been a PITA. I resist using pads at all costs.. unless forced to by camping conditions.

get a UQ, brother. you cant go wrong with any of the cottage UQ's out there.

Eddy Walker

Locale: southeast
Re: What's Your View Towards Hammocks? on 03/22/2011 13:22:48 MDT Print View

I can take it or leave it. My worst night ever was sleeping in a hammock. Now I sleep the same whether I sleep in my tent or my hammock.

Edited by Ewker on 03/22/2011 14:05:21 MDT.

tim hower
(jeepcachr) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
lighter than most tents on 03/22/2011 13:51:08 MDT Print View

A hammock setup is lighter than most tents. It is not as light as sleeping under your poncho on a sheet of tyvek. Hammocking gives me the most comfortable nights sleep for the lowest weight. I prefer a hammock over a bed.

A hammock will get you off the ground. Some hammocks allow you to sleep on your side or your stomache. Some people like a gentle rocking motion when they sleep, others need to feel sharp pointy rocks poking them. Most of the time hammocks are cooler which is great when it's hot and not so great when it's cold. My cold weather hammock setup down to 0 is still lighter than most people in tents. (present company excluded)

It's true you can't hammock where there is no place to hang but I've seen many pictures of creative hangs without trees. For most places where there are trees your more flexible than with a tent. The ground doesn't have to be level or clear of vegetation. You can hang on the side of a mountain. You don't have to worry about the ground being dry or having good run off in the event of rain. I can setup up my hammock and tarp in a fraction of the time of anybody that I go with that tents. Hammocks are generally more LNT friendly. I think it's easier to stay dry in a hammock over any ground system.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: lighter than most tents on 03/22/2011 14:02:59 MDT Print View

"My cold weather hammock setup down to 0 is still lighter than most people in tents. (present company excluded)"

Hey Tim, I'm glad you qualified your statement! I was about to say....haha

That said, I can't agree with your broad statement that ground dwellers enjoy having sharp pointy rocks poking them in their sleep. 2.5 inches of my neoair are as comfortable as my home mattress. No pokes for me! But then again, I bought my mattress off craigslist :/

But seriously, with a thick enough air mattress, we are plenty comfortable.

tim hower
(jeepcachr) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
re: pack weights on 03/22/2011 14:14:23 MDT Print View

The sharp pointy rocks comment was tongue in cheek. :) Kind of a general jab in the direction of ground dwellers.

Konrad it would be interesting to compare packed weights. That 14oz neoair is heavy by BPL standards. I don't carry a 7oz grand trunk nano7 as some hammockers do. My hammock of choice is a 31oz Warbonnet Blackbird. Probably similar to how you like your neoair, to me every ounce is worth it.

I don't look down on ground dwellers because of any disdain for them it is only because of my lofty perch above the ground. :)

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Hammock? on 03/24/2011 21:20:15 MDT Print View

What's a hammock??