Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » What's Your View Towards Hammocks?


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Scott Lehr
(lehrscott4) - F

Locale: Louisville - KY
Stomach sleeper on 03/25/2011 06:23:07 MDT Print View

The idea of sleeping in a hammock is great, but i always sleep flat on my stomach. What advice to you hammock guys have for stomach sleepers? I did just buy a Grand Trunk Ultra Light travel hammock to try out, but havent got a chance yet.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Stomach sleeper on 03/25/2011 06:50:18 MDT Print View

IMO, A Bridge hammock gives you the best shot (That's what I use).

That said, I can't stay on my stomach for long, even in a Bridge. No decent place for my arms!

tim hower
(jeepcachr) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Stomache sleeping on 03/25/2011 08:20:46 MDT Print View

I sleep on my stomach or side or pretty much any way I want in a Warbonnet Blackbird. http://warbonnetoutdoors.com/

A bridge hammock is going to give you the flattest lay but a lot of people complain about shoulder squeeze and as the previous poster said no where to go with your arms when your on your stomache. I've never tried a bridge so I'm not speaking from personal experience.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Advice on 03/25/2011 09:08:27 MDT Print View

Scott asks,
"What advice to you hammock guys have for stomach sleepers?"

Roll over! ;-)


Seriously, it's the fact that I'm primarily a side sleeper that helped push me towards hammocks. Despite Tim's experience, I'm not confident that a hammock is the best for stomach sleepers.

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Stomach sleeper on 03/25/2011 10:20:58 MDT Print View

What is your favored position, exactly? If it's like this (sorry for the silly memeage), I sleep like this and find I can do it in a hammock comfortably.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ladvw6iPsy1qdeafco1_400.jpg

If you mean completely face down flat, I can't say. I mostly alternate between the above and curled up on my side, flipping sides.

tim hower
(jeepcachr) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
stomache sleeping in a hammock on 03/25/2011 11:02:04 MDT Print View

Hammocks may not be best for stomach sleepers. All I was saying was that I sleep on my stomach in my blackbird. I've tried other hammocks but not been able to stomach or side sleep in any I've tried. Best bet is to find someone with the hammock your interested in that you can borrow or at least try out. Don't try out a $20 hammock and say that hammocks aren't for you. That's like getting a tent at Walmart and saying all tents are bad based on the quality of that one. I slept a lot of nights in a $20 "hammock bliss" hammock and I'd chose that every time over any ground system.

I work with a guy that wants to love sleeping in a hammock in the worst way for several reasons but he just can't do it. Hammocks aren't for everybody. Fortunately most of the popular hammocks hold their value and can easily be resold for near what you paid for them. So if you do make the investment and it's not for you then you can turn around and sell it without taking to big a loss.

edit: I mostly sleep like Spelt's illustration above but I also move a lot. I have an under-quilt. I wouldn't recommend sleeping on a pad for someone that moves a lot in a hammock the UQ is definitely the way to go.

Edited by jeepcachr on 03/25/2011 11:04:39 MDT.

William Johnson
(Steamboat_Willie)
Stomach Sleeper on 03/25/2011 13:51:33 MDT Print View

I am a side-sleeper, but find that on the trail, I can fall asleep rather easily on my back inside the hammock after a long day of hiking, and camp chores.

Then, as I get up in the middle of the night, I will roll onto my side, or onto my stomach, and it is much more comfortable as I am still half asleep. It is not easy for me to fall asleep on my stomach right away, however (in the hammock) if I try it when I first lay down to sleep, or am taking an afternoon nap.

Then again, I do not sleep very well on my stomach right away when I ground camp, either. :)


How about packing a flask of Drambuie so that you can sleep in any position, and under any conditions you might face?

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Stomach Sleeper on 03/25/2011 14:30:47 MDT Print View

great idea! i prefer 3oz of Dewar's and a handful of snow. yum...

i sleep on my sides mostly, sometimes on my stomach at home. the blackbird is roomy enough to flip over in, spread out in, and easy for me to sleep on my back.. something that i cant do very well in my bed.
sometimes i'll use a jacket or something in a stuff sack as a knee pillow, form a slight fetal position, and sleep without movement for several hours.
i almost cant bring my black tarp anymore because i dont see the sun coming up and i'll sleep 12 hours. true story!

Gerry Brucia
(taedawood) - MLife

Locale: Louisiana, USA
Hammock Experience on 03/26/2011 07:53:36 MDT Print View

My first hammock was a Hennessey Backpacker UL and after several nights over a couple of years, I gave up on hammock camping. I could not get comfortable, could not sleep, and got serious headaches. After selling it I decided to try a Warbonnet Blackbird. The first night out, I slept better than I do in my own bed! It was incredible. I have since purchased and use a homemade lighter weight hammock most of the time. I use a down underquilt (Hammockgear 3 season Crow'sNest) and topquilt (a couple of different choices depending on the season)for insulation. I don't know what the issue was with the HH but for me, my two hammocks provide me with the best camping sleep I have ever had, and that covers 41 years!

Besides the comfort issue, I like the ability to sleep almost anywhere there are trees. I can stop whenever I want, not having to camp in established, often worn-out campsites. I can set up my rig as quickly as I can a tent or tarp if that includes preening a natural site when ground sleeping. Plus, I can use it as a chair as I cook my meals quite comfortably under my cuben tarp. I have been in some pretty severe storms and I have stayed completely dry and comfortable in my hammocks.

I may fine tune my gear a little more as time goes on but as long as the weight of the hammock with suspension and tarp with lines and stakes do not exceed two lbs, I am satisfied with the weight. There is always a tradeoff between comfort and weight that each person has to define for themself. Not that I am opposed to ground sleeping. In fact, I just recently purchased a 19 oz Lightheart Solo for when I do want to use a tent. BUT most of the time I choose a hammock over a tent.

Edited by taedawood on 03/26/2011 07:56:42 MDT.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 06/03/2011 15:26:48 MDT Print View

I am looking into hammocking as well. I have never slept well on the ground, even on 'good' sites. By the time I include the thick pad and doodads it would take for me to sleep well on the ground, it adds up to at least as much weight as a hammock setup (or close to it). Being blitzed the next day from poor sleep is not worth it anymore now that I am older.

I chuckle when I read Ray Jardine saying "just find a flat spot of soft forest duff well off the trail". Buddy, in a lot of NC you are in rhodo jungle if you take 2 steps off the trail (forget about level ground too), and the few flat spots are quite hardened from heavy use. Try it in Linville Gorge, my friend.

I had quite the realization while hiking in the Shining Rock area of NC this past weekend. I was walking through an area with lots of rhodo and small scrub. I thought "wow if I had to bivy here it would be miserable... unless I had a hammock".

I'm going to look into one of those Warbonnets (the hammock, not the headwear...).

Edited by El_Canyon on 06/03/2011 15:27:56 MDT.

tim hower
(jeepcachr) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
Hammocks can be as light or lighter on 06/03/2011 16:11:21 MDT Print View

Not sure why hammocks get a heavy rep. Hammocks like the blackbird compete with the lightest tent setups. If you don't want a bug net there are lighter options.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Hammocks can be as light or lighter on 06/03/2011 16:22:16 MDT Print View

From the stakes to my quilt and all the way up to my down balaclava, my fully netted 0°F setup weighs less than 60 ounces, and it could weigh less if I got a custom down air mat. What hammock set up can match that?

Clifford Ritt
(OBXH2O) - F
Hammocks on 06/03/2011 20:27:29 MDT Print View

One night in a hammock and I was sold for all the good reasons listed above. I love my Warbonnet Blackbird.

Chris Buster
(socohammocks) - F

Locale: Dominican Republic & Texas
Hammocks = Sleeping all night on 08/20/2011 19:01:11 MDT Print View

I am somewhat of a light sleeper and even when I was using an exped down airmat my back still hurt in the morning. Over the last three years I have been in a hammock and I cannot go back. If you have a hammock at least 5ft in width, you can sleep at an angle (which is the way you should always sleep in a hammock) and your back will actually have support. I personally use a SoCo Double hammock, from socohammocks.com, and I sleep like a baby. I do give a little in weight, but the 6.5ft width gives me the ability to sleep all night, which in my opinion, warrants the added weight.Me in my Red SoCo Double Hammock looking at a great TX sunset.

Leigh Baker
(leighb) - F

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
sleeping positions on 08/21/2011 09:16:30 MDT Print View

I find that while I'm a side sleeper on the ground and at home, in my hammock I'm completely comfortable on my back. I've heard others say the same. Strange but true. I currently have my hammock setup and my ground setup virtually identical.<60oz. I have a Warbonnet Traveler with an optional bug net since most of my trips are in cool weather.

Edited by leighb on 08/21/2011 16:32:26 MDT.

Joslyn Bloodworth
(JoslynB) - F

Locale: Southwest
Hammocks on 08/21/2011 13:43:53 MDT Print View

I can't do a hammock. I've never been able to even nap in one. The Bridge Hammock looks the most promising, but as someone who HATES going over 1lb for a solo shelter, they pretty much are just a non-existent option for me unless it's warm weather.

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Hammocks on 08/21/2011 14:08:23 MDT Print View

That's a bummer, Joslyn, as per your UL mission they're easy and cheap to make. Has your husband tried them?

Leigh Baker
(leighb) - F

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
Clarification on 08/21/2011 16:36:26 MDT Print View

I should clarify, that the setup includes shelter and sleep system.
12.9 Warbonnet Traveler w/suspension
11.5 HammockGear Cuben Tarp w/ suspension and snakeskins
19.8 HammockGear Burrow 3 season
11 Warbonnet 3 Season Yeti
2.6 GG thinlight 3/8" cut down
1 titanium sheppard hooks 4
1 dphammocks half body bug net
59.8
I could 86 the snakeskins for a 2.2 oz savings but I like using them and minus bugnet in cool weather would save another oz.
Versus
14 POE A/C Elite
2.9 GG 1/8"insulation/doubles as sit pad
20 WM summerlite
10.7 MLD Solomid
8.3 Zpack hexanet
1.5 6 titanium shepard hooks
57.4

There are certainly lighter set ups, but mine works for me. I can switch to either depending on the location.

Edited by leighb on 08/21/2011 16:38:48 MDT.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
my view on Hammocks on 08/21/2011 17:23:43 MDT Print View

Joslyn, have you tried the kind of hammocks we are talking about? The backyard hammocks that most people think of, are a whole different story.
Here is a picture of my daughter this Saturday morning at Sword Lake, going on 15 hours of sleep



Libby in a hammock

Joslyn Bloodworth
(JoslynB) - F

Locale: Southwest
Re: my view on Hammocks on 08/21/2011 19:39:53 MDT Print View

@spelt - My husband does like the idea. The problem, and please correct me if I'm wrong here, but the best way to insulate a hammock is to have an underquilt and a top quilt. This not only increases the weight compared to what I am willing to carry for a sleeping pad, but that means I've got to make two quilts per person and despite the low cost to make a hammock itself, it isn't much cheaper at that point to make four quilts and two hammocks. A lot of my cost and weight savings comes from being able to make a double quilt and shelter.

@Kat - I have not tried the long term hammocks. The reason I can't sleep in a normal hammocks is my head and legs at any angle over my hips and I'm wide awake plus I'm a side sleeper. I have seen people say that side sleeping and hammocks work great, but I just can't see how if your legs get bent up. Maybe I'm wrong and if I am I'd love to be corrected, but it doesn't look like anything but a bridge hammock would fix that and that becomes rather heavy and expensive based on the research I've done.

Honestly, if ya'll have solutions to my issues, I'd love to hear them. I'm always open to new suggestions!