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hammock in, tent out?
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Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
hammock in, tent out? on 03/13/2012 08:43:41 MDT Print View

i'm in the process of transitioning
how many of you no longer own a tarp and/or tent after having made the switch?

Chris C
(cvcass) - MLife

Locale: State of Jefferson
still own both on 03/13/2012 08:53:23 MDT Print View

I have and use both hammocks and tents, some locations just aren't suitable for hammocking.
I prefer to hang whenever possible but some of my favorite places don't have any trees at all.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Keeping Tents/Tarps When Hammocking on 03/13/2012 19:13:37 MDT Print View

I've kept my tents and tarps - I find that I need to supply a lot of my buddies with gear and that they don't all enjoy hammocks as much as I do.

I live in Pennsylvania - no shortage of trees anywhere, but there are still people who feel more comfortable in a tent then wrapped up in a "bear burrito."

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: hammock in, tent out? on 03/13/2012 19:56:30 MDT Print View

Can't hang (legally) in FL state parks, so I spend more nights on the ground than in the trees.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: still own both on 03/14/2012 00:39:45 MDT Print View


John Almond
(FLRider) - F

Locale: The Southeast
Re: still own both on 03/14/2012 06:05:57 MDT Print View

Also here in FL. If I want to go to a state park (common with the wife), well...

Also, "dynamic stress testing" of hammocks is fun and all, but definitely not something that you want to do in a front-country campground. The wife and I camp together at least a few weekends a year, so, yeah.

Besides, she doesn't want to give up the air mattress when we car camp--about the only way I'll get her out in the piney woods. Not complaining, but it means that we still stay in a tent when we go on trips together.

Eddy Walker

Locale: southeast
Re: Re: still own both on 03/15/2012 14:10:37 MDT Print View


Joslyn Bloodworth
(JoslynB) - F

Locale: Southwest
Both on 03/20/2012 11:29:32 MDT Print View

I actually just got the last bit of gear needed for hanging yesterday and I am not only not considering getting rid of any of my tarps/tents, I'm looking at snagging a lighter tarptent for those pesky "no hang" areas. Not to mention my full double walled backpacking tent (stupid heavy) is the only way to get some friends to try it.

Leigh Baker

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
own both on 03/20/2012 18:31:59 MDT Print View

I'll echo Chris' thoughts exactly.

Paul Ashton
(PDA123) - F

Locale: Eastern Mass
tarp/hammockround cloth on 03/23/2012 16:28:03 MDT Print View

hammock on ground

You need your tarp with the hammock. If no trees, use hiking poles to set up hannock on the ground (for bug protection. Just need a small ground sheet.

Edited by PDA123 on 03/23/2012 16:28:53 MDT.

Kristofer McKenna

Locale: North Texas
tent out on 04/17/2012 11:09:49 MDT Print View

I don't have a tent anymore, but I do have my hammock's tarp to pitch on the ground if I really want/have to.

Don Abernathey
(OldGuysRule) - F

Locale: PNW
Gave my tarp away on 05/17/2012 09:42:15 MDT Print View

Well I gave my old Golite lair 2 away. I have a very nice tarp with my hammock, so I can go to the ground if needed. However I don't carry a foam pad anymore so going to the ground makes for a long, painful night.

But if I knew from the start that I was going to be constantly about the tree line, I would just use my tarp, pads and quilt. Tarps are great. But where I play the tree line is about 9500', and I never get above 10K', so it is no big deal to drop down a bit and find a couple trees to hang between. Besides, I don't really like the thunder & lightning theatrics up on a bald mountain top.

Marvin Panganiban
(mpanganiban) - F
Bought a hammock on 06/06/2012 20:39:24 MDT Print View

I just disposed my tent and bought a new hammock here It was really great!

Edited by mpanganiban on 06/06/2012 20:40:02 MDT.

Marvin Panganiban
(mpanganiban) - F
Re: Bought a hammock on 06/06/2012 20:42:23 MDT Print View

Mexican hammocks are really great and durable. if you bought your hammocks there, it will surely lasts for so long. I bought mine last two years ago, and I am still using it until now.

Matthew mcgurk
(phatpacker) - F

Locale: Central coast California
hammock vs. tent on 08/29/2012 21:27:11 MDT Print View

if you go out in rainy conditions you need a tarp anyway just carry a ground cloth and use the hammock tarp like you would any other and your good to go. Plan your camps near water and you find trees. It is a rarity to not have trees by water. That said I still own both because my wife prefers the psycological boundry of a tent so sometimes when she goes I need the tent.

Jack Richland
(BlackScoutSurvival) - F
Hammock for sure on 09/26/2012 21:59:59 MDT Print View

I own 10 hammocks. ENO's, Grand Trunks, Hennessy Hammock, Warbonnet's. I have a tent that I never use. I don't really enjoy tent camping (I spent 8 years in the marines doing that). Tent camping usually requires more gear and hard to get comfortable. In the area I live in it is very temperate weather and doesn't get too cold. However bug nets are a must if you want to get any sort of sleep. Honestly Grand Trunk's and ENO's have very similar offerings. Grand Trunk does have one of the most reasonable mosquito hammocks if your looking for a bargain. Hennessy Hammock's due come with tarps although I personally like Warbonnet's offering the best. I have the Warbonnet Blackbird and RidgeRunner and by far are the best hammocks I've slept in. For cold weather you will need an underquilt and a tarp for rainy conditions. I have reviews of all of these hammocks on my website (

When weight is a concern or I just want to rough it I'll rig up a British Army Basha with 550 cord.

Alpo Kuusisto
(akuusist) - F
hammock in, tent on 10/07/2012 13:36:15 MDT Print View

Folks seem to make a choice between a hammock and a tent. I think a hammock is a substitute for a mattress, not to a tent.

Behold, a hammock in a tent:

Detail of suspension line going through tent mosquito netting, no scissors needed:

Yeah, tent has it's virtues but this is probably not very practical. And actually I'm using a hammock mostly because of simplicity and nice views. But I had to test this anyway, maybe someday it will be useful...

Edited by akuusist on 10/07/2012 13:37:06 MDT.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Hammock inside a tent on 10/08/2012 06:25:04 MDT Print View

From an overall weight perspective, you've got to be able to achieve better results with a tarp overhead and a full net enclosure. Carrying a tent AND a hammock really seems to be overkill...

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Both but prefer hammock on 11/04/2012 12:02:25 MST Print View

I still own both, but I prefer to hang whenever possible, including in the snow.
I would not sell your ground setup, unless you have to.

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: "Still own both" on 11/04/2012 12:46:56 MST Print View


Brian Reyman

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Own Both - Use One on 12/17/2012 19:00:45 MST Print View

I still own both - a Fly Creek UL2 for those very rare instances when I go to ground for a trip. Honestly, though, I hang absolutely every time I can. The tent is only for emergency trip backup.

Jared Baker
(simply_light) - MLife

Locale: Midwest, US
+1 Both on 01/12/2013 04:39:25 MST Print View

I like to hang, but I also like to go to ground. So, I do it about half and half. Of course when the family comes, it is tent all the way.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
hanging on 12/05/2013 18:38:26 MST Print View

I'd love to try a hammock, just to see what all the fuss is about, but unfortunately I never backpack without my dog. Dogs make backpacking so much more enjoyable IMHO, almost like having a (little) person to enjoy the experience with, since my family isn't into it.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: hanging on 12/05/2013 18:41:23 MST Print View

I know folks who hammock with their dogs. At least one even has their dog in their hammock with them (and I'm talking a golden here, not some tiny dog).

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: hanging on 12/05/2013 18:45:34 MST Print View

Hammocks are great with dogs. They can sleep right under you and do better when not closed in by a tent.

Doug Smith
(Jedi5150) - F

Locale: Central CA
hanging dogs :) on 12/05/2013 19:01:58 MST Print View

Doug and Katharina, now you've got me curious. My dog that backpacks with me is a 60 lb Malinois (my 80 pound Mal stays home). She is sort of a wuss when it comes to temperature changes (hot or cold), and loves snuggling up with me. Inside the hammock might work...

As for your suggestion, Katharine, of under the hammock, how would I protect her from the elements (wind/ thundershowers), and keep her from chasing critters (which she does off-lead)? Do you just tie them out close enough that they can sleep under it if they choose?

When picturing scenarios, I'm talking about the Sierras in the summer. That is my primary backpacking location and time of year.

Thanks! (sorry for the thread hijack...maybe I should start a new one).

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: hanging dogs :) on 12/05/2013 19:24:59 MST Print View

Hi Doug,
I have only taken my dog on three trips with me and the hammock. He sleeps under me on a Ridgerest. He has a little blanket but won't keep in on. The tarp I use is pretty big and covers us well but I have not been out with him in the rain. He will get up and walk around but he is pretty deaf now and does not run around too much. I don't tie him down either. So I don't have a whole lot of experience with him on the trail, but in the tent he was not comfortable as he could not see what was going on...

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: hanging dogs :) on 12/05/2013 19:29:17 MST Print View

"He has a little blanket but won't keep in on."

I bought one of these for my pup when she's napping outside in cold weather. This would probably work well too.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
hanging on 12/07/2013 16:20:33 MST Print View

I have been gradually migrating to a system that is primarily a hammock, but can be dropped to the ground when hanging is not feasible.

You need a tarp with a hammock and that same tarp works when your on the ground.
The hammock acts kind of like a bivy and if your hammock has a bug net, it makes your hammock into a bug bivy when your on the ground.

For the people who don't understand why a hammock is better than ground camping, other than the comfort factor, there are many places that are difficult or horribly uncomfortable to ground camp.

Your options open up when you have the option to do either.

Marshy, muddy, sloping, rocky, ... areas are no concern with a hammock.
I have hung over thick berry bushes, jagged rocks and puddles.

You do not have to be limited to established camp sites with the obnoxious people and/or critter problems. Go hang in the bush.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: "Still own both" on 12/07/2013 19:02:16 MST Print View

Yup, still own both, but if I'm solo and there will be trees, well only a barbarian would sleep in the dirt :)

If you like to tarp camp anyway, you could work your way towards a tarp that would work for both. I want something like a 12'x'10' Cuben tarp. Many of the hammock spcifiec tarps are more of a hex cut with cat curves, so the low side ends up a little short for optimal ground camping, while the ridge line is 11'-12', which is a bit long compared to most ground tarps.

A CCF pad is the best way to get really UL with a hammock (although it isn't my favorite), the point being that is another item you can share between the two systems. ENO has come out with the Hot Spot pad holder that will use your 20" pad and has additional CCF padded wings to cover your hips and shoulders.

Also, I have yet to buy a quilt and use my sleeping bag in my hammock. Your top quilt or sleeping bag can be used in either system as well.

If you do the CCF pad option, get a tarp sized for ground and hammock, and a typical quilt or sleeping bag, all you would need to add is a polycryo ground sheet and you could do it all.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: "Still own both" on 12/07/2013 21:02:12 MST Print View

"I want something like a 12'x'10' Cuben tarp."

I've got a 12x12 cuben tarp from zPacks. Worked great as a hammock tarp until I bought a hammock tarp.

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: "hammock in, tent out?" on 12/07/2013 21:46:57 MST Print View

"I've got a 12x12 cuben tarp from zPacks."

I emailed around a while back and got quotes for a 12x12 and Zpacks was the cheapest. Never followed up however. I did get the hammock tarp w/doors which is great.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
hammock in, tent out? on 12/09/2013 16:12:35 MST Print View

One option for my question:
"So I end up bringing a blow-up pad as well as a quilt which adds too much weight.
I hope to get a compromise worked out over the winter.
Any suggestions?"

Klymet Inertia X Wave 11 ounces. It is wide enough to contribute bottom warmth, allowing a lighter bottom quilt. Not 11 ounces lighter, but maybe 5 or 6?

And I would have some decent padding should I have to go ground.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 12/10/2013 14:32:50 MST.

James Lee
(JLeephoto) - F

Locale: Triad
Tying Trees Together since 2013 on 12/14/2013 23:43:37 MST Print View

I just made the switch from searching for flat spots to searching for two trees to tie together. Will probably keep the tent for trips with the spouse. Slept the first night in a hammock, my best night ever in the wild, and I was "all in."

Three biggest discoveries were: It takes a lot more insulation to deal with the cold in a hammock (specifically underneath, the hammock can be the least expensive part of the equation, and if you want to go light you have to spend more due to the need for down underquilts, syl or cuban tarps, etc.

FWIW: If you're wondering how you'd do in a hammock, you can make a nice one yourself with no sewing skills by getting a nylon taffeta tablecloth ( for $12 and whipping the ends. A couple of carabiners and some 1" nylon tree straps (I use canoe tie downs) and you're hanging. Check out the DIY threads at

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: hammock in, tent out? on 12/14/2013 23:52:59 MST Print View

Filthy ground dweller here. I don't get all the hype about hammocks. I've used them and like them for warmer weather but I can get by better on the ground.

Todd Kunze

Locale: North Coast
hammock vs. tent on 12/21/2013 10:12:07 MST Print View

I still have both. Warmer weather is hammock time. As the weather gets colder you have to start adding more stuff to stay warm in a hammock. It can be done though.