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Old 01-05-2008, 02:22 AM
G21Steve G21Steve is offline
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Default Hammock Vs. Tent



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For the past few years I have weighed my options when it comes to adequate outdoor, 4 season shelter. I have mostly always used a tent. Ive slowly moved up from a coleman, to a north face, to a MSR. But now Im second guessing myself.

It has its upsides:
  • For morale purposes 4 sides and a roof has always been nice. Even thought its walls maybe be 1/20th of an inch thick having an enclosed structure provides alot of mental security.
  • Space for your backpack, gear, and maybe a partner.
  • Privacy
  • Most high end backpacking tents are lightweight

and downsides:
  • Must be set on level ground, free of roots, rocks, water, and mud.
  • If you want to keep your tent dry and clean, you have to have a footprint.
    which is added weight on your pack.
  • Most affordable tents are heavy, bulky, and cumbersome.
  • Most affordable tents arent quick to setup.
  • If you want to sleep good, you need a quality sleeping pad. (Read:$$$)

So that brings me to hammocks. I had never camped in a hammock until a few weeks before winter. I have friends that swear by them, and after my experience, I believe I am leaning that way too. I have never slept better in the outdoors than when I was in a hammock.

Pros:
  • Can be setup anywhere almost.
  • Keeps you off the ground away from animals and water.
  • The tarp that goes over the hammock can be made of any material, meaning plastics can be used that will be totally waterproof.
  • No sleeping pad is required.
  • The hammock provides and extra layer on the sides of your sleeping bag.
  • No loss of warmth through the ground.
  • Weigh very little
  • Paired with a sleeping bag, they are very comfortable.

Cons:
  • Not alot of room for your gear unless you hang it under the tarp.
  • A tad on the expensive side.
  • Only room for 1.
  • While not exposed to the elements, a hammock that doesnt fully close leaves you exposed to mosquitoes and other flying bugs.

I believe I have made my choice. I am purchasing a hammock. Ive done some research on this awhile, and everyone recommends this place for them. Im looking at the EXPEDITION ASYM for myself.
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:59 AM
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Yay! Hammocks are great!
Old 01-05-2008, 06:21 AM
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Where are you based Steve? Do you have relatively mild winters?
I know that some guys who do winter hammocking in the UK put a sleeping mat and army blanket in their hammock , this provides some extra insulation. Then a 4 season sleeping bag with a silk bag liner, and then finally another army blanket on top. With this setup they stay toasty warm.

Don't forget a mosquito net for the summer!

Very useful to have a tent and hommock(s), this would give you lots of flexibility.

YB
Old 01-05-2008, 08:26 AM
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I just bought one of those myself. I have not had the chance to use it yet but I am iching to try it.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:28 AM
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Default hammock camping

Part of it depends on where and what type of environment.

One camping trip I went on a few years ago was the most MISERABLE I had ever, ever been on. There were about a 6 of us camping next to a salt marsh. I spread my poncho on the ground, then my sleeping bag. We had a tent set up, but we all slept outside. The mosquitoes kept me awake just about all night. Even though I had plenty of repellent on my ears, those blood suckers would stay just a few inches, just within hearing range of my ears. I should have slept in the tent that night.

Where I live, in the summer, the lows are still in the 80's and sometimes in the 90's. Sleeping in a tent can feel like a oven. In june or july, a hammock is much more to my liking then a tent.

On the last hiking / camping I went on, a buddy of mine and a member of this site, shonuff had his hammock decked out with all the comforts of home.
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My step on with his hammock next to a creek - same camping trip.
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And me chillin in my hammock.
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Shonuffs' hammock on the right and my hammock on the left. Look just to the right of my pack and you can see my AK-47 leaning against the tree.
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We had hiked for about 4 hours before we set up camp. Hammocks are also much lighter and more compact then a tent. My hammock weighs just a few ounces and rolls up to just a little bigger then a fist.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:34 AM
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I like hammocks, but it is always better to not bring a tent or a sleeping bag. Try camping next time without one. Use the natural materials around you and this will be much more satisfiying... although I wish tarps grew on trees!
Old 01-05-2008, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Boy View Post
Where are you based Steve? Do you have relatively mild winters?
I know that some guys who do winter hammocking in the UK put a sleeping mat and army blanket in their hammock , this provides some extra insulation. Then a 4 season sleeping bag with a silk bag liner, and then finally another army blanket on top. With this setup they stay toasty warm.

Don't forget a mosquito net for the summer!

Very useful to have a tent and hommock(s), this would give you lots of flexibility.

YB
Im located in Alabama. Our winters here only drop below freezing a few times during the season.

I have a friend that uses a sleeping pad paired with his hammock. I have yet to try it. An all season bag is key though. In winter time, you cant beat a good down bag. Id imagine even with the coldest winters, having all of that paired with a close fire, would be super warm and comfortable.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G21Steve View Post
Im located in Alabama. Our winters here only drop below freezing a few times during the season.
Steve. Me and you gotta go hammock camping dude.

Hammocks are great for warmer climates like here in Alabama. Right now it is about 45 to 50 degrees out in JANUARY. Grab a nice sleeping bag and head out camping oh yeah.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:46 PM
IMNSANERU? IMNSANERU? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G21Steve View Post
For the past few years I have weighed my options when it comes to adequate outdoor, 4 season shelter. I have mostly always used a tent. Ive slowly moved up from a coleman, to a north face, to a MSR. But now Im second guessing myself.

It has its upsides:
  • For morale purposes 4 sides and a roof has always been nice. Even thought its walls maybe be 1/20th of an inch thick having an enclosed structure provides alot of mental security.
  • Space for your backpack, gear, and maybe a partner.
  • Privacy
  • Most high end backpacking tents are lightweight

and downsides:
  • Must be set on level ground, free of roots, rocks, water, and mud.
  • If you want to keep your tent dry and clean, you have to have a footprint.
    which is added weight on your pack.
  • Most affordable tents are heavy, bulky, and cumbersome.
  • Most affordable tents arent quick to setup.
  • If you want to sleep good, you need a quality sleeping pad. (Read:$$$)

So that brings me to hammocks. I had never camped in a hammock until a few weeks before winter. I have friends that swear by them, and after my experience, I believe I am leaning that way too. I have never slept better in the outdoors than when I was in a hammock.

Pros:
  • Can be setup anywhere almost.
  • Keeps you off the ground away from animals and water.
  • The tarp that goes over the hammock can be made of any material, meaning plastics can be used that will be totally waterproof.
  • No sleeping pad is required.
  • The hammock provides and extra layer on the sides of your sleeping bag.
  • No loss of warmth through the ground.
  • Weigh very little
  • Paired with a sleeping bag, they are very comfortable.

Cons:
  • Not alot of room for your gear unless you hang it under the tarp.
  • A tad on the expensive side.
  • Only room for 1.
  • While not exposed to the elements, a hammock that doesnt fully close leaves you exposed to mosquitoes and other flying bugs.

I believe I have made my choice. I am purchasing a hammock. Ive done some research on this awhile, and everyone recommends this place for them. Im looking at the EXPEDITION ASYM for myself.

G21 Steve
Hammocks can be good, but do your reasearch first before buying one. They can be lots of $$$, but don't have to be. There are sites that show you how to make one (without sewing) for little $. In fact, I made mine for $10. I have used it and slept well.

Hammocks can be cold in the winter weather. Most just use an underquilt. You can't use a sleeping bag because your weight compresses the fill in your sleeping bag and renders it near useless for insulating. An underquilt hangs under the hammock, and provides significant warmth.

As another poster noted, don't forget a mozzy net. They can be hung from a ridgeline over your hammock. I do this and just tuck the mozzy net under my CCF mat or my sleeping pad. Some materials still allow aggressive mozzies the ability to still get you though the material, that is why I use a CCF or somthing under me when in the hammock sleeping.

A tarp is also needed. I currently use a milsurp poncho. I find it adequate, but a little small for my liking. If I was caught in a long and big thunderstorm when camping, I would get wet. That is why I'm looking at a larger silnylon tarp. I'm looking at a 12'x12' tarp...yea, I know that sound big, but I live in FL and I want to be sure I can batten it down for shelter. This size also allows me to use it as a tarp tent if I didn't want to be a tree hugger. I could get buy with a smaller size and may end up going a little smaller. I'm working on tarp tent designs now so final size may be smaller. I know guys that use 8'x8', 9x9, 10x10, 6x8 (too small for me), and 8x10. So the tarp needs to be what you feel confortable with.

If you want, and mods don't mind, I can post links of some good hammock sites.

Oh, by the way, I've heard of guys falling out of the Hennessy Hammocks while sleeping due to the bottom entry/exit opening. Something to think about.

Sorry for the long post (especially my first), but thought I would add my 2 cents. My hammock pic below.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:58 PM
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I know someone who hiked the AT in its entirety using a Clark hammock. He was always a fan of hammocks over tents and was telling me that he had owned a Hennessy hammock(not sure which model) and said it was nice, but he bought a Clark North American hammock for his trip and said it was loads better than his Hennessy. He said it could be used in any temperature range without any problems, kept him warm and dry in pretty bad storms, and had storage under the hammock itself to hold some stuff. The exact one he used was http://www.junglehammock.com/models/...ican/index.php . It seems like you can get it in camo and get a larger rain fly to...
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:46 AM
G21Steve G21Steve is offline
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IMNSANERU, thanks for you input on that.

Ive looked at a few homemade ones on a few backpacker forums, found some designs I like, but Im not sure. I would save money..but I like the function of alot of these bought ones. And they come with the tarp, tree huggers, and all the rope and stuff.
Ill probably be using my thermarest under my bag. Should give me plenty of warmth. I may go another route after a cold night. I want to keep my pack light as I can though.

Waffle, thanks for the link. I like their designs alot better than Hennessey. Not sure I wanna pay that much for one yet though.

Josiah, no doubt man. Im always looking for backpacking company.
Old 01-06-2008, 07:06 PM
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Here are some hammock websites that I have found to be very helpful:

http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeHammock.html

http://www.imrisk.com/testhammock/testhammock.htm


Some other hammock manufacturer's (I have not tested these personally):

http://www.picnic-basket.com/The_p_57-201.html

http://www.mosquitohammock.com/

http://www.speerhammocks.com/

http://www.eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com/

You have probably found these, but I have heard good things about all of these hammocks on various hammock sites. I prefer to DIY at first, see what I like/don't like, then find a manufacturer that can meet my needs. I have found most hiking/camping gear (like guns and knives) are what fits your needs. So what works for someone else may not work for me. Remember, hammocks need to "fit" you. You may need it for 3 season camping, four season camping, lightweight, etc. You may need one longer or shorter. It may need to be hung with a ridgeline of 100" or maybe 108" for you. Play around with it and see what your "sleep number" (sorry, but I couldn't help it) really is for a hammock.

Good luck.
Old 01-06-2008, 07:24 PM
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check out this site for the clark junge hammock the have one for all climate...mine is the 'north' http://junglehammock.com and this real cool woodsman site im looking at getting the pyramid tent. check out the videos there at http://nwwoodsman.com
Old 01-07-2008, 04:02 PM
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I carnt stand sleeping in a hammock but i do like using a light weight tarp with a bivy bag with a self inflating mat in side of it,Ive sleept in minus 15 using this method using high mountain sleeping bag and i was very comfurtable.
Old 01-07-2008, 04:03 PM
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I carnt stand sleeping in a hammock but i do like using a light weight tarp with a bivy bag with a self inflating mat in side of it,Ive sleept in minus 15 using this method using high mountain sleeping bag and i was very comfurtable.
Old 01-07-2008, 04:17 PM
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Hammocks aren't for belly sleepers such as myself.
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post
Hammocks aren't for belly sleepers such as myself.
If you hang it right, you can sleep on your belly. I'm not a belly sleeper, but I know people that have slept on their belly while in a hammock. Side sleeping is not a problem. If you hang it right, you have enough room to lay diagonally, which gives you a flatter surface to sleep on. Then you can sleep on your back, side or belly. Some of the hammock forums talk about this.
Old 01-07-2008, 10:08 PM
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I have made my hammock part of my pack without a tent. tents just add to much weight. i carry 2 stakes, 1 8x10 tarp, 50foot of rope and a spool of trot line rope. much lighter and compact then a tent strapped across my back, PLUS my hammock is in a nice little carry bag that can be used for food collection and the rope has endless uses if the need arises.
Old 01-20-2008, 10:45 PM
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I read this thread with some interest, but only casually seeing as I'm on a limited budget and already have a tent, didn't figure a hammock would fit in. However, just after doing some random internet browsing I ran across this....

http://www.ddhammocks.com/products/usaproduct.htm

Then a youtube tour of the 2008 version...


Looks like they go for around 90 before shipping, possibly cheaper on ebay.

PS. I'm in no way affiliated or own or have tested any of these, just stumbled across it and thought I'd share.
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