View Full Version : Hammock on the PCT?

03-09-2006, 00:38
How would a Hennassy Hammock work on the PCT? I've got one and am really tempted to try. But how are the trees in So-cal? Lemme know... Thanks, Andy,

03-09-2006, 09:50
The person to ask is Ed Speer (a la Speer hammocks) I belive he did a PCT thru with his hammock a couple of years ago. Or at least I thought he was going to. I also remember reading about one other thru hiker that did. Ask around in the yahoo hammock camping group.

You have to be really flexible about where you spend the night. Unlike on the AT where can you sleep almost anywhere. Which means some days may be longer than you'd like (its 6pm and nothing in site gotta keep going), other times they may be shorter (found a good set of trees at 6pm, can't risk hiking any more). Might also have to get a bit more creative with your setup, 1-tree with 2 trekking polls, 1-tree with a good rock, etc.

Many of the trees are quite a bit larger in diameter, so I'd pickup a longer set of tree huggers.

Might want to bring a good pad along just in case. Besides, I've read that 95+% of your nights on the PCT you can sleep cowboy (no shelter at all) style.

03-09-2006, 10:05
Last year I hiked North Cascades NP, which I think is at the north end of PCT. The biggest problem with a hammock is 1) the trees are big, lots of 3 ft diameter and no 6 inch, so you need long straps and 2) at high elevations (above the treeline) there are no trees. So you are stuck making the hammock into a bivy. I know this is supposed to work, but my reading on WB is that using a hammock on the ground is at best a difficult deal.

The other problem we had was rocky ground--no way to get a stake into the ground. Finally got the tents set using large rocks to tie off were the stakes would normally go.

I love my HH, but I don't suggest it above the tree line.


03-09-2006, 10:24
You could do the hammock thing on the PCT. I pitched my tarp maybe a dozen or 15 times during my thru, choosing mostly to sleep out. I also finished in mid-late August and had stunning weather through WA. The main thing is not to pass by all the stunning campsites in an effort to walk down to where there are suitable trees to rig the hammock. Of course, if you are unsure of the weather you will have to do this and miss camping in some unbelievable places. Then again, almost everywhere on the PCT is stunning, so this might not be too much of an issue.

03-09-2006, 21:30
Several people hiked with hammocks in 2003. There aren't many trees in the desert but, as Chris writes, you don't really need a shelter most of the time. In the Sierra, you will have to camp in the valley's between passes if you want to use your hammock. I've never had a problem in Northern California, Oregon and Washington finding good trees on the PCT, nor did anybody I talked with in 2003. For Southern California desert, there may be a night or two where you need to get creative in how to pitch just the rain fly, use the hammock as a bivy sack, etc. These are often the same issues people that carry tarps have and MANY people carry a tarp.

03-18-2006, 14:21
My niece and I are preparing to go soon as well. I am bringing along that new Eureka Spitfire weighing in at only 2 lbs 3.9 ozs as a backup for her. She has only camped in the HH a couple of times. I plan on using mine as well...you can always set it up on the ground like a bivy tent, if you were unable to find a place lacking trees. I think only around the Mojave Desert area is that going to be a small problem.
I know starting in the San Diego area and up thru Big Bear and out no problem. Just around Apple Valley or Victorville till you get thru to the Tehachapi...but I guess you could attach yourself to a windmill, or a catus.
I did purchase the brand called Tree Huggers they are a little larger, but heavier than the ones that come with the HH...not sure I am going to bring them.
Hope to see some of you along the way.

03-19-2006, 00:01
Just wanted to add our goal is to start around April 15th (if I can get her ready)
AlsoI lived 10 years in Big Bear so if you are starting anytime in mid April thru the end of May...you will usually have snow.

It always snowed on Mother's Day in Big Bear :P

03-21-2006, 00:35
Maybe if you carried one of those metal stands they sell at walmart to set it up. Too many stretches without trees. good luck trying though.

03-28-2006, 19:09
One can pitch a hammock like a tent, so there is no reason not to bring it.

04-03-2006, 19:44
I am sorry to announce I will NOT be using either my HH or my Siam on this hike....sorry hammock crowd.
I will put one of them in the bounce box for up in the Oregon and Washington areas.

But...I tried two nights in a row sleeping in the HH as a bivy/tent and the Siam (both styles as a hoop bivy and a A frame bivy).
Terrible for me...to tight to small and no way could I do this for months.

My niece got the Spitfire and at this point I do not know if she is happy with it...she is suppose to try it out. She is already in California and we are running out of time.

I do not like using just tarps...sorry everyone...I fear creepy crawlies and snakes etc...plus the zeeters are terrible in some areas.

I am thinking of using the New Eureka Pinnacle Pass 2XTA or the Big Agnes Sarvis SL 2 its half price right now.
I was thinking we could spit the tent up in our packs....or is it really better to have your own tent?? I do like room and privacy.

07-17-2007, 15:52
definitly separate tents. henry shire makes excellent stuff and its usually the lightest. if you use lekis or whatever they can double as poles. beyond the fact that your going to end up smelling like the griswalds back seat on vacation, one of you may get sick, or angry, or even quit. then you have a 4lb wt all to yourself. peace

07-17-2007, 15:57
I've got an old HH and like the idea of being up off the ground and having the mosquito netting ...but I won't be taking in on my PCT thru. No interest in using the hammock like a tent on the ground (which I have done a few times )-: