View Full Version : Who has switched to sleeping in a Hammock?

04-29-2003, 03:04
Have you switched to sleeping in a hammock?
You might if it would help you sleep better?
No and wouldn't consider it?
Thinking about it if you could find one for free?

04-29-2003, 09:26
Guess I'm in the process of switching to a hammock. Bought one this winter and have slept in it in the back yard about a dozen times. Have yet to backpack this year, but the hammock will be going along when I do. Just made a Speer hammock for hubby - hoping this improves his attitude toward backpacking.

04-29-2003, 10:15
Hammocks are for laying around under palm trees in Nicaragua.

04-29-2003, 11:22
I, too, am in the process of switching. I bought a HH last week. And have slept in it 3 nights. I will use it for a trip in 2 weeks.

Site selection is the main reason for the switch. I must have a brain disfuction as I find tent/tarp site selection one of the most difficult and tedious tasks I have to do on the trail. The ability to just pick 2 trees and go is very, very satisfiying.

04-29-2003, 11:52
tlbj6142: I think you'll be surprised at how difficult it can be sometimes to find "just" 2 trees that are the right thickness, just far enough apart, high enough branches, lack of deadwood, out of the wind, with limited undergrowth, etc. I suggest you start looking for a spot long before dark those first few times out!

04-29-2003, 12:22
I'm 6'1/230lbs and would proabbly bring down the trees (lol). I also enjoy cooking dinner on a rainy day inside my tent (not my stove, just me). More room in my tent too (and no bugs or netting on my face). I guess I'm just bias.

04-29-2003, 13:47
If it is that hard to find a hammock site, just image how hard it is to find a good tent/tarp site. :banana

Switching gears...

After 3 nights, I'm still not completly convinced about the "nearly horizonal" comments you read quite often about your sleeping position in a HH UL A-Sym. Thus far, I find that to be a falsehood. Not that it matters much because back sleeping is 1000% times more comfortable than when I'm on the ground.

I can't do side sleeping (anywhere) as it kills the shoulder/arm under my body. But if I could belly sleep in a hammock, that would rock!

04-29-2003, 14:57
Finding a good tarp/tent site is easier than lighting an alcohol stove. As a past thread has indicated, though, some people have difficulty even with the simple task of getting denatured to burn.

04-29-2003, 21:34
Kerosone is partly right, there have been a few times when I had to make do with the trees in the area I wanted to camp in, but the vast majority of the time I have gone many many a mile without a good tent site...like Sgt Rock and Shane Steincamp I have to agree that the hammock revolution is one of the best things to come to backpacking...this Friday--> from Little Wolfe to Pearisbur I will have 4 nights to experiment with the Garlington Taco and various insulations underneath including the Golite Fur, trash bags with air/leaves/clothers/ and couple with the underquilt tested on the hike over Albert Mountain...concerning horitontal sleeping it is true that you are not flat and that means you are still curved. I discussed this before, but the curve causes venturis any time any amount of wind passes under the hammock drastically cooling it like a bridge, so I'm thinking the Garlinton Taco will be with me anytime I am hammockcamping.

04-29-2003, 21:56
Hammock Hanger got me into the hammock hanging thing. I'm glad I did.

I have the Clark which is better for the cold.

I have the Hennessey 2.5 which is really roomy and has a weight limit of 250lbs.

I just bought the UL-A-Sym for my hiking buddy to use so it will be good to compare them side by side. We're hiking the SNP starting this Sat.

I've made a underquilt using a Survival/Space blanket. I found this blanket today, don't know if it's new on the market or not, but it weighs in at 5.5 oz. Very light, it's made of something that reminds you of tyvek. It's breathable with a cloth-like feel to it, with a reflective material on one side. (It's called the Thermo-Lite All Purpose Survial Blanket. Sells for around 10 to 12 bucks. Campmor has it for $10.)

I've attached strech cord with plastic hooks at 8 places on the blanket using dimes and they then attach under the hammock to the O rings on the hammock. It hasn't been field tested yet but so far the results have been outstanding at Hikerheads Official Testing Laboratory, my basement.

Hammock Hanger
04-30-2003, 08:36
for over 8 years now. Imust say that my Hennessey Asym is like the Tahj Mahal compared to my old Walmart deluxe.

For me there just isn't any other way. HH

04-30-2003, 09:25

Can't wait to read the reports on the taco. What material did you make it out of?

04-30-2003, 16:30
I made the switch to a Clark hammock about 2 years ago and really enjoy the comfort and versatility it allows. Most folks here and at hikinghq seem to prefer the HH brand. I have to agree with HikerHead, the Clark is a great product and works well in any season, it does a good job in Georgia winters as they are not too severe.

RagingHamster - I am 6'1 and 250# and the hammock has never let me down for comfort or versatility. In the morning I just roll over, get my stove out of a side pocket and have that first cup of the day still in my bag! Can't beat it for starting the day off right.
See picture at...


Hikerhead - I added a window to the weather shield on the Clark. When the weather starts to really blow or get too cold you still get a room with a view. Also great for checking out what is making those strange sounds during the night. See picture at...



04-30-2003, 16:49

Does the blanket you made your taco out of crinkel? Just wondering if it would make for a noisy underblanket.

Hammock Hanger
04-30-2003, 16:59
I re-sewed my underliner omitting the down (which worked well but I was too lazy to carry an extra pound of down.) I had the opportunity to use my new underliner on the Bartram Trail last week. It worked great. Infact one night I thought hell I'll go without tonight. I found myself out in the dark slipping it on. It is basically a footprint of the hammock made out of sil with a few pockets sew in. I slip some partially inflated plastic bags in the pockets. (Kind of like an outside air mattress.) The trapped air kept me from getting a chill on the underside. I was warm as toast and very comfy. Weight a few ounces for the sil and a couple of plastic bags. HH

04-30-2003, 19:57
2ply---That is some really nice work you did on your hammock. I bet it won't be long when they make them like that. If I tried to do that I would screw it up in a heartbeat <Clapping hands>

TLBJ6142---This particulat blanket is not the foil type like my old one, so it absolutely make no noiseless. It's made of something that reminds me of tyvek. Very light and more of a cloth feel to it.
But, HH just told me it's not worth a poop. She was wrap up in one of these inside of her hammock one cold night and in the morning I found her buried in a pile of leave. It was too funny.
I'm not using this in that manner and I think it should work out ok.
It shouldn't be too cold next week so I guess that should be a good time to test it to see if it holds any promise.

If this works, here's just a simple diagram of what I did.

C:\My Documents\My Pictures\Survival Blanket underblanket.jpg

12-07-2003, 15:51
tlbj6142: I think you'll be surprised at how difficult it can be sometimes to find "just" 2 trees that are the right thickness, just far enough apart, high enough branches, lack of deadwood, out of the wind, with limited undergrowth, etc. I suggest you start looking for a spot long before dark those first few times out!

like anything you have to practice it a few times before you get the 'hang' of it.
and it's a lot harder when all those damn tenters have the trees chopped down to make room for their monstrous tents. lol

12-07-2003, 17:02
I havn't voted on this yet, still thinking.

I wear a kilt, but love my tent :p

Would love to try a hammock, will take that free one :D

I like the old net hammock I have, sleep like a baby in it. Am going to carry it on the next hike for sleeping in on warm starlit nights.

Descisions descisions :-?


Moon Monster
12-07-2003, 18:24
I sleep mostly on my stomach and sometimes in fetal. Are there any hammocks constructed for my habits?

Are there any hammocks period that compete weight-wise with a 17oz tarp-tent/groundcloth combo?

12-08-2003, 06:18
I sleep mostly on my stomach and sometimes in fetal. Are there any hammocks constructed for my habits?
Are there any hammocks period that compete weight-wise with a 17oz tarp-tent/groundcloth combo?

Some claim to sleep on their stomach in the hennssy's and I myself do the fetal/side sleep.

Hennessy makes a UL racer model that weights in at 15 oz. It alledgedly sacrifices a bit of duribility for weight tho. The weight of the hammock alone isnt the only consideration. you have to consider the whole setup. Tarp + pad + bag ect vs Hammock + pad + bag as a hammock has different requirements. A pad isnt needed for comfort in a hammock but serves as insulation instead.

I use a UL-ASYM model with a homemade underquilt and an arc alpinist on top.

hammock - 28
underquilt - 24
top quilt - 30

total - 82 oz or 5.2 lbs

The Solemates
10-20-2004, 09:53
Hammocks, kilts, quilts, and everything else girly. Not for me.

10-20-2004, 11:00

570 miles of AT, mostly in a hammock, persuades me that it is right for me. It allowed me to come back to backpacking when I thought I had to give it up for good.

But, say, what's wrong with a kilt?

10-20-2004, 21:56
goes with the liberal times we live in eh?
some femiNazi has infiltrated our he-man ranks.
next thing you know we'll be carrying tea cups for noon tea..

12-04-2004, 12:40
i currently own a henn.hammock 1.6 ultralite.my oldest so.has a hh.scout.
my youngest son getting hh.cocoon for christmas,for winter i use a byer hammock with a wally world 24x72 sleeping pad cut down to 54 in.
:jump :banana :sun :bse :clap :jump i also bought a 8x8 tarp from jacks are better
peter pan is a great guy to know if you are making the switch to hammock camping:bse

12-04-2004, 14:01
I'm in the process of switching. Got a Hennessy late last summer (Snap-On promo model) and tried it out in September. I didn't use a pad, the temps got down around 50, and I was cold. So I've switched back to a tent for the winter. But the Hennessy was comfortable, and I'm getting the Hennessy underpad for Christmas, so I should be able to go with the hammock for at least three-season use pretty soon. Comfort, not weight, is the reason to go with the hammock.

12-04-2004, 16:27
On my last section, I switched from my Speer's Hammock with PeaPod back to my Nomad in the last week. The reasons include:
1) bulk. A tarp, hammock and the peapod take up at least 4 times the volume of the Nomad in my pack. I think the cure for this is a smaller sleeping bag given the insulation of the PeaPod.

2) weather. I was unfamiliar with dealing with a tarp and strong winds and rain. I had been through that in my Nomad. However, the weather was so bad that I still had rain into the tent when the vestibule blew off the supports.

I'm not sure the change was that good a plan.

12-04-2004, 17:38
Sticking with my Squall tarptent...

I'm an Alaskan, and not much of Alaska has trees to hang a hammock on, and when we have trees they are thin little things that wouldnt even support my 100 lbs. There are trees that would work on a few trails, but i dont know why you would hike those trails much, above treeline is a hundred times better hiking. So. mabey, someday, if i move out of Alaska i will try the Hammock thing... ( know you can set up a hammock like a bivy, but doesnt that defete the purpose? I love my tent, am trying the tarptent, and will stick with that for a bit)

The Will
12-04-2004, 21:44
My rationale for purchasing a hammock was reduction in pack weight. But I have been very pleased also with the comfort of hammock sleeping.

I still am not sold on their use during the colder months, as I can go lighter with some sort of tarp-tent (Integral Sil-Shelter) than I could with the hammock and adequate insulation beneath. But the comfort is so impressive that I read the posts regarding under-quilts and like insulation with interest. Maybe someday...

12-04-2004, 22:48
Bought the big Hennessy last summer and got my first good night sleep in the outdoor in years. Have about 25 nights in it and discovered that I will need to try the 4 season super shelter system as I get cold under 45 degrees.

I have no fear about keeping dry. My first night in the HH was at Balancing Rock just north of Blood Mtn. Heard the storm that sounded like a freight train coming down the mountain 10 minutes before it hit. And wow did it hit. Had to pull in the sides a bit but stayed completely dry for the two hour deluge. The ground was a river and it was just too cool to be hanging high and dry.

My Explorer Deluxe Asym does come with a larger Silnylon tarp than the standard version. I find it to cover the hammock completely. I can't speak for the others.

12-06-2004, 11:29
I recently purchased a Hennessey Hammock, the Explorer Ultra-light, for use on my 2005 thru-hike. I had a bivy tent previously, but after seeing them in action on a section hike this summer (thanks Pop Tart for the demo) it was clear that hammock's are the way to go

12-06-2004, 13:13
Have not switched to a hammock and have no plans to. Not unless some one comes out with a model that holds two restless sleepers who both sleep primarily on their sides. My wife and I sleep together at home and we do the same on the trail. One of the biggest enjoyments we get out of hiking is the opportunity to do 'most everything together and we don't intend to give up the third of our time that is spent sleeping to being in separate hammocks.

12-06-2004, 13:48
Went with a hammock (Hennessey) after decades of tenting. Liked the weight and it was comfortable sleeing. But, then the cold weather set in. I tried all the popular winter modifications, and even some that weren't so popular at the time. In the end I just wasn't comfortable and the extremes to which I was going to try and achieve comfort weren't worth the hassle, in my opinion. Plus, I realized that I truly like having my "stuff" inside with me at night. I like to journal and read, neither of which was easily accomplished in my hammock.

So, after much consideration, I opted for a lightweight tarptent and have never been happier. I kept the hammock and will still use it on overnighters during the warmer months. Guess I just wasn't meant to be a "tree dweller" ...or maybe I've gotten soft in my old age. But that's my story and I'm sticking to it !!

AT 2003

01-03-2005, 11:37
I voted "if I can get a free one", I was put off with the expense of the comercial versions. Then I found risk/flyfisher's site and wow. I owe a big THANKYOU to him for his designs. Made my own hammock dirt cheap... strong, comfortable...
I have tried a tarp... yest the hammock is slightly heavier but easier to use and lighter than a tent.
yay!! hammock all the way.

(btw kncats check out: http://www.imrisk.com/hammock/ultradoublehammock.htm)

03-17-2005, 01:40
What do you do if there are no trees? Some areas would seem to pose a problem.


03-17-2005, 07:16
you are already carrying a tarp right? and you can use the hammock as a bivy type thing.

04-27-2005, 19:57
i have thought about it, but then i was wondering-would it be bad for my back? the last thing i need is a sore back to wake up to. can anyone tell me how a hammock has been on their back. i have no experiance with them and would be curious to know wether or not my suspicions are accurate or if i am just paranoid!lol!!!thanks.

04-27-2005, 20:11
my back likes the hammock a WHOLE lot better than it likes sleeping on the ground - I am of the opinion that hammocks are very good for your back

04-27-2005, 21:04
i have thought about it, but then i was wondering-would it be bad for my back? the last thing i need is a sore back to wake up to. can anyone tell me how a hammock has been on their back. i have no experiance with them and would be curious to know wether or not my suspicions are accurate or if i am just paranoid!lol!!!thanks.My guess is that a hard floor with an lighter weight air matress will be much harder on your back than a hammock. I've never slept better outdoors, and I'm an inveterate side sleeper!

04-27-2005, 21:16
I've pretty much completed the switch. I'll still use a tent during the worst of winter . . . well, maybe not. Got the Walmart blue pad, used the hammock in April with temps in the 30s and was fine. I think the combination of the pad and the Hennessey underpad will keep me warm throughout the winter months.

I'm not an ultralighter. It's the comfort that keeps me coming back to the hammock. At 53 I've got a touch of arthritis in the hips, and sleeping on a tent floor causes pain. I've got no such problems in the hammock. It's a little claustrophobic, but I can deal with that.

04-27-2005, 21:33
I have had spinal surgery twice, and when I sleep in my HH, I have no pains and I feel great in the mornings. When I sleep on the ground however, I toss and turn all nite and have to walk like Groucho Marx in the morning. That's for us Graybeards.

04-27-2005, 23:41
I got a free backpacking hammock the other weekend and not sure what if I'm gonna use it yet. I haven't really had a chance to set it up yet, I guess tomorrow I could take it out into the woods. It was used and some of the webbing is broken but still seems structurally sound. I have an overnight hike coming up in about a week I am planning on using it on. I'll have my trusty tarp as a backup.

04-28-2005, 00:01
i love my hammock:cool: neo

04-28-2005, 00:33
I have to agree with Rancid. I broke my back years ago and sleeping on the ground made me tose and turn until I fell asleep and then when I woke up in the morning I would also walk like Groucho Marx for the first couple of minutes until my back was stretched out. But since I got my HH hammock I have not had that problem. I am also a side sleeper and have not problem in my HH.

04-28-2005, 20:02
(for Hauptman)

I've posted several times in several forums praising the comfort of my Hennessy ("...best night's sleep on the trail ever..."). When I wrote of that extra comfort it was the benefit to my back I was thinking of. I've had stiff backs which I always attibuted to carrying the pack all day. But since I got out of the tent and into the hammock I've had no more stiff backs. It truly is very comfortable compared to sleeping on the ground and great for the back.


07-23-2005, 12:53
Hammocks are for laying around under palm trees in Nicaragua.Nearly spewed my iced tea when I read that one. Hilarious.

07-23-2005, 14:10
Hammocks are for laying around under palm trees in Nicaragua.Here you go chris http://www.hammocks.com/hammocks/nicaraguan_hammocks.cfm

11-03-2005, 06:40
for those of you looking for a hammock to sleep on your stomach, may I suggest one I found while researching? Perhaps you may be interested in this =


I am going with the Clark Hammock, as I cannot sleep on my stomach, but this other one looks like it may be for you...good luck.

11-03-2005, 09:23
I'm 6'1/230lbs and would proabbly bring down the trees (lol). I also enjoy cooking dinner on a rainy day inside my tent (not my stove, just me). More room in my tent too (and no bugs or netting on my face). I guess I'm just bias.

No you won't. I'm 5' 11" 245 lbs and mine swings great.


11-06-2005, 18:29
I may have just converted permanently. I went on a little section from Unicoi Gap to Dicks Creek Gap yesterday. I had my Spear hammock and Peapod. I managed to forget my sleeping bag. I expected to be cold. I had a small fleece blanket.

I had two pads, a full length blue closed cell Target pad and a 3/4 Thermorest that I use to cushion my pack's suspension. Within 15 minutes, I was hot, wearing only a pair of Capilene's. After trying to adjust the closures of the PeaPod, I found that I had to toss the pads in order to be comfortable.

This was a very warm sleeping system. I might get a down quilt rather than the fleece blanket, but I didn't find anything to compete for comfort and weight compared to my old reliable Nomad. Even with a cloud burst at 5:30 AM today, everything was warm and dry.

11-07-2005, 19:08
I have been a tent camper for decades, up and including lugging a base camp "Taj Mahal" with a cot! i recently bought an HH Asym Explorer Deluxe, and will not be going back. I live in coastal Carolina, and spend most of my camping time on barrier islands. It's incredible waking to a sunrise over the marsh rested and comfortable. And my choice of sites have greatly expanded. No bugs, vermin, and I don't disturb them either. I have a trip planned on the Bartram trail, as a runup to section hiking this spring, and feel from all the comments I've read, I'll be just as pleased.

Uncle Silly
11-07-2005, 19:27
Had to pick the "would if i could find a free one" option since the "no never" option would suggest that I'd never hike in a kilt... which is just patently untrue. wheeeee!

11-15-2005, 05:57
This thread has been going for a long time and it is interesting to see how the number of hammock users has climbed above tent users.
I am not surprised.

I couldn't imagine returning to the ground. I hike and camp year round and figured I'd use a tent in the coldest of temperatures but have since found that the hammock works just as well in the cold as in the heat...I just have to adjust the sleeping gear I bring along.

11-15-2005, 06:25
not finding two trees. Of course on the AT, they're abundant, a/l below the treeline. but of necessity, I sometimes find myself in places that are sooo groomed for tenters that the trees are too widely spaced. and using a HH as a tent just defeats the purpose.

11-18-2005, 01:10
I have yet to see the day where I couldn't find a place to set up.
I added webbing so I can span a further distance or use a tree that is really fat that I wouldn't have otherwise been able to use.

11-18-2005, 14:18
i've only had trouble in certain areas around here (Louisiana) where they've replanted trees... some of the open pine forest has trees too far apart... but i prefer hardwood bottomlands anyway, so it's not really an issue... just have to walk a little farther to find the right spot... never had a problem in the adirondacks.

11-19-2005, 08:55
I'm 6'1/230lbs and would proabbly bring down the trees (lol).

I'm 6'7" and 300lbs and have no trouble with my HH. Just gotta pick big enough trees that won't 'complain' when I hitch the hammock up to it.

Too Tall Paul