View Full Version : basic hammock lessons

squirrel bait
10-19-2003, 01:54
So basically it goes like this. Hang hammock between appropiatley spaced trees, run another line for tarp you hang over yourself, anchor this tarp to the ground, a piece of something underneath your sleeping bag, then sleeping bag and get in.? I see this forum was moved here and I have looked for past posts to read up on but haven't been able to find them. Can ya all bear a few questions,
1. Do the hammocks have a spreader bar, like the Hatteras style here? Do you carry one and insert it at night or does it just kinda coccon ya?
2. My feeble brain says it would seem to work well in the rain?
Is this the case?
3. Size wise verse a backpacking tent? To carry?
4. Do you need to carry something to not harm trees you tie to?
5. Did ya see how I used the word bear and didn't get scared?
6. Availability of hanging sites?

10-19-2003, 04:02
ok well first off we aint talkin backyard hammocks here but rather specialised ones made for camping. no spreader bars usually.

Lots of different ones to choose from Hennessy and Clark are two major ones, both availible from the web Hennessy makes models from ultra light 15 oz racing to giant 4 lb'rs that can support an elephant - see website for more details.

Basic Hennessy usage - find two trees about 15 ft apart or so. tie one end to tree with nylon webbing strap - repeat on other end. tie out sides. Crawl in and chill er sleep.

1. not usually
2. some have rain fly's but not all
3. smaller then most tents but see below
4. some use nylon webbing to tie up with
5. yes - lunch counter height
6. several billion sites availible nation wide

While hammocks are great to sleep solo in and so forth there are a few drawbacks. - ya need trees and if you live in one of the hairless er treeless areas then you need to move. :p The thin cords on some can damage tree bark but nylon "tree huggers" are easy to get/make. But the biggest drawback - hammocks are a wee bit cold. You will have to experiment for a bit to find a good method to insulate yourself when the temps start dropping - there are several threads on this site that cover the choices.

Beyond the general each hammock usually has its champions - I like hennessy but lowered my self and allowed the mention of those inferior clarks :rolleyes:

for solo trips in tree infested areas - hammocks rule!

:banana :banana :banana :banana :banana :banana :banana

10-19-2003, 09:40
Hennessyhammock.com is selling their origional model (the expedition 2.5) for $69 for a limited time. These were $110 just 3 months ago, so its a fantastic time to pick up a great hammock for little cost!

HH Expedition User
Thru HIker 2013

10-19-2003, 10:31
Yes, hammocks are the way to go: practice, practice, practice with your hammock before you go on an overnight trip.
You have to experiment with the setup to learn how to pitch it in the rain and wind vs. sun and heat. My Hennesey works great in the rain! I adjusted the tarp and did not get wet on 2 days of pouring rain.
I set it up for lunch to have a seat not on wet rocks, and a quick nap. I tie the tie-outs to rocks so I can easily adjust the angles.
But look at several to decide what will work for you. Just stay away from cheapo hammocks that are not designed for camping.

squirrel bait
10-19-2003, 20:14
Thanks ya all, I am seriously considering the change over. Does the webbing need to be a certain minimal width to tie off to trees? 3/4 inch or better?

10-19-2003, 20:44
its approx 2inches wide
Hennessey Hammocks come with the straps and its worth it.

steve hiker
10-19-2003, 21:10
What about reading in a hammock? I assume you can hang an Aurora or Photon from the fly cord?

10-19-2003, 21:52
I use my headlamp on my head in the hammock, on the lowest setting. It lights up everything in the hammock, even on the lowest setting. To read, I prop up extra clothing or sleeping bag behind my head, as there is no other support for your head.

10-19-2003, 21:54
When reading or writing I used a headlamp.

10-20-2003, 23:31
The Hennessy Hammocks are pretty neat and are probably the hammocks most reponsible for the current hammock craze.

There are several other backpacking hammocks on the market these days. Ed Speer (Not-to-Worry '00 & '01) has written a book on hammock camping with a chapter on how to make one: http://www.speerhammocks.com/ . His hammocks are one of the latest entries but his was developed with the particular needs of long distance hiking as the primary requirement and uses a fully detachable bug net as well as a large 8x10 tarp. I would suggest checking his out while you are deciding what to try.

I started out with a Hennessy and have made my own version of the Speer Hammock. If I were in a hot, buggy jungle enviroment, I would choose the Hennessy Hammock, hands down. But for the areas I hike in most, the mountains of GA, NC, TN, SC, AL, etc, I prefer the Speer Hammock. I like not having to always see the outside world though bug netting because most of the time I don't need it and it sometimes tends to hold stale air. I like having the larger tarp because of better rain protection-- it gives me more area to move around under/cook under during extended rains. I like being able to lay down directly on my hammock pad instead of trying to crawl around/through it. I like being able to reach out of my hammock to get to things I have stored under the hammock. I like the rocking motion that I get without tie-outs, it soothes me and helps me fall asleep easier. I like being able to quickly set up a dry, comfy chair at extended breaks and not have a ridgeline pushing at the back of my neck. Ed has hiked the AT using hammocks before hammocks were cool and his design reflects what he thinks that long distance hikers want/need in a hammock system.

Like I said, there are several other backpacking hammocks to chose from. Like Clark Jungle Hammocks: http://www.junglehammock.com/ . And Crazy Creek: http://www.crazycreek.com/ , just to name a few.

And no, I don't work for Ed! All of the backpacking hammocks I have used are good products and I don't think anyone will have serious issues with them. Many people have used them on the AT and really like them. I just think Ed's hammock system does a better job taking into account the type of backpacking that we do on the AT. But that is just my opinion.


10-21-2003, 09:47
If you are into making your own gear, Ed's book is a must. I've read dozens of times that you can make a Speer type hammock in a couple of hours. As is a visit to Risk/Rick/Flyfisher/CallMeAl/Dr.Hammock's website www.imrisk.com.

For now, I'm just too damn lazy. One day when I see the light, I'll probably smack myself silly.

10-28-2003, 13:53
I didn't even know I had some of those nicknames! LOL

Out on my site, you can read about my experiments with Speer type hammocks, including my own Quarterweight Hammock. Also, with winter coming on, there is some info there on staying warm in a hammock.


Why camp any other way as long as there are trees? :confused: