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  1. #1
    Registered User C-Stepper's Avatar
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    Default "Hammocks are LIGHTER"??

    THIS IS NOT A THREAD ABOUT SLEEPING COMFORT. PLEASE STAY ON TOPIC.

    This is somewhat related to the "XUL or UL?" thread below, which has some good ideas. But...

    Sometimes on whiteblaze, hammockers chime in that, to go light, one should try a hammock.

    Maybe I'm missing something here...this statement that hammocks are lighter puzzles me.

    Is a subjective thing?

    They don't seem "light" to me...comfort can be argued, I don't see how "light" can be defensible. I haven't seen evidence that hammocks are "light"...maybe lighter than a free-standing tent with a rainfly, but does this qualify them as lighter?

  2. #2
    Musta notta gotta lotta sleep last night. Heater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The#Is10
    THIS IS NOT A THREAD ABOUT SLEEPING COMFORT. PLEASE STAY ON TOPIC.

    This is somewhat related to the "XUL or UL?" thread below, which has some good ideas. But...

    Sometimes on whiteblaze, hammockers chime in that, to
    <SNIP>

    Uhmmm... your's was the first post in the thread!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by The#Is10
    THIS IS NOT A THREAD ABOUT SLEEPING COMFORT. PLEASE STAY ON TOPIC.
    I guess it is good to have dreams.

    Quote Originally Posted by The#Is10
    Sometimes on whiteblaze, hammockers chime in that, to go light, one should try a hammock.
    Obviously a hammock isn't the lightest possible option. Sleeping under a tarp or a hammock both require a tarp. Sleeping on the ground under a tarp requires a groundsheet that is lighter than a hammock. The insullation weights are similar, but if anything you would need more insulation in a hammock due to greater heat loss from below.

    Doug

  4. #4
    Section Hiker, 1,040 + miles, donating member peter_pan's Avatar
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    " Hammocks are lighter"…."Than what?" some ask.

    There are many hammocks lighter than most all commercial backpacking tents….hammocks that are below 32 oz compete with tarp tents which come in at about this weight… Hammocks that are below 16 oz ( Hennessy Adventure Racer, Hennessy Extreme Light Racer without the tarp, Amazonia traveler, And several other non bug netted models are lighter than the pad and ground cloth alone that tarpers use…for example Exped Down Mat 7 Short w/ pump 22.5 oz, Down Mat 7 reg 31.5 oz, Pro Lite 3 med 20 oz, many original style Thermorest self-inflaters at 16-26 oz … some even compete with foam pads at 12-15 oz for a full length model…don’t forget the ground cloth, plastic sheet 2-5 oz depending on thickness and size…2-2.5 oz mylar space blanket, half that, if cut in half.

    While all but the warmest season will require some insulation for a hammock bottom there are several viable solutions below 16 oz that will handle the job to 45 degrees.

    Search this site for the threads on weights of your Big Four and Big Three you will find many posts by hammockers below 7,6,5, and some pushing 4 pounds….only the occasional UL tarper is posting summaries below these weights….Carol Crooker, Editor of Backpackinglight.com has posted reports on that site on two hikes this summer using hammocks and meeting the under 5 pound SUL challenge … that is entire base weight and not just big three or four weight.

    I agree that there are a few ground dweller below these weights, most are using pads below 40 x 19 inch and thin foam or inflateables less than 1 inch thick and tarps the size of a poncho or less.

    As a general statement , " Hammocks are lighter" is very defensible IMHO.

    Pan
    ounces to grams
    WWW.JACKSRBETTER.COM home of the Nest and No Sniveler underquilts and Bear Mtn Bridge Hammock

  5. #5

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    I have also noticed that the lightweight hammocks being talked about have cautions to their fragility. I am a big guy that tends to take the rocky road and the cautions have always thrown me a bit. Imagine spending $200 on a piece of Nylon that you can't use in the rugged outdoors.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The#Is10
    THIS IS NOT A THREAD ABOUT SLEEPING COMFORT. PLEASE STAY ON TOPIC.

    This is somewhat related to the "XUL or UL?" thread below, which has some good ideas. But...

    Sometimes on whiteblaze, hammockers chime in that, to go light, one should try a hammock.

    Maybe I'm missing something here...this statement that hammocks are lighter puzzles me.

    Is a subjective thing?

    They don't seem "light" to me...comfort can be argued, I don't see how "light" can be defensible. I haven't seen evidence that hammocks are "light"...maybe lighter than a free-standing tent with a rainfly, but does this qualify them as lighter?
    Well, I did not jump in on the other thread you referenced, but I am a hammock camper and advocate and moving to a hammock, for me, saved considerable weight and the unmentionable comfort was a significant bonus.

    There are lighter options, to be sure. I could use a small lightweight tarp and no pad, but I am not willing to go there. That certainly would be much lighter though. If you compare a hammock weight to a tent weight alone, the difference is minimal, but when you look at the whole systems, the differences CAN BE more significant. As the mercury drops, I will concede, the weights get closer together.

    In my situation, before switching to a hammock, I was carrying a 4 lb tent (not free standing), a 1 lb. Z-rest, and a 2 lb. 2 oz. down bag, so the total weight for shelter and sleeping was 7 lbs 2 oz. This was for 3 seasons.

    Now, my weights are usually one of these two options:

    Option #1
    Speer Hammock with 8x10 tarp = 32 oz.
    down Speer TopBlanket = 16 oz.
    Peapod (I purchased with 1 extra oz of down) = 29 oz.
    Total = 77 ounces or 4.8 lbs.
    ** note that in cold weather you can and probably would leave home the removeable bug net from the Speer set up. This would save a few more ounces . . . maybe 5 or 6 oz would be my guess.

    Option #2
    Hennessy Ultralight backpacker (Remove the HH small fly and replace with the 8x10 Speer tarp above. The HH as sold is 31 oz. I do not know the weight of the HH tarp. The 8x10 Speer is 13 oz. My GUESS is that after swapping the tarps this rig is probably 33oz.)
    down Speer TopBlanket = 16 oz.
    Jacks R Better Nest Underquilt = 20 oz.
    Total = 69 oz or 4.3 lbs.

    So, moving to the hammock, for me, saved 2.5 - 3 lbs off of my shelter and sleeping systems, while at the same time providing the increased comfort AND more options for locations to set up camp.

    In extreme cold (below 20 degrees), I would either (1) not go, (2) go to ground begrudgingly, or (3) use:
    Speer Hammock with 8x10 tarp = 32 oz.
    down Speer TopBlanket = 16 oz.
    Peapod = 29 oz.
    Jacks R Better Nest Underquilt = 20 oz.
    Total = 6 lbs 1 oz. (bulky, but still lighter than my old tent, pad, and sleeping bag solution)

    Are there lighter solutions? Of course! But for me this was a no-brainer . . . cut my weight by as much as 40% for shelter/sleeping AND the other benefits.

  7. #7
    Yellow Jacket
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12hrsN2AT
    Imagine spending $200 on a piece of Nylon that you can't use in the rugged outdoors.
    Last time I checked you don't put your hammock on the ground. Or drag it through the woods. So, what exactly about a hammock must be "rugged"? Do you sleep with an opened mini-tool in your pocket?

    And, last time I checked, almost every tent on the market these days is nylon.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter_pan
    ...I agree that there are a few ground dweller below these weights, most are using pads below 40 x 19 inch and thin foam or inflateables less than 1 inch thick and tarps the size of a poncho or less...
    To be fair, you need to compare the lightest weight hammock setup against the lightest weight ground setup... that was what this this thread was questioning.

    For me, I added weight when I switched from a light weight ground setup to a light weight hammock setup... but not much. I gained enough in comfort and camp site selection in the envirnoment that I hike in that it was worth it for me. I have since added a tad more weight to increase comfort, safety, etc... but again, not more than was worth it for me.

    And of course this is all for solo camping, the dynamics shift a whole lot if you are sharing a shelter with someone. The dynamics also shift with body weight and body size... for instance you can use a ultra light ground cloth regardless of how much you weigh but you can't use a hammock bed made of 1.1 oz ripstop unless you are under a certain body weight.

    I mentioned envirnoment before... envirnoment can shift the dynamics also, especially very cold conditions. Now, if you were camping where you didn't need insulation for warmth, it gets dang close and you might even have less weight with a hammock if your body weight is light enough and you don't mind sleeping tucked up in a very small tarp... because it is possible to hammock camp with a smaller tarp that a ground dweller can.

    Youngblood

  9. #9
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    my 1.6 hennessey hammock is 1 lb 10 oz,its lighter than the asym ultra light
    hammocks,by swapping out the original factory smaller tarp for a jacks are better tarp and adding longer tree hugger straps,my hammock is 2lbs and 1 oz.
    my speer sleep quilt wieghs 1 lb 9 oz i have used it in the upper 20,s no problem
    i dont need a ground cloth because i am off the ground,dont need a pillow either
    my sleep pad wieghs 6oz. neo


    PS.HAMMOCKS ARE MORE COMFORTABLE,AND I CAN CAMP IN MORE PLACES
    NEO
    Last edited by neo; 09-28-2005 at 10:45.

  10. #10
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    I love my hammock. I've had it for years. I'm never going back to anything else. Extremely comfortable. Comfort is a priority for lightweight packing, isn't it?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlbj6142
    Last time I checked you don't put your hammock on the ground. Or drag it through the woods. So, what exactly about a hammock must be "rugged"? Do you sleep with an opened mini-tool in your pocket?

    And, last time I checked, almost every tent on the market these days is nylon.
    Then why do you trust everything Mr. Hennesy says except the part where he warns over and over that they are for adventure racers only. You confused what I said with what I was repeating of the HH website. I am sure he has a grasp on UL hiking, I am sure he knows what works well for what, I would imagine he has some experience in the field.

  12. #12
    Registered User neo's Avatar
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    the wieght of my pack 1 lb 9 oz
    the wieght of my hammock
    and tarp is 2 lb 1 oz
    my over quilt is 1 lb 9 oz
    my new sleep pad is 6 oz 6 oz
    my big 4 total is 5 lb 9 oz

    neo

  13. #13
    Yellow Jacket
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12hrsN2AT
    Then why do you trust everything Mr. Hennesy says except the part where he warns over and over that they are for adventure racers only.
    So we shouldn't include them in gearlists comparing hammocks to ground sleeping? Is that your point?
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  14. #14
    tideblazer
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    That's pretty good, Neo.

    Just to contast a tarp setup:

    I have

    Pack 12.5 Oz
    pad 6oz
    tarp/stakes (1lb)
    bugnet(8 oz)
    sleeping quilt (2lb)

    4 lb 10.5 oz

    Add in my camera, tripod, lenses, and film (5lbs):

    9lb 10.5

    I'm thinking the "big three or four" makes much less of an issue with light gear. all the sudden everything has more evenly proportioned weight.
    www.ridge2reef.org -Organic Tropical Farm, Farm Stays, Group Retreats.... Trail life in the Caribbean

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlbj6142
    So we shouldn't include them in gearlists comparing hammocks to ground sleeping? Is that your point?
    Boy I am really sorry you are misinterpiting everything I write.
    What I meant is the Hennesy Hammocks takes the position that these lightweight hammocks are for adventure racers ONLY, and allot of people here use them as a benchmark for weight in a Hammock sleeping system. Foregoing any warnings by the company that makes them.

    I have tried to say this 3 times and I am sorry I am not clear. My point was I would not buy a $200 hammock from a company that tells me it is not intended for Hiking. This is not my opinion, this is the manufacturers warning.

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    I'll try to referee because I think you both have it right.

    Hennessy made the 'racer' series for a specific application (adventure racing) where weight was crutial and durability was sacrificed because the adventure racing folks were happy if it got them through one race. He points that out, reduces the weight limit (there probably aren't too many big folks doing adventure racing?) and the warrenty. That's all fair enough. Now if ultralight folks want to use it for backpacking, that's okay too... but the failure risk is on them not Hennessy. That's fair also. That's about all there is to it.

    Youngblood

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood
    ... because it is possible to hammock camp with a smaller tarp that a ground dweller can.

    Youngblood
    I'm not sure I would agree with you on this last statement Youngblood. Maybe a little discussion. The tarp is the rain fly yes? So whatever serves a person swinging under their shelter should serve a person on the ground no? IMO, tarp size should be equal for both cases.

    As far as insulation, Doug has indicated that the hammocker needs more than the ground sleeper. Does anyone dispute this?

    As for sleeping, IMO, equivalent quilts could be used in both cases.

    For a tarp then, what is left? I say stakes, lines, and bug netting. 50' ft of triptease weighs one ounce, 6 titanium stakes at what, 0.22 oz? Plus bug netting. My rectangular cot netting weighs 7 oz. Plus a ground cloth, I cut mine at about 3X8 out of 3mil plastic, but I haven't weighed this. One could forego the ground cloth with a closed cell pad. Are there netted hammocks lighter than all this?

    The hammock is likely more comfortable and allows for additional camping in wooded areas. [This is called a concession by the way.] But I don't see it as being lighter than a tarp set up.

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    I like Youngblood's idea...
    So what's the lightest you can come in with a Hammock and "bottom insulation?"
    A TarpTent Virga, which is fully enclosed, with the floor, weighs in at 26oz., and the ProLite3 full size is 20 ounces. 46 total. Swap the a Z Lite 3/4 for the prolite and you save 9 ounces, 37oz. total weight. And, you can go down from there by using a straight tarp, etc.

    So what's the lightest "useable by all" hammock arrangement come in at?


    - BW

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    Sometimes on whiteblaze, hammockers chime in that, to go light, one should try a hammock.
    Embedded in this suggestion is an assumed level of comfort for a given weight. Your attempt to remove comfort from the equation creates your conceptual problem. Clearly, you could just lay down on the ground, which is obviously lighter than hammocking.


    I haven't seen evidence that hammocks are "light"...maybe lighter than a free-standing tent with a rainfly, but does this qualify them as lighter?
    Yes, by definition.

  20. #20
    Registered User Patrick's Avatar
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    My two cents.

    The#Is10, I agree with what I think you're saying: that the lightest hammock set-ups (even allowing the much-argued racers) are not lighter than the lightest tarp set-ups.

    You referred to the UL and XUL thread from the other day. I think that it's clear from people's posted gear lists, that plenty of hammockers fall into both categories, no matter how UL or XUL are being defined that day.

    It seems reasonable to me then to say that hammocks can be part of even an XUL system, but that lower weights can be achieved with ground sleeping.

    Back to your original post...
    Quote Originally Posted by The#Is10
    Sometimes on whiteblaze, hammockers chime in that, to go light, one should try a hammock.
    This does happen a lot. But I don't think that someone using the lightest ground set-up is the one it's being suggested to. From my experience, it's someone who has a tent or more conventional tarp set-up that is being told they can lighten their load.
    Quote Originally Posted by The#Is10
    Is a subjective thing?
    Obviously, taking two systems and comparing their weights side by side is completely objective. What I think changes from person to person though, is what they have when someone suggests hammocking as a means of going lighter. I used to use a homemade silnylon tarp, homemade small bugnet, store-bought synthetic sleeping bag, and 2-mil painter's plastic to sleep on the ground. I think you can call that a pretty common light weight approach -- lighter than the average hiker but not lighter than a dedicated XUL hiker.

    I made the switch to a Hennessy Hammock based on comfort and site selection, not weight, but I ended up with a system that was almost a pound lighter. So, to an average guy like me, I got a nice weight savings, even though a true XUL would almost definitely add weight.

    I'll try to avoid the comfort issue as instructed (although it's not easy), but will say that I think the possible weights of the two different systems are close enough that a person could reasonably decide that other factors other than weight might be what decides how they choose to camp.

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