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  1. #1
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    Default The age old question: tent or hammock

    Headed out for the first out and back of 2017!

    I am generally a die hard hammock hanger but, for some reason, this time, I find myself wanting to tent. Perhaps it is because I will be alone so I can't just lay in the hammock and chat until sleepy or maybe it is the colder weather (although I have taken my setup to a very wet 23 degrees). I'm just not wanting to hang this time. I want to be able to sit up and draw/write with some stability and have my dogs close. My pack is decent light and this trip is more of a mental sanity thing so I plan to bring a book and a journal along for some chill time. Not walking too far in. Just getting out for the pure joy of getting out in the woods for a night. Temps should be around 30-33 with the normal Southern humidity and wet cold that we call winter.

    Am I being silly for just wanting to deviate for the sake of wanting to?

  2. #2
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    If you can afford a tent and want to go camp in a tent... go buy a tent.
    Actually, if there isn't a particular tent you are wanting, there are several available for sale right now as outdoor stores try to clear their current stock to make way for the new season.

  3. #3
    Thru-hiker 2013 NoBo CarlZ993's Avatar
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    It's your money. Get a lightweight backpacking tent. Hang when you want to hammock. Tent when you want to tent. No need to ask this forum for an excuse to buy new gear.
    2013 AT Thru-hike: 3/21 to 8/19
    Schedule: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...t1M/edit#gid=0

  4. #4
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    Never Silly for wanting anything the way you want it. I would just point out that all of your reasons are exactly why I would take the Hammock over the tent. I sit, read and draw by sitting with my legs out the side and securely on the ground and occassionally throw in a rocking motion. The dogs can rest under the hammock on the Tyvek ground sheet. The tarp can be put into any variation of "porch" mode that you like while keeping the wet spray away. I hate the feeling of being "closed" in by a tent. Even if I batten down the tarp into an A Frame tent style... It still seems lighter, airier and more open than a Tent. But that's just me and my old back. If you have a tent that you love... Do it that way! Just enjoy the woods!
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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  5. #5
    Registered User QuietStorm's Avatar
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    I have both. The tent setup actually weighs less than the hammock when you add in the UQ and tarp. I've gone back to hanging because my back and hips were having trouble with ground sleeping, even with 2 pads--a Klymit Static insulated V and a Thermarest Z Lite Sol. I keep the tent for snow and high wind conditions, and for above tree line camping.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlZ993 View Post
    It's your money. Get a lightweight backpacking tent. Hang when you want to hammock. Tent when you want to tent. No need to ask this forum for an excuse to buy new gear.

    lol]

    as a short female, I actually have a kids tent that works nicely for me. No money to be spent.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbolt View Post
    Never Silly for wanting anything the way you want it. I would just point out that all of your reasons are exactly why I would take the Hammock over the tent. I sit, read and draw by sitting with my legs out the side and securely on the ground and occassionally throw in a rocking motion. The dogs can rest under the hammock on the Tyvek ground sheet. The tarp can be put into any variation of "porch" mode that you like while keeping the wet spray away. I hate the feeling of being "closed" in by a tent. Even if I batten down the tarp into an A Frame tent style... It still seems lighter, airier and more open than a Tent. But that's just me and my old back. If you have a tent that you love... Do it that way! Just enjoy the woods!


    I would agree with you on the pros to the hammock. I know that my "want" is psychological. Being alone, I want the "closed" in feeling. It feels safer somehow. lol Even though I have camped with people who were almost total strangers, I am still adjusting to how open the woods feel when I am alone. I have waited out thunderstorms and been sleeted on in my hammock but, it is the alone factor hanging me up. Even if I can't see the people I'm camping with, it is something about knowing they are a stone's throw away. I know that sounds like I am whining and I do not mean it that way at all. By any means. I genuinely enjoyed my solo trip.

    Most of my backpacking has been done with a hammock oddly enough. All but two trips actually. As I get more and more into adulthood (25 currently), I am more and more aware of just how much roaming and sleeping under the stars means to me. I don't want my current mood to be coming from a place of fear and wanting four walls, if that makes sense. The four walls and windowless cubicle life is why I take off into the woods but, a tent has such a cozy, den look to it.

  8. #8
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    On the ground, a good pad is everything.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  9. #9

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    Hammock camping is Tarp camping with a suspended bivy bag. If a person enjoys tarp camping then hammock camping isn't too far behind. If the tarp is big enough a person can hang out all day in storm mode (high winds, slicing rain, cold, blizzard, spindrift) and not have to stay in the hammock sac all day.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Hammock camping is Tarp camping with a suspended bivy bag. If a person enjoys tarp camping then hammock camping isn't too far behind. If the tarp is big enough a person can hang out all day in storm mode (high winds, slicing rain, cold, blizzard, spindrift) and not have to stay in the hammock sac all day.

    This is my summer set up.
    And this is how I've taken it to ground.



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  11. #11

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    you're in Birmingham? rent a tent at REI...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secondmouse View Post
    you're in Birmingham? rent a tent at REI...
    I have one. Just doing some pro con weighing.


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  13. #13
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I have both, and take what suits my mood/ the trail/ the weather, etc. I do usually find when I tent that I wish I had taken the hammock... so much more comfortable.

  14. #14
    Registered User gbolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexusbritt View Post
    I would agree with you on the pros to the hammock. I know that my "want" is psychological. Being alone, I want the "closed" in feeling. It feels safer somehow. lol Even though I have camped with people who were almost total strangers, I am still adjusting to how open the woods feel.
    Makes sense to me, that is why I didn't get a removable net for my WBBB. The netting gives me that psychological safety you speak of. But I also am getting more and more comfortable with Tipi's point of it being Tarp Tenting with a "hanging bivy". His set up is great for the day and dogs which was part of your reasoning. Again, the biggest thing is get into the woods as often as you can.
    "gbolt" on the Trail

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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexusbritt View Post
    I have one. Just doing some pro con weighing.


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    speaking of weighing, how heavy is the one you're talking about. at the REI in ATL you could rent some ridiculously light tents for a week for not a lot of pocket jingle...

  16. #16
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    I have been exclusively hanging for about 3 years. Before that I went back and forth between tent and tarp. Last fall just for grins, and to ward off the chill, I got a BA CS2 for my FT hike. Every night I was wishing I had a hammock. I almost never sell gear but this time when I got back from my hike I immediately sold the tent. The whole week I was out I never slept as soundly in the tent than I do in a hammock.

  17. #17
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    I did end up taking my hammock and was glad. My hubby just shook his head and threatened to toss the circa 2002 child's tent that I use on the really really odd occasion (once in the past 4 years other than when nieces or nephews are involved). I'm a hammock hanger and should probably just accept it.


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  18. #18

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    Hammock FTW! The comfort factor between the two is simply not comparable, IMO.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Secondmouse View Post
    you're in Birmingham? rent a tent at REI...
    REI doesn't have a retail location in Alabama, though I am sure there are other places that rent camping and outdoor gear there.

  20. #20
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Secondmouse View Post
    you're in Birmingham? rent a tent at REI...
    As someone has already pointed out, there are no REI stores in Alabama.

    However, there are several REI stores in Atlanta. So if you find that your hiking destination can be easily reached by driving thru Atlanta, REI is a good option. There's two REI stores I pass when I drive thru Atlanta to reach certain parts of GSMNP.

    I also think that Alabama Outdoors rents certain pieces of camping gear (specifically tents). Can't confirm online, but I seem to recall that as something I once looked into trying to help a friend try out camping.

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