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Thread: hammocks

  1. #1
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    Default hammocks

    I've been reading and watching comments on hammocks for awhile and I have to ask, is it really that much better than a tent??
    1) With some of the U-Light 1 man tents, are you really saving any weight here. Aren't they about the same
    2) Set up time would seem to be about the same, or not? By the time you stuff bags etc for the hammock
    3)The luxury of sitting up or laying down versus only being able to lay down
    4) Cooking in your tent if need be (scares the hell out of me) You can't cook in a hammock, can you?
    5) You can store your pack in the tent vestibule if need be
    6) Does laying in the hammock make your back hurt after long spells? Seems like the curve would possibly cause this
    7) Sex in a hammock sounds dangerous
    8) I can see that in the rain being off the ground and out of the water/mud would be a benefit

    I am not advocating or bashing either one, just trying to understand the hammock-hype.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Section Hiker 350 miles DebW's Avatar
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    Default Re: hammocks

    I'll take a stab at some of these. Others will I'm sure chime in.

    (1) Maybe not. Hammocking means hammock+tarp, so tarping would definitely be lighter. The silnylon 1-man single-wall tents are similar to tarps in weight.

    (2) probably a wash for setup time

    (3) tents win

    (4) If you pitch the hammock close to the ground, you can lean over the side and cook.

    (5) pack can go under hammock and tarp, sort of like a vestibule

    (6) hammocks are probably better for the back, and certainly easier on the hips and joints that feel pressure from the ground. Nearly-flat sleeping positions are possible on a slight diagonal to the hammock centerline.

    (7) hammocks are definitely 1 person shelters.

    (8) Yes, ground water is less of a concern. Also, you don't need a flat and clear place for a hammock. Can be pitched with less impact on vegetation. Potentially more sites available (though depends on tree girth and distance apart).

    Another benefit: In a tent you are fully enclosed with limited or no visibility to the outside. In a hammock you can just sit up and look at the world.

    In a buggy environment a tent may be preferable because of (3).

    In a cold or windy environment a tent is probably preferable.

    So pros and cons both ways. Take your pick and do what works for you. Many go to hammocks because of the comfort factor. Some like being off the wet/muddy/buggy ground. Some always prefer tents.


    Originally posted by ga>me>ak
    I've been reading and watching comments on hammocks for awhile and I have to ask, is it really that much better than a tent??
    1) With some of the U-Light 1 man tents, are you really saving any weight here. Aren't they about the same
    2) Set up time would seem to be about the same, or not? By the time you stuff bags etc for the hammock
    3)The luxury of sitting up or laying down versus only being able to lay down
    4) Cooking in your tent if need be (scares the hell out of me) You can't cook in a hammock, can you?
    5) You can store your pack in the tent vestibule if need be
    6) Does laying in the hammock make your back hurt after long spells? Seems like the curve would possibly cause this
    7) Sex in a hammock sounds dangerous
    8) I can see that in the rain being off the ground and out of the water/mud would be a benefit

    I am not advocating or bashing either one, just trying to understand the hammock-hype.
    Thanks

  3. #3
    Yellow Jacket
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    Default

    I can't really sleep on my back in a tent. As I'm a belly sleeper on hard surfaces. With a hammock back sleeping is amazingly comfortable.

    If you are happy with your tent. And your sleeping comfort, there is no real need to switch.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

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    Default

    I received my Hennesy Hammock two weeks ago, and got to use it on an overnight trip last week. Here is my review/thoughts.

    I bought the Hennessy Expedition 2.5 on clearance for $109 +S&H. It weighs 2 1/2 pounds, so it is comparative with most ultra light tents on that aspect. My set up time was about 15 minutes to get it right. I never even unrolled it when I got it. Now that I'm familiar with it and how it works I'll be a lot faster. I don't sit up in the hammock. I like pulling up a rock, log, or my pack to sit on, especially to cook. I wouldn't cook inside a tent anyway, but that's just me. To store my pack I use a large trash bag. Just cover it and lean it against the tree I'm anchored to. Hennesy makes their hammocks with what the call an A-Sym design. I loved this feature! By lying at a diagonal you pretty much level out. The design also allows you to sleep comfortably on your side. Sex in a hammock? If hippies could do it in the VW Beetle, you can do it in a hammock! You can also save weight by not having to carry a sleeping pad.

    I have nothing but good praise for my Hennessy. I got started later in the afternoon than I would have liked, so I had to hump 6 1/2 miles to the shelter area in no more than 5 hours. I'm fat, out of shape, and I smoke. I was also hiking mostly up or down. There was only about 1 mile of level walking. I made it in 4 hours, and was dead tired. I was supposed to have shelter #4, but when I got there it was full of hikers. Not a problem, because I was planning on using my hammock anyway. I found two trees that were perfect in about 30 seconds. I pitched my hammock on a rocky slope and had a good nights sleep without another thought. I didn't have to find a flat spot for a tent or fight someone for a shelter. It took me a total of 30 seconds to find a suitable campsite.

  5. #5
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Default

    How funny, just logged onto the net and came to Whiteblaze and found this querry about hammocks....I just crawled out of mine, experimenting with the Garlington Taco...this time I used a piece of Radiantek cut to the same size as a GoLite Fur (the Fur is too hot underneath this time of year), and my WM Flight Jacket (which almost always is in the pack because of its 10oz. weight)...I also used a 1/4 inch piece of foam from head to but, on top the Nunatak Arc Alpinist....so incredibly cozy/warm/soothing.....I hate to think of anything that would make me sleep on the ground ever again, the hammock is so comfortable I ordered a hammock stand from Walmart.com to put in my bedroom....I'm single so it isnt a problem, and as alluded to above the hammock makes a heck-of-a love swing!
    My hammock is the Ultralight Backpack A-sym via HH
    The taco weighs 6oz,,,so 2'5" so far
    The Nunatak Arc Alpinist weighs 22oz.
    The WM Flight 10oz.
    The Radiantek weighs 7oz.
    And the thin piece of foam (used to give rigidity in the Kiskil Mithril)....
    you can total it up....very little for the comfort of a waterbed anywhere I can find two trees---a challenge on the AT?
    I have already spent 3 times the price of the hammock experimenting with differening configurations of underquilts, tacos, overquilts, etc.....if I'm going to spend that kind of money you should know it is worth it for this kind of comfort....never in the past did I oversleep on the trail, but several weeks ago just past Albert Mtn in a hell of a storm I actually slept through it and beyond.
    Go for a hammock, borrow one, whatever but do try one.
    Medicine Man
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  6. #6
    Yellow Jacket
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    Default Taco questions....

    SIMA;

    You made your taco "shell" out of a RadianTek. What's that?

    What other materials have you made your taco shells out of? Any tips on your design? Or did you just follow the standard method (2 cords along the side and one at the foot end)?



    Sorry, but the kids like the banana.

  7. #7
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Good question, I probably was not clear....made the Garlington Taco out of SIL-NYL, the Radiantek is the insulation between the taco and the bottom of the hammock....I didnt like the cord in the foot end and having to pull it up through the slit and tie off to the internal ridgeline of the HH....so we sewed a slit in the taco much like boxer shorts and added velcro-it automatically closes much lide the slit in the HH, also cut a slit in the Radiantek....my first quilt had no slit but lots of elastic and also the cord to pull through the slit...it was warm but I like the slit method better...but yes to the 2 cords along the sides sewn in a channel, when pulled tight the edge of the taco is 4 inches above the netting, this way my topquilt easily gives me overlapping coverage of whatever I have in the taco.....I am thinking about perm. sewing the Radiantek to this piece of sil-nyl that makes the taco thinking it will almost always be cool enough on the AT for at least that much insulation (the Radiantek does have a very small amount of material bonded to the reflective surface but not much, this side of the Radiantek will easily stick to velcro (and twigs/leaves/etc.)
    The taco is easy to make and currently the Radiantek is held to it by 1 inch binder clips from Office Max.
    The Golite Fur is now my winter underquilt and it too may find itself perm. attached to a sil-nyl taco, right now though I like the idea of variability, could use the Radiantek and the Fur and whatever is in my pack-like the WM Flight....experimentation is a lot of fun!
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  8. #8
    Yellow Jacket
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    Thanks for the info.

    What is Radiantek? I can't seem to be able to find it online.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  9. #9
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    http://www.backpacking.net/
    This is a good site for lightweight backpacking....someone mentioned Radiantek there and listed the phone number of the lady who sells it in Canada, her name is Bernice VanDamme or something like that, maybe Bernice's Fabric Shop???? as soon as I saw the post I called her and gave her my VISA to get some,,,but typically of me I saved no records.
    The material is unusual, when you put your hand on it you feel heat instantly, surely from the reflective membrane, so that side is shiny/marbled..the other side is thin but fluffy...wish I knew more, will research when I can..if you go the site above you can post to all members there where is the Radiantek lady!
    It was not expensive....4yards deliverd was 27$ and I think I mentioned it looks very very similar to the fabric inside Rocky winter boots.
    Good luck!
    Medicine Man
    p.s. simva is short for simvastatin one of the HMCoA reductase inhibitors we use to lower cholesterol
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  10. #10
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Just used the hammock the last three days on the trail (trip report LIttle Wolfe Creek to Pearisburg) and was taking mental notes on setup time and take down time....
    setup time varied each night but no more than 5 minutes each night, one night took the whole 5 minutes because after I set up the rig I look up to find I had tied into a dead tree....
    take down time is less than 2 minutes....untie the taco stuff it in the pack on top of the top quilt, unstake the fly, start pulling the snakeskins...in reality the fastest take down was probably under a minute....
    as mentioned in the trip report this hike had big mileage days, a 20 and a 22 mile consequetive which made my back sore, but upon waking in the hammock my back was not sore at all, even my shoulders were not sore....did I tell you guys/gals I now have a hammock stand in my bedroom!
    Start out slow, then slow down.

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