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Thread: Basic Questions

  1. #1
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    Default Basic Questions

    I haven't got or made a hammock yet but am definitely intrigued. I have a comment and a question.

    First, the comment: there is no way I can see that a hammock would be lighter than my current kit. I currently use a silnil tarp with a little bug net I rig over my face, a piece of Tyvek, a Z rest, and a Marmott Hydrogen in size long. Total weight is just under 3.5 pounds for shelter, pad, and bag. I have been looking at Ed Speers hammocks because I like the idea of being able to leave the bug net behind, sit in the hammock easily as a chair, etc. Even if I can solve the warmth issue without going to a Peapod, I'm over 4 pounds for a hammock, fly, pad, and bag. If its cold, it gets more complicated .... and heavier. How do so many people claim they are reducing weight by going to a hammock?

    Now for the question: has anyone tried a Big Agnes style bag in a hammock, or somehow attached their pad to the bottom of the bag so it can't slip out from under the bag? Does that work? Could you attach a couple of straps at top, middle, and bottom of the sleeping bag (on the underside, of course) to hold the pad in place?

    I figure I'm going to get a hammock soon just to see what all the fuss is about, and am very open to advice.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    A hammock might only be lighter relative to your arrangement in the summer when you might be able to get away without a pad. However, I think the main advantage of hammocks are their comfort and the flexibility they give for finding a campsite. I'm a side-sleeper and frequent turner, but I found that I could sleep on my back and in one or two positions the entire night. Very comfy relative to a Z-Rest on the ground, especially as you get older.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  3. #3
    Registered User Smee's Avatar
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    Agree with Kerosene.

    Relative to most people who are carrying a tent, pad, & sleeping bag the hammock offers a lighter alternative but the real benefit is the comfort and additional flexibility the hammock provides. You no longer have to find a flat piece of ground to establish a campsight. Any two healthy trees the right distance apart you can call home. It offers a comfortable seat in camp - no more sitting on the ground, rock, or fallen tree. And as a bed I don't think you can beat it. Sleeping on the ground is just HARD! In the hammock I can sleep 8 hours straight through the night.
    Regards,
    Smee
    www.jacksrbetter.com

  4. #4
    Yellow Jacket
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    Quote Originally Posted by stickman
    First, the comment: there is no way I can see that a hammock would be lighter than my current kit.
    Not true if you make your own speer style hammock. Check out www.imrisk.com. A complete setup bag, hammock, underquilt and small butt pad is less than 3#. And for 3-season (32F+) you can probably get by with a 2# setup.

    I understand most folks don't do the DIY thing. So in that sence you are correct. Hammocks are NOT significatly lighter than a well thought out Tarp or TarpTent setup.

    As Kerosene mentioned it is all about comfort. If you can sleep fine with your setup on the ground (or shelter) go for it. I find it nearly impossible to sleep on my back (and never on my side) while on the ground. And, of course, most bags/sleep systems are not built for stomach sleepers (besides I need 3 pillows to sleep on my stomach like I do at home). However, I sleep like a baby in my HH on my back. Sometimes I roll a bit to the side (sort of like a half-side half-back) position which is quite comfortable.

    Also, you can use a HH like a chair despite the fact that it has bug netting. Check out the photos on www.hikinghq.net and on HH site.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  5. #5

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    lets see...
    hennessy asym 28 oz
    quilt 28 oz
    underquilt 24 oz

    looks about 80 oz for a 30 degree setup or about 5 lbs

    but If I wanted to go ul and weight was the only consideration and it was summer then could go....

    hennessy racer - 15 oz
    50 degree bag - easily under 16 oz
    pad not really needed

    sub 2 lbs

    hot enough? leave the bag and pad home - 15 oz

    The point being there are other things that get considered, like comfort, easy to find campsites , complete stealth / LNT availible. The real challenge of hammocking will be to find the right setup for YOU....

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    Default hammock...

    ...what if you don't have 2 handy trees close by??????????????



    i'll take my (2lbs 10 oz) tent anyday.





    see ya'll UP the trail!
    see ya'll UP the trail!

    "Jaybird"

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  7. #7
    Yellow Jacket
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybird
    ...what if you don't have 2 handy trees close by?
    You've been around this board long enough to know the answer to that one. But for those that don't know, check out SGT Rock's HH write up.
    i'll take my (2lbs 10 oz) tent anyday.
    If/when I figure out how to sleep on my back, I will no longer carry my "heavy" HH. Of course if I were to make the 45 minute drive over to Flyfisher's house I could always steal one of his sub-3# setups.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybird
    ...what if you don't have 2 handy trees close by??????????????
    Hammock camping is not for everyone. But where (that it is legal to camp) on the AT might I not find two trees? I have seen a couple balds that were a mile or two long, and the horse park downslope from Mt. Rogers. Not much else.

    Whites, in the alpine zone, are off limits to either.

    It is my impression after a couple hundred miles (yeah, I'm just a newbie) that if I got plunked down at some random mile marker on the AT, it would take a lot fewer steps to find somewhere to hang a hammock than to put up a tent.
    Walk Well,
    Risk

    Author of "A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike"
    http://www.wayahpress.com

    Personal hiking page: http://www.imrisk.com

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by stickman
    First, the comment: there is no way I can see that a hammock would be lighter than my current kit. I currently use a silnil tarp with a little bug net I rig over my face, a piece of Tyvek, a Z rest, and a Marmott Hydrogen in size long. Total weight is just under 3.5 pounds for shelter, pad, and bag. How do so many people claim they are reducing weight by going to a hammock?

    Now for the question: has anyone tried a Big Agnes style bag in a hammock, or somehow attached their pad to the bottom of the bag so it can't slip out from under the bag?
    Weight of my set-up: (thanks for the plug, Yellow-Jacket)
    double bottom hammock: 19.6 oz
    Target pad: 7.6 oz
    5x10 ft tarp: 10.4 oz
    4 stakes: 2.5 oz
    down quilt (good to minus 10F... well.. I cheated) 24 oz

    Total: 4.0 lb

    I do not doubt that I could use a lighter quilt for summer.
    I do not doubt that I could simply leave the hammock home, sleep on the ground, and shed a full pound.

    My take is not that it is lighter to go with a hammock, just that I can actually be in the ultralight range with one. Oh, and sleeping a couple feet above that 2 inches of mud on the ground in March makes carrying that extra pound up and down hill more than worthwhile to me. I advise each to hike their own hike.

    On Big Agnes: I have seen reports from hammock campers that adore the gal, and sleep with her all the time. I have not done so personally. Scanning the hammockcamping yahoo group's archives would find dozens of hits on this bag.
    Walk Well,
    Risk

    Author of "A Wildly Successful 200-Mile Hike"
    http://www.wayahpress.com

    Personal hiking page: http://www.imrisk.com

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