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19842Re: [Hammock Camping] Tall guy looking to get into a hammock

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  • Tom Frazier
    Feb 2, 2009
      Many folks swear by a hammock (properly used, of course) to relieve back pain. My father has had multiple back surgeries and issues with slipped disks so I'm trying to get him into a hammock and off the ground so he can see how comfy it is. One huge advantage is that you don't have to crawl off the ground in the morning, you just swing your legs around and sit up, exactly like you would with a bed. The hammock is supposed to be especially kind on your back and body due to the elimination of pressure points (no springs, no rocks, just the hammock material and two tie ups and full body support).

      I've got the Claytor Jungle Hammock myself and I love it, but do wish it would be a little wider (so I made three hammocks myself! It can get addicting ;o). The hammock is nine feet long and I personally like it pitched a little tighter than I would, say, and ENO hammock--which is a bit wider than my Claytor JH.

      Laying flat...in a way it just really doesn't matter how flat you are, because your back isn't flat, it has a natural curve to it when you're sitting/standing/laying properly with good support. I've been really, really close to being perfectly flat in my hammock[s], but it's not "perfect" in the sense that it feels like laying on a board. There's some give and you can't help that. However, there is a hammock style that claims that you can lay so flat in it you need a pillow: the bridge hammock.

      Here's a bridge hammock by Jacks R Better: http://www.jacksrbetter.com/BMBH.htm It's really different from your "standard" hammock.

      As to the Hennessey....it's really not my flavor. I love the top entry hammocks--much easier to deal with in typical camping situations and no hurdles to overcome in order to enjoy my hammock camping experience. The bottom entry--that's the only thing that has ever held be back from getting a Hennessey hammock! I really don't see the point of it and it looks like it'd just be a really P.I.T.A. to use and get comfy in (y'know...get your bag in there, a sleeping pad or whatever else you need).

      The DD hammock (http://www.ddhammocks.com/products.php) is nearly the exact same thing as the Claytor (http://www.mosquitohammock.com/junglehammock.html); so if I were to choose between the HH and the DD I'd definitely go with the DD. Entry level hammock? Speer has a good reputation and I like the idea of being able to completely remove the hammock netting and go totally topless when wanted (http://www.speerhammocks.com/) and the ENO hammock isn't far behind: http://www.eaglesnestoutfittersinc.com/ I don't like ENO's tarps, though. I'd get Speer's winter tarp, the McCat, the JRB hammock hut or something similar; but that's just me.

      As to stores you can test the hammocks in. Not many stores, that I know of, actually sell good camping hammocks. Sportsman's Warehouse has some hammocks but they are, in my heavily biased opinion, are either crap, or won't suit your height. The best place I can think of is REI (http://www.rei.com) as they carry both the Hennessey (if you swing that way) and the ENO hammock systems. REI is really good about letting you try stuff out in the store, they even have a rental center so you may be able to just rent a hammock, or two, and try them out in the field before you buy. They are also the only store I know of that as a 100% Guarantee. If you don't like it just bring it back to the store for a full refund, no questions ever asked. So even if you got, say, an ENO and you tried it but then decided that it's not for you and you can't make it work for you, you can just bring it back and get your money back.

      Lastly, you can go to your local fabric store (I find my stuff at Joann's Fabrics) and get yourself four yards (so you have room to play with) of 1.9 oz. ripstop nylon in the color of your choice. Gather the ends and tie them with a strong piece of cordage then tie on a length of rope to each side and hang your hammock up. Experiment with how you lay in the hammock until you get comfy. This would be a rather large hammock, though, at 5 feet wide, and would give you plenty of wiggle room. You could hem the edges to make it last longer and if you didn't want to do much, if any sewing, you could just get the ENO netting and cover the hammock when needed.

      Hope this helps a little. A great resource is http://www.hammockforums.net; most of what I learned when I started I got from this site. If you haven't already, you should check it out! Lots of pics and info. to keep you entertained and informed.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: carrbear123
      To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 9:45 PM
      Subject: [Hammock Camping] Tall guy looking to get into a hammock

      Hi folks,

      I've been checking out the forum to find previous posts on these
      questions, but haven't had luck. If it's been discussed before,
      please feel free to send me to the right place! Otherwise, I guess
      I'll just ask 'em all! :)

      I'm 6'3'', 225lbs; thinking about getting into a hammock for the
      first time. A buddy of mine is interested too (similar size), but is
      fearful of his lower back pain acting up in a hammock.


      1) Hammocks that advertise that 6'5'' and under will "fit"...will I,
      really, fit?

      2) How 'flat' can you really get in one (even at a diagonal)? Every
      pic I've seen of people lying 'flat' don't really look too flat - the
      middle of the body looks to sag down a good bit.

      2) Hennessy vs DD? Thoughts? Any other suggestions for an entry level

      3) Know of any stores that I could test a hammock in, without
      actually buying one first? (What if I really don't like it!?)

      4) Know of any outlets for used equipment, low prices? Or should I
      just stick with a new one from a dealer?

      Hope someone can give some good insight. Perhaps you'll gain another
      hammocking camper or two out of it! (Ha!) Thanks a bunch.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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