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Light vs. Heavy vs. Comfort vs. Easy Set-up vs. ???

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  • Rat
    The recent HH on PCT Trail thread got me to thinking about why people switch over to hammocks in the first place. But without a discussion (which I hope this
    Message 1 of 39 , Aug 13, 2006
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      The recent HH on PCT Trail thread got me to thinking about why
      people switch over to hammocks in the first place. But without a
      discussion (which I hope this will produce) I can only give my
      perspective.

      I come from a tenting background, like most I guess. I played with
      tarps quite a bit, and even keep one in my emergency kit, but I
      always liked the tent better. I used a 2 person (1 plus some gear
      really) that weighed in at about 3 pounds.

      I orignally started playing with hammocks in an effort to keep cool
      at night. I live in Central Texas and hunt in South Texas and trying
      to stay cool @ night when the low is only 80* was an effort. I had
      some succes with net hammocks, but they weren't very comfortable.

      Not long after those initial trials I went overseas, the sandbox. My
      issued bed was wreaking havoc on my body. That is when my effort to
      find something more comfortable really began. I was sleeping on the
      concrete flor using a 3/4" Thermarest pad rather than the bed, it
      was that bad.

      I found the Hennessey Web-site, and ordered the Exped Asym, they
      even shiped to APO addresses, of course, I got Camo.

      Never had I slept so well! I even built my first Speer type not long
      after that. I liked the Speer type better. I was using it all the
      time and mostly inside, so the top entry was easier. I sent the HH
      home.

      When I got home I started to shed the weight. I looked for lighter
      materials, stronger, lower stretch, different configurations etc.

      I think I have settled on 1.9 oz RS Nylon, like most. I have yet to
      try silk tho.

      My hammock and tarp weigh only 2.25 pounds (18 ozs each), and I
      could go lighter with 1.1 Sil-Nylon hammock, but do not want the
      added burden of babying my gear. What I have works for me, and it is
      lighter than my tent, but heavier than my tarp set-up. But 100 times
      more comfortable then either. And everything else I would carry
      anyway, except below 30*, I carry an extra quilt.

      So comfort is more important to me than weight, even tho weight is
      high on the list.

      So why did you switch?
    • Dylan Anderson
      ... This is something I have done. I wish I could find the pictures of that trip, but because on most trips where I don t have many trees, I am also intending
      Message 39 of 39 , Aug 25, 2006
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        --- Rick <ra1@...> wrote:

        > ...
        > Above treeline is a little harder. Both trees and
        > grass are harder to
        > find. Ed Speer talks about hanging between larger
        > boulders especially
        > if a little climbing gear is in the pack.
        >
        > Rick
        >
        >

        This is something I have done. I wish I could find
        the pictures of that trip, but because on most trips
        where I don't have many trees, I am also intending to
        climb, I have all my climbing gear on me. I have
        stuck cams in rock faces and hung off of that, I have
        stretched the full length of my hammock rope over the
        top side of a boulder through a convenient notch and
        tied off to the back side. I imagin as suggested
        already, that a loop of webbing or rope could make a
        good sling mount over the top of a boulder that gets
        thicker at the bottom. In these cases a Speer type or
        other top entry would be handier than a Hennessy I
        feel. After all, the boulder height or crack
        placement is going to be fixed so you might have to be
        awful low. On the other hand, I think hung out over
        small ledges where the possible fall danger is
        greater(I Have done this as well), the bottom entry is
        better.

        For my switch though, I did it for pretty much all of
        the reasons in this list at once. Prior to my comming
        across Hammocks as a means to camp, I used tents
        primarily. I had used tarps too, but found them too
        uncomfortable and with too little secure (weather
        secure) storage that I could get to. Therefor I was
        using tents of a couple varieties, but none less than
        5lbs. The weight was something I would have liked to
        reduce, but I did not see a viable alternative that
        was in a price I was willing to pay. At that time,
        sub-5lb tents, at least those with what I considered
        sufficient space, were over $300. That or they were
        non-freestanding, and out here in the desert, areas to
        stake are few and far between.

        Comfort wise, I had the best pads, but was always
        having a very hard time deciding between my thick (and
        heavy) models, or my light and thin ones that provided
        no comfort at all. Most of the time cold was not an
        issue, but it seemed like every time it would rain,
        and new run off would develop somewhere along one side
        of my tent no matter how well I picked the space,
        cleared it, and (god forbid) sometimes trenched around
        it. Another comfort I do not hear mentioned was that
        of when I packed up and saw the clear cut damage my
        tent would do to even the most barren or dirt. I
        hated seeing the site after a night or two of the tent
        sitting there.

        Then I came across the Hennessy Ultralight Backpacker
        at REI. It was so unbeliably light at whatever it is
        just under two pounds. It was very easy to set up,
        and I really liked the idea of no broken poles
        possible. I also liked the fact that even the
        roughest canyon I could ever travel was now open of
        camping since I did not need a flat bottom. After my
        first night out, I packed up, had to take off to find
        a missing pot down by the creek, and when I got back
        to my pack, I could not remember which two trees I had
        hung on. Not only did I have the most comfortable
        sleep in the woods ever (and woke up two hours later
        than I normally would have in the tent!), but I felt
        comfortable in the knowledge that for once, I really
        was leaving a site just as I found it. Ultimately I
        returned the UBP, but I bought the Safari Model direct
        from Tom. I know, 4lbs, but I still saved 1lb off my
        old tent, and I wanted as much space inside as
        possible for maximum comfort.

        Though I may die tomorrow, at least I can do it with the knowledge that once I did know true love -unknown


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