Light vs. Heavy vs. Comfort vs. Easy Set-up vs. ???
- 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
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
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?
- --- Rick <ra1@...> wrote:
> ...This is something I have done. I wish I could find
> 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.
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
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
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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