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What to look for when trying a hammock

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  • Catherine Proulx
    I m a newbie to the world of hammock camping, and I m thinking of adding one to my backpacking kit as an alternative to my trusty tarptent (Mostly for uneven
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 19 11:56 AM
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      I'm a newbie to the world of hammock camping, and I'm thinking of adding one
      to my backpacking kit as an alternative to my trusty tarptent (Mostly for
      uneven terrain or very ecologically-sensitive areas, or simply when I hike
      without my boyfriend). So far, I'm leaning towards a HH because that's the
      only kind that my local Mountain Equipment Coop keeps in stock, and I'd
      rather give it a try before I make a significant investment in time and/or
      money.

      What should I look for? Fit? Suitability? Special features? Should I try it
      with a blue foam pad in it? Should I bring my actual sleeping bag, or is
      that overkill? Is there something that could make me hate hammock camping in
      the long run, and that I should be aware of?

      Thanks a lot!

      Catherine


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    • Carey Parks
      Whatever you get, practice setting it up in your backyard until you can do it on a pitch black night. Also practice selecting the right trees by hanging it on
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 19 1:41 PM
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        Whatever you get, practice setting it up in your backyard until you can do
        it on a pitch black night. Also practice selecting the right trees by
        hanging it on rest breaks when you go hiking. Nothing will make you hate
        your hammock more than being dog tired at the end of a day that may not have
        gone as planned and you need to figure out this crazy thing you brought
        along to sleep in. Once "pitching" the hammock is second nature, you're good
        to go.

        Carey

        -----Original Message-----
        From: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Catherine Proulx
        Sent: Monday, March 19, 2007 2:56 PM
        To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [Hammock Camping] What to look for when trying a hammock


        I'm a newbie to the world of hammock camping, and I'm thinking of adding
        one
        to my backpacking kit as an alternative to my trusty tarptent (Mostly for
        uneven terrain or very ecologically-sensitive areas, or simply when I hike
        without my boyfriend). So far, I'm leaning towards a HH because that's the
        only kind that my local Mountain Equipment Coop keeps in stock, and I'd
        rather give it a try before I make a significant investment in time and/or
        money.

        What should I look for? Fit? Suitability? Special features? Should I try
        it
        with a blue foam pad in it? Should I bring my actual sleeping bag, or is
        that overkill? Is there something that could make me hate hammock camping
        in
        the long run, and that I should be aware of?

        Thanks a lot!

        Catherine

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






        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Chinell, David F (GE Indust, Security)
        Catherine: Have a look at Risk s Test Hammock page: http://www.imrisk.com/testhammock/testhammock.htm For a pittance in material expenses and a pleasant hour
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 19 1:47 PM
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          Catherine:

          Have a look at Risk's Test Hammock page:

          http://www.imrisk.com/testhammock/testhammock.htm

          For a pittance in material expenses and a pleasant hour some afternoon, you can make yourself a perfectly serviceable Speer-type hammock. You can use this to see how you like sleeping in a hammock in general.

          You might also consider purchasing Ed's excellent book, which will give you another approach to making a hammock, and will provide many valuable tips that are applicable to using any make or model of hammock successfully.

          I have home-made hammocks, Hennessey hammocks, and several different brands of simple hammocks. I honestly prefer the top-loading (Speer-type) varieties over the HH for most situations. With the HH you're either inside it or outside of it (unless you cut the ridgeline). With the top-loaders, you can be both inside and outside the hammock at the same time. The HH DOES really shine if your situation requires a light, tightly-integrated, complete shelter system.

          Of all the hammocks I've tried, my favorite is the Mosquito Hammock, Expedition model:

          http://www.mosquitohammock.com/expeditionhammock.html

          It's reasonably priced and has everything except the tarp.

          By all means, try out the HH with your foam pad and sleeping bag. You may experience what I experience, namely that it's no simple matter to get everything arranged correctly from inside the hammock.

          Some users claim that the design of the HH allows you to lie flatter, with less compression of your shoulders, and this may be true. I have no personal experience of multiple-night trips with an HH. On one- or two-night trips, I notice no difference in comfort in this regard.

          One advantage to top-loading hammocks is having a two-layer body. Your pads can go between the layers and will stay put.

          I cannot imagine anything that would make you hate hammock camping in the long run if you like it in the short run. Lazing or sleeping in a hammock is a very emotionally-moving kinetic experience. The way the fabric rises up to support you is nothing short of miraculous as far as I'm concerned.

          Bear


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