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RE: Hammock Camping Field use questions

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  • Ed Speer
    Aaron, your concerns are quite real. Your comment that it s not just about sleeping or keeping warm is right on. I m sure others will offer answers to your
    Message 1 of 32 , Jun 29, 2003
      Message
      Aaron, your concerns are quite real.  Your comment that it's not just about sleeping or keeping warm is right on.  I'm sure others will offer answers to your post, but I also wanted to respond since I've been addressing these very concerns for many years.
       
      My Hammock Camping book addresses these and many other 'practical' issues--many archived posts on this list also offer advice.  I strongly suggest a seperate 8X10 rain canopy for just the reasons you mentioned--while it is possible to use a smaller one, it's just not going to work well in less than ideal conditions.  My 8X10 easily goes up before the hammock--I carry the tarp in an outside pack pocket, so in the rain this means the pack is not opened and exposed to the rain until it is safely under the tarp.  Breaking camp in the rain is similarly easy since every thing is packed before the tarp comes down.  Cooking meals is a breeze under the large tarp--recently we cooked dinner and fed 6 people under my tarp while it rained hard!  On another recent trip, my hiking partner, who had a small-tarp hammock, joined me under my tarp to cook dinner in the rain.  In fair weather, the larger tarp can be pitched high over the hammock thus providing an unbeatable stand-up shelter!  When conditions turn nasty, it can be lowered over the hammock to provide protection from cold wind and driven rain.  With the hammock hung close to the ground, I often cook right from my hammock by leaning over the side!  The larger rain canopy is so convenient that many folks switch out the small one that came with their hammock--some hammocks, such as my Speer hammocks, come with an 8X10 in the first place; choose wisely.
       
      Also, as you've guessed, trees are not all the ideal size for hammocks and sufficiently long hanging gear is critical for proper setup and sleeping comfort.  Unfortunately some commerical hammocks provide insufficient hanging gear, apparently to save weight/costs.  The customer often has no choice but to replace or extend the straps/ropes.  When doing so, safety suggests overlaping hanging straps at least 5" and using 4-7 heavy bar tacks with non-cotton thread to sew them together.
       
      My Hammock Camping book is now available at most internet book stores and some outfitters--links can be found at: http://www.hammockcamping.com     My Speer hammocks are designed for long-term wilderness use and thus address all of your concerns--check them out at:  http://www.speerhammocks.com
       
       
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Aaron [mailto:aaron@...]
      Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2003 8:16 AM
      To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Hammock Camping Field use questions

      I've been playing around with the HH A-sym I received in the mail 3
      days ago. I set it up in the backyard and lay in it for a long time.
      I feel confident that I'd sleep OK in it, but I have a few serious
      concerns about practical use in the field:

      1) The tree straps seem way too short. According to the HH web
      site's setup recommendations, you'd need to restrict yourself to a
      4" diameter tree to get the strap around twice. They seem woefully
      inadequate for real field use. If I want a longer strap it means I
      have to drive to REI(or order it)and spend time sewing up the ends.
      Is that what you guys have done?

      2) What do you do if  you're setting up this thing in the rain?
      According to the design specs,the hammock goes up first, and the
      tarp attaches to the hammock line. I can see a significant amount of
      water getting inside the hammock in the time it takes to tie up the
      second side and when you'd get the tarp thrown over it. I can
      definitely see advantages of adding cord to the other tarp ends and
      tying that up first, independent of the hammock. Anyone doing that?

      3) If it's raining when you get into camp and you haven't eaten
      dinner yet, what then? (Sometimes I eat dinner on the trail then
      hike more, but not always). Set up the tarp alone in-between two
      trees, cook under there, then set up the hammock beneath? What about
      if it's raining in the morning and the designated breakfast requires
      cooking (or you're a tea addict like me?) The hammock has to come
      down before any of this happens. In rain or colder weather, I often
      cook from my sleeping bag. I don't see any way of doing this while
      using a hammock. This restricts hammock camping to only the warmest
      of days or nice-weather days, at least for my style.

      It's not just about sleeping or keeping warm. I can see that hammock
      camping requires a fundamental shift in approach and thinking about
      how camp activities are done. I would appreciate detailed stories
      about how these obstacles are dealt with by you guys that are sold
      on it.
      -Aaron




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    • J Cornelius
      Not nearly as hard as I will the first time I get to do it! Of course, that will be after the initial shock of finding myself asleep on the roof of my
      Message 32 of 32 , Jul 2, 2003

        <snort> Not nearly as hard as I will the first time I get to do it!  Of course, that will be after the initial shock of finding myself asleep on the roof of my hammock wears off ROTFL!

         

        Jodi

         

        Abnormality is THE normality at this locality

         

        -----Original Message-----
        From: colonelcorn76 [mailto:colonelcorn76@...]
        Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 11:09 PM
        To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: Hammock Camping Field use questions

         

        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "J Cornelius" <dojers@c...>
        wrote:
        > No offense but how the hell did you do THAT?????????  I¡Çve had
        mine on
        > a good rock but it has NEVER rolled - course, I also tie the sides
        out

        > Jodi

        Dunno or I wouldn't have done it twice more. I figure I probably
        rolled over a couple or few times over the course of the night. I
        like starting to fall asleep on my back until I'm just dropping off
        when I roll over onto my side. I think I roll back on my back during
        the night and then back on my side. If the roll is violent enough
        it's possible to yank the tie-out if I haven't done an appropriate
        knot (the elastic doesn't really hold a taughtline hitch very well).

        I'm gonna laugh my ass off when you do it the first time.

        Jim



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