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Re: [Hammock Camping] Intro -- a total novice with questions

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  • Rick
    Hi Shy, I seldom sleep on my back. In a hammock I don t spend much time completely on my side either. Instead, I tend to sleep with my lower legs completely
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 1, 2005
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      Hi Shy,

      I seldom sleep on my back. In a hammock I don't spend much time
      completely on my side either. Instead, I tend to sleep with my lower
      legs completely turned to my side and my back at about a 45 degree
      angle. It sounds strange, but the hammock supports this sort of
      position very well. Its a lot like sleeping while leaning on my wife's
      shoulder.

      I don't find the hammock claustrophobic. Just the opposite. When
      looking at a picture of a hammock what I usually see is the side.
      However, when in the hammock what I see is up. With a quilt instead of
      a sleeping bag, I actually feel much less claustrophobic than in a
      sleeping bag. And under a tarp, I feel much less claustrophobic than in
      a tent.

      I did write up a solution to your dilemma of not wanting to shell out
      big bucks, but wanting to see if a hammock is comfortable. Here is the
      link:

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

      Which, by the way, is a good picture of how I sleep on my side.
      (Missing in the picture are a good pad and my quilt.)

      Have fun learning how to hammock camp. It has allowed me to camp when I
      had just about given up on camping.

      Risk

      shy_in_sunnyvale wrote:

      > Hello,
      > I'm a newbie on the list, and to backpacking, and I am very curious
      > about switching to a
      > hammock from a tent. When I read that hammocks let you sleep on your
      > side, my jaw
      > dropped. I'm willing to try almost anything if it means I can sleep
      > on my side! I've been
      > perusing the archives, and I've ordered Ed Speer's book, but I have a
      > couple of questions/
      > observations...
      >
      > First, it's been really hard to find photos of users lying on their
      > sides in the hammocks....



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jwj32542
      ... http://www.geocities.com/jwj32542/HammockCamping.html ... Less so than in a tent, for me. I can see the ground, I can see out the sides of the tent, I
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 1, 2005
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        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "shy_in_sunnyvale" <mql@m...>
        wrote:
        > First, it's been really hard to find photos of users lying on their
        > sides in the hammocks.

        http://www.geocities.com/jwj32542/HammockCamping.html

        > it also looks claustrophobic!

        Less so than in a tent, for me. I can see the ground, I can see out
        the sides of the tent, I watch the rain fall and don't get wet, I
        look for wildlife, I don't fell closed-in like in a tent. That's in
        my homemade Speer w/o the bug net. Adding the bug net does close
        you in a little, but still less than a tent because you can see
        through the net and watch what's going on outside...a 360' view if
        you don't have your tarp pulled down to storm conditions.

        > Are some hammocks roomier than
        > others? From
        > the outside, it looks like a Hennessy hammock may not gather up
        > around the occupant so
        > much.

        Depends on what you mean by roomier. Henessey puts side tie-outs on
        his so the sides pull away from the user, but it still has bugnet.
        In a Speer you can remove the bugnet, and if I hang mine right, it
        naturally opens in the middle. I often lay my head on the side
        (like Youngblood in the picture linked above)...can't get more open
        than that!

        You can make most any hammock feel roomy if you pitch it right.

        > Second, does anyone know of a place near San Francisco or San Jose,
        > CA where I could
        > actually try out a hammock?

        REI is HQ'd in Seattle...I assume they have them in CA. Btw...which
        part of SF? I'm moving to Monterey on 10 June (after a few delays,
        I think we're actually driving out on this date!). We're gonna take
        two weeks and do some site-seeing along the way. Any gotta-see
        recommendations?

        > (I assume it has to be an asymmetrical
        > hammock for side-sleeping?)

        Not at all. Youngblood is in a homemade Speer in the pic above, I
        always fall asleep on my back, move to my side (kinda fetal), and
        often roll onto my stomach right before I wake up.

        > I'd rather not shell out big bucks for a hammock (and
        > associated underquilts/
        > Peapod/Supershelter/etc) without testing one.

        Ditto the previous advice on buying a HH from REI and returning it
        if you don't like it. Check Risk's TestHammock page to make a cheap
        Speer-type to see how comfortable it is. Then get Speer's kit if
        you can sew and want to save a hundred bucks.

        You'll have a hard time testing PeaPods and underquilts as they
        don't sell them in stores. You might be able to hook up with
        someone and try theirs, or make it to a Hammock Hangers meeting.
        I'll let you try my JacksRBetter set when I get out there if you
        want to meet up somewhere.

        Jeff
      • Bruce W. Calkins
        I sleep on my side in my older model Hennessy. It looks to me that every hammock style has individual sweet spots. It may take a bit of experimentation to
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 1, 2005
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          I sleep on my side in my older model Hennessy.
          It looks to me that every hammock style has individual sweet spots. It may
          take a bit of experimentation to find the perfect hammock.

          Bruce W. (Black Wolfe)


          > I'm willing to try almost anything if it means I can sleep
          > on my side!
          > From the outside, it looks like a Hennessy hammock may
          > not gather up around the occupant so much.



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        • Steve Joiner
          Hi, May. While I was happy to see that REI began carrying a few camping hammocks a while ago, I think they stink at marketing them and understanding how to
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 1, 2005
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            Hi, May. While I was happy to see that REI began carrying a few camping
            hammocks a while ago, I think they stink at marketing them and understanding
            how to sell them. Local stores here (Atlanta, GA) do carry them - but they
            have nowhere to hang or demonstrate them - and I haven't yet found a store
            associate that has slept in a hammock.....

            That said, If you're interested in a Hennessey, order one from them on-line
            and have it delivered to your closest REI - no shipping charges to you. Try
            it out and if you don't like it, use their 'no questions asked' return
            policy and give it back to them!

            Now, if they'll only expand their product line and offer Speer, Jacks r
            Better, and other products!

            Steve
            -----Original Message-----
            From: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of shy_in_sunnyvale
            Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 2:00 AM
            To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [Hammock Camping] Intro -- a total novice with questions


            Hello,
            I'm a newbie on the list, and to backpacking, and I am very curious
            about switching to a
            hammock from a tent. When I read that hammocks let you sleep on your
            side, my jaw
            dropped. I'm willing to try almost anything if it means I can sleep
            on my side! I've been
            perusing the archives, and I've ordered Ed Speer's book, but I have a
            couple of questions/
            observations...

            First, it's been really hard to find photos of users lying on their
            sides in the hammocks.
            The notable exception is the Speer hammocks page (thanks!). Although
            it looks
            comfortable, it also looks claustrophobic! I don't expect the
            spaciousness of a tent, but
            could someone comment on that aspect? Are some hammocks roomier than
            others? From
            the outside, it looks like a Hennessy hammock may not gather up
            around the occupant so
            much.

            Second, does anyone know of a place near San Francisco or San Jose,
            CA where I could
            actually try out a hammock? (I assume it has to be an asymmetrical
            hammock for side-
            sleeping?) Although REI online has Hennessy hammocks, I've not seen
            them in my local
            store. I'd rather not shell out big bucks for a hammock (and
            associated underquilts/
            Peapod/Supershelter/etc) without testing one. I'd just like to lie in
            one and see what it
            feels like.

            Thanks in advance for any tips. I've really enjoyed reading about
            everyone's adventures
            and experiments in the archives.

            - May

            PS -- A bit more of a bio of me: I'm a graduate student in mechanical
            engineering. My
            husband is a former Eagle Scout who really got me hooked on hiking
            and camping. We
            took a backpacking class with our local Sierra Club last year and
            really enjoyed it, so now
            we're trying to plan more backpacking trips. We're also getting our
            dog conditioned to go
            with us. I have *never* slept comfortably in a tent, so I really hope
            I can make a hammock
            work! My husband is rather skeptical, which is another reason I'd
            like to find someplace we
            could try a hammock out...




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          • dlfrost_1
            ... The HH asym models have extra fabric at the feet and head to allow you to more easily sleep off-axis, which means flatter. The Hennessey also has elastic
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 1, 2005
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              --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "shy_in_sunnyvale" <mql@m...>
              wrote:
              > First, it's been really hard to find photos of users lying on their
              > sides in the hammocks.
              > The notable exception is the Speer hammocks page (thanks!). Although
              > it looks
              > comfortable, it also looks claustrophobic! I don't expect the
              > spaciousness of a tent, but
              > could someone comment on that aspect? Are some hammocks roomier than
              > others? From
              > the outside, it looks like a Hennessy hammock may not gather up
              > around the occupant so
              > much.

              The HH asym models have extra fabric at the feet and head to allow
              you to more easily sleep off-axis, which means flatter.

              The Hennessey also has elastic tie-outs on the side that attach to
              the same stakes that you put out for the canopy. They pull the
              hammock apart and give it a more open feeling. But you're still
              sleeping in a sewn-in enclosure, which might bother sensitive
              individuals.

              I notice the closed-in feeling most when using the fly. Just replace
              it with a larger one that hangs up higher, like Ed Speer recommends.
              You could also make your own hammock with a free-hanging bug net--no
              velcro, you just sweep the thing aside when you get out.

              Doug Frost
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