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Hammocks The Hammocks forum is for the discussion of backpacking hammocks and related sleep systems.


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  #22  
Old 09-21-2009, 08:31 AM
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bombernbr bombernbr is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 98
This summer, my dad and I went on a really short overnighter (about 1.5 miles in) to the local state park. They have some pretty sites next to the reservoir, which looked great at night. Unfortunately, the first 1.5 hours in camp was spent with a driving rain.

I did a terrible job with campsite choice, as the rain came down straight through the camp. In my defense, I figured that with an overnighter, getting our gear wet wasn't a big deal, because we were going home the next day, so I didn't worry about it.

We pitched our hennesseys in a "v" with the rain flys overlapping. While this didn't work too well, it gave us an absolutely massive area to walk around and take care of getting gear into dry bags. We ate dinner lounging in the hammocks (chair style) watching the creek running through camp. Was a blast.
We slept comfortably once the rain stopped (and we ate dinner), and enjoyed seeing the moon on the lake (and later the sunrise).

In a tent, we would have been in 3 inches of water, and soaked. Hammocks all the way.
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  #23  
Old 11-04-2009, 12:41 PM
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majorhavok majorhavok is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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I might try hammocks again...

I have used hammocks in the past and was plagued by numerous problems:

Water mightating down the rope in the rain no matter what traps/loops I included. Ultimately this would get the head and feet sections of my sleeping bag wet and leave me trying to squish into the dry area..

The wind blowing the hammock in the night woke me frequently..

Persistant pants/shirt buttons getting snagged in material(cheap white mesh style hammocks) which ALWAYS resulted in an overturned hammock with my sleeping bag in the dirt..

Unable to find suitable trees in areas of desert, I.e california sierras and inyo mountains.

I'm a side/arm sleeper and had serious discomfort from the bowing shape..bending sideways at the lower back..plus I tend to want to switch sides in the night which was a challenge.

I had one trip where one person woke in the night to a large pool of water on his overhead tarp, when he pushed up on it, the water all went in an unexpected direction and dumped several gallons of water on his neighbor in his sleeping bag. And the next night I had my worst camping experience EVER happen when just as it was getting warm in my sleeping bag, "nature" called and when I returned to my hammock it had overturned and dumped my sleeping bag into a big muddy puddle of water completely soaking it. The hammock was way too cold to sleep without a bag so I ended up sleeping curled in all my dry clothes in the corner of one of my hiking buddies tents which fortunately had a bathtub floor, but still, I didn't have a pad because I was planning on the hammock, and with no bag in the 40's was a cold cold cold sleepless night of misery..

That being said, when I recently have started looking at the newer hammocks, I think ALL of these issues wouldn't have been an issue in a bridge style hammock. Might be willing to try again to shave some weight off my pack. Ahh the things we are willing to try...



Hmmm.. After re-reading my own post, and remembering the "fun" of trying to dress or undress, crawl into my sleeping bag, reach for my shoes or something in my pack while swinging in the air.. No thanks.. I'd have to be a lunatic to go back to a hammock.. No offense to the people who like them, but I think I'm happiest in any of my roomy lightweight tents or shelters on terra firma. Free to move around, roll, dress in dry, wind-free stability and comfort..

Last edited by majorhavok : 11-04-2009 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  #24  
Old 11-05-2009, 08:25 AM
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Trudy Trudy is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majorhavok
Free to move around, roll, dress in dry, wind-free stability and comfort..

Exactly. When I wake up in my tent I can get dressed, eat, pack everything up and put on my shoes. Then I throw the pack out the door and take down the tent.
It's an especially nice routine in rain or snow.
There will be people who say they can do all that in a hammock. Maybe. Not as easily, though.
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  #25  
Old 11-05-2009, 08:45 PM
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Bearpaw Bearpaw is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Ooltewah, Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trudy
There will be people who say they can do all that in a hammock. Maybe. Not as easily, though.

Beneath my tarp, I have more room than I've ever had in any backpacking tent. I can sit in my hammock and cook dinner while enjoying the view. I can certainly change clothing more easily than inside a tent. And when I pack up in the rain, everything goes neatly into my pack and the tarp comes down last. I guarantee it's easier to pack away my tarp on the exterior of my pack than a tent. During a rainy set-up, I pitch the tarp and then take my time while sorting everything else out, rather than rushing to throw up a tent and fly before the interior gets wet. In most situations, I find my hammock a much better system than a tent.

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  #26  
Old 11-06-2009, 01:40 AM
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majorhavok majorhavok is offline
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First of all, I'm not disagreeing that this is what works best for for you, but I'd like to counter your post with my opinions and experience to the contrary rather than a standard "nuh uh.. my way is better!" I have used both tents/shelters and hammocks in the past and enjoyed their respective benefits. I also disagree with previous posters that society, classic camping culture, advertising pictures, ingnorance, or mass hysteria are responsible for the continued popularity or my decision to use tents as a primary shelter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearpaw
Beneath my tarp, I have more room than I've ever had in any backpacking tent.

To your point, it looks great to be able to stand under a big shelter like that while having the ability to leisurely setup. But conversely, if you have done site selection, dropped your pack, unrolled your sleep system, strung up the tarp between the two trees, (two connections) then rigged what looks in your picture to be the orange guylines and stakes. I see several to the right side and what looks like three on the left. 5 or 6 guyline stakeouts? plus the two to the tree? Ok, so say seven or more connection points, including your trekking pole setup (that tarp looks nice!) and arguably you are then inside of your shelter system, albeit not done with your actual sleeping area. Ok, I also can pull my HS-Tarptent Contrail from the external sleeve of my pack and put the 4 stakes needed to secure it, and extend the trekking pole in the front in the same amount of time, or less. I concede that in a major downpour, I would use the 2 extra pullouts on the tent to make it stormproof, however I imagine you probably wouldn't have that same setup and large area in a big storm with driving rains. I agree that lightweight backpacking tents don't allow you to walk around in them, however it's the tarp (rainfly really) that's gives you that ability, and not the hammock. Tent campers that have a rainfly(mine doesn't.. all silnyl material on top) could conceivably use the same tarp setup instead of, or in addition to their tent. Possibly even gaining more usable area to walk around under than with a hammock, because the tent itself is presumably already rain protected. (I know.. depends on type)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearpaw
I can certainly change clothing more easily than inside a tent.

Again, this is not the hammock. I can change clothes just as easy if I too am standing outside of my tent or in the vestibule. But I think you'll agree that in a tent that you can sit up in, roll around, while having your clothes and pack and the rest of your gear sitting next to you while changing is much easier than inside of the hammock itself. If you are talking about changing outside of the hammock then that assumes that you are either solo hiking, or don't mind taking your clothes off in front of your travelling companions. Some might not find this particularly appealling but should be mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearpaw
And when I pack up in the rain, everything goes neatly into my pack and the tarp comes down last. I guarantee it's easier to pack away my tarp on the exterior of my pack than a tent.

How can you guarantee that? I can sit and change and pack in comfort and privacy in my tent and it's also the last thing to come down. Again, my HS tarptent is essentially just 4 stakes, some silnylon and no-see-um mesh. Oh and a trekking pole to give you all the headroom. How is a modern lightweight tent like this more difficult to pack than a hammock and a tarp? you have at least 7 guylines/stakes for the tarp, plus the hammock itself with another two connection points to the tree, and in the picture two more stakes and guylines? That's 11 stake/guylines/tree wrappings compared with 4-6 (max) for my tent? I won't even get into the weight factor that hammock seams, stitching, ropes, rings, and attachment points have to be seriously reinforced because they don't just have to support the weight of the material.. they also have to support the occupant!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearpaw
During a rainy set-up, I pitch the tarp and then take my time while sorting everything else out, rather than rushing to throw up a tent and fly before the interior gets wet.

I don't even have to pitch the contrail for it to start sheltering my gear. I can unroll it, throw all of my gear inside and set up the 4 stakes and trekking pole while my gear is protected inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearpaw
In most situations, I find my hammock a much better system than a tent.

I agree with you that you find a hammock much better in most situations. It works for you, and it looks very comfortable.. Very nice setup! I'd go buy or try to make a nice big tarp like yours or make an addition to my tent if it weren't for the fact that I now live in Southern california where it NEVER seems to rain I miss Georgia more and more the longer I'm away.. (SIGH)

Oh well, to each there own. I'm fickle and love gear so eventually I'll have to get one of these new hammocks just to play with and add to my inventory.
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  #27  
Old 11-07-2009, 05:57 PM
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brobin brobin is offline
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I use a hammock and a tent and I have never had much of a problem changing under my tarp. I can put my hammock up very fast with my snakeskins and keep everything else dry.

The only thing I find the tent provides is more privacy, which doesn't really bother me 95% of the time. I carry bear spray to keep those women at bay...

More importantly to me (and your mileage may vary), I can actually sleep in my Hammock and wake up feeling great, as opposed to having a stiff neck and sore back from my tent system (with air pad no less).
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  #28  
Old 12-26-2012, 07:03 PM
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Kodiak Kodiak is offline
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Backpack: REI but just got a Gorrilla Backpack from Gossemer Gear
Shelter: WBBB Hammock with WB/SuperrFly in winter And Hennessy in summer
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 26
Well one of the first times I used a hammock it rain so hard thru out the night I would have been soaked in a tent . I was able to fill my water bottles off the rain fly without getting out of the hammock that night sold me on hammocks. Plus I sleep better off the ground except for the night in Georiga when a bear came into camp well that's for another post someday.
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