PDA

View Full Version : Hammocks, questions?


pmike
11-15-2011, 12:24 PM
I am considering the purchase and use of a hammock for backcountry camping. I have noticed a few posts with some pics of hammocks and wondered if those who do or have used one could offer any insights or suggestions?

Mike

NDuncan
11-15-2011, 01:32 PM
I love my ENO double nest and I also have a Byers Easy Traveller that I have slept very comfortably in. I have complaints about either one. For my ENO, I removed the two metal caribiners that come attached to it and replaced them with home made tree hugger straps to save on weight. (Used straps from a cheap harbor freight ratcheting tie down kit, cut off the metal pieces, work great) I like having a really big tarp for my rainfly, so I bought a 12'x12' from sportsmans guide ware house for cheap, it allows me set it up on the diagonal and on the square, which can be handy in enclosing your self more fully when it is cold. I also bought the bug net enclosure thing for the ENO, which my wife uses when she goes.

pmike
11-15-2011, 01:45 PM
"I love my ENO double nest " for choosing the Dbl nest over a single or the pro-nest? I am wondering if the larger hammock provides enough or any extra comfort compared to the singles?

Thanks,
Mike

Mac
11-15-2011, 01:54 PM
Pmike,

I think you are going to find Hammock choices are going to be like fly rod or back pack selection, everyone has their own opinion.

but, i am vary happy with the one i use and my brother really enjoys his. Maybe this will give you some other options.

I have the Hennessy Deep Jungle XL. For me this has been a really good choice for the Smokys in the spring and fall and is rated as a three season hammock. This is a double bottom Hammock and in my last thread you can see where i purchased what Hennessy calls the overcover. It is just a light weight cover for the netting that helps with maintaining the heat. The Deep Jungle XL comes with a reflective bubble mat that is light weight and fits between the two bottom layers for insulation.

My brother purchased the Hennessy Explorer Deluxe and he uses his Thermarest pad for insulation. Both are really nice Hammocks and both come with the trap.

The trap that comes with the Hammock has advantages and dis-advantages. The standard tarp that comes with a Hennessy is light weight and does not cost any extra. I have found that it is more about proper location and setup than anything else when is comes to protection from the rain. The best example i could provide was a thread where my brother and i stayed in our hammocks a few years ago during the rain storm that flooded Nashville. Even in my thread you can see that it was more about location and setup than anything else. :redface:

Here is the link to the thread on surviving the nashville flood in a hammock:

http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13870

P.S.
If you check out the link dont forget to read my brother response, IamColby, its classic.

Good luck

NDuncan
11-15-2011, 02:27 PM
"I love my ENO double nest " for choosing the Dbl nest over a single or the pro-nest? I am wondering if the larger hammock provides enough or any extra comfort compared to the singles?

Thanks,
Mike


My wife wanted the double because she was hoping that two could sleep in it... which I guess two could, but not very comfortably because every movement the other person makes is multiplied by the hammock. It is still very comfortable for one. Some people don't like the extra fabric of the double because it can tend to close up around you, but haven't had much of an issue with it. Honestly, I didn't to a whole lot of product comparison, I had just heard good things, went for it, and loved it.

The Hennessy's look really nice, and I am sure are real comfortable but were out of my price range. With a little bit of DYI and some price shopping you can get all the same comfort for 1/2 the cost.

My set ups:

Byer's hammock -$20
ENO DBL - $60
12x12 ultralight tarp (sportsmans guide wearhouse) $20 each
Harbor freight straps (2 12' straps per pack) $5 each pack (often on sale for $2/pack)
Aluminum tent stakes $0.99 each (usually carry 4-8 )

pmike
11-15-2011, 06:14 PM
Reading your Brother's reply reminds me all too well of my brother and i...tooooo funny!

Mike

PS: Thanks so much to each of you for responding and for the suggestions. Being an adolescent 56 (almost) year old, any information helps!

Mundele
11-16-2011, 12:40 AM
I'm a hammocker, but it took two tries for it to "take". I had a hennessey back when they originally came out several years ago. This was the original, bottom entry one. I tried my hardest to like it but I just froze to death in it, even in the dead of summer.

You need some sort of bottom insulation. The hammock itself conforms to your body, which is great, except that it smooshes flat your sleeping bag and provides nearly no insulation. I tried pads in the hennessey, but it was too difficult with the bottom entry. I sold it. More recently I got a new hammock and have used a thin pad, which is okay, but have gotten an underquilt which is basically a part of a sleeping bag suspended under you. Works great. Really comfortable.

I really like my hammock. Mine's a "warbonnet blackbird" but you can make your own gathered end hammock out of plain fabric. No sewing required.

If you want to know a lot about hammocks and be entertained at the same time, do a search for "Shug" on youtube. He's hilarious. This is part one of a 6 part into series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7NZVqpBUV0

Also check out www.hammockforums.net


--Matt

pmike
11-16-2011, 12:54 AM
You mentioned " (Used straps from a cheap harbor freight ratcheting tie down kit, cut off the metal pieces, work great)" Could you clarify what parts you cut off? Are you saying that you cut off the hooks on the straps from Harbor Freight or the "s" hooks on the tarps?

It seems like cutting the hooks off the straps would be a good idea and replacing them with some sturdy aluminum carabinars might save a bit of weight??? IMHO, anything that equates to less carry weight is a big plus to me. There was a time when I could have carried a 50 plus pound pack, but those days are far gone :)

Mike

MadisonBoats
11-16-2011, 09:19 AM
I am considering the purchase and use of a hammock for backcountry camping. I have noticed a few posts with some pics of hammocks and wondered if those who do or have used one could offer any insights or suggestions?

Mike

Mike,
I do not have any experience with camping hammocks; but, I love lounging in the yard types. I found this webpage http://www.tothewoods.net/ in my Internet Guide Ebook and it looks to be very descriptive and useful for researching camping hammocks. Plus the website creator has some very neat ideas and tips.

I hope it helps!

Crockett
11-16-2011, 09:55 AM
You know a guy has been gettin into hammocks if he knows who Shug is lol...

NDuncan
11-16-2011, 10:52 AM
You mentioned " (Used straps from a cheap harbor freight ratcheting tie down kit, cut off the metal pieces, work great)" Could you clarify what parts you cut off? Are you saying that you cut off the hooks on the straps from Harbor Freight or the "s" hooks on the tarps?

It seems like cutting the hooks off the straps would be a good idea and replacing them with some sturdy aluminum carabinars might save a bit of weight??? IMHO, anything that equates to less carry weight is a big plus to me. There was a time when I could have carried a 50 plus pound pack, but those days are far gone :)

Mike

Here are the straps: http://www.harborfreight.com/set-of-2-1-inch-x-12-ft-lashing-straps-67386.html

You just cut the ends off and melt the frays with a lighter. I don't use any caribiners, I take those straps and cut each 12' section into two shorter sections and then tie one end to the hammock and put a permanent loop on one end. The other free strap also get a permanent loop, which I use to pass the free end through around the tree. I then use a Marlin spike hitch on the strap attach to the tree and pass the loop on the strap attached to the hammock over it... all hung tight with no knots to tie.

I should take a moment here to give credit, the whole step up was shown to me by JayB, he could probably elaborate more in better detail than I can.

As far as insulation, I use a foam pad from the camping section in walmart ($5) and have always been plenty warm in my hammock. We'll see if I am singing the same tune in two weeks when we go to the top of Big Cataloochie mountain for two nights....

Mundele
11-16-2011, 11:56 AM
A note on straps...

Don't use Nylon unless you like waking up with your butt on the ground. they tend to stretch. Polypropylene ones work great and are usually cheaper than nylon. I did break a cheap polypro webbing strap I made from stuff I got at JoAnns though.

The Shug video talks about Whoopie Slings. They make hanging and adjusting your hammock SO much easier. They're really pretty cool and easy to make if you get the right rope (Amsteel Blue) and do a little splicing. Definitely check those out.

Also feel free to email me if you have any specific questions: matthew(dot)timbs(at)gmail(dot)com

pmike
11-16-2011, 04:17 PM
I found a great deal and bought a single nest with net and tarp from Eagles Nest. I have been doing some online searches for info and deals and found a guy locally on Craigslist who sold me a $250.00 dollar gift card for $100.00. I'll check out the videos, they sound quiet interesting and informative.

I already have a Thermosrest pad so if insulation is needed, I have that pretty much covered.

Thanks again,
Mike

JayB
11-16-2011, 05:30 PM
Good Mike!
I have the singlenest as well, and have no complaints. Hanging is like flyfishing, it can be as simple and cheap or as complicated and expensive as you want it to be.
All three of my boys are hammock snobs now, so I had to choose the simple and cheap route. Tents? Bah, sleeping on the ground is for uncouth swine. At least that's what it sounds like talking to my 8 year old.

First thing you want to do with that ENO is take off those heavy carabiners on the ends. You can see in the picture I just put loops in either end of a short piece of webbing and "loop to loop" connected one end of that to the cordage where the 'biners were.
Another long section of webbing around a tree and as nathan said, use a stick off the ground for a toggle in a marlin spike hitch, and you are set. No metal or plastic hardware anywhere. Super light weight as well. You can see the two stretches of webbing here, as well as the stick holding it together.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/chillin.jpg

As for keeping warm, a pad may not be as comfortable as lying directly in the hammock, but as of now its more comfortable than the pain in my wallet of buying underquilts. **** I dont even use good pads, I use the $5.88 blue close cell foam pads at walmart (and I cut those in half to make two!). I've done plenty of nights down to the low thirties this way. Im going to experiment with a simple "peapod" made from a $10 sleeping back liner to try to get down to the teens for an upcoming trip.

Hammockforums.net can be overwhelming at first with so many options and ideas, but there are options there for everyone from the cheapest cheapskate to the dude with money to spend, to hardware and gadget junkies to the boy-scout knot-tying snobs as well.
Have fun with it, it definitely makes camping a more unique and interesting experience.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/beljason/boyshammocks.jpg

NDuncan
11-16-2011, 05:39 PM
Just one more thing to add to that... adding the ridgeline VASTLY improved the comfort of my ENO (actually both my hammocks). Before you take yours out on a trip, spend some time at home setting it up and adjusting it and getting it how you like - it will make things so much easier when you go to use it for the first time in the back country

spotlight
11-16-2011, 10:02 PM
This is a Appalachian Trail hikers site check their posts in the hammock forums there is a wealth of information to be had. I use a bottom entry hennessy ultralight assym....weighs 2lbs but in the cooler months I use what they call a pea pod for a under quilt it's made by jacks or better.

There is a learning curve to hammocks, how to sleep in them, finding the right trees etc, it's all part of the fun. As someone mentioned earlier the Jaybird Warbonnet is a pretty awesome hammock.

Check out this site

www.whiteblaze.net

pmike
11-17-2011, 11:58 AM
...info is out there about hammocks and hammock camping. I just found a "Gand Trunk Ultralight" hammock on Amazon, shipped to me for $17.00 and some change. Thanks for the continued insights, pics, and links, the information is greatly appreciated. I am starting to wonder if maybe there needs to be a board catagory dedicated to Hammocks or perhaps "ultra-light" backpacking "smiling"

Mike

JayB
11-17-2011, 12:17 PM
I have 2 ultralights, and plan to get another one in the spring. The picture of the kids in the hammocks in my previous post, the top hammock is a GT ultralight. Again, you'll probably want to take a hacksaw to it and get rid of the S hooks on it (I had not done that yet in the picture,shaves off 2 oz). Also I found with the ultralights it is important to get the right amount of sag. The Eno's are more forgiving, but the ultralight can be difficult to find that "comfort zone", so I put structural ridgelines on all of mine, basically just a length of cord tied between the two ends of the hammock so it sags the same amount everytime you hang no matter how tight you pull the suspension. Now it sleeps like a dream everytime. you can see one end of that in the picture as well. I can get you the numbers on the length of my ridgeline if your interested.
Gt ultralight (minus hooks, plus ridgeline) + 2x 12' harbor freight straps = 16oz
PU coated tarp (9x9, pictched diamond) + ridgeline+guylines+2 Al stakes = 24oz
so my whole shelter weight is 2.5 lbs, and it would be less than that if I traded the PU coated tarp for a good silnylon.

pmike
11-18-2011, 09:27 PM
amsteel blue that is in reality gray and am planning to use the 7/64' to make an adjustable ridgeline and some of the 1/8" to make whoopie slings. Let the fun begin....

Mike

mora521
11-19-2011, 09:58 AM
When it is warm I use a Hennessey Expedition Asym,which is the cheapest one they sell and it is great.The integral mosquito net keeps the bugs off,the fly can be adjusted for max ventilation or lowered for max rain protection,and best of all it keeps you cool on hot nights.The tree saver wraps keep the trees being used from any damage.

Mine came with free snakeskins that make putting it up or taking it down a simple chore.Like Mundele said it does sleep cool and is not the choice early and late in the season.

Mundele
11-19-2011, 12:09 PM
amsteel blue that is in reality gray and am planning to use the 7/64' to make an adjustable ridgeline and some of the 1/8" to make whoopie slings. Let the fun begin....

Mike

It actually comes in several colors, but the colors don't stay on the rope too well, it actually rubs off over time. Not a big deal but if you're splicing you may notice your hands turning colors if you use the darker stuff. That stuff is amazingly strong and tough. Hard to cut though.

Splicing is very fun. I've found that a stiff piece of wire folded in two works great for splicing. you can feed it through where you want the "bury" and stick the standing end of the amsteel through (hook it in the fold) and pull it back through pretty easily. helps if you thin the end some and maybe mash down on the fold with the cord inside with pliers.

Have fun making whoopie slings. Lemme know if you have questions. BTW if you're in Knoxville, the West Marine near west town mall had a spool of Amsteel that they sell by the foot. It's usually a mail order thing.

--Matt

wisenber
11-20-2011, 01:53 AM
I am considering the purchase and use of a hammock for backcountry camping. I have noticed a few posts with some pics of hammocks and wondered if those who do or have used one could offer any insights or suggestions?

Mike

If you want to see all sorts of impartial comments and reviews of hammocks, I'd check out www.hammockforums.net. It is pretty much THE source for hammock information.

If you want to avoid potentially spending tons of money on something you may not like, my first bit of advice would be to get a cheap camping hammock and try napping in it. If that does not work for you, don't bother trying anything else. If you weigh under 240 lbs or so, you might try a Grand Trunk UL which go for about 20 bucks and can be found on line or at River Sports in Knoxville. The Grand Trunk UL is by no means the best hammock, but it is quite serviceable. A hint to a more comfortable lay in the hammock is to put yourself at a slight diagonal from center. This will help avoid "banana back" and allow you to remain more flat. Finding the best ways to stay warm and/or dry is the next challenge after you've determined that a hammock might work for you. In that area, I highly recommend the content on the hammock forum as it covers various means of top insulation, bottom insulation and weather protection.

I moved over to hammocks about six years ago and have not looked back. I can hike in to a nice stream now and know that I will get an actual restful night's sleep without tossing and turning on a pad or having to find a flat spot that is not too wet and does not have rocks or roots. Hammock camping can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be, just like fishing. While I do own more hammocks than I care to admit, my "go to" hammock is a DIY one that I made from $1.50/yd ripstop fabric that I picked up at a WalMart bargain bin.

I hope that helps. Feel free to send me a message and/or check out the hammock forum....

Walter

wisenber
11-20-2011, 02:00 AM
You know a guy has been gettin into hammocks if he knows who Shug is lol...

EVERYONE knows Shug! While he hangs his hat in MN, he and Hickery meet up every Spring in Linville Gorge for a solid week of hammock camping. I was lucky enough to spend a few days with him down in the Gorge last Spring. He's not big on fishing, but definitely an entertaining source for hammock info.

wisenber
11-20-2011, 02:44 AM
This is a Appalachian Trail hikers site check their posts in the hammock forums there is a wealth of information to be had. I use a bottom entry hennessy ultralight assym....weighs 2lbs but in the cooler months I use what they call a pea pod for a under quilt it's made by jacks or better.

There is a learning curve to hammocks, how to sleep in them, finding the right trees etc, it's all part of the fun. As someone mentioned earlier the Jaybird Warbonnet is a pretty awesome hammock.

Check out this site

www.whiteblaze.net (http://www.whiteblaze.net)

I believe that the Warbonnetoutdoors.com is a Blackbird, and the peapod is by Speer Hammocks. JacksRBetter.com makes the Nest along with the Mount Washington underquilts. They are all excellent cottage industries.

pmike
11-26-2011, 10:00 PM
for all of the links, insights, and suggestions. I now have two hammocks and have yet to hang the first one due to the business of the holidays. I have managed to purchase some Amsteel and make a set of whoopie slings alomng with an adjustable ridgeline.

By the way I found Grand Trunk hammocks on amazon.com for $14.95 in green, slightly more for other colors.

Mike