"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
To say that hammockers will lose the ability to hammock without being enclosed is silly imho. Backpackers will never stop fighting for the lightest pack. Look how much tech that's inspired! Which means, there will always be a guy with the newest less than an ounce fabric hammock with a bare-minimum tarp and mosquito netting.
Hammock tents, (as I call them) open up the entire winter season, to people other than backpackers. It's really only expanding the market for hammocks and their usefulness. I know I'll NEVER tent again. For that matter, say there comes a time when hammock tents are the norm. All that's going to do is further reduce the cost and increase the amount of choice you have as a consumer. For every hammock tent there will be ten different tarps. For every, cheap hammock, there will be 20 more expensive ones of every weight, size, and configuration imaginable. Getting more people into the sport, however "hard" they are, is never a bad thing market wise.
Tell me that's not worth it's weight in gold to some! What's more likely is that hammocks will entirely replace tents.
I know I'm very interested in backpack hunting, get about 4-5 miles from a trailhead and set up a base camp, then daypack a mile or so to actually hunt. I've heard it's the best hunting you can find and still be modernly equipped. The price you pay is in hauling the kill and all of the stuff back to your truck, usually taking three or four trips. I don't think there's a backpacking hunter alive that wouldn't jump on the opportunity to have a base camp like the link above to cut down on some weight and trips. Better sleep, warmth, comfort, and all for a fraction of the weight involved in your typical base-camp pack out. You could probably hunt solo off of it! Though I'm a firm believer in the buddy system especially for hunting.
With A-frames and the right kinds of anchoring you could use it for sledding too.
I got started on river tours, the rocky, rolling banks make really harsh sleeping spots and they're completely exposed. Hammocks get you up off the bank, into secluded trees and out of the elements. No worries about floods. I can see a world where I go to spring fed rivers in the dead of winter to kayak and tour/fish. Imagine the trout fishing! Not a single man on the entire river. In Missouri there's a number of spring fed rivers that never freeze, that with a good wetsuit/cold weather gear and a sit-in kayak with a skirt would be absolutely breathtaking in winter. I'm dieing to hit them up in something like a hammock tent. You could do a few days easy in something like that. Hammock tents in this case are almost completely necessary. You'd need a shelter where you could strip down and dry out before you bedded down. Additionally, you'd be best off the ground where you and a few of your clothes could be off the ground to dry a bit before the next day.
God that sounds nice.
I could see use in skiing too. Have a friend start you at the top of a mountain and you cross-country down it over a few days rather than base camping and hauling up every day. This of course would be the extreme of luxury on a trail, but still. You're butt is off of the wet snow. This could easily be done in a typical hammock setup with a tarp and underquilt/pad and overquilt. Though you can't argue it'd be much more comfortable in an enclosure with a stove.
I don't typically do anything in the winter, but with a shelter like that who knows what kinds of new sports would become more accessible. Especially for those who don't mind the extra weight, kayakers, sledders, skiiers.
Last edited by attrezzo; 12-22-2009 at 17:49.
I think of the winter tarp concept along the same lines a casserole. I like all the things (usually) in a casserole by themselves just fine. However, if you throw them all together and add some cheese, you've got yourself something really good.
Taking the best traits of tents and combining them with hammocks only makes good sense to me. To say otherwise would be like complaining about sprinkles (candy) on your ice cream sundae, or (this one's for you angrysparrow) complaining about strawberry syrup on your funnel cake. Yuuuummmmmmm!