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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jsaults's Avatar
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    Old Army Jungle hammocks

    Any of you ever sleep in the "Original Model"?

    As a kid (probably 10 or 12) I did. Dad had picked one up at a Army-Navy Surplus store, and he never used it. So I appropriated it and slept occasionally in the old farm field windbreaks behind our house. My primary memory of the JH was the odor - the War Department had treated the canvas with some form of mildew preventer that was quite pungent.

    Dad also purchased a surplus Navy hammock, white canvas, brass grommets and manilla rope. I could never get comfortable in it though.

    Just wondering if anyone has similar memories.

    Jim
    Last edited by Jsaults; 07-13-2010 at 16:19. Reason: cnt spel

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hawk-eye's Avatar
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    Yeah and the one outstanding memory was the smell ... the thing lived in the garage for years ... I think it must have rotted away ... Dad doesn't even remember what happened to it. It was huge and heavy from my 10 year old perspective

    WARNING: Will discuss Rhurbarb Strawberry Pie and Livermush at random.


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  3. #3
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Oh yeah,one of my best trips as a youth was with the army hammock...1979, went on a church youthgroup campout to South Fox Island in the middle of Lake Michigan. Weathered a big storm on night one and I never knew it rained..LOL It was a blast! Everybody elses tent blew over, got soaked, didn't sleep.

    I woke up in the morning and couldn't believe it, looked like a bomb went off.

    Hammocks rule
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  4. #4
    Senior Member beep's Avatar
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    I used one...genuine military WWII...back in my youth in the 1950s. It was heavy and hot, but the integrated tarp and bugnet were good features and very useful in the bug-heavy night time. Oh yes, and it did have that old musty smell! I don't remember it being all that comfortable, but it was quite some time ago!
    "The more I carry the happier I am in camp; the less I carry the happier I am getting there" - Sgt. Rock

  5. #5
    Member nailer's Avatar
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    As I have said before in other threads, I recently purchased an old UK Royal Navy hammock, white canvas, heaaaavy!, with 16 grommets at each side instead of the 12 the US Navy version had. It is 68" long , 4 less than the USN one, but the extra wide allows perfectly for a diagonal lay, at least for that of us wich are not so tall. Had a storage smell, but every day is less strong, nothing that will not go after a washing.

    I also purchased a Skeeter Beeter Pro, but this naval hammock is definitely my favorite one. Just tried to buy another for reserve and discovered they were gone for ever, probably my fault, as I give it a very good review.

    Tried to make a USN lookalike and failed miserably. The grommets ripped off the canvas. Should have made the hem with 3 or 4 layers of cloth instead of just 2.

    I ordered a FOX G.I. style jungle hammock after found its weight rate was 300 lbs, compared to Rothco that is only 200lbs. Used a 4th of July discount coupon at USCavalry. Have not picked it up yet. I Hope to be lucky.

  6. #6
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    Someone set up a 'nam-era jungle hammock next to me a couple of weeks ago in Bly gap. It looked heavy, but he said he's been using one for 35 years. (not the same one, duh.)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Big Jim Mac's Avatar
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    Yep, that's what got me started wanting a camping hammock. Spent many a night in these. We had two of them, and they had hemp ropes. The last time we used it the old ropes parted and we ended up on the ground. They were comfortable and smelly! But every outdoor shelter from that era smelled like that. Weighed a ton. Ours had spreader bars for the tarp, you had to make your own from tree branches though. I'm guessing they are still around, probably stashed with my dad's collapsible canoe, now that is a piece of equipment! It came in two large canvas bags, you clipped the pieces together and pretty soon it was a 14 foot canoe. One other piece of vintage gear he had (and I know I'm heading off topic) is a camping trailer that converted into a boat. It was square and made of aluminum. You pulled a pin and the wheels would come off, ditto for the top. The door had a rubber seal and was beefed up to handle an outboard. More of a barge than boat.

  8. #8
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    Me too. Car camping with my family in the 50's I slept in a surplus jungle hammock. I recall the zipper side didn't stretch the way the non-zipper side did, so it got a bit lop-sided. We also had one of the white navy surplus hammocks for the back yard. You could grab opposite edges and pull them together to partially wrap the hammock around you, and then turn over so the hammock was upside down. I used to put a book open on the ground and read in the hammock. Turning pages was tricky.

  9. #9
    Senior Member wirerat123's Avatar
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    I recall them all too well, they actually weren't bad at all. Stinky and a bit claustrophobic, but not that bad. They were just barely tolerable here in the Alabama summers if there was a decent breeze next to the lake.

    I had the original WWII version of cotton canvas with hemp ropes, it would have been a bear to do anything other than car camping with it. I did hike it in to a couple of boy scount camp outs. I also had a old old military or possibly boy scouts external frame backpack that I still haven't seen another one ever. I should take a picture next time I have access so you guys could see it.

    It's kind of like a sheet of solid wood bent into a (_____) shape with leather cords laced through eyelets holding on a rectangle of heavy canvas as a back support, and the other side has fixed clips down each side, and the pack had D clips that clipped it onto the frame. I don't know if I can find the pack again, but I know I have the frame somewhere. It was surprisingly comfy as I remember it.
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  10. #10
    Thase's Avatar
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    I got one from a surplus store when i was in the reserves. I used it several times when we went to Mississippi for our two weeks in the woods.

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