Fullcount here. Looking to do a thru hike in 2016 of the AT and I have started the experiment with Hammocks instead of a tent...or at least a Hammock during the warmer months. My reasoning is that as I prepare, I want a system that will be easy to set up in the rain and keep me off the ground during prolonged periods of wetness. I have a Hubba Hubba tent that will always travel with the inside net in order to capitalize on the bathtub design of the floor to keep water out. So the thought is, if I am taking all these precautions to keep water out, even in the winter...., why not just try the hammock style camping to stay off the ground all together?
That is the start of the mental process. Well, as I have already spent money on the tent, Big Agnes pad and down sleeping bag...., I better try and do the hammock system on the cheap (Dirt Bag style) before the wife gets concerned about the cost of my new found process.
So I purchased a cheap hammock while in the Outer Banks from the Pit. It was rated at 330 lbs and since I am 220, I felt safe on this bet. As it would happen, while down in OBX, my pop up sunshade took a tumble down the beach in a high wind which left the frame a mess. No need to throw out the tarp, so that is what I am using for my rain fly (10 x 10 turned on a diagnal). Next thing I needed was a way to keep the skeeters off me, so next purchase was a ENO Guardian net for $55. I couple all this with some web straps that I already owned in my garage rated for 500 lbs and cut the end hook off - this is a free item in my mind. I had a Home Depot card from a birthday, so off I go to get some chain link with a screw connector rated for 800 lbs. I get four of them, so I spent $20 w/ tax (but in reality this is free also since I am using a gift card). My only other expense is some TriGlides from Jacks R Better. They are located here in Yorktown local, so I pick them up from the office. I think it was $15 for the pair.
So lets see....I get the whole set up for less than $100, because of what I already had...but if someone had to purchase....less than $150 if you could find the tarp from a discarded beach bum.
My tent set up is 5 lbs 1 oz.....the hammock set up is 5lbs 5 oz. Packed size is smaller on the hammock and I expect when I get a better tarp, the weight will come down even more. When I was at JRP, I got a chance to look at the Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock and lay in it. This is my ultimate goal for all season hammock gear..., but I first must prove that I like sleeping in a hammock while on the trail before I can justify the cost.
I slept in my hammock this past weekend for two nights on the diagonal and did okay. I must have been snoring pretty bad as I woke up with a slight headache both mornings..., but I was rested. Noticed I could not sleep beyond the time when the sun starting coming up, so that is a good thing when out on the trail.
Now my questions are this for the experienced hangers. I am going to ask your advice on the rock grommet and suspension methods. Will the cinching action allow a rain leak around the rock as per the pictures. Also, since I am thinking of a process for setting up quick as if I am in the rain, I am looking at just one strap around the tree and doing a Marlin Spike Hitch for the tie out of the tarp. When I get into camp, I set up the tarp as if it were raining and then proceed to get the bug net on the hammock and then the tie out. My question is that if I have some bungees attached to the fly tie outs off to the side, will that be adequate to compensate for the tension change once I lay in the hammock? I tried this last night and looked at the side tie outs and everything looked okay, but I did not have rain or high winds. Your thoughts.
I will try my hand in attaching some pics of my set up that I have in my album...just do not know how since I am new to this forum.