View Full Version : Wife's 1st night in a hammock, help me out ladies!

05-08-2018, 20:57
So, after much research and constant nagging I finally got my wife to give up a sleeping bag and give using a TQ instead a try. I helped her order a 40° +2 Econ Burrow zip while I was ordering mine last month so she would have one for a camping trip we have this weekend with our youngest daughter's Girl Scout troop. I was thrilled of course since that now gives me the perfect cover to buy even MORE gear for myself lol. Here's where I need some input : she told me today that she wants to also give hammocks a try..... But she's never been in one for longer than about 30 mins so far. So I told her I'd let her use my diy 11' argon 1.6 , Chill Gorilla bugnet, and old man winter tarp so she can close the doors and have privacy for changing when she needs it. I'm also gonna let her use either my synthetic Snugpak UQ or CDT UQ with her new Burrow to make sure cold doesn't ruin anything.So.... Can you give me any tips to help her out that , I , as a man, might miss ? Anything that helped you that is female - specific ? This trip is CRUCIAL to how to rest of our trips will be this summer, if she ends up cold, uncomfortable, bug bitten or anything else that could ruin her 1st time, there goes my excuse to get a new UQ ! Lol. So, please let me know anything, ANYTHING AT ALL that might help me , help her , help me, to get that 40° Econ Pheonix that I've been eyeing to match my new Econ Burrow would be awesome! She's about 5'6" tall , ( don't ask me how much she weighs, I'll just say 125- 130 , I'll never fall.for that loaded question again! ) and is an average - cold sleeper. Does the difference in metabolism , chemical makeup , etc between women and men come into play here at all ? How so? Tips ? Man, if this goes well, I might even be able to convince her that she needs her own rig and maybe even wanting to go to MAHHA this fall with me! So as you can see, not only is her comfort on the line here, so is my gear collection, happiness and possibly even my relationship and /or life lol. What day you female hangers?

05-08-2018, 21:18
M, you are so thoughtful.

Whatever insulation you think is good, she will need more. Likely much more.

A fleece blanket with a footbox always makes me feel cozy as a first layer, since Topquilt fabric is not so nice to touch.

A ground mat may also be nice. I never use one, but I often wish I had one.

And a pillow.

Starfish Comet
05-09-2018, 00:42
I would add a ridgeline organizer or peak shelf so she has somewhere to put any items she is used to having close by in a tent. I have a WBBB now, but in my gathered end, it was a major annoyance not to have a spot for my hair clip and cellphone. I solved by always having chair under tarp as a night stand that gave me a place to put those items, my bra, and additional insulation in case it got chillier in middle of the night. Most Women get cold easily. At work I am in short sleeves and at least five other women are draped in blankets working at their desks no matter what season.

05-09-2018, 07:02
Practice the setup at home once first so it doesn’t feel fiddly and time consuming to get set up. I’m sure she wants to be part of the activities with her daughter and not be stuck getting her hammock hung. I’d also think about using the tieouts that are midway down the side to get more room underneath for when she wants to change etc. Sorry I forgot what they are called. Reflectix for the tieouts so no tripping in the night. I’m also new to hammocking and have been experimenting in my yard and on a couple overnights this spring. So far I’m loving it except for the fact that my gear is very fiddly at the moment. I’ve hung my blue Home Depot tarp every way you can imagine and enjoyed learning lotsa knots... Saving up for a chameleon, tarp and some bling. I’ll also confirm the other two replies you’ve had as great advice! Have fun!

05-09-2018, 07:55
Agree with Jellyfish that fleece feels nicer than top quilt, so a nice soft fleece blanket to compliment the TQ would be extra cozy. As others have stated, most women need much more downy goodness to keep warm so make sure she is properly outfitted.

Elevate her perspective: set up in porch mode. Nothing beats peaking out of your hammock in the morning as sunshine paints the surroundings. Love those quiet moments.

Hope she enjoys her first official hang.

Karla "with a k"
05-09-2018, 08:07
I love that you are asking questions! ALL of the answers I completely ditto!

The only thing I can add is talk to her about what aspects of tent camping she likes most (any about hammocks that concern her) and then try to make her hammock set up equal to her tent set up.

Here's an example: I wasn't as fearful of animals when I was in a tent. I felt protected from them. With hammocking, I had fears of animals underneath me and feeling them bump into me. So, I prefer to have my bug net / sock hang clear down to the ground so it's less likely I have an animal underneath me (another reason I don't do integrated bug nets).

Tyroler Holzhacker
05-09-2018, 08:07
Get her some goosefeet gear slippers in down to keep the tootsies warm. I got that for my wife to be comfy outdoors, even though she still likes to use her UL tent. (Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2p) from REI.

05-09-2018, 08:28
depending on your wife's age, identifying a comfort range could be difficult. My wife is going thru "the change" and her temperature swings throughout the night are bordering on comical (for me). If I were trying to get my wife setup for a hang right now, I'd have no idea what temperature to aim for.

Karla "with a k"
05-09-2018, 08:40
depending on your wife's age, identifying a comfort range could be difficult. My wife is going thru "the change" and her temperature swings throughout the night are bordering on comical (for me). If I were trying to get my wife setup for a hang right now, I'd have no idea what temperature to aim for.

It's ok to use the menopause.

Unsure if it's ok to publicly post about your wife's menopause symptoms though.

05-09-2018, 09:11
Thanks for the great tips everyone. I learned long ago that the absolute #1 most important thing to do if I want to achieve and /or maintain ANY level of happiness and is to first and foremost ALWAYS make sure she is happy lol. Because when they say " happy wife= happy life" , they 'ain't kidding lol. But seriously though, I know what makes me comfortable in a hammock but that doesn't mean it's the same for her I imagined. If I have a great nights sleep and she ends up cold, sore and/or miserable bc I didn't take the time to help her figure out how not to, then I'm setting her up to fail and never want to do it again.... Whats the point of her even doing it if I can't give her every opportunity to enjoy it as much as I do so she can be a part of something that's such a huge part of me? Now, maybe after all of this she just doesn't like it, that's fine. But I at least have to try to include her, if I don't then not only am I possibly hurting her and making her feel left out, I'm missing a chance to FINALLY have someone in our house other than me understand why anyone would wanna sleep outside all the time and spend an absolutely ludicrous amount of money on fabric, string and feathers lol. Plus I won't have to hide my gear purchases as much anymore hahahaha

05-09-2018, 12:51
Two things I tell new folks going with me. Not really female specific.

You may not sleep through the night the first time and that is ok. Your brain (sometimes) is more awake as it gets used to being in a hammock. The positive trade off is you shouldn’t be sore the next day and the sleep you do get is more restful.
Second, if you have a problem while sleeping (too cold; calf ridge; need to pee; etc) get up and take care of it or wake me up and I’ll help. I once had a newbie wake up and tell me she froze even though the gear could have handled 20-30* cooler temps. She had mistakenly stored a hoodie between the UQ and hammock, pulling the UQ away from her all night. Easy fix and she was warm and toasty after that.
Good luck and hope all goes well for all of you.

05-12-2018, 06:10
Best hammock item my husband got for me was my DW bugnet. Game changer for VT mosquitos, black flys, etc... , and a down beanie for sleeping. At this point, when we car camp, my husband and now teenage son, sleep in a two person tent, and I get a snore free, odor free, restful nights sleep in my hammock.

05-12-2018, 12:17
I agree with most all the above suggestions.
Practice at home, being able to EXIT the hammock with a full bladder is not fun. Calling for help is a trip ruiner (spelling?).

Bright flashlight might be helpful. Easy exit is my BIG issue.

If you are in a public place try to be near a civilized loo.

05-12-2018, 22:16
1. Keep the warm Nalgene trick in mind.
2. I would use a full-length UQ, at least initially.
3. I get a lot of peace of mind from being able to see someone else - so double porch mode? Plus, you can catch a great sunrise that way!
4. I think Karla said she worried about something going under the hammock and so likes a full bugnet - I more or less agree, I think the Fronkey goes pretty low.
5. Do a test hang with an integrated and non-integrated bugnet. I like that I can rest my head on the side of a non-integrated hammock, plus I get better visibility. (see #3 and 4 above!)
6. If hiking, do you have a bra plan? I hang mine on my Ridgeline to at least air out each night, inside the bugnet. It doesn't normally dry though, so maybe there's a better way.
7. Hair in a hammock can be annoying. I usually wear a hat or buff as a long headband to keep the hair out of my face at night.
8. I don't know if periods are an issue, but you might need extra TP, or soap, or water, or whatever...

I think that's about it...

05-13-2018, 08:48
Most women may need more insulation unless you are The Terminator. My wife is like a blast furnace and needs less insulation than me.

Better to overdo the insulation until you find out what her comfort level is. Also have her take a couple of Benadryl before bed time.

05-14-2018, 08:55
Thank you everyone for the tips, I let my wife read through them all and she said it was a big help. When we got to the camp my daughter's troop assigned Adirondack shelters that have screen on the open side and 2 bunk beds for the girls. I set my rig up in the woods next to it and then hung my wife's hammock inside diagonally across from one corner to another. For insulation,she used my 10°F synthetic OneTigris UQ with her brand new 40° +1oz Burrow zip. Friday night got down to about 49° with some pretty heavy wind and she said she stayed plenty warm other than when the UQ slid under her leaving her lower legs a little cold. I was using my XLC, 12' Chill Gorilla hex tarp and Snugpak UQ + 40° Burrow zip and slept great. Saturday evening it started to thunderstorm pretty hard and even though everything under my tarp was bone dry, my TQ was damp and the down was very lumpy. Her Burrow wasn't as damp and clumpy as mine , but it was noticeable. Both of our UQ's were fine with no loss of loft like the TQ's. So to make sure she would be warm enough I put my poly sleeping bag liner inside her Burrow, let her use my UQP and re-rigged her UQ to make sure it stayed in place. This seemed to do the trick and even though it stormed pretty bad all night with heavy wind sometimes blowing a little rain and mist through the screen and into the shelter, she stayed warm and slept great all night as did my daughter and the other girl and her mom that slept in the shelter with them. By morning, my Burrow was all but flat and had a funky odor from so much moisture in the air the past 48hrs but the tarp did great, everything stayed bone dry and adding a cheap $5 Wal-Mart poly bag liner to my TQ as well helped me stay warm enough to sleep through the night w/o getting cold. Overall, my wife said she really liked her first nights aloft and wants to try it again on our next trip, using my OMW tarp for the first time. If I can rig it, I'm gonna try pitching the tarp tight to the ground with my wife's hammock+ bug net inside like normal and then rig up the UST single bug net that I got from Wal-Mart inside also ( but not over my wife's hammock) and use my 5×7 Grabber o.d green & silver emergency blanket/tarp as a footprint so my daughter can sleep inside it with her and be 100% protected from bugs. So it will basically be a tent that has a hammock going through the middle. So thanks again for all the tips , she really found it helpful and since she had such a good first experience, wants to do it again.

05-14-2018, 11:56
I’m so glad you had a great trip!

05-30-2018, 11:45
I'm a little late to the party but my wife loves everything about backpacking except for not being able to get a hold of the kids. An inreach explorer solved that concern, she is very happy. And a stool.

05-30-2018, 13:42
I just saw this today...Really glad she had a good 1st experience. I doubt my wife would even give it a try. She hasn’t wanted to even just try out the hammock indoors..