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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Hayward, CA
    Hammock
    10' Dutch PolyD/ENO DN
    Tarp
    Yukon Walkabout
    Insulation
    CCF+0*Sleeping bag
    Suspension
    Cinch buckles
    Posts
    23

    Advice for a NOOB: Pulling the trigger on new gear

    Ok guys, I need some advice.

    Pretty new to hammocks in general, but about a week ago I found your forum. I've been reading a lot, and even learning a lot. I have an ENO doublenest and atlas straps and basic backpacking gear already, but the more I read, the more I have the itch to get better, lighter, stronger, more comfortable gear - unfortunately that gear is also more expensive.

    How do you guys decide what gear is worth it to actually pull the trigger on and purchase? I have about 6 hammocks, 3 suspension systems, 4 tarps, 3 bug nets, and 7 insulation methods I want to try. And that is only the stuff I want for myself, don't even get me started on how I am already plotting to convert my girl friend, friends and family by buying them hammocks of their own. I also only have about $100 in cash laying around to spend, so perhaps luckily no major purchases can even be made right away.

    Anyways, will I continue to learn more and narrow down my list of potential future purchases by following along with the forum? Or, am I doomed to continue adding to the list. Do you recommend buying a couple of mid ranged priced items to get a feel for different things, or saving up for a big purchase that will last me a long time and just hope I like the style/feel of it without having much experience? Are there any pieces of gear that people generally only really like - hammocks or tarps or whatever that are no-brainers to purchase if the price is within my budget?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Gonzales, LA
    Hammock
    DH Darien/DIY
    Tarp
    WL Big Daddy
    Insulation
    JrB, HG, WL
    Suspension
    Whoopies
    Posts
    1,609
    It's a tough decision. I tried many different configurations and am still trying. For me bottom insulation and tarp with good suspension makes the trip nice. My favorite hammocks are simple gathered end.

    So if you are happy with the ENO for now just work on the rest. You could upgrade the ENO suspension but I would get a tarp or UQ first. That's just what I would do if starting over now.

  3. #3
    sargevining's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rosenberg, TX
    Hammock
    DIY 12' Channel end
    Tarp
    HH Hex w/doors
    Insulation
    Underwoobie T/UQ
    Suspension
    RacerLoops w/Cinch
    Posts
    4,810
    Images
    8
    My advice is always this:

    Don't solve a problem you've already solved.


    You already have the hammock. You've solved the "Where am I going to sleep?" problem.

    The next problems you need to solve are:

    "How will I keep dry?"

    and

    "How will I keep warm?"

    Tarp and insulation should be next.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Gonzales, LA
    Hammock
    DH Darien/DIY
    Tarp
    WL Big Daddy
    Insulation
    JrB, HG, WL
    Suspension
    Whoopies
    Posts
    1,609
    Quote Originally Posted by sargevining View Post
    My advice is always this:

    Don't solve a problem you've already solved.


    You already have the hammock. You've solved the "Where am I going to sleep?" problem.

    The next problems you need to solve are:

    "How will I keep dry?"

    and

    "How will I keep warm?"

    Tarp and insulation should be next.
    Well said.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    114
    Quote Originally Posted by sargevining View Post
    My advice is always this:

    Don't solve a problem you've already solved.


    You already have the hammock. You've solved the "Where am I going to sleep?" problem.

    The next problems you need to solve are:

    "How will I keep dry?"

    and

    "How will I keep warm?"

    Tarp and insulation should be next.
    And doing it in that order makes a bunch of sense.

    AND,... good stuff makes sense because it will perform better and last longer. (It's more fun to use!)

    I'm seeing that a lot of people end up having an all-season tarp. Many seem to not go back to much less very often, if at all.

    Then, an UQ floats to the top of the priority list for almost everyone. 3-season is an awfully good place to begin the acquisition of insulation.

  6. #6

    Advice for a NOOB: Pulling the trigger on new gear

    If I had only $100, I'd spend $50 on a used old school sewing machine and $50 on raw supplies. Then I would watch all the YouTube DIY vids.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Wrightstown, NJ
    Hammock
    HH Expedition Asym Zip
    Tarp
    AHE / Hennesey
    Insulation
    HG Phoenix
    Suspension
    Tree Straps/cord
    Posts
    108
    1) Make a list of things you aleady have.
    2) Make a list of things you need.
    3) Make a list of things you want.
    4) Research all items on need and want list.
    5) Prioritize the list. Items you need and dont have should go first, items you already have (insulation, tarp, etc) but you'd like to upgrade go next, items you dont need or have but would make your experience better in some way should go last (luxury type items)
    6) Establish a budget.
    7) Start purchasing items on prioritized list.

    Personally I like to buy well researched and proven items I will use frequently rather than items decided on solely by price. I've found most (but not all) 'cheap' items break or dont work well and you just wind up spending money on the cheap item plus what you really wanted anyway. Dont be impulsive, wait for sales, buy closeouts, buy off season items (generally cheaper), dont buy leisure items like hiking and camping equipment on credit. Hope this helps.

    Jon

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Peoria, AZ
    Hammock
    SMR Pares
    Tarp
    Kelty Noah
    Insulation
    FBS
    Suspension
    Whoopie Sling
    Posts
    154
    The first question I ask myself is "Why do I need/want it?", "What is my goal?"

    Are you trying to reduce weight?
    Are you trying to camp in a different environment (desert, rain, snow)?
    etc.
    etc.

    Then look at all your gear and figure out how to achieve it. Otherwise you are buying stuff just because you want it, not because you actually need it.
    And if you just want it, it really doesn't matter what you get.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    2
    I feel your pain, Bbauer09, I'm in pretty much the exact same situation over here. Every time I open a thread there's some kind of "oooh shiny!" to consider and, yeah, it can feel a bit overwhelming. If I had $1000 to spend I'd shudder to see just how fast this particular fool would be parted from it around here.

    First, I think njsurfer hit it pretty well on the head with setting priorities and just using common sense about things. Second, don't lock yourself into the idea that you can put together some kind of magic bullet one-size-fits-all solution that's going to last for years, hobbies in general just never work out that way. It's like with underquilts and top quilts (and maybe tarps to a lesser extent): do I *REALLY* need to go 4 season from the start or should I work up to it. Either way I know it'll end up being semi-redundant gear in my closet eventually so I'm not going to sweat it too hard, it's all in the name of fun. And when you've got that redundancy there's value in having a "spare" so you can convert girlfriends, family and friends, no?

    I know something that's really helped me out with navigating all the cool gear and ideas are the setups that people list, all nice and handy under their name. Pay attention to that stuff and when you find yourself seeing the same stuff over and over there's probably a reason for that and it's probably worth doing some homework and giving serious thought to. Like Whoopies... they're so ubiquitous around here that they're either a complete no-brainer to buy or the best marketing gimmick in history.

    That's just my $.02 and how I'm jumping into all of this without getting overwhelmed by it all... just being smart, letting myself be curious, being willing to kill some time doing the homework and just having fun with it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member joe_guilbeau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    114
    Images
    1
    As sargevining states: Dry and Warm cuz the alternatives can be unpleasant.

    So, doing a search on Google Chrome, and using the <Image>Toolbar at the top to sort the search string, you gets lots of images of the Kelty, researching the links and looking at those from HammockForums we come across the following hits...

    A Kelty Noah 12x12 Tarp will do just about all the types of configurations that you might want.
    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...l=1#post488872

    In porch mode.
    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...=1#post1446671

    When it is cold out
    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...l=1#post480662

    I like 1/8" Amsteel with DutchWare's 10" Loop Turner Splicing Tool"
    http://www.dutchwaregear.com/10-loop...cing-tool.html

    Holy Cow!

    You'll be having the Locked Brummel-Whoopie Sling-modified Utility Constrictor Roped-Prusik knotted-continuous ridge-lined suspension.

    Seriously though, with some Amsteel you can learn as you go by video's, and I dare say that most of the folks on this board would have good things to say about amsteel and Dutchware products.

    The point being that you are now comfy in your ENO, you have the right suspension to easily hang the Tarp, then the Hammock in 3-4 minutes. Kevlar tree straps connected to the tarp lines and hammock suspension with Amsteel Shackle's. The ideal here is that the Tarp and the Hammock can actually be all connected together with the Amsteel and straps that you currently have, using loop splices to connect to the tree straps permanently. so pulling the tree strap from the bag, you undo the Amsteel Shackle, wrap the strap around the tree, re-connect the Shackle, walk to the other tree deploying the Tarp and the Hammock as you walk. Repeat the procedure and your Tarp is hanging above your hammock and all you have to do is tension your Tarp and adj hammock for hang comfort.

    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...l=1#post737906

    Kelty Noah 12x12 Tarp can be had for $60-$70
    Dutchware Splicing Tool for $6
    Dutchware 25-Feet of 1/8" Amsteel for $25

    There is your $100 investment right there...if I may be so bold...

    Skip the Starbuck's one day and get your Tarp Suspension
    http://www.dutchwaregear.com/25-feet-of-zing-it.html
    Last edited by joe_guilbeau; 07-16-2015 at 21:30.

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