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  1. #1

    Hanging with Kids!

    First I want to say what an obsession Hammock Forums has become and I have yet to sleep in one! I have truly enjoyed the insight, ideas, reviews and of course the humorous videos by Shug, so thanks to all!

    I have a question for you, and that is regarding hanging with kids. Specifically, I have a 6 y/o son, and an arsenal of tents, with plans on section hiking the AT together. After pouring over the site, I am considering utilizing a hammock. So...can a big dad, 250#'s and a 6 y/o sleep comfortably in a hammock, or are we better off utilizing two? At his age, I wanted him to feel secure, and create a positive experience for him. If this is not reasonable, does anyone have any experience hanging two hammocks side by side under one tarp? I think both my son and I would feel better, (or at least I would), being able to reach out and put my arm around my son or hold his hand if he was scared. I have made several attempts at doing a search on the site regarding this topic, but have yet to find anything. If this subject has been addressed, accept my apologies, I did not intend to be redundant.

    I look forward to any and all suggestions!

    Warm Regards,

    Last edited by cmurdock; 02-25-2010 at 22:04.

  2. #2
    pgibson's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    SW Idaho
    Black Bird 1.1 Dbl
    AHE Shangi La
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    My son will be 6 in a little over a month, Last summer I took him on a 2 night trip, we car camped both nights with our hammocks. He loved it and slept like a rock both nights. I think the key is to get a hammock for your self and see what his reaction is. Both my boys (the younger will be 3 in May) get excited every time anything about hammocks are mentioned--so all the time. It's fun for them and they have built up this feeling that it's great and something they want to do. The first night of our trip last summer my son wanted to sleep in his hammock on his own, under his own tarp. If you get one or even make a test hammock and he dose not show any interest don't push that will turn the idea off to him faster than anything. But being new and exciting my boys love it and want them for their rooms not just trail time.

    Here is how we hung the second night out

    And me trying to get him to get out of the hammock in the morning, he wanted to stay right where he was
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  3. #3
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Monterey, TN
    DIY Bridge
    DIY Tarps
    Leigh's UQ's
    Two hammocks under one tarp will work great. Bring the suspension off opposite sides of the tree to help seperate the hammocks. The kids hammock will normally be a little lower which allows you to see into their hammock.

    There are quite a few trip reports and pics of kids hanging with parents but it would be hard to search them out. I would look under the trip report forums. I know that some of the group hangs will have pics or links to setups with two hammocks under one tarp.

    Try the link below to JustJeff's website which has a section about hiking with kids. He probably has some pics under the trip reports on his site also

    The link below is to a backyard hang my daughter and I did when it snowed last month. It shows two bridge hammocks under one tarp with a second tarp used for a wind block. When we backpack we either use one tarp or hang seperatly very close. When we take her dog she likes her own setup. A couple days ago she said, "tent's are more fun to play in but hammock's are the best to sleep in".

    Kids love hammocks and Pgibson's advice would be good to follow on how to make it the "cool" thing to do.

    Sounds like you are headed for some great memories whether it is in a hammock or tent.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Strapped-4-Cache's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Lawrenceville, GA
    WBBB 1.7 dbl
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    Welcome cmurdock. I'm just down the road from you in Lawrenceville.

    You may also want to consider a bunkbed type setup with your son above you if he feels the need to stay close to you. It makes sharing a tarp much easier, though you may have to help him up into the hammock unless you decide to hang really low.

    Just my $.02 from a relative noob around here.

    - Mark (S-4-C)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ashman's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    HH Asym Expedition
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    I have two daughters one is 8 the other 10. Last year I took both of them on a trip just one daughter and me. I've got the big HH and we did okay in it. My oldest is now to big to sleep with me. Fortunately for me Santa brought both girls their own hammocks for Christmas. I would try camping in the backyard or at a near by park overnight to try it out. I think mine would have been reluctant to sleep by themselves but now they can't wait to be in their own! Have fun with it!

  6. #6
    Senior Member kayaknut01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    galena, il
    warbonnet blackbird, eno doublenest
    whoopie sling AHE
    took my 9 yr old out this summer in her new eno double, she loved it, but ended up in the tent with mom cause she got cold,, uq time, so make sure he stays comfy, in regards to staying warm, she gets my yeti and i get a something from storm crow!!!
    i do not remember the question, however i believe beer is the answer

  7. #7
    Everyone else has given you very good advise, the only thing that I can add is try what I did for both my girls (4 and 7yrs old) I made them both a hammock out of a twin flat sheet, made a gathered end hammock, I already had some 3mm climbing rope and I strung up both in their room , they don't weigh enough to really stretch the material and I let them sleep in it, well its been almost a week now and neither one will go back to sleeping in their beds. Just thought I'd put that out since it was really easy to do and I already had the stuff for it, even if you don't you can get the stuff for like 10$ so its no real big loss if he doesn't like it, other than the price of buying one! Just my 0.02 cents!?

    Cranky Bear

  8. #8
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Winston-Salem, NC
    WB Traveler
    Custom OES tarp
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    Whoopie slings
    3 daughters here, ages 8, 10, 12. I try to make time to take them each out individually on trips during the year. I've been doing this now for a number of years.

    They have always slept in their own adult sized hammock, usually with their own tarp. I used to sit in a chair (car-camping) next to them and talk to them and rock them until they went to sleep, then go on off to my hammock to sleep. It was important in those earlier years to remain [extremely] responsive to their needs, but now they don't need me as much and are pretty well out for the night, with the occasional call-out to go with them to the bathroom, sit next to them during a thunderstorm, etc.

    Family campgrounds have their own (people) nightlife that wakes them up.

    I think as long as you're close enough to have a conversation with them or get up quickly to help them with something, you'll be fine/they'll be fine.

    Sharing a tarp works well too, as long as you can get the right situation with tree locations and as long as you don't snore too loudly. I found that overlapping tarps in a strong wind is not the best situation, due to the flap factor. No matter how tight you get each tarp, they'll whap into each other all night, keeping you awake.

    Whenever we go these days, none of them really gives sleeping off by themselves a second thought. YMMV, of course.

    Last edited by NCPatrick; 02-26-2010 at 09:36.

    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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  9. #9
    Senior Member KerMegan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Irving, TX
    not quite eno..
    10x12 DIY
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    also look at bonsai hiker's vids on hiking with his girl, Mollie for her birthday trip..2 parts, both fun!

  10. #10
    Senior Member HamMike's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Kettering, OH
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    Yeah his vid has got me inspired. I just know my daughter is not going to want to hike far. I think it would be fun to just get out for a night to have that time. Hopefully I'll be able to get her out a few times this year and get that desire to be outdoors seeded.
    "He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man." Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

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