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  1. #1

    Question City Shrek Needs Your Help: I Want a Camping/Tent Hammock.

    This is a great site, and - having little idea what I am doing - I've already learned quite a lot from y'alls posts. Many thanks.

    I'm a pudgy newbie with some long past experience in the outdoors. I'd like to get back out there. So, clearly the hammock is the way to go. I remember a childhood of tents: of jagged rocks, uneven ground and - at best - pebbly beaches. Oh do I remember it. But I'm at a place now in my life to give camping a second more-successful shot. Why? To connect to my past and to experience some sereneness outside the confines of Buddhist meditation halls. But I have pretty specific needs and scant experience. Could you please help guide me in purchasing a hammock?

    Here's my criteria:
    ---I'm a big guy. 32 y.o., 6'3", 270 lbs (+/-10?). I'm in good shape. Run 4 miles on treadmill and bike 30 mins in gym twice per week. I've completed a couple of marathons and olympic triathlons. But I'm what they lovingly call "a Clydesdale."
    ---I have pretty severe sleep apnea (I'm big). It does not deprive me of oxygen, only a good night's sleep. Therefore, I have real trepidations about going outside my bedroom set-up. I like a fan to blow constantly over me, but I figure I can do without this. Oh, and I will bring my absolutely not-camping-approved nightly pillow. Sleep is about the most important commodity to me, and it is what buying a hammock is all about as well (coincidence?).
    ---I sleep on my side, I sleep on my side, I sleep on my side. Did I mention... Seriously, I NEVER sleep in another position. Two choices: left or right side.
    ---I've only ever done sissy car camping with day hikes, and right now I can really only see myself repeating this. I was a sea scout, which means we car camped with boats. I also spent a couple young summers in Santa Cruz at a month long sleepaway camp. I'm not a complete idiot in the wilderness, but I'm pretty close. I live in Brooklyn, NY ("The Big Up Yours!") and I am definitely a city mouse. There are no single story buildings within four blocks of me. But I'm also a Crisis Intervention Teacher for emotionally disturbed students in Harlem. Its exactly what it sounds like. Yes, I can take a little pain. I can dodge a knife, but I'm not too good at using one. I can slide over desks, but I wobble over puny trail rocks.
    ---Gear weight really doesn't matter to me. If/when it does, I'll buy a new rig anyways.
    ---I won't winter camp. Again, if I change my mind, then I'll pony up for new gear.
    ---I will camp in the death throes of a Mid-Atlantic/New England summer. Humidity and mosquitoes are a given. Mid spring and and Early fall may be included as well.
    ---I'm cost agnostic. I intend to sum up the cost of all gear, divide it by $60 (the miniumum cost of a priceline hotel) and the resulting number will be how many days that I will commit to camping with this stuff. More expensive hammock means more days outdoors. I'll do this, then I'll preemptively hang the G.W. "Mission Accomplished" banner and gloat at my success. Of course, I'd also like to spend as little as possible to meet this litany of criteria.
    ---I intend to take a friend with me who does know what he's doing. I'm dumb, but dumb enough to go it alone. He's one of you UL types that's at home chomping down on a Rambo knife. Yeah, Kurtz'll keep me from doing the colossally stupid. I will compensate his dialing it down for me. I'll buy him lots of beer. Lots of beer.

    Thanks in advance for your help. It is as greatly appreciated as it is needed.

    -Nate.

  2. #2
    I see only two choices for hammocks these days - Warbonnet Blackbird and the Switchback.

    You are going to want double 1.7 at least. My blackbird is double 1.9 and the switchback is double 1.7.


    Both have benefits and drawbacks.

    Like you I'm a side sleeper, always have been, always will be . . . BUT. . . . not in a hammock - just can't do it and i still get great sleep!

  3. #3
    Senior Member leroybrown's Avatar
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    ---I'm cost agnostic. I intend to sum up the cost of all gear, divide it by $60 (the miniumum cost of a priceline hotel) and the resulting number will be how many days that I will commit to camping with this stuff. More expensive hammock means more days outdoors. I'll do this, then I'll preemptively hang the G.W. "Mission Accomplished" banner and gloat at my success. Of course, I'd also like to spend as little as possible to meet this litany of criteria.


    LOVE this rationalization. Can't wait to try it.

    WarBonnet Black Bird WBBB will have no problem holding your weight, go with the double to keep winter camping an option. If you want a LOT of room, check out some of the clark models - they can get pretty pricey though. Not to mention heavy.

    Welcome to the forum

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doctari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Counselor View Post
    I see only two choices for hammocks these days - Warbonnet Blackbird and the Switchback.

    You are going to want double 1.7 at least. My blackbird is double 1.9 and the switchback is double 1.7.


    Both have benefits and drawbacks.

    Like you I'm a side sleeper, always have been, always will be . . . BUT. . . . not in a hammock - just can't do it and i still get great sleep!
    Or the BMB hammock from Jacks-r-better. Can even lay on your stomach in that. I too am a side sleeper in a bed, about 90%, in my hammock, I sleep 90% on my back.
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    I'm one more vote for a Warbonnet Blackbird (WBBB) http://www.warbonnetoutdoors.com/blackbirds.php I'm 6' tall and nearly 300lbs and I find the WBBB 1.7 double layer VERY comfy. I to am a side sleeper in a bed but not so much in a hammock although, I can do it just fine in my WBBB. I also have sleep apnea, so for camping I bring a Snore Guard, as seen on TV, and it allows me a restful night's sleep for just a few oz. of weight. As far as tarps go I use a Claytor Diamond Fly http://www.mosquitohammock.com/ (scroll about 1/2 way down the page) It is about the bare minimum for a WBBB but at $50 w/s&h it's a pretty good deal. That being said I wish I'd spent more up front and gotten a larger and lighter silnylon tarp.

    Good luck and happy hanging.
    Last edited by Beast 71; 03-09-2010 at 02:29. Reason: misinformation

  6. #6
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    I too will suggest that you check out the Clark

    http://www.junglehammock.com/features_standard.php

    Look at the NX-200, or any of the 200 series. If you do go with this, order the larger tarp, not the one that comes standard. Reason I'm saying the Clark is because you're saying you don't want to start out with a lot of gear you've got to get and w/the NA Clark (or the larger NX-200) you've got all those pockets that you can put clothes into and use that as your insulation rather than needing to buy a sleeping pad or an under quilt (this is for summer camping).

    Also with the suggestions here, check out the posts about each individual hammock.... meaning scroll down here on this forum and check out the BlackBird posts and check out the Clark posts.
    Before you order any hammock, you'll need to figure out if you like one that you lay off center (like the blackbird) or down the center (like the clark)

    TinaLouise

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    I don't know how anyone else feels.. but as a larger guy myself (close to you) I don't relish center line sleeping. While I have never used a clark, I have used narrow DIY hammocks and found them uniquely uncomfortable.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  8. #8
    Senior Member WrongTurn's Avatar
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    I'm 6' and about 210 and I also found clarks to be extremely uncomfortable. I got serious back pains the 2 times I tried them. A Blackbird in either 1.7 double or a custom in double 1.9 would be my suggestion.
    Not the guy to ask for Directions.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Denver, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Counselor View Post
    I see only two choices for hammocks these days - Warbonnet Blackbird and the Switchback.
    +1
    Both of these hammocks would (I believe) be quite comfortable for you as a side sleeper of those dimensions. As an extra added bonus, they're both very much 'cottage shops'. Excellent service and excellent products. I lean towards the Blackbirds, but my Switchback is always near the top of my hammock box.

    Making the connection in my mind between someone referred to as a "Clydesdale" and a Bridge hammock, is difficult at best. I doubt there would be enough side-to-side room for you to be comfortable and you definitely won't be able to pull your knees up very far. If you were a stomach sleeper, it would be a different story.

    Clarks; well, you either love them or you don't. Same is true of the Claytors, which have a near identical hammock bed. Clarks are much, much more feature rich and their construction is top-notch. Only thing I don't like about the Clarks is the lack of sleep I get in them. However, they are best for straight down the middle sleepers and I'm a diagonal sleeper, so I can't really fault them. They just aren't built for my style of sleeping. In fact, the only way I can get almost comfortable in a Clark is to side sleep. Certainly worth a look and test nap if you can find someone nearby to let you demo one.

    Great intro post BTW.
    Trust nobody!

  10. #10
    New Member cadmanj's Avatar
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    I also suggest the Clark.
    I have used Speer type and my NX-200
    I'm 6'2 255 and have no probelms in the NX-200

    You will find fans of every make. You need to try one out to see if you
    like it.


    Happy Hanging.


    Cadmanj

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