Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    South Texas
    Hammock
    11 foot gathered hexon1.7
    Tarp
    11 ft winter dutch
    Insulation
    TQ and UQ
    Suspension
    Spider Straps 1.5
    Posts
    591

    Hammocks on the AT. My experience so far.

    Hey everyone,

    I am kinda currently hiking the AT. The original plan was to through hike, as my several years of planning dictated. Then, my dogs got put back into my life two months before my hike. She got a new job, and told me that she would have to find them a new home if I don't take them back. It was a simple decision, as they are my family.

    I now am doing a vehicle supported hike. Each day we visit a new trailhead, and do a little bit of hiking. When I can, I also do a little bit of trail magic. This is what gave me the TLB name, two little bits (plus my two dogs).

    One of my favorite questions to ask people is "tent or hammock?" It has led to some great conversations. I have been surprised at the number of people who never stayed in a hammock before taking it on the trail.

    A friend who hiked part of the trail last year explained his process of making it as tight as possible, because that is "the only way to lay flat". I can't fault them for their views, nor can I fault the industry for people not getting the memo. It's still clear that Hammocks are in need of some PR work. Perhaps a collaborative project video series of the guide to Hammocks on the AT.

    Did you know that I saw someone hang from the AT trail s sign? Not only does that sound uncomfortable, it sounds destructive to me, or at least highly sketchy.

    My trip up the AT now consists of very interesting days. Since I am moving forward, there are some hikers that I get to keep seeing. It's fun to see someone that you've seen four times. Conversely, I would pull into a new location and the first person would be someone that I saw in the first day. It was the sort of encounter that let me know that "now is where I am meant to be". It is allowing me to build a pseudo trail family over time.

    Out of all of the hikers that I talked to, there was one that knew about this site, that knew Hammocks, and could talk about some of the cottage companies. Even though this was a day hiker, it proved that there are some people sharing this addiction properly.

    I didn't expect anyone to know what hammock forums is, much less dutchware, chameleon, ridgerunners, and blackbirds. This story wasn't to try to make the case that hikers don't understand Hammocks. I simply was surprised at how little indent hanging has made into the culture, while showing why it's great to have group hangs and events where we can geek out together.

    Honestly, we didn't talk Hammocks all that much, but it was very reassuring to have that brief encounter with someone else that "gets it". That was my only hang culture fix, until I got to Trail days and could pester Dutch and his elves. It is my belief that Dutch had a second tent, where the workers would be required to make a few whoopie slings on their breaks.

    Dutchware was fabulous and helpful at trail days. There were several questions that I had, which they helped me understand. I feel like they were obvious questions, and they didn't make me feel dumb for asking. That's one of the big things about Hammocks. There is always more to learn.

    In another thread, someone mentioned that they thought hammock forums had lost its innovation, its creativity. I feel opposite, and believe that it is pushing against a tent centric industry. If anything, HF is helping to innovate the trail. With the industry learning to perfect ultralight fabrics, how can we not be innovative? I don't see much innovation in the tent industry, when compared to the hangers and their DIY frankenstines.

    That's just my view of Hammocks on the AT now. It's just from the people that I have seen, and talking to everyone that I can.

  2. #2
    gunner76's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Beaufort, NC
    Hammock
    Blackbird 1.7 double
    Tarp
    HG Cuben
    Insulation
    UGQs ZEPPELIN
    Suspension
    Dutch Clips
    Posts
    10,222
    Images
    39
    welcome to the madness.

    A few years ago while doing a section hike on the AT, I had a tenter tell me that it must be hard to try and find trees to hang from along the AT. Told him it sure was and continued to hike. There is one young lady who has thru hiked the AT, PCT and I believe she is now working on the CDT. When she started the AT she did so in a hammock set up that she had not tested and did not know how to use. She decided hammocks where junk.
    3rd Annual Frosty Butt Hang Feb 2019 ............

    I am 18 with 47 years of experience ! ................ Hike the Neusiok Trail & check out the NTforum !

  3. #3
    TrailSlug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Hammock
    Warbonnet RR / BlackbirdXLC
    Tarp
    SimplyLightDesigns
    Insulation
    Lynx / LocoLibre
    Suspension
    webbing/buckles
    Posts
    7,233
    Images
    1
    It's been easy for Outdoor Adventures as he currently makes his way up the AT. He's over halfway and hasn't had a problem.

  4. #4
    sidneyhornblower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Georgia, near Lake Oconee
    Hammock
    it varies too much to choose
    Tarp
    HG Quest
    Insulation
    JRB and AHE
    Suspension
    whoopies or becket
    Posts
    1,227
    Quote Originally Posted by Trambo View Post
    It's still clear that Hammocks are in need of some PR work...Out of all of the hikers that I talked to, there was one that knew about this site, that knew Hammocks, and could talk about some of the cottage companies. Even though this was a day hiker, it proved that there are some people sharing this addiction properly.
    I liked reading your report and hope you'll keep posting your experiences on the AT. While I've seen hammocks on the trail in Georgia and have even run into some HF members before, that's the exception. A recent survey by The Trek that I posted a few months ago revealed that tents still dominate on the AT. I still see that as good news for the hammock industry as there is clearly room for growth. As you point out, though, with that growth comes an increased need for information on how to hang comfortably and safely. People underestimated the fiddle factor or the learning curve on hammocks. Five years in and I'm STILL figuring things out.

  5. #5
    cmoulder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Ossining, NY
    Hammock
    DH Darien #6235, #7111
    Tarp
    HG hex, hex w/door
    Insulation
    Enigma, Incubator
    Suspension
    Kevlar, Lapp Hitch
    Posts
    1,382
    Images
    70
    Quote Originally Posted by sidneyhornblower View Post
    I liked reading your report and hope you'll keep posting your experiences on the AT. While I've seen hammocks on the trail in Georgia and have even run into some HF members before, that's the exception. A recent survey by The Trek that I posted a few months ago revealed that tents still dominate on the AT. I still see that as good news for the hammock industry as there is clearly room for growth. As you point out, though, with that growth comes an increased need for information on how to hang comfortably and safely. People underestimated the fiddle factor or the learning curve on hammocks. Five years in and I'm STILL figuring things out.
    Indeed, most people want things that require no thought or skills or adaptability to deploy, which is why even trekking pole shelters and tarps still take a statistical distant backseat to framed tents.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier."

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    South Texas
    Hammock
    11 foot gathered hexon1.7
    Tarp
    11 ft winter dutch
    Insulation
    TQ and UQ
    Suspension
    Spider Straps 1.5
    Posts
    591
    I feel that survey by Trek is wildly inaccurate. I would like to think that Hammocks are more commonplace than the survey makes it seem. Plus I think that you can't go by hammock brand.... I mean, what's the difference between X and Y brand of gathered Hammocks? Splitting the cottage companies makes Eno and hennessy the top Hammocks.... FYI hennesey has big signs claiming to be the most comfortable tents at traildays. I got a kick out of that.. Tent? Whut?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    South Texas
    Hammock
    11 foot gathered hexon1.7
    Tarp
    11 ft winter dutch
    Insulation
    TQ and UQ
    Suspension
    Spider Straps 1.5
    Posts
    591
    Five years in? I can't remember for how many years that I lurked without registering, just soaking up all of the information. I believe it was close to two years. I still feel like I am learning, and still needed help figuring out some of the most simplest things. After 8 or ten years, you would think I would be past the baby stage.... Nope.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    South Texas
    Hammock
    11 foot gathered hexon1.7
    Tarp
    11 ft winter dutch
    Insulation
    TQ and UQ
    Suspension
    Spider Straps 1.5
    Posts
    591
    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    Indeed, most people want things that require no thought or skills or adaptability to deploy, which is why even trekking pole shelters and tarps still take a statistical distant backseat to framed tents.
    I have heard so many people talk about having to adjust the trekking poles each night. I don't think they have an idea how much fiddle faddle goes into Hammocks.

  9. #9
    cmoulder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Ossining, NY
    Hammock
    DH Darien #6235, #7111
    Tarp
    HG hex, hex w/door
    Insulation
    Enigma, Incubator
    Suspension
    Kevlar, Lapp Hitch
    Posts
    1,382
    Images
    70
    Quote Originally Posted by Trambo View Post
    I have heard so many people talk about having to adjust the trekking poles each night. I don't think they have an idea how much fiddle faddle goes into Hammocks.
    lol against that mindset, hammocks don't stand a chance!
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier."

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-12-2016, 23:34
  2. PRO Venture Hammocks - Does anyone have experience?
    By Mitroxis in forum Other Vendors and Services
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-01-2016, 21:02
  3. Anyone have experience with DD Hammocks?
    By Longrun in forum Camping Hammocks
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-28-2016, 18:30
  4. No experience with hammocks but switching to fulltime.
    By MistRiver in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-22-2013, 13:15
  5. Real life experience with rain and hammocks
    By jscalia in forum General Hammock Talk
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 09-29-2007, 07:55

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •