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  1. #1

    First Hammock Camping Experience / Trip Report

    I was able to spend a week along the AT in NC near the Tennessee border close to the Bartram trail. I've had major sleep issues tent camping for the last 15 or so years where I get over heated and have intense joint pain and wanted to try hammock camping to see if that alleviated some of my issues. I did pack a tent for the trip just in case I got cold feet or the feel of the hammock became a disaster.

    I ended up in the hammock for 5 consecutive nights and never looked back. The tent was entirely un-necessary for my trip. I did sleep better, though not perfect, and didn't wake up with a single aching joint or muscle.

    I just purchased the Warbonnet Blackbird XLC Heavyweight Double Layer (with whoopie slings, dynaweave straps, and fishooks) along with the Superfly tarp, Diamondback 20 degree top quilt, the Wookie 20 degree under quilt and some tarp ticks and guy-line from Warbonnet. Brandon was super helpful in getting me squared away! I ended up purchasing a Ridgerunner and 13' Superfly to let my wife/kids test out at a later date due to the great customer service!

    I am 6' 6" tall and weight around 230 lbs.

    A few things I noticed.

    Pros:
    1) The setup once done once or twice is very easy.
    2) Slanted terrain is a non issue!
    3) I slept cooler! (I am a hot sleeper which contributes to my sleep deprivation when camping)
    4) The weight of the setup wasn't overwhelming when backpacking. Just a bit more than my North Face one person tent.
    5) I never felt that the Blackbird was being stressed by my turning over at night. I was comfortable on my back and on both sides once I found the right spot.
    6) Tarp Ticks are amazing!!! I made a few quick attachments to make setup easier when deploying and they work great!
    7) Loved having a swinging seat when wanted to relax. Helped with achy legs over the course of the week.
    8) I used the Superfly in porch mode as well as a cross between porch and storm mode. Easy set up and I stayed both dry and protected.
    9) I've not used other manufacturer It's easy to tell the quality of the Warbonnet components are fantastic. I never felt that the gear was at risk of being damaged.
    10) No aching joints or muscles as stated previously!

    Cons:
    1) Spreading out gear in a tent is a nice option. I just used a piece of 6 mil plastic to sit gear on under my hammock.
    2) Privacy is minimized, though not entirely since the Superfly can be adjusted to provide that if the setup is well thought out.
    3) Gear storage during the day is at a minimum. Not sure what a heavy rain storm would do to gear that is squeezed under the Superfly.


    Test setup in porch mode:
    20190624-200535-A.jpg


    Sunrise pick from the hammock while on the AT:
    20190626-062722-A.jpg

  2. #2
    OneClick's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    Wasteland that is IN
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    Dutch Argon 10.5'
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    Nice clean setup! One thing I recommend is pulling out those corner lines at a 45° angle (I don't mean the line to the ground; instead align the line along the center point of the triangle ring if that makes sense). It keeps it more taut without wrinkles. In addition to that, make sure one of the "porch roof" corners is a little lower in case of rain. I can't tell from the photo, but looks like that will fill up with a lot of water.

    Gear should be fine during rain. You may have to lower the trap if it gets windy and crazy. It may also need stored directly under the hammock if there's a decent wind.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ChacMool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
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    WB RidgeRunner DL
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    Burrow; pads, Lynx
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    Dutch's Cinch Bugs
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    254
    Sounds like you might like a gear hammock, to have a protected place to spread out gear (in addition to Tyvek or something under your hammock).

  4. #4
    New Member DocWatson's Avatar
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    Jun 2019
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    Merrimack, NH
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    21
    Quote Originally Posted by ESBVader View Post

    3) I slept cooler! (I am a hot sleeper which contributes to my sleep deprivation when camping)
    I too am a hot sleeper. Last weekend on a different part of the AT in NH, I slept in shorts and a silk sleeping bag liner with a 20* under quilt where my buddy was in an Amock with an insulated sleeppad, thermal base layer, heavy socks and a 20* down sleeping bag and he said he was just right. According to a hiker that spent the night in the shelter, he said it was about 57 that night.

    - Clyde

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by OneClick View Post
    One thing I recommend is pulling out those corner lines at a 45° angle (I don't mean the line to the ground; instead align the line along the center point of the triangle ring if that makes sense). It keeps it more taut without wrinkles. In addition to that, make sure one of the "porch roof" corners is a little lower in case of rain.
    Makes perfect sense! Thanks for the tip!


    Quote Originally Posted by ChacMool View Post
    Sounds like you might like a gear hammock, to have a protected place to spread out gear (in addition to Tyvek or something under your hammock).
    Gotcha! I'll take a look at those and see what's out there! Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by DocWatson View Post
    I too am a hot sleeper. Last weekend on a different part of the AT in NH, I slept in shorts and a silk sleeping bag liner with a 20* under quilt where my buddy was in an Amock with an insulated sleeppad, thermal base layer, heavy socks and a 20* down sleeping bag and he said he was just right. According to a hiker that spent the night in the shelter, he said it was about 57 that night.

    - Clyde
    I think it was around 58 at night where I was. I was in a short sleeve expedition style shirt with cargo pants and socks. I partially covered up around 3:00 am with the Diamondback and was just fine. Felt great in the morning too!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    York, UK
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    163
    I've got a DIY thing that's sort of half way between a gear hammock and the Chameleon side-sling, which works nicely: I gathered and whipped the ends, added a tie-out point midway along and ~2/3 of the way out on the width, and attached it to the main suspension, with one end attached straight to the head end, and the other on a line threaded through the foot-end tie-out point, then pegged out both the gear hammock tie-out point and the hammock foot tie-out to the tarp pegs, threading through the tie-out points on the way. It sort of sits there being sort of like the blackbird's shelf, and can be used as just a gear hammock (or, via two amsteel continuous loops on the ends, as a hammock chair).

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