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  1. #1

    Newbie questions

    Newbie here, and I had some questions on an ideal setup for me(short versions of questions at the bottom). I know everyone is different and has their own preferences, just looking for suggestions and guidance. I have never hammock camped but I love the idea. I have an ENO doublenest, but sleeping in that would suck imo. So I am looking for a one stop shop for hammock camping. Some info about me: I am 5'7, 135 lbs, and a lot of my camping will be done in texas throughout the year. I am most likely going to go with dream hammock due to high praise I have heard lurking in the forums and the amount of detail in their work. The only thing is, I do not know what hammock I should go with by them. For the longest time I wanted the sparrow, but now I am reconsidering my options. When I do purchase the hammock, should I go with a 10 or 11? Secondly, mosquitoes are a problem here in TX. So should I go with single or double? I am going to be buying an underquilt when I buy a hammock, but I don't know how the summers will be when I use it without the UQ (I do not want to treat it with chemicals yet, I haven't researched them enough). Lastly, how many peiple try hammock camping and dont like it? I am about to drop a lot on a pretty good setup, and would hate to not like it.

    Questions in short:
    1. Which dream hammock should i buy and why?
    2. Should I go with size 10 or 11?
    3. Single or double layer?
    4. How many people do y'all know try hammock camping and dislike it?

    Thanks for reading Y'ALL.

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Would suggest finding a few other hammock campers in your area and plan some sort of day/overnite/weekend get together and compare gear, see it in action, try different setups, ask tons of questions.

    Buying before trying sometimes works, but can be hit or miss. Have you had a chance to try 10' or 11' hammocks for size?

    Mosquitoes are a big problem here in Michigan, swear they are the size of hummingbirds some years. I use full netting around my setup, plus use permethrin on all my summer gear.

    I know of a couple people who have tried hammock camping and not really liked it. Like I suggested, try and find some other hammock campers in your vicinity and meetup, try some gear before you drop real money on a complete setup.

    I started overnite hammock sleeping indoors with a stand setup. Learning takes time, experience is valuable in making informed decisions on gear. Use that ENO and figure out what you like, and don't like about it. Try and adjust it so your are as comfortable as possible. Try some backyard or indoor overnite practice sleeping in your ENO. See what you think about the whole hammock hanging FEEL. In the end, how you feel is the most important point of all.

    Use HammockForums.net to your advantage. Check out "The Ultimate Hang" version 2. That book is full of great info and suggestions. Watch a few videos and see all the different possibilities, SHUG has a few that are worth the time. Try and find your own HANG!!


    G
    Last edited by Gregori; 10-12-2019 at 19:57.

  3. #3
    Phantom Grappler's Avatar
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    Datboijon, if I had to choose either 10 or 11, I’d choose 11
    My hammock is 12x6, I started with an Eno doublenest, next was Night Owl 11x5 double layer
    Now I have a single layer 12x6 for my comfort.

    Some, not all, hammock campers get some discomfort called calf ridge pressure or CRP
    CRP is mainly in shorter hammocks.
    Just guessing, you will be comfortable in a Dream Hammock 11 x wide, wide might be five and half feet wide or almost 6 feet wide.

    If you will be using a pad as insulation, then a double layer hammock will help hold pad in place
    If you get a full length underquilt then you will not need a pad and you will want a single layer hammock. I recommend underquilt and single layer hammock.

    If you like camping, then you will probably like hammock camping. Maybe go to at least two group hangs. And talk to hammock campers about their favorite gear.

    Talk with PapaSmurf at Dream Hammock, about which hammock you will like most. A bugnet is a good option.

  4. #4
    Yarome's Avatar
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    I'm fairly new to hammock's as well so I don't have much to offer, but just some noob observations....

    My hammock is a double layer and I really like it. Without a pad, it does help keeping mosquitoes from penetrating to your undersides. I haven't tried a pad directly inside my hammock, but I will say... I never have any problem keeping my pad in place between the bottom layers. I now have an underquilt I'm using, which makes a pad and mosquito issues moot, however, when the weather warms back up, it's certainly not something I'm going to be using year round. I'll be back to the double layer and pad as needed. Flexibility is big in my book.

    From what research I did before buying... my impression was that a 10' is going to fit most people in your height range quite nicely, BUT, an 11' might give you a flatter lay (comfort). That's going to come at a weight expense though. Then again, some people were saying if you go too long for your height you're more likely to end up in a burrito if you shift around much when you sleep. I'm 6', went with an 11' and perfectly happy with that length. I like a little extra room and don't know if I would be as happy in a 10'er, but having said that... I have no personal experience in a 10'er and don't know if the "burrito" thing is really that much of an issue.

    What I "will" say about an 11'er... just a noob observation... in adverse weather it seems you would get a little better weather protection from the "standard" sized rainfly's you see on the market. Most seem to have 11' ridges. Common sense being that a 10' hammock under an 11' tarp is going to be better protected than an 11'er under an 11' tarp. I was using an 11' hex tarp, and it worked beautifully under most conditions. There have been a couple of days I've had a little rain come in on the ends, but nothing "camp cancel" worthy.

    Easy enough fix though... buy a bigger tarp. I bought an 11' superfly which has doors on both ends. Setting the door angles to keep out unwanted wind and rain, while still keeping great fresh air flow has been fantastic! I've recently had some pretty stiff winds and more rain comig through and been dry as a bone.
    “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, cigar in one hand, whiskey in the other, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

  5. #5
    New Member Gunny85's Avatar
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    As stated above it is a good idea to try some setups out before deciding. My first hammock was a 1.7 fabric (Warbonnet Blackbird XML) that was too stiff for me and I did not sleep well, I got a Dutchware Chameleon in a 1.0 fabric and it is fantastic (I am 5' 10" and 140 lb.). Different fabrics have different feel and that alone can make a huge difference, you are light weight and the stiffness of the fabric could be a big deal.

  6. #6
    ricktreks's Avatar
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    I think so far everybody here agrees that it's best to try different set-ups before you commit to one, especially if it's going to be a big investment. To answer your last question about people who try hammock camping and don't like it, I'll say this:

    In my company we only camp in hammocks. We trek in the tropical jungles, so sleeping on the wet and muddy ground with roots, rocks and rotting logs, not to mention the creepy-crawlies, is not an option. So by default all of our clients sleep in the hammocks we provide. We have several DH Dariens, several Hennessy Expeditions, and a few Warbonnets.

    I've never run a survey asking clients how they liked the hammock, so this is not a very scientific answer, but I would say that 90% are indifferent about it. They use it because it's there. It's what you do in the jungle, so, I don't often hear comments in favor or against.

    Of the remaining 10%, I would say 8% love it. For them it's like a revelation, and when they go home the first thing they do is buy their own hammock. In that 8% I would also include those who already own a hammock, but never quite enjoyed it until they tried ours. So they go home with renewed enthusiasm.

    The last 2% are the people that clearly don't enjoy it. They complain about aches, or staying awake all night (which may or may not have something to do with the hammock). Only one person in all these years (after sleeping three nights in a hammock) has asked me why we don't use tents. And only one guy brought his own tent on an expedition saying that it was lighter than our hammocks, even though he didn't seem to enjoy the tent either because it was very hot and suffocating, and a few nights on the trek he had to camp on sloping or precarious terrain.

    I would say that ultimately what makes a person a hammock convert is what Gregori called the "hanging FEEL". Some people find that FEEL the first time they spend a night in a hammock, for others it takes some experimenting. There are other factors that can influence the level of comfort, and these factors can affect different people in different degrees. Already mentioned above for gathered-end hammocks are the length of the hammock and the type of fabric. Some people like the fabric stiff, others stretchy, and some people are somewhere in between. Some hangers are Ok with the 10ft, others swear by 11ft length. Other features that could come into play are the right amount of sag (which is determined by the length of the structural ridgeline), and what kind of lay you prefer, (head left/feet right, or head right/feet left). And there are lots of other details...Some people never find that FEEL in a gathered-end, but they do in a bridge hammock.

    It's almost impossible for newbies to remember all these little nuances and know ahead of time what their preference will be in each category. So, the fastest and easiest way to find what you like is to try different set-ups. Go to a hammock hang or reach out to a hammock community near you.

    You already have an ENO double nest but say it would suck to sleep in it. Ask yourself why it would suck. Is it the sag? Is it the fabric? Is it too wide and the sides flap inward? Is it too short?

    Would you consider investing first in a basic netless hammock and then take it from there?

    I know, there are lots of questions. For many of us here in the forums that never-ending quest for the perfect hang is part of the excitement and the addiction.

    R
    Backpacking trips in the tropical jungles of Latin America... Exploring our living planet from within...
    http://www.jungletreks.com

  7. #7
    MacDuff1031's Avatar
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    Fellow noob here, I second the advice to try before you buy. I did not and made a mistake. My Amazon special $40 tarp is long and narrow. Even pitching it below the hammock's suspension and in a steep "^" I can look out under it. It offers no protection from sideways rain. That said its been enough to get me out and spend a few nights in the woods. Heading to Hangcon this year to get some hands on with the vendors and ogle everyone else's rig. Check the outings page for event near you like this one next month.

    Direct answers to you questions

    1 Dream hammock: Not sure I've only glanced at their page, but heard good things. Leaning more to DYI myself.
    2 Length: 11 my hammock is 9.8' extra wide and while I can get comfy I don't get as flat as I'd like and I get just a bit of calf ridge.
    3 Single / Double layer: Not sure. I'm in Florida and while bugs are an issue I've been lucky with my single layer netless. I do treat the hammock and tarp with Permethrin hang a Bug Bam! Mosquito Grid, and spray down in bug replant.
    4 I've only meet two other hammock campers IRL and several people who are interested but cautious (including my wife) my evil conversion plan is to loan out as I upgrade. Convert my family, then the Scout leaders, then the whole troop, mmmmmwwwwahahahahahaha!

    Sorry got distracted Yeah try before you buy if you can so you don't have to replace your rig.

  8. #8
    Thank yall for all of your advice. As gregori mentioned, I bought the book and it should be here by tonight. As for everyone saying I shpuld go to a hang, what are some places/websites I could to find those in my area? Thanks again everyone!

  9. #9
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datboijon View Post
    Thank yall for all of your advice. As gregori mentioned, I bought the book and it should be here by tonight. As for everyone saying I shpuld go to a hang, what are some places/websites I could to find those in my area? Thanks again everyone!
    You can find them in the Hangouts, Campouts and Trip Planning Section.....https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/.../115-Southwest

    As to your queries.

    Questions in short:
    1. Which dream hammock should i buy and why? Hard to say to someone else as hammocks are subjective. Unlike a tent you are actually sorta wearing your hammock as you sleep. What works for me may not work for you. There are so many different hammock fabrics now and then single or double layer. Bugnet or open hammock. 10', 11' lengths.Colors. Suspensions. You need to find out what you really want and just go for it. I would think the Sparrow would be a good option but ultimately it is up to you.

    2. Should I go with size 10 or 11? Well....I am an 11' guy at 6'. Hard to say. Some like 10'...some like 11'. Some even like 12"

    3. Single or double layer? Almost all my hammocks are single layer for weight savings and it just is more comfortable for me. Many like the extra support of a double layer and choose one weight fabric for the inner and another for the outer. Again....sorta depends on what you want.

    4. How many people do y'all know try hammock camping and dislike it?
    I know some. They think it is too complicated and fiddly. Plus we hammock folk love it so much we never shut-up talking about it. You rarely hear tenters going on and on about their tent and how they love laying on the ground.
    Some think we damage trees but I argue, look at the muddy, bare worn out tent sites in many camps. Tit for Tat say I.


    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Secure in Sector Seven

  10. #10
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    The usual rule of thumb is longer is better/more comfortable. But it is not guaranteed and comes with a cost; more money, more weight, larger pack footprint, and - not to be overlooked - need for wider spaced trees. Also, less coverage under a tarp. Those things are not "Major" issues, but they are there.

    Just like 2 x 4's aren't actually 2 x 4, so I've found 11 and 10 ft hammock running between 10 and 11 ft - not exactly 10 or 11 ft. Also, despite my tub-o-hammocks to choose from, I usually take the standard WB BlackBird when I go camping someplace new because it works with the widest range of tree distances. If I know the tree situation ahead of time, I'd take a longer hammock. I believe the Blackbird is less than 10 ft, but has a "foot shelf" extension for your diagonal lie.

    Rather that get a Double Layer (DL), and because you will use an under quilt (UQ), I highly recommend you get a breathable under quilt protector (UQP - 2QzZQ is a source) instead. The UQP will protect the bottom of your hammock. Also, though you mentioned not using the UQ sometimes, you'd be surpised what little breeze can steal that heat. The UQP gives you that "No UQ" option in warmer weather.

    it takes a little work - like any "relationship" (and owning a hammock will become a relationship) - to get comfortable at the start. That's because, in a bed, pressure points develop and you move and arrange your body to accommodate that environment. The environment is different in a hammock; your whole body is supported so you may find yourself comfortable in positions you wouldn't in bed. I often start out on by back, but by morning, my body is so relaxed I can fetal up in warm cozy down. That said, the first night in a hammock, after not being in one for a while, feels strange. That's because of the "first night" issues many people have no matter where they stay, be it miles from anywhere or fancy hotel. So don't judge too much by the first night.

    You don't need to treat the whole hammock with Permethrin, but you may want to treat the bug net. If they would be an issue with your hammock, they will also be an issue out of the hammock. So you might also want use Permethrin on a hat, and the wrist cuffs and collar of your shirt. Not problem treating the whole shirt, but you mentioned wanting to minimize chemicals.

    You didn't mention Tarp and you can imagine that's a whole other subject and you'll find lots threads to read here. Your tarp size will depend on your hammock size and how much dry area, besides your hammock, you want to have. Having hiked the Oregon PCT using a bivi bag - where I was in the elements as soon as I was out of the bag - I don't like to be captive in my sleeping quarters. So I like a larger tarp for more dry space out of the hammock.

    You mentioned sleeping in the double ENO would suck. First, the double seems a little large (wide) for your size so expect to have a bit of extra nylon flapping around and blocking a view. But if the issue is a matter of comfort, then I recommend playing with that because the same issues might be there with any hammock if you don't "get it right".

    You have to lie somewhat diagonally to get comfortably flat - don't make the the mistake of making the suspension tighter to achieve "flatness". Each person for any particular hammock, finds their own comfort zone. This is done by adjusting the sag in the hammock. A usual starting point is hanging so the ends are about 85% of the physical length of the hammock apart. For example, for a 10 ft hammock, you'd hang it so the ends are about 8.5 feet apart. Again, this is a starting point (some say start at 83%, some 86%). Adjusting the suspension a few inches at a time, put the ends a little further apart or closer together. Don't worry about height above ground (as long as you are not ON the ground) as you make the distance closer. After you get your best sag, you can raise the suspension on the tree to bring the "sit" height up.

    After finding your preferred distance for your specific hammock (the Double ENO you are practicing with) you can measure the distance between ends and tie a cord of that length on one end to use as a measure so you can set it at that same distance each time. I'm not talking about a structural ridge line - that's another class - just something to quickly measure the distance. With practice you'll develop an eye and just see it.

    My point is, whether you find a comfort spot in your ENO or not, going though the motions above will make you aware of the differences and how much effect just a few inches adjustment can make. I am NOT suggesting you keep your ENO for camping; I'm just saying you should play with sag/position adjustments and see if you can improve things. It's knowledge you'll use when you get your camping hammock.
    Last edited by cougarmeat; 10-13-2019 at 13:25.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

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