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Thread: claustrophobia

  1. #11

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    Frog
    I initially felt the same as you but it went away quite soon. Try sleeping without the tarp or with it pitched only on one side....being able to see more open air helps. I own a Claytor Jungle hammock with a side zip, which would allow you to leave the zipper partially open. Doing some "mental gymnastics" may be required. I've done a ton of sleeping in my hammock this past summer. I actually slept over twelve hours straight the other night while backpacking....a record sleep for me. On a side note....I can see where the Hennesy with a bottom entry and a sewn bug net might accentuate any claustrophobic tendencies you might have. I'd definitely try a side zip. Also with the Claytor the netting is well away from your face which helps.

    Good luck and don't give up....it's more than worth the effort, Miguel

  2. #12
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    I had the same problem. One thing that bothered me was the oware pad I was using for insulation. It was cumbersome to manipulate the pad and still feel in control of the ability to exit the hammock. I am planning to switch to an underquilt with the hopes that I'll have less stuff crowding my space in the hammock.

    I also found that wearing a small LED light around my neck gave me comfort. Not that I use it, but knowing that I can turn it on and see around if I need it helps.

    The biggest thing though is using the hammock after a long day hiking. When I do this, I am tired enough to fall asleep and stay that way. When I use my hammock for camping that does not involve long hikes, it bothers me more.

  3. #13
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I started getting claustrophobic in my Hennessy last winter, when I had to have tons of stuff around me to keep me warm. The first thing that helped was to reduce the amount of stuff in there with me, so I got a Kick *** Underquilt (now called the Potomac) and got rid of my closed cell pad. Then I made a top quilt and got rid of my sleeping bag. Then I learned to hang the tarp very high, in order to get more air blowing through.

    Now I use a homemade hammock (top loader) with a homemade bug bivvy, and I get more air moving through.

    I hope this helps. You're not alone in the claustrophobia department.

    Other advice? Try to relax. 5 cents please.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallace View Post
    I had the same problem. One thing that bothered me was the oware pad I was using for insulation. It was cumbersome to manipulate the pad and still feel in control of the ability to exit the hammock. I am planning to switch to an underquilt with the hopes that I'll have less stuff crowding my space in the hammock.

    I also found that wearing a small LED light around my neck gave me comfort. Not that I use it, but knowing that I can turn it on and see around if I need it helps.

    The biggest thing though is using the hammock after a long day hiking. When I do this, I am tired enough to fall asleep and stay that way. When I use my hammock for camping that does not involve long hikes, it bothers me more.
    How wide was the Oware pad you were using? The Speer SPE works well in the hammock.www.speerhammocks.com/Products/SPE.htm
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  5. #15
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    I have done the unthinkable and cut the bug netting off of my HH a couple of months ago it wasnt due to clostrophobia but because of some firework shrapnel that ruined the no seeum during a wild fourth of july campout/party. I have no regrets in doing so the hammock feels much more open and im able to hang my legs off the sides and such providing more flexibility in comfort. I'm a pretty hefty guy so i can say in confidence that taking the netting off doesnt mess with the structural integrety of toms design. to deal with bugs on bad days i just wear light longsleve polypro and a simple head bugnet. this works for me but then again mosquitos dont really like my blood and dont bother me as much as others. hope i've been some help!

  6. #16
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    I thank each of you for your input. Some really good suggestions(I hope lol) and I 'll certainly give some of them a try.

    As I said earlier, it's not severe enough that I feel I can't overcome it. It is not nearly full blown claustrophobia, because don't feel threatened or afraid. Just a disoriented, closed in feeling when my eyes are closed.

    I feel much better, knowing that some of you have overcome it. Misery loves company, I suppose.

    Tnx, all.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanaticFringer View Post
    How wide was the Oware pad you were using? The Speer SPE works well in the hammock.www.speerhammocks.com/Products/SPE.htm
    My pad was 40 wide by 60 long. It is just having to deal with it inside the hammock, trying to position it that gives me the feeling that I don't have control over my environment.

  8. #18
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Well then add me to the club. The first time I got in my HH A-Sym the first thing I felt was claustrophobic. I forget the second thing cuz I fell asleep. With me, the feeling is less and less over time. And I can say that I've had my best nights sleep on the trail with my hammock.

    Also, another thing that helped me is the first time I took it on the trail, it was a very mild weekend trip and the amount of time I spent actually inside the hammock was very little. I used is as a seat. Used it as a lounger, laying on the netting. The only time I was inside the bug netting was to sleep at night. Because I fell asleep so quickly I didn't get the feeling out on the trail the way I did the first time I got in it.

    It really is a different feeling though, isn't it? And a different mindset. I try not to compare it to tent camping either so I don't get that closed in feeling. It's hammock camping and this is what it feels like. I love the comfort, I love the swing, and when it's hot, I love the feeling of the slightest breeze that you wouldn't get if you're on the ground.
    Last edited by HappyCamper; 09-24-2007 at 11:30.

  9. #19
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunchbx View Post
    I have done the unthinkable and cut the bug netting off of my HH a couple of months ago it wasnt due to clostrophobia but because of some firework shrapnel that ruined the no seeum during a wild fourth of july campout/party. I have no regrets in doing so the hammock feels much more open and im able to hang my legs off the sides and such providing more flexibility in comfort. I'm a pretty hefty guy so i can say in confidence that taking the netting off doesnt mess with the structural integrety of toms design. to deal with bugs on bad days i just wear light longsleve polypro and a simple head bugnet. this works for me but then again mosquitos dont really like my blood and dont bother me as much as others. hope i've been some help!
    Thanks for that very useful info! So then, apparently there is no decrease in comfort or the asym lay of the HH when cutting off the net. My net cutting courage steadily increases! I'm very tempted to go out there right now and just cut it off!

    I wonder how it would work to just lay a large piece of netting over the ridgeline when needed? Maybe weighted with some nearby rocks to keep it hanging a couple of feet below the hammock when it's breezy? Anybody seen anything like that? Although, I guess you might want a better Velcro or zipper seal around the hammock for crawling nasties like ticks? But maybe permethrin spray would take care of that?

  10. #20
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    I wonder how it would work to just lay a large piece of netting over the ridgeline when needed? Maybe weighted with some nearby rocks to keep it hanging a couple of feet below the hammock when it's breezy? Anybody seen anything like that? Although, I guess you might want a better Velcro or zipper seal around the hammock for crawling nasties like ticks? But maybe permethrin spray would take care of that?
    I think that if I did something like that, I'd just get one of the ENO bugnets and cut off the attached stuffsack to reduce the weight. Then, you'd have a zipping closure for the netting. JMO
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

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