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  1. #1
    New Member shawnh's Avatar
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    Advice getting the rest of the family off the ground

    After coming along for the Eastern Great Lakes Hang but being stuck in a "ground hammock", my wife and 4-year-old son are eager to switch to hammocks.

    I've searched the forums and the basic options seem to be:
    1. a Clark Vertex
    2. two hammocks under one tarp, either by spacing them out or using 3 trees and pulling the head ends together
    3. a single giant hammock such as a HH Safari


    It seems like the Vertex would just do the job, full stop. Downsides are the fact I have no experience whatsoever with Clark hammocks, and the cost. Even the cost isn't a major issue as long as it actually gets used -- but 4 year olds are pretty fickle so I'm really hesitant to gamble that he'll like it.

    Two hammocks together would seem to be "good enough", except he's extremely cuddly when we're camping so I can guarantee that he would not be okay with being separated by individual bug nets. I haven't seen anything about bug nets that could enclose 2 hammocks -- does anyone have thoughts about where I could buy something like that (don't really have the time to make my own stuff anymore)? My wife and I used to sleep on the ground with just a tarp, so I wondered about building a tarp with attached bug netting -- has anyone ever given this any thought?

    Finally, from what I've read I'm pretty hesitant to go with a single hammock even though I'm sure that's what my son would prefer. If anybody has had success with this setup I'd love to hear about it.

    Thoughts? Options that I've failed to consider? I don't mind putting a good amount of money into gear as long as it gets used, so I'm trying to find the option with the best chance of success.

  2. #2
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    I've had some success with using the bug netting that was made to be suspended over a cot by poking holes for the suspension to go through. i cut it hurredly and it tore so i went to a hammock specific bugnet (which i kinda wish i didnt do). But i think with more patience it wouldve been good. i'm thinking of the same thing...my kids wanna hang too and i can get another hammock under my tarp with the 3-tree method, but i havent figured out bug netting either. i want to try just getting a big rectangle of material and hanging it from the tarp ridgeline and letting it drape over the hammocks. cut and velcro'd for the suspension. but i'd love to hear ideas on that too.
    I made this no-sew hammock for my 9 yr old last year to see if he liked it. he loved it, but i didnt have the money to move on another set of tarps, nets, etc. that was before i thought about hanging two under one tarp.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJlEQpcbM1I

  3. #3
    Senior Member oldsoldier's Avatar
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    Shawn, first, is it just your boy who wants to go, or your wife too? And, does your son only want to snuggle with you, or with your wife, or does it matter? there are quite a few hammocks rated to 400 lbs, and, provided you stay within that weight range, you have some good choices-it will come down to how much space you are looking for, and comfort, as there are two bodies generating heat. My only experience with hammocks are either the HH line of the WB line-and, never with more than just me in it. I would think it would get a little crowded in there, with a small child. Of course, at that point, its more about their secure feeling than your slumber, so, you may have to just grin & bear it. Barring a large south american style hammock, you may be lacking space-he may have to sleep partially on top of you-not a bad thing, but something to think about.
    As to bugnets-using a cot type net would work. They are usually cut rectangular. You could either cut holes to allow the ridgeline to go through, as suggested, or simply not take it, if it isnt bad. The cot ones are heavy (I would suggest looking at a military surplus store for one), and I am assuming it will be used for car camping? Getting a hammock that meets your weight requirement is easy-with or without a bugnet. If you opt without one, its allowing you a little more flexibility-but, at a cost in weight. If you arent carrying it, thats fine-when you start to do that though, if it comes to that, you may want to even look at an entirely separate system.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Hi Shawn

    I see the wife and child have seen the light surround by 14 other hammock setups at the Algonquin Hang. I think a good first option would be to check out the Eno Doublenest clone that Mountain Equipment Co-op sells. It's rated to 350 pounds. This will at least give you an idea if it is feasible to have your child sleep with either yourself or your wife.

    If it turns out that the wife and child need separate hammocks, a Hennessy Scout model for the child would be a good starting point.

    Have fun outfitting this solution. Now with more hammocks come, more tarps, more quilts, etc.

    Cheers

    Brian

  5. #5
    New Member shawnh's Avatar
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    Shawn, first, is it just your boy who wants to go, or your wife too? And, does your son only want to snuggle with you, or with your wife, or does it matter?
    We all enjoy going camping together; up until now, I've been in my hammock and my wife and son have been in a 2-man tent. They're both excited about hammocks now so the idea is to get all of us hanging.

    The cot ones are heavy (I would suggest looking at a military surplus store for one), and I am assuming it will be used for car camping?
    The main use will actually be canoe camping, so there's very little benefit to being ultralight (and it's kind of pointless given the toys and books we also bring), but we do need to pay a little bit of attention to weight and space. A giant bug net of some kind and individual hammocks for one or both parents + son is definitely a possibility though... if anybody has done something like this I'd love to hear about it!

    I think a good first option would be to check out the Eno Doublenest clone that Mountain Equipment Co-op sells.
    I didn't mention it in my original post, but I did pick one of these up on the weekend. After some backyard experiments, we aren't all that enthusiastic about it; it didn't help that the hammock bugnet they sell (presumably to go with it) is a lot smaller than the hammock.

    If it turns out that the wife and child need separate hammocks, a Hennessy Scout model for the child would be a good starting point.
    It seems like a Scout is in our future, but for now, he doesn't want to have that netting separating him from one of us.

    My wife is definitely interested in the Clark Vertex and, while it's expensive, it's not that much more expensive than 2 complete Hennessy or Warbonnet setups with tarp(s). It's pretty specialized, but on the other hand my wife (and son) would never, ever want to be left home on a camping trip so it would probably get a lot of use, assuming they find hammocks comfortable (is there anybody who doesn't? ). I definitely want to consider the opinions of the forum before I pull the trigger on something like that, though.

  6. #6
    New Member pullmyfinger's Avatar
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    The Hennessey Scouts are a good option.
    I bought one for my son last year, he was 7 at that time, he loved camping in it. Just make sure you set it up very close to your hammock.

    I just bought two more hammocks, one for my wife, the other for my 6 year old daughter.
    We all camped out two days ago, my daughter loved it too.

    It's hard to predict how kids will like or dislike being in their own hammock, but with the $99 Scout it's not too expensive to find out.

    Four hammocks hanging for all of my family sure is fun. It poured down rain during the night, my kids both thought it was a fun time.

    -Mitch

  7. #7
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    Hanging two hammocks under one tarp works very well when my daughter and I camp. I use spreader bars at each end of the hammocks to separate them about 24". It makes it easier than having to find three perfect trees. The tarp is a 10x12 hex.

    From experience, I know that sleeping with a 3yo in a hammock didn't work well for my wife. The kid slept ok, but not the wife. Don't like being in camp with a cranky wife. We've not had the courage to try it again yet with her in a separate hammock. If your son sleeps good, doesn't wiggle constantly, doesn't mind to be under a blanket/TQ, then it may work for you.

    Be patient enough to find what works. It's great that you get him out in the woods. One idea is to get a sheet, whip the ends, to make a quick test hammock for your son. Do a backyard hang and see how he does before committing to more gear.

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Detail Man View Post
    Hanging two hammocks under one tarp works very well when my daughter and I camp. I use spreader bars at each end of the hammocks to separate them about 24". It makes it easier than having to find three perfect trees. The tarp is a 10x12 hex.
    Next time you use that setup, if you happen to have a camera handy, could you snap a pic of one of the spreader bars attached to the hammocks?

  9. #9
    New Member shawnh's Avatar
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    My wife and I talked things over and decided to try at least one trip where we bite the bullet and one of us sleeps with him in the hammock, as old soldier suggested. So we ordered a WBBB and Superfly tarp, with the idea of moving him into his own Scout under the same tarp as soon as he's comfortable with the idea. We'll see whether either my HH Expedition or the BB works well for sharing and report back on how things went.

    I still like the idea of an extra large bug net or combo tarp/net, but I don't really have the free time to invest in a project like that.

  10. #10
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    Here's where I posted about the spreader bars, with pics. http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=33909

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