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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Tent to Hammock conversion questions.

    I'm very strongly considering a hammock for backcountry camping, but I have a few questions I can't seem to find answers to. Any help is appreciated.

    1) I have a 35-degree ems velocity sleeping bag and a closed cell pad. I will be in NH white mountains 3-seasons. Will these keep me warm in a hennesy hammock?? How warm vs a tent in these conditions?

    2) The alternate would be a velocity 1 UL tent. Does anyone know whether the small tent or hammock would be easier to find locations with in the white mountains? Hammocks seem easier in general, but does anyone have white mountain experience?

    3) What do I do with my pack, shoes, etc? I don't think they'd go in the hammock, and even under the tarp they'd get wet on the ground would they not? My pack is about 25-30 pounds, gregory z55.

    4) Can mosquitos bite through the hammock material? Probably not in a bag on a pad, but lounging during the evening for instance?

    I'm on a low budget (around $200), and research seems to point to the hennesy hammock for $150 or the velocity 1 tent for $200 on sale right now. The tent would hold my pack and might provide ground insulation from the air (if it is needed as questioned above). The hammock is more comfortable on the back and smaller packed I believe.

    They are about the same packed weight and both ultra simple to setup. So I'm primarily debating between the two based on the terrain and weather in NH...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    Durham, NC
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    While I can't speak for the White Mountains in particular I can lend some answers to the general questions.

    Yes Hammocks are more comfortable than sleeping on the ground in a tent, any day. YMMV

    If you want to use the CCF pad, you'd probably find it better to go with a double layer hammock so that pad can sit between the layers and you're not sliding around on it throughout the night. (A problem for some with pads in hammocks.) This is why under quits (UQ) are prefered by most hammockers.

    As for location. Any 2 trees 10 - 15 feet apart is ideal to camp in a hammock. No need to find a "flat, level" spot. You don't have to clear the sight of debris. Time saved finding and preping a campsite means more time spent on the trail. Above treeline you can use your hammock as a bivy, but after sleeping suspended above the ground I'm sure you'd make the effort to get down to treeline in time to make camp.

    Your pack can go on the ground under your tarp. Even in the rain the ground under the tarp dries out surprisingly quickly. Or you can use a biner to clip your pack to the hammock suspension under the tarp.

    In a bottom entry hammock you can hang your shoes out of the entry/exit hole by tying the laces to the hammock's ridgeline. Keeps them off the ground so they can air/dry out and they are convenient for when you're exiting the hammock.

    As for mosquitos, there have been no confirmed incidents, that I'm aware of, of people being bitten through any hammock material. Although some people claim to have been bitten at night through the netting if their arm or leg is resting directly against it, but the same could happen in a tent.

    If cost is an issue check out the DIY section of the forums and the DIY Articles for some simple (and some not so simple) project ideas, including how to make your own hammock.

    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

    Trail name: Radar

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Simon's Avatar
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    Nice post Catavarie, well said.

  4. #4
    New Member AlanCT's Avatar
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    I'm in the same position as the OP: preparing to make the switch to a camping hammock. I don't have anything useful to say about hammocks yet, but I do have experience in the White Mountains of NH.

    I would say that the terrain is ideal for a hammock there because the ground is so rock-strewn and unlevel. However, it gets pretty cold at night and the weather there is pretty unpredictable, as I'm sure you know, so you will need to read up on insulation techniques.

  5. #5
    TrailH4x's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Berwick, LA
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    Great answers Catavarie.

    I'll just offer that down south in the swamp, a bit of permithrin sprayed on the hammock (body, net, etc) goes a long ways to preventing thigh, shoulder and elbow whelts. I used to think I was having some kind of reaction to sleeping directly on the hammock, but after I began bathing all of my gear one or two times a year in permithrin my mysterious "allergy" went away. Our skeeters can be viscious down here at times...

    Sell the tent while you remember where it is. Once you settle in to your hammock, it will get lost in some back closet corner...
    H4x
    SM TR49, SR-875 "A boy learns integrity through his eyes, ears and hands."

    "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to." Bilbo Baggins, as quoted by Frodo The Fellowship of the Ring

  6. #6
    Member
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    Apr 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by luisdent View Post
    I'm very strongly considering a hammock for backcountry camping, but I have a few questions I can't seem to find answers to. Any help is appreciated.

    1) I have a 35-degree ems velocity sleeping bag and a closed cell pad. I will be in NH white mountains 3-seasons. Will these keep me warm in a hennesy hammock?? How warm vs a tent in these conditions?

    2) The alternate would be a velocity 1 UL tent. Does anyone know whether the small tent or hammock would be easier to find locations with in the white mountains? Hammocks seem easier in general, but does anyone have white mountain experience?

    3) What do I do with my pack, shoes, etc? I don't think they'd go in the hammock, and even under the tarp they'd get wet on the ground would they not? My pack is about 25-30 pounds, gregory z55.

    4) Can mosquitos bite through the hammock material? Probably not in a bag on a pad, but lounging during the evening for instance?

    I'm on a low budget (around $200), and research seems to point to the hennesy hammock for $150 or the velocity 1 tent for $200 on sale right now. The tent would hold my pack and might provide ground insulation from the air (if it is needed as questioned above). The hammock is more comfortable on the back and smaller packed I believe.

    They are about the same packed weight and both ultra simple to setup. So I'm primarily debating between the two based on the terrain and weather in NH...
    A hammock setup is quite a bit more expensive than a tent. Basically the hammock provides the sleeping platform, but you still need to provide a tarp, and extra insulation if you want to do cold temperatures.

  7. #7
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Minnesota
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    There is quite a bit to consider and learn but I did a video series to short-cut it some. Hammock How-To
    It might help you out some but be prepared to get a buttocks-load of me....
    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    It's been my experience when campng with tent campers in the rain....they always want to store their crap under my hammock, as that's the ONLY dry place to be found. Why would your gear get wet under a tarp....that's the purpose of it. (assuming water is not draining down a hill) Under normal conditions my gear has always stayed dry under my hammock even in very heavy rains.

    Miguel

  9. #9
    Senior Member Aardvark's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Ky
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    DIY R2B3 (Black Bear Burrito) + HUG
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    If you are crafty, you could outfit yourself quite nicely for 200, my DIY hammock cost me $25 in materials (suspension cost included), bug net $11, Woobie undequilt $20, Chinook tarp $40, using existing sleeping bag as top quilt. Weight very nice also.

    As I am prone to backaches and sore joint sleeping, I totally love the air suspension versus rock suspension!
    .... the Aardvark (earth pig)... a rather unremarkable creature whose sole claim to fame is that it is the first animal listed in the dictionary.
    Rob

  10. #10
    Senior Member jraffini's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    Anderson, SC
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    Quote Originally Posted by dla View Post
    A hammock setup is quite a bit more expensive than a tent. Basically the hammock provides the sleeping platform, but you still need to provide a tarp, and extra insulation if you want to do cold temperatures.
    The idea that a hammock set up is more expensive than a tent set up is a bit misleading. You can spend more on a high end hammock insulation set up than you would on a budget tent insulation set up, but that's not comparing apples to apples. A sleeping bag and pad that you would use on the ground will keep you warm in a hammock as well. You can spend big bucks on an underquilt that will increase your comfort in the hammock, but won't necessarily be warmer than a pad set up. You can spend well over a hundred dollars on a ground pad too if you wanted to. The reason people think it's more expensive is because you can't go to wally world or ****'s and pick up an underquilt like you can a pad. If you've got a bag and pad that keep you warm on the ground, they'll keep you warm in your hammock. As far as a tarp goes, if you go with a hennesy, the tarp is included in the package. IT's a minimal coverage tarp that won't give you tons of coverage, but you aren't going to have a mansion with an ultralight tent either. Also, as it's already been suggested, there are tons of diy options. It's pretty hard to put together your own tent. Check out shug's videos, continue to search the forums here, and you won't regret your decision to hang. Have a good time!!

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