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  1. #11
    New Member Kestrel's Avatar
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    As an avid backpacker, I've got to say that it's a wash. A lot of folks here try to swing it toward the hammock side with an almost Prius-driver-esque superiority complex, but in the end it's tit for tat. Tents suit some situations, while hammocks suit others... and if you invest in ultralight tent gear to the same extent that many of you invest in ultralight hammock gear, you'll find the weights are fairly comparable.

    Hammocks open up site selection in some areas, and fall short in others.. Wide open spaces, above the tree line, high elevation snowfields and so on - clearly a hammock will be of little use to you in such situations. Use what's best for the given situation and don't stress too much about it.

    "Going to ground" is treated as this 'dare not speak of' sort of thing around here, in the same manner that people try to rename sewing machines as a 'thread injector' to fit in with the crowd and feel better about something. It's a bit ridiculous, and there's entirely too much of an attempt at justifying things around here that really shouldn't be an issue. It's like the kid shouting at others and trying to prove his superiority, when it's just a false sense of confidence masking self doubt.

    It's just a hammock, folks. You're overcomplicating it.

    There are some places where being in a hammock really doesn't bother me all that much.

    Last edited by Kestrel; 04-27-2012 at 22:26.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    My hammock + tarp may not be as light as a lot of tents out there, but it is way more comfortable. And if one were to use a pad instead of an UQ that opens up even more camping possibilities. Can hang when possible for maximum comfort, and when hanging is not an option can go to ground with just the tarp.
    *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. #13
    how many ounces is a rested body and mind worth the next morning? When you find the hammock that fits you, its more than a sweet spot, its like a relationship and the hammocks part in the relationship is to let you awake, rested and refreshed and your body and mind are ready for the day ahead. That is what i've found over 55 yrs of backpacking, camping and the navy putting me and team on the ground sleeping in tents and pads, and biv sacks, some bad some really good but non gave the rest of hanging. mho, jim

  4. #14
    Senior Member Beast 71's Avatar
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    My hammock set up is heavier than an ultra light 1 man tent and pad but I'm too old, fat, decrepit and claustrophobic to be climbing in and out of a nylon and no-see-um net coffin, that they sell as ultralight tents. I have a very small and light two man Eureka tent that is MUCH lighter than 2 hammock set ups but, it can only fit 2 sleepers, sleeping gear and no room for any other equipment. If we bring up the larger tent then I think hammocks are less ,or close too, the same weight. I'm older, but thinner, less decrepit, largely because of the good recovery one gets from using a hammock, and a hammock doesn't set off my claustrophobia.

    If weight where my only concern I,d use a poncho, poncho-liner and waterproof bag like I did back in the war. That seems kinda barbaric and self limiting these days.
    "In your face space coyote"-HJS

  5. #15
    lilricky's Avatar
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    Perhaps we need to create a formula where Comfort(hours of restful sleep) divided by Weight(oz) = Joy ratio. Or something like that.
    Maintainer of the Unofficial Trail GPS Map Page(Updated 3-9-15) Now updated with Florida Trail, Lone Star Hiking Trail, Arizona Trail, and the Appalachian Trail.

  6. #16
    Senior Member MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Kestrel- the photo, I'm guessing either Max's Patch or Big Bald ???

    Lil Ricky- last weekend on the Smokies paddle trip my first night=10 hours of sleep. Second=8 hours.
    The most I get on a typical work day=5
    Not hard math to do at all

  7. #17
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaxHiker View Post
    I might suggest the OP read a book about hammocks.
    There should probably be a smiley in there somewhere

    As someone who wrote a book on hammock camping, I wasn't surprised to get a review from someone who accused me of being biased toward hammocks. Well, I thought it was only right if I made sure I let people know I can be objective, at least for a little while

    I'm preaching to the choir, here on the forums, when I admit that I prefer hammocks because it's more comfortable than the ground. Over time, other aspects of hammocks attract me, like their versatility, customization and modularization. Plus, it's a great conversation starter.

    I agree with others who've said that the hammock vs. tent is a challenge, and probably not really worth much argument.

    I'm often intrigued with ultralight backpacking and those who take mega-long-distance trips with naut but a basic tarp, etc. But, it also doesn't take me long to reconsider. I'm like Fagin from the musical, "Oliver!" when he sings, "I'm reviewing the situation......I think I'd better think it out again."

    As I said before, there really isn't a contest between hammocks and tents -- there are just too many variables and conditions, the most compelling is your own.

    In the end, I stick with my hammock set-up.

  8. #18
    Senior Member MuseJr's Avatar
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    PG and I had a similar discussion with someone a few days ago. He slept in a floor-less tent or in a bivy on a pad. We were in the WBBB hanging from the sage brush, or so it seemed. We compared the weight of each setup and the ground setup was a little lighter, but not enough to offset the lack of sleep. I think the difference was only a couple ounces.

    The bottom line for me was, he was the first one up making coffee every morning and I was always the last one up. (I will take the weight penalty...)
    "I'm a connoisseur of BACON." - Anyways - 6/9/13

  9. #19
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    I think the weight for one hammock vs. a single tent can probably be very close. Where the weight difference might come into play is everyone carrying a hammock vs. a tent that can hold multiple people. I think a ultralight 4 man tent could come in much lighter if you were backpacking with your family rather then carrying 4 hammocks. However with my arthritus, sleeping on the ground is no longer an option for me, so weight doesnt come into play. I guess that may be bias but hammocks are the only thing that has allowed me to keep camping.

  10. #20
    Member Hawkwind's Avatar
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    I didn't choose my hammock over a tent for weight issues...it was for comfort. My last camping trip with a tent years back was in the Attitash, NH area with my kids and our 4-H group. I was so darn sore from a couple days of sleeping on the ground that I jumped on the hammock idea when my hiking buddy decided she couldn't stand the ground any longer either.

    We were just starting to head out on overnight backpacking trips with our families grown and gone. I was going to use my middle son's single person dome tent, but being tall(ish) I always had to 'scrunch up' in the darn thing. I got a chance to try out Gypsy's hammock and was 'sold'. A couple months later Hennessy ran a sale and I bought my hammock, haven't looked back since! I'm still tweaking my gear...but for those of us that are avid outdoors folk that is just a 'given'!

    When folks ask me why a hammock over a tent I tell them: "My back is much, much happier." If they bring up the weight in the discussion I tell them that I would rather carry a little bit more and be comfortable.

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