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  1. #1
    New Member ankh's Avatar
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    ask the expert????

    BP Magazine, not a very good answer, thats why you guys are my source!!



    Q.} Dear Kristin, I want to start going ultralight. I've looked at tarps and bivy sacks but what do you think about hammocks? They look nice, but do they really work?
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    A.} The thing about hammocks is that you have to find trees that will cooperate. In other words they have to be the correct distance apart (approximately 10-25 feet depending on the model) and strong enough to support you. In reality, I find this a bit tough. Tougher, that is, than finding a relatively flat piece of ground to pitch a tent on. But if you typically hike in forests that offer plenty of hammock-friendly trees, hammocks can be wicked comfortable. And they eliminate the need to carry a sleeping pad.

  2. #2
    Senior Member oldsoldier's Avatar
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    They dont eliminate the need to carry a pad; they DO offer alternatives to carrying one though; underquilts are one different mode. And, I would find it VERY hard to find an even bit of ground to set up a tent, as opposed to 2 trees. OF course, I live in New England, so trees arent that hard to come by. And, as for comfort, sleeping in a hammock TOTALLY eliminates hip soreness for me. No rolling onto your side & sleeping wierd. I'll likely never sleep on the ground again, if I can help it at all. I guess it depends on where you live though; a desert, you'd be hard pressed to find 2 trees.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    Maybe the person answering the question DOES live in the desert? Seems like it's a very regional answer.


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
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  4. #4
    Senior Member gunn parker's Avatar
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    In areas where I hike in the hills, it is so hard to find a flat, non rocky spot to pitch a tent that I convert as many people to hammocking as I can.

    Sure beats lying on rocks and sliding off a mat into the side of a tent
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  5. #5
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    Kristen must be smoking something good or spending too much time above the tree line. The places that I have hiked in the past have 100 different spots on each side of me that you could hang your hammock from comfortably. Finding a tent site is MUCH harder. The places where you can't hang a hammock ( some desert environments, above tree line, arctic circle) would be a much smaller list.

    You have to take into account that the people answering these questions have probably never used a hammock more than hanging in the back yard or taking a nap and have no real experience hammock camping.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  6. #6
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    I don't think the BP Mag gear chick has ever been backpacking or hiking. I read her Q&A colum and she is often dead wrong about the gear she is asked about.

    For example, there was a recent question about treking poles. The person asking the question mentioned a specific brand he bought at walmart. She said they were probably cheap and didn't have cork handles or adjustible lengths. She was wrong on both counts. I own two pairs of those sticks. They have cork handles and are adjustible in length with the same mechanism as in the Leki poles. I wrote her a comment about it. She just ignored it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    i live in one of the harshest desert climates in the world. 8" of annual rain (in a good year) doesnt grow many trees. But check this out BP- where we usually go hiking is places that have at least seasonal water, or permanent springs. Both conditions make for plenty of trees. So on a backpack we will make camp at a reliable water source, as opposed to carrying 3 gallons of it... and presto! a bunch of cottonwoods!
    she almost sounds passive aggressive, as if she really has something against hammocks. Therapy might reveal that she fell out of one when she was four? one may never know..

    but honestly, You dont always need trees anyhow. Boulders, ledges, cactus, bushes, whatever. Ive done it.
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  8. #8
    HappyCamper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    Maybe the person answering the question DOES live in the desert? Seems like it's a very regional answer.

    My thought also.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeinfhaz View Post
    i live in one of the harshest desert climates in the world. 8" of annual rain (in a good year) doesnt grow many trees. But check this out BP- where we usually go hiking is places that have at least seasonal water, or permanent springs. Both conditions make for plenty of trees. So on a backpack we will make camp at a reliable water source, as opposed to carrying 3 gallons of it... and presto! a bunch of cottonwoods!
    she almost sounds passive aggressive, as if she really has something against hammocks. Therapy might reveal that she fell out of one when she was four? one may never know..

    but honestly, You dont always need trees anyhow. Boulders, ledges, cactus, bushes, whatever. Ive done it.

    Hanging on a cactus is a little too hard core for this hanger. My hats off to you if you do.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  10. #10
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    Hanging on a cactus is a little too hard core for this hanger. My hats off to you if you do.
    It depends on the size of the cactus! In the sonoran desert, some of the Saguaro cacti grow to immense proportions.

    I thought of hanging from one on my last trip to Baja, but the sites where we camped never really worked out for that.
    “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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