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  1. #1

    Any Issues on the AT?

    I'm planning an AT thru-hike this coming spring/summer and am excited to have swapped my tent for a HH hammock!! I just returned from a 3-night adventure in Pisgah National Forest (North Carolina) and am happy to report that the hangin' was excellent!! I am very happy so far with the new hammock lifestyle. I had a basic question, though: are there any issues that I should plan for with a hammock on the AT?? Any tips or suggestions? Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    You will get plenty of advice on here from others most likely and it's late, so I will just give a couple of things to think about for now. The short answer suggestions I can give you are get an underquilt for insulation, a larger tarp than the stock one, and a better system for attaching to trees. Something like ring buckles, or cinch buckles.

    It can be done other ways, but from my experience this year those will greatly increase your chances of hammocking the entire way. I saw a lot of people send their hammocks home because they didn't work for them. Every problem they had could have been solved had they had time before the trip to perfect their setup, which is what I used this site for before my thru hike.

    What date to you plan on leaving?
    "Oh, like an Afghan Warlord"

  3. #3
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    Nest's advice is really good. I would add, practice setting up your hammock on the ground. You may not have to do it, but there are a couple places where you might. During my thru in 2004, I only had to go to ground once, but it took me a long time and did it wrong and had condensation on everything the next morning. The HH is a little more difficult than some of the other hammocks for this, but I've done it many times (FL state parks don't allow you to attach to their trees)(plus, trees are hard to find on the man made berms we often hike on). Use two hiking poles, not one, and crawl through the velcro openinig like you would a tent.

    One other thing. When you get to hostels, ask if you can set up your hammock somewhere. Often you can and there by not have to deal with most the noise, dirty mattreses, etc. of the hostel, but still be able to get a shower, laundry, etc.

    You'll come to love your hammock even more when you can get a comfortable nights sleep even in the worst terrain, when all the good sites are taken up by tents.

  4. #4

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    Here's my Claytor JH st up on the ground.

    http://community.webshots.com/album/568028697ivOOni

    It's incredibly easy and fast to set up. Do the tarp first by simply taking a couple of wraps around the handle grip of the hiking pole and then stake it to the ground on each end. With the Claytor you then simply spread it out under the tarp and wrap the lines that suspend the netting around the same grips and tie off. I think the Claytor lends itself nicely to a gound set up....not sure about bottom entries.
    I haven't needed to use it as of yet. Good to practise at home.

    Miguel

  5. #5
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    I would still consider a pad. It's nice when it's pouring to lay down a pad in a shelter and not deal with the rain. A lot of hostels too do not have any padding to sleep on for you. Makes a great sit pad as well.

    A larger tarp than the standard hh is worth a look.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  6. #6
    neo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristin1065 View Post
    I'm planning an AT thru-hike this coming spring/summer and am excited to have swapped my tent for a HH hammock!! I just returned from a 3-night adventure in Pisgah National Forest (North Carolina) and am happy to report that the hangin' was excellent!! I am very happy so far with the new hammock lifestyle. I had a basic question, though: are there any issues that I should plan for with a hammock on the AT?? Any tips or suggestions? Thanks all!
    you can hang the whole way no problem.i even hung on the front porch at two huts in the whitesneo
    the matrix has you

  7. #7
    neo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    I would still consider a pad. It's nice when it's pouring to lay down a pad in a shelter and not deal with the rain. A lot of hostels too do not have any padding to sleep on for you. Makes a great sit pad as well.

    A larger tarp than the standard hh is worth a look.
    i never stay at shelter even in a major down pour,i carry a 9x9 silnylon tarp
    i hang it 1st and take it down last,shelters suck and are for panty waist whimpy hikers,but i carry a pad,its all i needneo
    the matrix has you

  8. #8
    neo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nest View Post
    You will get plenty of advice on here from others most likely and it's late, so I will just give a couple of things to think about for now. The short answer suggestions I can give you are get an underquilt for insulation, a larger tarp than the stock one, and a better system for attaching to trees. Something like ring buckles, or cinch buckles.

    It can be done other ways, but from my experience this year those will greatly increase your chances of hammocking the entire way. I saw a lot of people send their hammocks home because they didn't work for them. Every problem they had could have been solved had they had time before the trip to perfect their setup, which is what I used this site for before my thru hike.

    What date to you plan on leaving?
    hammocks rock.a lot of people dont have a clue to use them rightneo
    the matrix has you

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hooch's Avatar
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    One issue to bear in mind (no pun intended) is that in GSMNP you have to use the shelter if space is available. If you're going to be on your thru during the peak of thru hiker season, this won't be a problem. Just wait around for the shelter to fill and then set up your hammock. Your other option is to stealth, which could lead to a citation and a hefty fine. Whatever you decide, good luck on your thru!
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  10. #10
    Thanks all for the great advice. I don't plan on carrying trekking poles, but I will work on how to set up on-ground without them. Also, I don't anticipate any problems in GSMNP as I will be leaving in early-mid April, so there will probably be enough hikers to fill the shelters. If not, I really don't mind having to crash in a shelter once in a while. I'm pretty flexible.

    I'm also wondering if there is any way to adapt an "extension" piece of silnylon to one side of the fly tarp to make it go to the ground, but only when needed (ie. raining, etc.). Also, any recommendations for sleeping bags in the hammock?? I have a sleeping pad which worked well, but I am on the market for a better bag. Lafuma brand was recommended to me because of their reliability, quality and affordable prices. Does anyone have experience with this brand or any of their bags??

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