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  1. #71
    Senior Member
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    Sorry you had a rough night. I had a very similar experience as you. Took several hammocks to begin to feel I could camp in one. Here is my story:
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=19622

    I finally found I could sleep in a bridge hammock. I move a lot and a bridge hammock let me do it. Since then I have trained my body to sleep in a gathered end. I am going to suggest you try a bridge and see. I would encourage you to keep trying. Hammocking opens a whole world of camping possibilities that are not always possible with tents. Don't get me wrong, tents certainly have their place and purpose. I feel that any backcountry camper needs to have a hammock in their quiver to expand their experience.

    Also try shorter naps at home and build up to a full night. I think being at home might make a difference for you knowing you could bail at any time.

    I hope that you keep trying. It is so worth the initial discomfort and trail and error. Best of luck!


    S
    Last edited by Sidewinder; 09-10-2012 at 20:13.

  2. #72
    I hated my first night as well being a side sleeping. I just made a DIY that I love so much and is very comforting on my side. Hope you find what works. Sometimes I still do my minimal wool blanket and primitive shelters though.

    Jeremy

  3. #73
    Senior Member Latitude918's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your rotten luck, dude :/

    Hammocking isn't for everyone. Good luck on your future hikes. It is just good to be out there, no matter how it is.
    I solemnly swear that I am up to no good...

  4. #74
    Senior Member Hangin'Yankee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thermocouple View Post
    Spent my first night in a hammock over the weekend. Been backpacking most of my life, I am very comfortable sleeping in the back country. I decided to give the hammock a shot because of the versatility and lighter weight.

    Without question it was the worst night of sleep I have ever had in the back country.

    I was so interested in making this concept work that I overlooked some fundamental flaws in the idea. I am an active sleeper, and primarily a side sleeper. Evidently there is a very narrow window of "sweet spot" to be comfortable in a hammock, and I cannot abide laying in the same position all night. I cannot sleep in a restrictive mummy bag for this reason either.

    In the wee hours of the night, after little sleep, I finally threw in the towel, climbed out, lowered the hammock to the ground, climbed back inside and got the only real sleep I had that night. I only regret that I didnt do this sooner, as the sun rose about an hour later.

    Hennessy Hammock A-sym Zip UL Backpacker.

    The good news is I bought it from REI, so return will be easy. My hammock experiment was over when it started. Just not for me.
    I hear ya. It took me a few nights to get used to it. I'm a side sleeper and a tosser and turner also. I'm glad that I didn't give up so quickly. It is now the most comfortable sleeping and I now wake up not sore. I'm glad I didn't take mine back but to each his own. HYOH.

    HY
    “Somebody told me it was frightening how much topsoil we are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared” - Jack Handy

  5. #75
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
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    Eeek...

    First night in a hammock and you tried to wrestle with a pad all night. No wonder that was a disaster. If you haven't noticed yet, there's kind of a learning curve to this whole hammock thing. You can set up most any hammock in your back yard on a sunny day, flop down, and take a nap. Its easy. A full night's sleep in cool/cold weather takes a bit of planning.

    Tents aren't completely foolproof either. I sealed up my old pup tent as a kid on a winter campout and by morning it was snowing inside from all the frost buildup. Live and learn. Set up on a spot with a big lump, on a little side hill, etc and you're looking at a pretty miserable night. I'm guessing most of us have learned those lessons the hard way too.

    Once the temps cool down then out come the quilts, pads, underquilts, etc to keep us warm. Now why in the world would anyone go to all this effort? This hammock is just a tent hanging up in the air, right? WRONG!!! A hammock is really a sleep system and is very modular with the sole purpose of sleeping comfortably off the ground, away from the bumps and wetness our ground dwelling cousins have to endure.

    I've got a hiking buddy that's in your exact same boat. He swears by his tent and BA pad combo. He sleeps well in it and it works for him. He also has the same hammock (coincidence...? maybe). I've dragged him out on a couple of weekend campouts and he seems to sleep OK but it still hasn't exactly clicked yet. For now he's sleeping well "in spite of" being in a hammock and not "because of" being in a hammock. He's probably 5'11" and I think the BP Ultralite is really too short. He's also trying to wiggle into his sleeping bag and all this with the classic bottom entry. I'm surprised he hasn't chucked it into the river yet. I've given him a ton of advice and he tends to cherry-pick which parts he pays attention to. I wish him luck.

    Glad to hear you're planning to give hammocks another try. At this point you have very little to lose and tons to gain.

    Good luck

  6. #76
    Senior Member CatSplat's Avatar
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    Hah, there are as many first-time experiences as there are people! My first was a mixed bag - I used a mummy-cut pad in an Expedition and it was nice and comfy (if a little fiddly) but I brought waaaaay too light of a sleeping bag and it got really cold up on the mountain that night. Woke up shivering, added an emergency thermal blanket and was out like a light once I warmed up. Ended up sleeping almost until noon! A friend of mine had a similar experience the first trip he tried an underquilt - the first night I made sure everything was set up right and he slept like a baby - the second I let him do it himself and somehow he wound up with the UQ hanging beside the hammock instead of underneath it! Needless to say, he froze his butt off but couldn't figure out why!

    Hammocks do have a bit of a learning curve!

  7. #77
    Senior Member
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    I just purchased a different brand of hammock and I find it very comfortable, I also found I am not moving as much in my sleep because my hips/back and leg do not hurt me all night long. Like buying anything, fit is very important.

    We are all different, and have different needs, that is why there is so much gear available.

  8. #78

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    Lot of good advice here. I couldn't make it through the night on my first two attempts either. My first night in the wild was also tougher than I expected.

    For me, the key was to find the proper ridge line length. My hammock is a 9 1/2' home made gathered end hammock. Once I found the proper ridge line length for the amount of hang which gave me the perfect diagonal lay position I built a permanent ridge line out of Amsteel with a locked brummel at both ends.

    To find that proper length I made a two piece ridge line which I could tighten or loosen during the night to try different lengths. I found that my line was too tight giving me a bunched up hammock which was too difficult to lay in.
    Last edited by GregB; 09-11-2012 at 11:51.

  9. #79
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    Thanks to all for the incredible response. I have been returning to this thread off and on to continue reading. I do appreciate the support and advice, and I do intend to give hanging more of a fair shot, rather than shoot it down based on one bad night (which was probably much more user-error than anything else...).

  10. #80
    Senior Member stevebo's Avatar
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    Really sorry to hear about your hammock experience. (been there a few times my self!---my first hammock was a Hennessy, and it was so uncomfortable that I gave up hammocks for a few years after buying it--maybe user error, maybe just a bad hammock for my body type?) If I may make a suggestion, If you are into DIY, you can make a simple gathered end hammock really easily and cheaply, or even a grizz bridge----------that way you can keep experimenting with hammocks at your leasure, (its alot more fun when you dont need it for a camping trip the next weekend!) with out spending much money. (you could easily make a great hammock for less than 40 bucks.) Just a thought!
    Last edited by stevebo; 09-11-2012 at 16:37.
    FYI: If you want to know what type a certain bear is, sneak up behind it and kick it. Then,
    run like crazy and climb up a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it's a black
    bear. If the bear just pushes the tree over and eats you, it's a grizzly bear : )


    Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, just leave me alone.
    --unknown

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