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  1. #1
    Senior Member PineMartyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Ontario (Muskoka), Canada
    Hennessy Expedition A-Sym
    stock Hennessy
    pad & sleeping bag
    DIY whoopie slings

    On the fence about hammock camping.

    Greetings from Ontario, Canada.

    My wife and I are experienced canoe trippers, backpackers and winter campers. We've always used tents, except in winters when we use snow shelters (quinzhees and lately igloos), but we are thinking seriously about trying out the hammock style.

    The biggest incentive for us is that we camp and hike almost exclusively on Crown lands, not in parks, and so we always make our own bush camps after paddling or bushwacking off-trail, where the bush is typically dense, and the ground very uneven or hilly, especially near lakes and ponds. Finding a suitable tenting spot is often hard and we often have to forsake an otherwise ideal camping location because there's no suitable spot to pitch a tent. Stringing a couple of hammocks would eliminate that obstacle.

    I'm all ready to take the plunge and try out hammock camping, but my wife is much more reticent (and budget conscious). She has two reservations which I'm sure everyone here has heard: she's concerned about sleeping comfort because she's a side-sleeper, and she likes snuggling in a tent. I can sleep in any position, but she can't sleep on her back except for short periods and she's prone to lower back pain when she can't get a proper sleep. Regarding snuggling, presumably, sleeping two to a hammock is either not possible or not comfortable. The snuggling problem is not a deal-breaker, but sleeping on her back, she insists, is not something she can learn to do. I wonder if anyone here can offer any insight on one or the other concern. We don't have the sort of money it takes to buy a couple of hammocks, tarps, and whatever other gear we might need only to discover she can't sleep comfortably.

    I'd consider buying just one setup for myself, which she could try out before buying one for herself, but we always camp together and so I wouldn't need one of my own if it didn't work out for her.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or input you can offer, especially from lower back pain suffers.

    No one has ever been heard to say on a deathbed, "I wish I'd put in more time at the office."

  2. #2
    Welcome soon to the dark side

    I also sleep on my side and I sleep better in a hammock then in my bed.

  3. #3
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    DIY GreenBeanHammock
    DIY Tarps/HG Cuben
    Whoopie Slings
    Maybe try and just rig one up with a sheet or tablecloth to try. Give you a feel.
    I sleep like a mummy in my hammock....much more still than in my bed where I may toss and turn. A night or three in the real woods is the best test. Home is distracting.
    Maybe look at a Clark Vertex if you seem to lean towards hammock comfort. It sleeps two.....
    Carry forth......
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  4. #4
    And check out Shug's videos on YouTube, he has a ton of great information on them and they are all very entertaining.

  5. #5
    Boothill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    The Beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota
    at home i am a side or stomach sleeper and can't sleep on my back but in my wbbb i have no problems sleeping on my back and am also able to get into a comfortable side position and sleep great

    if you are looking something even more suited to side sleeping i might suggest the ridgerunner from warbonnet, it has an extremely flat lay and side sleeping in it would be very easy

    as far as cost, you can spend lots of $, or if you want to go the DIY route and consider your time "free" you can do it very reasonably

    my set-up is

    warbonnet blackbird $180
    diy down top and bottom quilts $100 total - if you purchase down quilts your probably looking at $300-$500 range
    warbonnet bmj tarp $110

    add another $50 all the various lines and dutchware

    if you search the "for sale" threads here you can sometimes find some good deals or if you watch for hennessy's yearly scratch and dent sale you can find their hammocks at really good prices

    there are also many other options out there, eno etc. that are less money, just need to start doing the research

    the best piece of advice i could give you though is to find a "hang" in your area and go attend it, there you will be able to see all kind of different set-ups and almost everyone will let you lay in there stuff to check it out, and typically if you let people know you are coming and don't have stuff people will pack along extra so that you can have your "own" set-up to spend the night in and try it out that way

    The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us. ~Bill Watterson

    4th Annual Black Hills Hang Aug 20-23

  6. #6
    Redoleary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Pennfield Twp, MI
    DIY gathered end
    Hinterland gear
    down bag
    strap & E.T.'s
    I use just your basic gathered end hammock (IOW nutt'n fancy) and I can comfortably sleep on my side in it. My hammock is the only thing that doesn't give me lower back pain.. my actual bed does.
    Being above the rocks and roots is a wonderful thing when it comes to finding a sight for sure. I was initially concerned my wife wouldn't like being off in her own tarp and hammock but she loves it, and I don't wake her up anymore with the 2 or 3 times a night I get up to water the bushes.
    The thing with hammocks is ya won't know until you try. Because my lower back does hurt in my bed I didn't think they were gonna be for me, turns out they're the best things go'n.
    The cost of the gear is quickly equalized by the quality of sleep achieved with it.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Good luck,

    My Youtube Channel

    Deep peace of the running wave to you.
    Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
    Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
    Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
    Deep peace without end to you.
    adapted from - ancient gaelic runes

  7. #7
    Member soulsurvivor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    danville, il
    modded grand trunk sb pro
    cammo 8' x 10'
    side sleeper here. i have a $60 modified skeeter beeter pro from grand trunk. im wondering why i pay rent and own a sleep # bed when i always sleep in the backyard. best nights sleep youll ever have.

  8. #8
    njredneck's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    hh expedition
    hh,Kelty noah
    hh supershelter
    hh stock
    In my bed I toss and turn, in my hammock I sleep all night on my back wake feeling good and rested

  9. #9
    mbiraman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    West Kootenays,BC,Canada
    Warbonnet BB DL 1.1 & Lite Owl
    Black MacCat Del.
    Yeti 3,4 & HRQ/HGB
    There are lots of folks in southern Ontario who hang. I would see if there's anyone near you who could let you give a hammock a try. I've seen you on "winter trekker" and know that you understand that to get quality and comfort you sometimes have to spend some $$,,same thing applies to hanging. There are allot of folks on "hammock forums" who turned to hammock camping specifically because they had back issues on the ground. Sleeping in a hammock cured that. Sleeping in a hammock will definitely improve your options for finding a place to camp,,the best thing is once your through the learning curve, and there is a learning curve, you get the same comfort/lay in the hammock everywhere you set up. Have a look at Shugs 10 part series for new folks and also have a look at Jeff's " To The Woods" site. Good luck

    " The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it."

    “The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away.” ~Wayne Dyer

  10. #10
    Rat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Bertram, Texas
    DIY 126 x 60 Tablecloth
    JRB 10 x 11
    New River/Owhyee
    Just throwing my two bits in here...
    I also suffer from lower back pain when I sleep in my regular bad (sleep number BTW) but not in my hammocks.
    I also sleep on my stomach in my bed but I have no problem sleeping on my back or side (or anywhere in between) in my hammock. Many mornings I awake in the exact same position I was in when I went to sleep; we do not toss and turn if we are comfortable!

    All the rest is true as well; finding a spot on uneven ground etc.

    However, there have been a few documented cases of people who just could not get comfortable in a hammock. So let me just throw this out:
    1) DIY a hammock or two on the cheap just to see if you and your wife can handle it.
    2) Buy her a good set up (War Bonnet, Hennessey, etc) and give it a go. If she really can't use it then you can sell it on here for (in many cases) what it cost you.
    Either way your not out much money.

    Best advice so far though is to find and attend a local hang. Let 'em know your coming and I am sure some one will bring extra hammocks.

    If'n ya wanna, come on down to Texas in a few weeks and we'll let ya try 'em all out down here!
    "I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Mal Reynolds
    Mind of a Rat Youtube Channel

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