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  1. #1
    silentorpheus's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    Princeton, NJ
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    DH-TB 11', WBBB
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    After Hours: Hammock Confessions

    I've been a member of the forums here since 2010. I've logged a decent handful of nights in my hammock, though not nearly as many as I'd like. I've got some great gear, and I'm always looking for more. But I have a confession:

    I've never had an amazing night's sleep in my hammock.

    This is not to say that they've all been bad (though my very first night kinda sucked, to be honest). And even the worst night in the hammock has been more pleasant than a night in the past on the ground in a tent (with the exception of one trip where I had a queen sized air mattress under me - car camping at its finest). But I've never had a night where I thought it was the best sleep of my life, or that would make me long for my hammock over my bed. I've never climbed into the hammock and woken up hours later, refreshed and bright eyed, wondering where the time went. But not one to be discouraged or give up, I keep on trying, keep adjusting and learning, and trying again.

    The other night, I set up my stuff on my stand in the back yard. I got a bunch of new gear over the holidays - new tarp, a 2QZQ underquilt protector, had the suspension on my trusty winter phoenix upgraded ... I've got a cold weather hang coming up, and wanted to make sure that I worked the kinks out of the new gear before being out in the woods with no warm house to bail out to if things didn't go well.

    The result? I had the best night's sleep I've yet to experience in a hammock so far. I finally feel like I got my insulation dialed in (kudos to the new HG suspension system), and was warm and toasty all night - even though it only dropped down to low 30's. My new DIY pillow had just the right amount of support, even though it was windy my new Superfly did a good job of blocking it out - everything just worked. I turned in around 2, and woke around 7:30 - perhaps the longest stretch of uninterrupted sleep above ground for me so far. Nature was calling, and I went in to use the bathroom and then plopped into bed next to the wife for another hour until our little guy woke us up. I was still a little stiff, and the nice warm bed with all the blankets and pillows was great to fall back into - but in my book I consider it a win, and feel as if I'm one step closer to really getting that perfect hang.

    What's my point? I love getting out in the woods as often as I can - even though with life and family and work that's not nearly often enough. My hammock, the gear I've accumulated from the vendors I've found here, and the knowledge that I've learned the last few years hanging around here (pun partially intended), combined with my love of tinkering, has helped to enhance my time in the woods - even though it hasn't yet been perfect. So for all the new folk that join the ranks here, get a bunch of gear, hitch up between a few trees, and then find that it's not instantly wonderful - don't give up! Keep trying, keep tweaking, and little by little you just might find that it's well worth the time invested. If it's great and wonderful the first time out - consider yourself lucky! But if it isn't, take a step back, evaluate what you did and what you might do better, and try it again.

    Who knows, maybe I'll never get it figured out to the point where I'd want to throw out my mattress and install wall anchors - not that my wife would ever let me do that anyway. She's understanding ... but that'd be pushing it. But I view it as a process - one that I'm enjoying, and having fun trying to figure out.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    I Learn So Others Can Too FireInMyBones's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Piedmont, SC
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    Thanks for your confession. I am right there with you. I much prefer a hammock over the ground, but unless I'm out multiple nights, I'm not weeping to crawl into the hammock. My bed at home with my wife is preferable above all other options, and she doesn't mind it at all either.

    I like to sprawl/ stomach sleep/ or cuddle. All of which are difficult to do in a hammock.

    A hammock allows me to travel lighter, get off the ground, and be more free. I love tweaking my kit and pushing for that slightly elusive "perfect hang."
    -Jeremy "Brother Bones" Owner of Bonefire™ Gear

    "If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

    Quote Originally Posted by FLRider View Post
    FireInMyBones; he's a mountain goat crossed with a marathoner.
    My YouTube
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    http://www.peopleforbikes.org/

  3. #3
    deerfu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Smyrna,Ga.
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    BB 1.1 & 1.7
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    Well... keep at it! I sleep better in the hammock than I ever did on the bumpy ground. I won't compare it to my king size motionless water bed though

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2011
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    NC
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    I had to work hard for my first great hang too. Now when I have great sleeps in mine, I don't take it for granted and I think that makes it even better!

    I think a lot of people on HF feel the same way, that's why we like like to tell each other what we have accomplished.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mort's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Appleton, WI
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    WBBB 1.7 single
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    Being relatively new to hanging, I find your confessions to be both instructive and inspiring, -- knowing that its a process your need to work yourself into over time, and to not give up if its not perfect right off the bat.

  6. #6
    MAD777's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    South Florida
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    DIY, WBBB & Switchback
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    I'm not giving up my Temperpedic at home either. But I was about to give up camping because of sleeping on the ground. I'm in the group that camps because I like to hike. So, hammocks let me extend my hiking.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Thunder Bay, Northwestern Ontario
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    DIY Hexish Tarp
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    670
    I'm pretty much the same. I'll never hang full time at home. The water bed and wife are way to inviting. I don't sleep perfect in the hammock yet, but I've had several night where I passed out for 7-9 hours without twitching. I've had other nights where I just lay there, very comfortable, but wide awake all night. And occasionally, there are nights where the hammock just isn't comfy. I think it's usually due to improper setup, or as we always used to say at work, "user error".

  8. #8
    brown4914's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
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    HH Hyperlite
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    DiY Mule LarksHead
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    After a long day of trekking, looking forward to a hammock rather than a tent is extremely appealing. But if there was a way to take my four pillows, full size memory foam mattress, ceiling fan and stereo trekking, I guess I would replace the hammock. I suppose the few who hang 365 days out of the year just have everything tweaked perfectly.... Ah, the road to perfection is a long one...
    1,000 miles on the AT (Summer 2014)

    Embrace the suck!

    Upcoming AT Thru-Hike Spring 2016

  9. #9
    Senior Member prismatic81's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
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    Dangerbird 11' x 72"
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    114
    an inspirational read for a newbie like myself. Thank you sir!

  10. #10
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    Jersey Shore, NJ
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    The more I sleep in my hammock, the better I sleep in my hammock. I usually spend a couple of nights a week hanging in my office just to stay in the swing of things.

    When I don't hang for a while, it's like starting all over again. It's all new to me, and I don't sleep as well. So my advice to you is - hang more!

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