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  1. #1
    Senior Member ky chris's Avatar
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    Newbie with a few questions

    Hi all!

    I've been lurking a while on the backpacking light forums. I remember first getting on there and being slightly annoyed with all the people suggesting hammocks. Well, it took a while but with the help of Shug's videos I've became very interested. Some people love the beach, I however love being in the mountains. What better way to enjoy the side of a mountain and not have to try to find a flat spot for a tent!

    I just have a few questions before I drink the kool-aid.

    1. Hammocks seem great if you're hiking alone or with a friend who has less than perfect hygiene but what about if you're going with family? I figure I'll buy a two person tent for my wife and daughter and I'll take the hammock. We can always sit up in the tent and play cards or talk in the tent at dark or rain together.

    2. How durable are these hammocks? Specifically the Blackbird which I like the most? It would make it easier to spend the cash if I'm able to frequently use a hammock in the house or in the backyard as well as to camp.

    3. About how low in temperature can I expect to be comfortable with a backpacker thermarest and a 15 degree down bag? I know everyone's different but just an estimate.

    Thanks for any responses.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rigidpsycho's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums, nice to see another Kentuckian. Most of the hammocks are well made and very durable. When teamed up with a nice tarp and proper insulation there is nothing better. I have gone down to high 20's/ low 30's with a 1in inflatable and a 20* synthetic mummy bag, but that is all I have tried.
    Chris

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Welcome to the forum!

    You don't want to let squirrely 5 year olds jump in it, because every hammock has its breaking points and they'd probably poke holes and rip the bug net. But mine has to tolerate me, because I roll around at night while I'm asleep. I had a Hennessy and now have a Blackbird made of 1.1 nylon that I haven't tested yet. I don't doubt that it will give me many nights of comfort.

    If you haven't yet tried a camping hammock I'd suggest making a simple one first to lay? Lie? (to think i was an English major) in to see how it feels. I've known several who didn't like the motion of the hammock. The side ties on the HH and the BB dampen but don't eliminate swinging; I like the gentle sway.

    I slept to freezing (low 30s) with a blue CCF and a Ray Way with alpine upgrade (rated to 20s) - I developed a cold spot on my butt. I tend to be a cold sleeper who gets cold easy but warms up well enough, using midweight long underwear, thick wool socks and a fleece beanie or my bomber hat with the quilt. I have since gone the way of underquilts but still intend to carry a pad on trips where there's a chance I'll have to sleep on the ground.

    I have the issue with others who have not drunk the kool aid. I have found that tents and tarp still allow sound to carry well enough and I can get out of the hammock much quicker than I can from a tent. You could say that if there's an emergency you'd be ready to respond more quickly. Nothing like the rationalizations of a hammocker. And I still think the tent dwellers are the ones on the losing end of the deal.

    If you order a Hennessy I think there is a deal where you get a free Scout. That and a nice large tarp to hang multiple hammocks under would bring family togetherness for sure. Just (mostly) kidding. I have had exactly one person in my hiking group try a hammock so far, the rest just look at me like I'm crazy. But since I like my brand of crazy I don't mind much.

  4. #4
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    they are pretty durable. does anybody know how many nights ed logged on that 1.9oz fabric before it gave out, i know it was alot.

    you don't want to leave them set up outside is the main thing, uv will degrade the nylon fabric, but if you take it down after you use it, it should last a long time.

  5. #5
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Hey KY Chris......
    Fun having a new venture!
    I have never done a hang with others under the same tarp but it is done often and those that do will chime in I suppose. Get creative on that one. Get a big tarp or a JRB Hammock Hut and they could even be on the ground and you in the air ... just be careful when you step out at night and such!
    My hammocks have been very durable but I would replace my webbing or ropes from time to time depending on usage. Maybe every year or two.....
    With your 15 bag and thermarest I would think 20 to 10 depending on your clothing and your personal sleep rating (cold sleeper/warm sleeper). Test your system out in your yard or car camp at a site and see how it all works. Gets you out of the house and into the woods.
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  6. #6
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Get a B.A.T. (the first word is big, the last is tarp, you figure out the rest,) and everyone can sleep under the same roof, whether on the ground or in hammocks. You could also be the first on the site to get a Clark Vertex. Or the JRB hammock hut.

    Hammocks are as durable as any piece of gear - you just need to take care of them.

    Cold is very subjective. A thermarest pad and a 15* bag should be able to get you into the 20's, another ~10* lower combined with a sock, another 20 - 30* combined with a decent UQ.

    And welcome to HF!

  7. #7
    Senior Member ky chris's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the welcomes and replys.

    Comfortable down to 20-30 is what I was wanting to hear as well as the durability.

    Thanks for the advice! Now more research so I can choose.

    Shug and Finn, thanks for the idea of one big tarp. I'm going to have to think on that. Maybe start with one hammock and see how much the wife and daughter likes it first. Knowing them I'll be the one sleeping on the ground under the hammock.

    chris

  8. #8
    Senior Member fin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ky chris View Post
    Maybe start with one hammock and see how much the wife and daughter likes it first. Knowing them I'll be the one sleeping on the ground under the hammock.

    chris
    That is the way it always works.

    BTW, I had a custom OES 15x12 tarp from Brian at Mt. Rogers, and I could easily have slept your family and mine under it - lots of room. If I had hung it on the 12' ridgeline, I could have fit 3 hammocks under it easily. Hung on the 15 ft. ridgeline, I had closeable doors and still would have had room for 2 ground dwellers next to me. I like a B.A.T. in some situations - cold being one of them. It was like being in a tent, but I was comfortable sleeping.

  9. #9
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    Second the motion for a BAT. I've got a Speer Winter Tarp, and you could fit your kitchen table under the area it covers. You can hang, everyone else can sleep in a tent or on the ground, or you have enough room for two hammocks under one tarp.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ky chris's Avatar
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    So how is multiple hammocks under one tarp typically done? Can you stack them on the same tree or do you have to have multiple trees that are close enough to have the hammocks side by side?

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