"Every day above ground is a good day"
I have always enjoyed relaxing in a hammock and slept in one many years ago on hot summer nights strung between the mast and forestay of my sailboat. A year ago I came across the Hennessy site (while looking for camping stuff) and after reading reviews, took a chance and ordered one. While packing for a solo kayak camping trip, I realized I could not easily fit my tent into the boat I planned to bring and nervously opted to bring the hammock instead. I slept through three peaceful, comfortable nights in a row on my first hammock camping trip! Now, I will only use my tent when it is too cold for the hammock. I also brought a smaller hammock (Byer Traveler) and used it to stow my gear. It was nice not to have to rummage around on the ground (with the ants and ticks) for my clothes and other essentials. Everything sort of tumbled into the middle of the gear hammock, so I may want to make something with pockets to keep clothes, toiletries and other items separated and easier to find.
Possibly, one of the reasons you don't see more people using hammocks for camping is the misconception that you end up sleeping on your back in a banana shape, or they want to sleep with their family.
I like the comfort a hammock has to offer over a tent. It is certainly no harder than a tent to set up and takes up much less space in my pack/boat. Mine (green) blends into the natural surroundings better. With a good tarp it is going to be as dry or drier than a tent and it was fine in some pretty strong winds, where I attached filled water bottles to the tarp tie-outs. I am not sure that I love the bottom entrance of the Hennessy. It is not hard to enter or exit, but once in, it is not trivially easy to arrange the pad and sleeping bag over the slit, but with practice I am getting better at it. At least there is no zipper to break. I have a Byer Traveler with a "moskito" net and it is easier to enter and exit, but not good for sleeping. I can only think of one negative (see below) to hammock camping, but on the positive side it has increased my comfort level a tremendously. I can use it in the summer at home, too, to read outside on hot summer nights. One is not likely to do that with their tent!
The only disadvantage I can think of is the need for an underquilt when the temperature drops. The systems available are quite expensive. Even if you make your own, the extra padding takes up space. I am comfortable to about 50degrees with no underquilt, just a windproof blanket under my sleeping bag.
Good luck on your project/survey.
"Physics is the only true science. All else is stamp collecting." - J. J. Thompson
And you lose the pad...that's a lot of bulk out of the pack. An underquilt is about the same size as an inflatable pad when packed (pump, not self-inflating).
“Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story
- My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
- Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB
IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER