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  1. #1
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Are we becoming tent campers?

    With winter here there's lots of talk about winter tarps and the exciting new GrizzBeaks ( http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ight=grizzbeak ) that can add doors to many existing tarps.

    Frankly, I'm kind of torn on the subject. While I see the benefits of these systems it also seems like we're returning to tents, albeit tents where we don't have to sleep on the ground.

    Would like to encourage some discussion on the subject. Pros and cons. Etc.
    Knotty
    "Don't speak unless it improves the silence." -proverb
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  2. #2
    canoeski's Avatar
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    Good thoughts, but I think the distinction is whether you sleep on the ground (snow) vs suspended in a hammock.

    Although the winter tarps are evolving into more elaborate and enclosed structures, it's not a tent (in my small mind) unless it has a floor. And, you're still suspended.

    I think this evolution is just extending the seasonal range of the hammock.
    Without end covers of some sort, weathering out a raging blizzard would be challenging and possibly dangerous.

    OTOH, there is nothing wrong with sleeping directly on the snow (pads of course) as it's a good insulator.
    Not all who wander are lost.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rug's Avatar
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    Its funny, I had the exact same thought when I was watching the Beak video too. I see 2 explanation of this.

    1) the 'tent' design is compact, efficient, the evolution of 10 million years of 'habitat design'. (Another reason that most old homes look like tents too.)
    2) It is what we are used to seeing, and it "Just works".

    Tent vs Hammock

    Tent. Pro: good shelter Con: poor sleeping conditions
    Hammock: Pro: good sleeping conditions Con: Poor shelter

    Seems like a natural bit of evolution to me.
    I ride a recumbent.
    I like to HAM it up on the CW.
    I use Linux.
    I play go.
    Of course I sleep in a hammock!

    Rug.

    Hang On!

  4. #4
    Senior Member cavscout's Avatar
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    The immediate thought is tenting isn't so much the issue. There would be a problem if we were devolving back to a ground dweller.

    Tent: A portable shelter, as of canvas, stretched over a supporting framework of poles with ropes and pegs.

    It would seem that in using a tarp, we never stopped using "tents". With a little latitude on the use of poles (Rope Ridge Line), all tarps are tents but not all tents are tarps? The closing in on all sides but the floor doesn't appear to change anything to me. Whether it's a corner folded in or an actual wall panel is no different than choosing a pea pod to cocoon the hammock.

    The line gets crossed in my mind when you hang the hammock in direct contact with the ground. But I'll justify it as calling it a bivy - an extremely lightweight alternative to traditional tent systems.

    I see very few cons to hammocking at least non-worth mentioning. The accessories needed to be comfortable in either a tent or hammock are virtually all the same. Pad, Bag/quilt, windbreak/tent/tarp.
    Last edited by cavscout; 12-17-2009 at 12:14.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Perkolady's Avatar
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    My objectives are to be warm, dry, and comfortable while hammocking. I'm always on the lookout for a good blend of functionality and low(ish) weight.

    I have found that the older I get, the more I want a couple 'extras' like a bigger tarp, with better coverage. I tend to spend more time in camp these days, so I pack for a bit more camp comfort.

    Maybe it's a matter of camping/hiking styles?

    I prefer simple, but to me, some things are worth fussing over, especially when it's cold and nasty outside and the 'wimp' in me cries out!

    I think people should bring whatever suits them. We each have to carry/set up our own gear. One person's idea of a palace might be skimping for someone else.

  6. #6
    Senior Member dblhmmck's Avatar
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    Best hammock accessory...a tent?

    Interesting line of thought, Knotty.

    The enclosed structure of an a-frame tent offers great weather protection for it's weight. How that translates to hammock usage is probably a matter of intention. Although the tarp can resemble a tent, especially when enclosed by one or two beaks, it's function would still be an element of a hammock system. And it could be configured in another way on another night.

    However, I recall a HF member posting a photo where he used a Henry Shire TarpTent (floorless model), as a beaked tarp for his hammock. I was impressed with the idea! It struck me not so much as going back to tents, but using a tent as a functional piece of the hammock rig. My .02
    "Better living through Hammockry"

  7. #7
    Scottybdiving's Avatar
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    Tents - Sleep on the ground
    Tarp - Hang in a hammock or sleep on the ground

    Tent - Crawl in on all fours
    Tarp - Walk in and sit down in your hammock

    Tent - Worry about tracking mud or sand
    Tarp - No worries

    Tent - Lay down thrash to change clothes (if it's raining or snowing)
    Tarp - Stand up or sit down in hammock

    Actually, I was tarping before I became a hammocker

  8. #8
    Senior Member E.A.Y.'s Avatar
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    If I'm sleeping on a piece of fabric that is suspended in the air from either end, then I'm sleeping in a hammock.
    The 'hammock' part is more important to me than what is keeping the elements off of me.

    I could have nothing over the hammock, I could have just some kind of hammock sock, I could have a hammock with a built in lid, I could have a tarp pitched 7 feet over my head, I could have a tarp pitched so low I can't stand up next to my hammock.
    Heck - I could have modified my old canvas Boyscout Voyageur tent and stuck the hammock suspension (of a really short hammock) out the peaks, and I'd still consider myself as having slept in a hammock.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CajunHiker's Avatar
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    A couple of summers ago, I hung my son's hammock inside of a wall tent that had a pipe frame.
    To Boldly Hang Where No One Has Hung Before...

  10. #10
    Senior Member SmokeHouse's Avatar
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    When its 20F or below and the wind is blowing, I'll take a closed shelter to hang a hammock in anyday.

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