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  1. #1
    Senior Member Fig's Avatar
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    Survival Hammock

    So the talk about the "survival shows" got me to thinking. They want thir shows realistic so they go out with a minimal of equipment. Two things came to mind:

    1) Would you have a hammock if you found yourself in a survival situation? I keep a spare Eno DoubleNest and a sometimes a spare SingleNest in my truck, so if I happened to get in a spot with the truck, I most surely would have a hammock with me. Of course, what are my odds of being in a survival situation where I didn't come in with the truck. But then again, what are the odds I get lost in the woods, when I wasn't heading to the woods to begin with?

    2) So that brought me to my next question. I was figuring that packing a small hammock wouldn't be out of the realm of a survival situation. I mean you have to get into the situation somehow, and unless you are kidnapped and dropped in the woods you either have to have the vehicle that brought you, or at least some gear going in. Then I got to thinking, what's the smallest hammock we could come up with, kind of like a wearable hammock that you could keep up you like an article of clothing? How about a bandanna hammock? I am sure after seeing Grizz's video lightening the bridge hammock up, you could make an incredible light weight hammock that could be folded up about the size of a hood, or bandanna. A minimal amount of ripstop sewn more to a clothing shape when folded, and that amazing suspension in the video, some Amsteel in a whoopie sling. Maybe it could double as a rain poncho? We are talking a survival piece of equipment here. Nothing fancy, just something to get you off the ground at night if you were to get stuck in a survival situation.

    Thoughts? Am I losing it, or does anyone think a survival hammock marketed as an extra piece of clothing is a viable idea? Or am I late for the game already?

  2. #2
    MedicineMan's Avatar
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    there is somewhere a survival hammock made out of nylon netting, very small-fist sized and very lightweight....it is survival because it is also a great gill net for ceining (sp?) fish...i've had one in the past, it is small and nowhere near as comfy as the hammocks we know in backpacking:

    http://www.armynavyshop.com/prods/rc2685.html

    forgot to mention, with some whoopies the weight would come way down.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kukri's Avatar
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    I wouldn't think, in a survival situation, you'd NEED a hammock. I'm pretty sure most of us like our hammocks because they're oh so comfy and easy to put up. A hammock would be one of the last things on my list of gear I would like to have handy for a bad situation.

    That said, I would LOVE to find a hammock in the back of the truck if the SHTF.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukri View Post
    I wouldn't think, in a survival situation, you'd NEED a hammock. I'm pretty sure most of us like our hammocks because they're oh so comfy and easy to put up. A hammock would be one of the last things on my list of gear I would like to have handy for a bad situation.

    That said, I would LOVE to find a hammock in the back of the truck if the SHTF.
    Wow, I find that interesting, because for me, it's pretty close to the top of my BOB list.

  5. #5
    Senior Member E.A.Y.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fig View Post
    Wow, I find that interesting, because for me, it's pretty close to the top of my BOB list.
    Will admit that a diy hammock is in my 72 hour BOB (bug out bag) as well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I've got a hammock stashed just about everywhere. It'd be nice to have, but pretty low on my priority list.
    Trust nobody!

  7. #7
    Senior Member miisterwright's Avatar
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    I figure, at least in my case, the survival situation would occur with the gear I brought in when hiking. But in case I somehow got separated from my pack and didn't need all of my clothes to stay warm, I'd probably fashion a litter out of to staves/poles run through the arms/legs of clothing. If cold was an issue- and it always is- I'd make a firebed and try to fashion a lean to over it.

    To play along, a poncho could work as a tarp, especially if you could open it like a jacket. And I'm sure you could fashion a garment the consisted of a hammock and other desirables, but would you want to wear it.

    I think it's a good idea to keep a simple hammock around wear you might find a use for it, but when I think "survival kit", I'm thinking of stuff that will be affixed to my person while I'm out: knife, firesteel/lighter, and some sort of cordage at the least. I also try to keep a metal water bottle around close.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukri View Post
    I wouldn't think, in a survival situation, you'd NEED a hammock.
    In a jungle survival scenario like the ones they like to show on TV, a hammock is a critical piece of survival equipment.

    To stay effective in jungle, it is best that you sleep off the ground. That is why in Aus and UK combat survival training you are taught to build what is called an "A Frame", a bunch of poles lashed together with a poncho to make an elevated bed to keep you away from wet ground and any slithering or skittering critters who may be violently territorial or have a taste for human flesh or blood. You're also kept quite dry which lessens the chances of fungal infections.

    You also need to keep bugs off you. Malaria, Scrub Typhus and Ross River fever are common insect-borne parasites. Anyone who has spent much time in the J knows that you are bitten mostly at night.

    A hammock such as the types we use negates both of the major issues. It keeps us off the ground in case there is a danger of snakes, scorpions or even flash flooding. It keeps insect parasites off us due to the built-in bug net.

    A hammock tarp can help you collect water and it can be used as an insect-proof litter/stretcher with a little bit of head-scratching.

    In temperate areas in the cooler months a hammock is likely to be a bit of a liability unless you managed to include a UQ. You'd be better off on the ground with improvised insulation.

    Hammocks with rain fly and insect netting have been used by Allied forces in the jungle for almost 70 years. There is a reason for it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member TinaLouise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fig View Post
    what are my odds of being in a survival situation where I didn't come in with the truck.

    and unless you are kidnapped and dropped in the woods
    Nothing fancy, just something to get you off the ground at night if you were to get stuck in a survival situation.

    ?
    Weird you should bring up this particular situation. My daughter was just telling me that she's going to Maine, to Florida and to Washington State for some very specific training (NAVY!!). All she could tell me about the Maine one is that she will be dropped in the woods and must survive. (like if the plane she's on was shot down in hostile lands). I keep wanting to send her things like a hammock and a RAT knife and a caldera alcohol stove...... I've even suggested a couple of handguns. So far, her being 22 and everyone knows that 22 year olds know just about everything there is to know... she's not having anything to do with her mama's suggestions.

  10. #10
    Rat's Avatar
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    Many good points have already been made, here's what I do:

    Home Bug-out-bag: I have hammocks in my home bug-out-bag(s) where the idea is that I will be evacuating via vehicle. The BOB is a grab and go item that is carried in the vehicle, more weight isn't that big a deal in this case.

    Wilderness Survival Kit: No hammock. I did keep a hammock in my WSK for some time, but I have finally decided to not carry the extra weight. If I find myself in a survival scenario in the wilderness a hammock would require more energy to keep warm. I do carry a small 9 oz tarp. the only time I have ever been caught in a true survival situation the hammock would have been a liability.

    Personal Survival Kit:No hammock. This is an even smaller kit that I carry daily and only has the basics.

    Just like anything else though; your survival kit should be tailored for your environment. If I were planning an excursion into the jungle I would definitely take a hammock in my WSK. I would also consider one for a very hot environment, like a desert or arid region, to help stay cool in daytime temperatures as I would be traveling at night most likely.

    My survival kits constantly change for any given outing I may be planning, as well as just general tinkering and finding replacement or new items for them. For me, the time of year and places I go into the wilderness (Sept-Oct Colorado/New Mexico) a hammock doesn't make much sense for a WSK.

    As an aside: My WSK is built on the notion that I have lost ALL my other gear; for example, when crossing a swollen stream or river, I lose my pack. My WSK is ALWAYS attached separately, to me, apart from my gear. So being kidnapped and dropped in the woods is the very basis for my WSK, even though it may not happen that way specifically.
    "I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Mal Reynolds
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