I’ve been lurking for nearly a year now and am finally posting. I got an HH Exp. UL for Christmas and have since purchased an SPE, a setup that I’m happy with for three seasons up here in Maine. I recently did a stretch from Kinsman Notch to Crawford Notch along the AT and am VERY impressed with my new arrangements!
Anyway, my questions concern an older friend (late 50’s) who used to enjoy camping/backpacking, but has since had some severe back problems. He cannot sit down in a chair and instead uses one of those kneeling seats to avoid any pressure on the base of the spine. He is also a side sleeper.
After doing a lot of hammocking research, I would think that a hammock is an intriguing possibility to at least allow him to consider some car-camping. In this scenario, weight is not an issue and the hammock would probably be purchased instead of made.
My questions are:
• What is generally regarded as the best hammock for side sleeping, and is your body parallel to the ground, or is it curved?
• I’m not sure if it would be an issue, but do any of these hammocks allow for entry WITHOUT putting pressure on the base of the spine (with my HH, I back in and sit, but I imagine I could enter a different way)?
• Although I wouldn’t particularly enjoy hitting the ground, I would imagine that a fall could have devastating results. Is there a suspension system that is generally regarded as more dependable? Would anyone flat out not recommend a hammock because the possibility of a fall?
• Do side sleepers generally prefer under insulation to a pad? I would think that any camping he would do would probably run May-October at the latest.
I know this is a lot to ask of strangers, so any input you folks have would be great!
P.S. Although I defer to the wisdom of the senior members, I was in L.L. Bean in Freeport last weekend when a curious gentlemen overheard me discussing my hammock adventures in the Whites. He asked me a few questions, and I surprised myself with the hammocking science (including a HF plug) I was dropping on this poor, unsuspecting fool!
Edit- Apparently I have posted before!