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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Newbie from Silicon Valley

    Hello all, thought I'd swing by and introduce myself.

    I'm a guy who used to do a lot of backpacking (mostly solo) and camping (mostly by motorcycle) up until about 14 years ago when life's twists took me away from it. Now, at 48, I'm feeling the lust to get back outside before I'm too old to do it anymore.

    The last time I went backpacking, I carried 55 lbs. My backpack alone was over 6 lbs, and my tent must have been at least 10 lbs (some old Eureka 2-man thing with metal poles and stakes.) Now, as I've started researching some of the new ultralight backpacking techniques, I've become intrigued with the idea of hammock camping.

    I like what I'm hearing, but I'm still nervous. It comes from past experience. Back in about 1977 I was camping with my Boy Scout troop in Northern Minnesota, and I thought I'd try sleeping in a hammock overnight. The mosquitoes were thick. I found that I could get in my sleeping bag to keep them off of me, but then I'd just sweat. Or I could get out of the sleeping bag and turn into a mosquito smorgasbord. It was the single-most uncomfortable night of my life. At the time, I swore I'd never do THAT again.

    So now here I am, considering backpacking with a hammock.

    Weird, huh?

    I've been thinking about trips into the Sierra Nevada high country in the summer, or into coastal wilderness areas (Big Sur and south) in the winter time. My initial impulse has been to go with a Clark's North American, but as I've been reading through these forums I'm seeing a probable need to use an under quilt, considering the temperatures I think I would run into. This represents an additional weight and expense that I thought I could avoid by going with a Clark's NO. It might therefore be wiser to just go with a different setup entirely. So I'm still pondering things.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say 'hey' before I went back into lurking mode. Thanks in advance for all the great advice that I'm cherry picking from all your posts.

  2. #2
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    Welcome to HF. Glad to hear that you have decided to give hammocks another try. There many fine hammock designs that include mosquito netting as part of their design. There is also separate mosquito netting that you can use with hammocks that do not have it. No matter what hammock you ultimately choose. You will need some sort of bottom insulation in all but the very warmest of weather. Pads and under quilts or a combination of the two are the most popular ways to go.
    Terry

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poppabear View Post
    Welcome to HF. Glad to hear that you have decided to give hammocks another try. There many fine hammock designs that include mosquito netting as part of their design. There is also separate mosquito netting that you can use with hammocks that do not have it. No matter what hammock you ultimately choose. You will need some sort of bottom insulation in all but the very warmest of weather. Pads and under quilts or a combination of the two are the most popular ways to go.
    Hey, Poppabear ---

    Yep, the fact that hammocks now come with mosquito netting built in is one of the single-biggest sales features to me. I wouldn't even be considering a hammock if it wasn't for that. And this despite the fact that I don't think I'll be camping where there's lots o' bugs. (Well, unless I decide to go back to Minnesota's BWCA, that is.)

    The Clark's NO definitely looks like a bug-proof setup. On the other hand, at nearly 3 lbs it's already heavy compared to other hammock systems that I've seen around here. Add in an under quilt (around 1 lb?) and it seems a bit on the heavy side for a hammock system.

    On the other hand, I used to backpack with a 10 lb tent, so it seems unlikely that I'm going to do anything but come out ahead here.

    In preparation for getting back outside, I've been getting into shape. Started at 204, now I'm down to 196. Every pound I lose, I see it as one more luxury item that I can afford to walk up a trail with. If I can get back down to 185 (my goal) then I ought to be able to carry a couple of hammocks up a trail and still be way out ahead.

    See? It's all in how you look at things....

  4. #4
    Senior Member TheWild's Avatar
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    A warm welcome to HF! Glad to have you here!

    Oh yeah... and +1 on the mosquito netting... can't live without it, when those little buggers are around

    /Wild
    Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished...

  5. #5
    New Member modhammock's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    Hi there and welcome. My husband and I are newbies from SF and doing our first (test) camping hang this weekend in Guerneville.

  6. #6
    Senior Member timabababaluka's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    Welcome from a fellow noob from the Central Valley (gateway to the Sierras (gotta love 'em)). Your in good hands here--tons and tons of experience and man hours to glean from. More importantly, just some really nice, super helpful folks. Glad your one of them now
    You're gonna need a bigger hammock

  7. #7
    creativeKayt's Avatar
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    Welcome, Bulgron.

    The Sierras are definitely a fantastic get-away wonderland and offer pretty much any difficulty level and duration you'd like. Enjoy! I might see ya out there when I'm down for a visit to my old stomping grounds.

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