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  1. #1
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    Family hammock camping

    Does anyone use separate hammocks for family camping? We've got 2 kids ages 10 and 7 and currently we use a 4 man and a 2 man tent for the family outings. Does anyone use separate hammocks for everyone? Any recommendations for a good beginner kid hammock. I'm a little worried about my daughter with thunder and strange noises getting scared and not having anywhere to go. Most of our family outings are state parks, etc but we're starting to do some canoe trips etc.

    Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I liked some of the replies to my thread Sleeping Double in a Single Hammock. They suggested attaching two hammock to two trees. One hammock attached to the left side of the tree (as opposed to the middle as is typical), the other hammock attached to the right side and slightly lower (to avoid butting butts). Sleep under one large tarp.

    As far as kid size hammock, I just built my 9 year old a full size hammock for a few bucks.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I take my daughters camping in hammocks all the time. It's not hard to set everyone up close enough together to talk. I'd say regular sized hammocks/tarps, etc. work well, and also give room for them to grow into. Thunder and such is not a problem if you are prepared to comfort hammock-side in person when necessary.

    When they were younger I frequently used to sit close, talk, and/or rock them, etc. until they calmed back down, then I quickly headed back to my hammock. It became less necessary over a fairly short time as they got acclimated to hammock camping. With older kids, you may still end up making personal visits in scary situations (which are very rare, btw) to let them know you're all OK or to just check in. Being within talking distance, you may be able to just talk them through it.

    Of course, all kids are different. Some kids are fearful and some are intrepid and then they may still change. My belief is that as long as you stay flexible, it works out just fine. Kids are adaptable.

    Just my experiences, YMMV. Hope this helps.

    Welcome to HF, btw. Great first post.


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  4. #4
    Senior Member Muskrat's Avatar
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    Heck YEAH ! Family of 4 with one WBBB and three HH Expeds. We attended the Lake Jocassee Hang last year and it was my wife's first time out in a hammock. She claims it was the best sleep ever camping. My two daughters, 8 & 11, also were there and are hooked on their hammocks. Took my 11 yr old with me on a weekend backpacking trip on the Foothills Trail and hung bunkbed style with my Superfly covering both of us the first night. Second night she wanted to hang separately but near me.

    My daughters received a tent from their aunt & uncle for Christmas and they looked at us and said... "What's this for?"
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    “He doesn't know the meaning of the word fear, but then again he doesn't know the meaning of most words”
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  5. #5
    Senior Member DiscoveryDiver's Avatar
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    Great topic for me as well. My boys are similar ages to yours, 8 and 10 (about to be).

    Up to now, we've been car camping locally around Mt. Fuji and on our occasional road trips in the US.

    I tried the boys in the two hammocks our last trip to Fuji a month ago. It was wicked cold (way below freezing) and we only had two hammocks, so it was just the two boys next to the tent, no tarps, but a beautiful, starry night.

    My older boy called it quits before he fell asleep. He's not too fond of the dark in the best of times, so I think he felt sort of "creeped-out" for his first time.

    To my surprise, the younger boy stuck it out until I got woken up around 3 am, to him crying. I didn't get much sleep up to that point since I was waiting for the possibility of that event. He had awakened disoriented.

    They were also so bundled into the hammocks with sleeping bags and under/over covers that getting out alone would have been difficult. Anyway, he took a pee and then slept in the tent.

    Configuration
    For the family-feel, setting up as wwk mentions above is definitely a good bet; using 3 trees in a "V" configuration. This will put two hammockers in close proximity and allow the best communication, feeling of security, etc. I've also made/bought underquilts, which should make getting in/out easier, though they will still be in sleeping bags...have to think on that...

    Requiring three trees does limit site selection, which is not a problem near Fuji, but I do wonder about our trips to the US, where finding 6 trees in the right orientation on one National Park campsite might be an issue. Rules might also be a limiting factor as well. For example I found out at Mather (Grand Canyon), you can hang hammocks, but cannot leave them unattended. I'm not sure if this includes if there is a tarp over the hammock, since then it is essentially a tent, and you can leave those unattended ...I'll find out this March.

    Tarp
    Last week, I ordered the WB Superfly. I'm intending to use that as a shelter for two hammocks if and when possible/when needed. I'll have to play with that a bit. If rain is expected, we'll go with the tent, since the tarp in that configuration might not provide adequate protection for two hammocks...it would really only be to give a secure feeling, if needed.

    If you can DIY, here is a fantastic two-hammock tarp a member designed/built (SmokeHouse):
    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=27220
    He posts the plans on page 4. It's basically a tarp-tent that fits two hammocks in a V perfectly. I plan on making one or two of these...someday .

    Hammocks
    If you can do without bugnetting, you can make a hammock surprisingly easy using any for the many threads found on the forum. Some are fast and easy setups like the scout hammock, others require significant sewing if you sew in a zip-on bug net.

    If you go the simple route, you can make/purchase an add-on bugnet. WB sells these, or PapaSmurf makes them as well.

    I plan on slowly making 4, though we do have two Enos now. I also ordered a Hennessey(sp?) on their Holiday Special (buy one hammock get a Scout hammock free), which worked out to a very reasonable cost per hammock setup, and included 2 hammocks with integrated bugnet, snake skins and basic tarp each. I plan on sending these to (http://www.2qzqhammockhanger.com/) for bugnet zipper addition/modification at some point in time...we'll see how it goes.

    Best of luck and post your results...
    Jim

  6. #6
    PapaSmurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clo-z-nuff View Post
    Any recommendations for a good beginner kid hammock.
    You might want to look at something like the Grand Trunk Ultralight.
    http://www.amazon.com/Grand-Trunk-GT.../dp/B001AIBJSI

    These are real handy for the kids to use or for lending out when folks ask about hammocking.
    They have a 250lb capacity and at $16.39 each, it's no huge loss if they get damaged.
    If you bought 2, you could take advantage of Amazon's free shipping.

  7. #7
    MrClean417's Avatar
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    Also never hurts regardless of your decission to do some hanging, or camping, at home in familiar environments. My kids, wife and I slept downstairs in the family room. It was a tight setup for the tent but once inside it was the same size as if it was outside.

    We camped out in the backyard several times after that.

    Hang em indoors a couple times, let em nap in there some afternoon so when they wake up it'll be light and easier to figure out. I hung in my DIY hammock first time for half the night last night. Took me a second to figure out where I was waking up. Luckily, I don't move much when I'm waking up. Not like when I was younger. I can only imagine how much fun it would be to wake up and bolt without the skills needed to do so.
    From Somewhere near Parkville, Mo
    William Crane
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    Everything you need to know about Hammocks in vids and reading:
    Hammock in 3 minutes D. Hansen - It really is this easy to make a hammock
    Shug's Hammock Newbies videos - Takes you buy the hand and shows you in video
    The Ultimate Hang D. Hansen - now read about everything
    JustJeff's Hammock tutorial - more reference
    TableclothFactoryBlanks - shorter lengths available on sidebar
    The TurtleDog Stand thread - Hang anywhere.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clo-z-nuff View Post
    . . . I'm a little worried about my daughter with
    thunder and strange noises getting scared and not having anywhere to go. Most of our family outings are state parks, etc but we're starting to do some canoe trips etc.
    .
    Good stuff offered up so far:

    I presently perimeter the sleeping area with a knee high dark rope,
    and between the trees on the rope hang bear bells.

    I tell my children if they don't hear the bells, there ain't nothin' to worry about.

    My next investment will be a Electric Bear Fence.

    That will give ME peace of mind enough to sleep, having my children around.

    And like the testimony on the ebearF site the guy and his son just slept good knowing the fence was up.

    Lightning and Thunder . . . well . . . if they don't like it at home. . .
    Bradley SaintJohn
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    is the Conversion from Agony To Ecstasy,
    and Curing Ground-In-somnia.

    "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show you great and mighty things . . ." Jeremiah 33:3
    ΙΧΘΥΣ

  9. #9
    Member
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    Thanks for all the tips everyone. I definately have some homework to do. I think what I'll do is buy an entry level hammock (maybe a skeeter beeter? because skeeters are an issue) and eeeaaassseee into this hammock thing. I like the recommendation of hanging it at home and letting them sleep in it first. I also do a fair amount of motorcycle camping and I'm thinking this would be the clear ticket for that as well!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Iafte's Avatar
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    My boys, now 10 and 11 have been to almost all the MAHHA hangs. They sleep in separate hammocks. They will be with me this weekend at the NJ winter hang.

    Skeeter Beeter is a great hammock to start with. I have one that my oldest uses, youngest uses diy since he likes to bring sharp things into his hammock. lol
    Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. ~Steven Wright

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