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  1. #1
    Bipolar Bear Tobit's Avatar
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    Thinking about moving up off the ground...

    Hi folks, I'm Tobias from over at WhiteBlaze. I am thinking seriously about moving up off the ground. However, I have some serious reservations and concerns before I plop down my hard earned cash for one. I'd appreciate any and all comments, suggestions, flames, or what have you.

    Here are my concerns and questions:
    • I'm a big guy and will, therefore, require a pretty beefy hammock. I'm very stocky and have a good amount of muscle mass. I could loose a few pounds but because of my overall build, I will likely never be below 265. I'm 290 right now.
    • Because of my need for a heavy duty quilt, most of the hammock systems I've looked at are quite heavy compared to what I am used to with my 13.5 oz. tarp. It looks like a complete system, before adding an under quilt for those cold nights, will weigh in around 4.5 lbs. For an ultralight weight guy like me, that's quite a bit of weight for your shelter.
    • I'm a side sleeper, will I have any problems sleeping in a hammock?
    • Are the difficult to hang and get in and out of? I'm not the most graceful guy on the planet.
    • So, if I do decide to go for a hammock, how does a newbie like me pick a manufacturer to go with? A few years back when I was first looking at Hammocks. we didn't have near the number of manufacturers we have now.

    I am currently looking at:

    • Speer's Hammock IIIC - Rated to 350 pounds
    • Eno SingleNest System - Rated to 400 pounds, very surprised by this.
    • Hennessy Safari Deluxe Asym Hex - Rated to 350 pounds but the heaviest at 4lb 8oz. Also, the description doesn't mention if it comes with bug netting or not.

    There are probably many others I haven't looked at yet.

    I'm willing to give a hammock a serious try, I'm mostly confused on what system is right for me. I also don't want to get stuck with a system if it turns out hammock camping isn't for me. The majority of folks aren't big like I am, so resale might be tough unless I take a big loss.

    Again, any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I'm very happy with my Speer.

    I can side sleep, or mostly side sleep, kinda a modified, but very comfortable. I have to leave a lot of slack, then sleep slightly diagonal to accomplish this, just as Ed Speer recommends. I find I toss and turn much less in the hammock than on the ground.

    For testing purposes, you should probably wait until summer to do your trials, then you don't have to invest in any extra insulation. A closed cell pad and any old sleeping bag used as a quilt will work. This will let you know if you find hammock sleeping comfortable, my guess is you will.

    I'm not an expert, and I'm sure others will chime in, but this is my $0.02 worth (possibly all it's actually worth!) :-)

  3. #3
    Bipolar Bear Tobit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyleb View Post
    For testing purposes, you should probably wait until summer to do your trials, then you don't have to invest in any extra insulation. A closed cell pad and any old sleeping bag used as a quilt will work. This will let you know if you find hammock sleeping comfortable, my guess is you will.
    Thanks for your reply. I've been sleeping with quilts on the ground for quite awhile now. I currently have a JRB Katahdin that I like a lot. I have no plans to do any overnight hikes til sometime toward the end of April.

    - JT

  4. #4
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    I'd consider the Eno double hammock over the single. It will offer you much more room. A top loader hammock will be much easier to enter/exit and get pads and quilts etc. in place than a bottom loader like a Hennessy. Especially at your size. The Hennessy Safari will come with a bug-net. Being a side sleeper, only you will be able to tell if you'll sleep comfortably. I too am a side sleeper and have used several brands of hammocks. I never got as comfortable on my side as I wanted. I now use a Jacks 'r' Better bridge hammock and sleep wonderful on my side as well as my back. This hammock would be way too small for you. They are planning on making a larger version later in the year. If you sew or are willing to learn, you could make yourself one. There are plenty of folks around your size around here who hang. It can be done. I sometimes wonder if there is anyone my size around here. 160lbs.
    Be sure to check out this fine sight for further info. Be sure to check out the "weights" section. www.tothewoods.net/HammockCamping.html
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  5. #5
    Senior Member pure_mahem's Avatar
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    Welcome Tobit, I see you found us! I should of pointed you here its a great place!

    I'm not guarnteeing UL because I hike somewhere in the middle but I'm a larger guy than you and I use a Treklight it looks just like an ENO but it has a lifetime warranty and the owner Seth Stops in once in a while he's a great guy too! You are right there are plenty other hammocks available now take a peak at the forrum list by manufacturer in the Forrums Guide.

    My set up is between 4-5lbs but I figure if I go UL then I should loose some around my middle before I go crazy with that. My planned set up, wich I don't have the wieghts on yet because I haven't acquired everything yet, Ed Speer's Winter Tarp, Treklight Double, 8 Vargo Crevice Stakes, #18 Mason Line, 8 mini glow in the dark Line-loks, a Ray Jardine style top quilt, and a KickAss Quilts style Under quilt. Oh and I'm currently working on a super light strap rope buckle system. I'm still saving money to replace my Guide Gear Tarp wich is really heavy and not available to buy anymore at least not in camo, and I'm still making my quilts to replace my old sleeping bag. But, it's all coming together I'm hoping everything should be done by spring. I don't like the cold but the last couple of days I've been able to get out and hang my hammock and relax with this warm weather I'm having it was almost 70 here today. You shoud find a lot of help here the guys here are so friendly and knowledgable about all sorts of gear.

    On the plus side you don't have to pack a heavy tent or a ground sheet or sleep on a cold hard ground if you go with a hammock. Hope you find what your looking for!

    Oh I almost forgot I do have an ENO bugnet but I don't use it a lot I find some deet keeps them away fine for me, Just don't get it on anything!
    Last edited by pure_mahem; 01-09-2008 at 20:21.

  6. #6
    Bipolar Bear Tobit's Avatar
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    Thanks FF, the Eno's look really nice.. they are definitely towards the top of my list. JRB people are the best though, they gave me awesome service when I was looking for a quilt to fit me. They sold me one of the first Katahdins before they were available for sale online. Hopefully they will indeed come out with a big boys hammock, I'd love to give them more of my money.

    - T

  7. #7
    Bipolar Bear Tobit's Avatar
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    Hey mahem, good to see you here. Yeah, the weather has been nice.. I am just a few miles East of you in NH. I will check out the Treklight and see if there is one that fits me. I have a little bit of time, I just bought a new ground tarp.. ugh! So my money for the month has been spent, I will likely be itching to buy something next month however.

    - JT

  8. #8
    Senior Member pure_mahem's Avatar
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    I was in Manchester a couple years back, Great Place. I was doing some training for my company I work for and they flipped the bill. That Texas Steak House is awesome I wish we had one of those here! Took the extra trip to the beach while I was there because we had to do some training in Raymond too, but every thing was closed must of been the off season, lol!

  9. #9
    Doctari's Avatar
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    Also bear in mind that for the most part, the stated "weight limit" is to make the Lawyers happpy, & the hammocks will prolly hold more than what is stated. I'm short (5'7") & heavy (220ish) & I felt VERY secure with the ENO the Spear & the Warbonnet hammocks at traildays.
    A nice thing about the ENO is they come in a double wide so you would have ample room. I second the top loading suggestion.

    BTW: welcome off the ground
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  10. #10
    Bipolar Bear Tobit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctari View Post
    A nice thing about the ENO is they come in a double wide so you would have ample room. I second the top loading suggestion.
    Yeah, I am pretty sure I am going to go with an Eno DoubleNest. basegear.com has them on sale for $45 which is $15 off regular price. I'd still have to add a few things such as a tarp, straps, and bug netting, but that seems to be a very nice price for my first hammock.

    - JT

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