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  1. #1

    Long-Term Hammock Durability

    Hello everyone, I'm new to hammock camping but I've convinced myself that it's the direction I want to go insofar as collecting up my own camping gear. I want a hammock which I could use **** near all the time without repair and replacement. For the sake of this discussion, please assume that I am going out into the wilderness to catalogue new species, and want something dependable and requiring as little upkeep as possible. What would be likely to fail first? Zippers / Velcro on bug nuts (e.g. Hennessey vs. Clark)? Fraying or damage of the hammock structure? If I have a well enclosed model, should I worry about mildew inside from night after night of my own body's moisture? I'm sure that this is different for every individual commercial model, so if there are specific models that seem well suited to lasting for a long time with minimal maintenance, I'd appreciate your experience and sage advice.

  2. #2
    Randy's Avatar
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    Howdy from Texas...
    I am not sure if I have had to do any maintnance on any of my hammocks since 2009.
    I use my Hennessy Expedition the most due to it having the attached bug net. This hammock had the zipper mod done by 2Q and has held up well.
    Regardless of the brand of the hammock, just a little care while in use, like not setting up close to a fire so the ambers dont end up on your bug net or sleep with a sharp object that could poke a hole or store it when wet or damp you outta get your moneys worth regardless what you are doing in the
    wilderness.
    I guess you can set your self up on a routine system inspection schedule, apply bar soap to the zippers every 1500 hours or so and keep a needle and thread and a roll of duct tape in a repair kit.
    "Proud Pound Hawg"
    Republic of Texas H.O.G. (Hennessy Owners Group)

  3. #3
    Bubba's Avatar
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    All the higher end hammocks will last a while as long as you take care of them. Routine inpection care and proper use will ensure longer life. Hammocks are like any outdoor gear you get. Take care of it and it will take care of you.

    Suspension would be at the top of my list to check. The adjustments and hardwear involved can cause wear and warrant replacement. Because hammocks bear your weight, seams are important to keep intact. If wet, allow to dry before storage. Wash periodically as needed.

    Just my two cents. There are some on here that have put hundreds of nights on their hammocks so hopefully they will chime in.
    Last edited by Bubba; 06-23-2011 at 07:37.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Many have used a hammock on thru hikes (5 months plus) and the hammock is still ready to rock.
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  5. #5
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    All the higher end hammocks will last a while as long as you take care of them. Routine inpection care and proper use will endsure longer life. Hammocks are like any outdoor gear you get. Take care of it and it will take car of you.
    Suspension would be at the top of my list to check. The adjustments and hardwear involved can cause wear and warrant replacement. Because hammocks bear your weight, seams are important to keep intact. If wet, allow to dry before storage. Wash periodically as needed.
    Just my two cents. There are some on here that have put hundreds of nights on their hammocks so hopefully they will chime in.
    Didn't Ed Speer have a failure with one of his hammocks ( the red one on the cover of his book?) after 5000 hours? About 625 nights?

    Plus, Ed is not exactly obese. So I bet he was not even using the heavier duty hammock he offered, and his were single layer. Almost all hammocks are made of nylon, so I would imagine any of the hammocks from the well respected manufacturers would be good for a year or two of continuous use, with proper care.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
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  6. #6
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    The biggest issue you will face is the UV damage from sun exposure. There is no way to get around that. It is the nature of the beast. So if you are planning to leave the hammock up all day whilst you monitor the feeding habits of the river piranha week after week you can expect the fabric to fail sooner than if you take it down each morning and stow it in the dark.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  7. #7
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Most failures occur from negligence. Dragging it on the ground, packing sharp instruments against it, sticks, etc. The one I hear the most is that someone left a stake in their pocket and sat down in the hammock.
    I have an indoor hammock with at least a hundred nights on it. Going strong.

    As for your mildew question- The fabric will dry quickly and allowing the hammock to breath free as you make breakfast is usually sufficient to dry up any "body moisture". Never pack wet gear away for extended periods (days or weeks). Once your home from a trip, hang and inspect, allow it to dry completely and then store it away. Hand wash as necessary, and hang dry.

  8. #8
    canoebie's Avatar
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    I have a claytor that I have hung in more nights than not for three plus years and it is still going strong. The zipper seems a little wonky (technical term my wife uses) I suspect it will need replacing eventually. UV and moisture are the biggest threats, shade and drying will help prevent those things from damaging. I think tents are much more susceptable to wear and tear because of being on the ground with grit, moisture, sand, etc.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member hippofeet's Avatar
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    I had a diy nylon ripstop single layer that stayed outside in pine trees for a couple months. It saw some hard use from kids, a dog, and large drunk people using it as a swing. It finally ripped from a monster windstorm blowing it into branches. The only problems I have had are with poor suspension choices, and poor sewing on my part. I have been pleasantly surprised at the durability of the lightweight nylon. I would not hesitate to head out for any length of time, and plan on having a functional hammock. And a small repair kit goes a long way, just in case.
    An emergency of my own making...is still an emergency.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I still hike with the hammock I used on my 2008 AT hike. It is far from pretty these days, but I still trust it completely. I've switched out the suspension a number of times, but most of the switches have been a result of boredom more than need. However, I do agree that the suspensions are going to be the weak points of the system so I check them for wear on a regular basis. Some webbing holds up better than others, but in general, I'd say a suspension should last a year under heavy use without failing. After that, I'd rather be safe than sorry and change out the suspension.
    Trust nobody!

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