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Thread: How to start?

  1. #1
    Member Datahiker's Avatar
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    How to start?

    I'm a long time backpacker and have never used a hammock but it just makes so much sense! I backpack in New York, which means lots of hills and plenty of trees to hang a hammock on. I just finished section hiking the Finger Lakes Trail, which goes from Allegany to the Catskills.

    I'm sure different preferences have led to a lot of opinions about which hammocks people like. I've been doing research on all the makes and models and modifications and I'm a little overwhelmed with all the information out there. I'm really struggling with a choice because a) I've always been a strong side sleeper and b) I'm not looking to break the bank on an initial set up. There isn't much in the way of local camping stores so I can't try them out first either. I also can't figure out if I want to get something commercial like a Clark or Hennessy, or piece together a hammock, tarp and bug net. I'm handy enough, especially with some instructions, but I don't have much free time. I have no inclination at this point to do any winter camping, so a three-season set up would be fine. I'm 6' and 170 lbs. if that helps. Any advice would be appreciated, even if it's conflicting.

  2. #2
    Moderator raiffnuke's Avatar
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    Welcome to HF from Mass.

  3. #3
    dragon360's Avatar
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    Welcome to the HF from Canada! I have a few setups myself but I found my best approach was to spend a little time researching and piece together a sytem. It may be from the same vendor but I found understanding my needs and filling this with appropriate gear was a bit more expensive than i wanted (especially to start) but was worth it.
    However, I have friends who have started with a Grand Trunk UL from Amazon for under $20 and simply added a few pieces through vendor sales and sales on HF to piece together a great setup.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Datahiker View Post
    I'm a long time backpacker and have never used a hammock but it just makes so much sense! I backpack in New York, which means lots of hills and plenty of trees to hang a hammock on. I just finished section hiking the Finger Lakes Trail, which goes from Allegany to the Catskills.

    I'm sure different preferences have led to a lot of opinions about which hammocks people like. I've been doing research on all the makes and models and modifications and I'm a little overwhelmed with all the information out there. I'm really struggling with a choice because a) I've always been a strong side sleeper and b) I'm not looking to break the bank on an initial set up. There isn't much in the way of local camping stores so I can't try them out first either. I also can't figure out if I want to get something commercial like a Clark or Hennessy, or piece together a hammock, tarp and bug net. I'm handy enough, especially with some instructions, but I don't have much free time. I have no inclination at this point to do any winter camping, so a three-season set up would be fine. I'm 6' and 170 lbs. if that helps. Any advice would be appreciated, even if it's conflicting.

    Welcome to the madness. Check out Shug's videos and if you want check out my site as well I put together a break down of hammock camping in various areas:

    www.watermonkey.net

    my best,

    Raul
    (Water Monkey)
    "If you give a monkey a gun and he shoots someone, you dont blame the monkey"

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    http://watermonkey.net/

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    http://www.youtube.com/user/RaulPerez1?feature=mhee

  5. #5
    New Member njenkins's Avatar
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    +1 on checking out Shug's videos. And you can't go wrong trying the Grand Trunk Ultralight initially. The price point is perfect for someone just checking them out. Be aware, some larger members here have found issues with the GT UL tho. I am 6'1" and have had no problems personally. Welcome to HF and good luck finding that perfect hang, once you do you won't go back to the ground... Except maybe for nostalgic reasons.

  6. #6
    Member crazy_dave's Avatar
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    Suspension: For me, I’ve found that webbing and rings will rise to any occasion in my area (outside Rochester NY). Fairly light, easily adjustable, No length limit, and can be quickly transferred from hammock to hammock.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Gaberloonzie's Avatar
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    What they said!

    Welcome aboard!

  8. #8
    olddog's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard from Florida. Sounds like you have the winter to do some investigation before making a "Final" decision. Might as well start with the knowledge that nothing involving hammocks is "Final". Enjoy the fun!
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  9. #9
    Banned
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    You can also check to see if anyone is hammock camping in your area, there is a map of people's locations, to see if you could check out their setup.

  10. #10
    New Member androidm's Avatar
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    I'm a side sleeper as well and have wondered what hammock is best for us. I'm guessing a flat lay style bridge hammock. Any thoughts on that part of his question.

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