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  1. #1
    Senior Member dammfast's Avatar
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    Question Best first hammock

    I am new to hanging. I actually have had a GT ultralight for about a year and slept in it twice. I do not do a lot of hiking or backpack camping. I do a lot of camping with the family and I am not new to outdoor living.

    What I am wondering is what would be a good fairly low cost starter setup? I will be using this setup once or twice a year during our boundary waters trip to northern Minnesota. Is is slightly an issue on these trip as anything that you want to bring in has to be portaged, hauled from lake to lake. But, Most of the time the packs are in the canoe and weight would not be an issue. This past year on our trip I brought my GT to use as a chair and to relax while reading. I did not intend to sleep in it. The campsite that we found had NO soil it was bare rock and the first night I was miserable. On the second night I had put down an layer of pine needles to act as a cushion, it was only slightly better. On the third night I had just figured on another restless night. After waking up several times I finally decided that I would just get up and read until the others got up @4:30. I pulled my bag and pad out to the hammock and don't remember much as I fell asleep almost immediately. I didn't wake up until almost 10:00 After that I was hooked.

    As my GT has no netting I was forced to start out each night in my tent until the swarms of mosquitos had subsided. Now I am ready for the next step hammock with a net and decent tarp. Any Ideas? I should mention that I did notice the ridge of fabric under my calf in my GT.

    I am 5'10" 190 muscular, side sleeper

  2. #2
    Senior Member dammfast's Avatar
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    I should probably mention that I currently have an inflatable sleeping pad that I would probably use to start out. The old down coat would never survive a trip to the great north. That and the coat isn't near big enough to cover me outdoors.

  3. #3
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Since you require bug-net....I can vouch for the Warbonnet Blackbird. Bug-net is way up off of the face and not by your ears.
    Maybe make your own........http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeHammock.html
    Other than that there are many a hammock with bug-netting...Hennessy, GT Skeeter Beeter, Switchback, Clark...))))))))
    Shug
    Last edited by Shug; 12-19-2011 at 10:50.
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



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  4. #4
    Senior Member olzeke's Avatar
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    I bought a Black Bird double layer as my first hammock, and have not needed to upgrade. I still use a pad between layers, and a down sleeping bag opened up to a quilt for a top layer. I already owned 2 Western mountaineering bags, so I saw no need to buy a quilt, yet. The weight savings just is not sufficient to offset the cost so far.

    I like the net, the footbox, and the shelf. I still carry a small piece of tyvek in case of a need to go to ground with the hammock (used like a bug bivy), and I use it folded up as a door mat to the hammock. Makes a nice place for the shoes.

  5. #5
    Cali's Avatar
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    I agree with Shug, I don't own a Blackbird, but I plan on it one day. I have a Hennessey DJ and Explorer Ultralight, and Clark NX-250. I love them, but want to try the WBBB because of the footbox and shelf, and the popularity on this forum. I know it has to be a good hammock setup since so many HF folks own one.

    Do lots of research and go to a couple hangs to check out what others have, and I am sure most folks will let you try out their setups so you can find out what you really like and what is best for you. Don't spend your money until you know what will fit you best.
    I wish I had done that.
    Happy Hangin!!!


    AKA BajaHanger

    You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. -Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dammfast View Post
    ... I actually have had a GT ultralight for about a year and slept in it twice...

    What I am wondering is what would be a good fairly low cost starter setup?

    Now I am ready for the next step hammock with a net and decent tarp. Any Ideas? I should mention that I did notice the ridge of fabric under my calf in my GT.
    Welcome off the ground and into the comfort of suspended snoring.
    Grand Trunk makes good gear at a modest price. I have used several of their hammocks and like much about them. The GT UL also gives me calf ridge issues so you are not alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Since you require bug-net....I can vouch for the Warbonnet Blackbird. Bug-net is way up off of the face and not by your ears.
    Maybe make your own
    +1 on the WBBB. The most economical way may be to make a bug net, but you'll still have your calf discomfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by olzeke View Post
    I bought a Black Bird double layer as my first hammock, and have not needed to upgrade. I still use a pad between layers, and a down sleeping bag opened up to a quilt for a top layer.
    Like many others, I can't say enough good about the Blackbird. My family has several. It's comfortable, will fit your needs as you've described them and you'll not likely need to upgrade (I can't think of any I have tried that are beter for me anyway.)

    Since you are using a pad, the double layer is a great way to go.

    One other possibility to consider is the Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro. It is in my opinion the BEST starter camping hammock I've ever tried. It is much roomier (= more comfortable) than the UL. The netting requires a seperate line but no big deal. It is a top entry, side zip with pullouts if you want to really open it up. Best part is it is about 1/2 the price of the Blackbird.

    You won't go wrong with either and if only using it a couple of times a year, I'd go Skeeter Beeter Pro. If you plan to spend lot's of time hanging, the Blackbird is the choice due to it's superior quality and workmanship.

    Either can be sold pretty easily on here if you try one and want to change your mind.

  7. #7
    Member joker's Avatar
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    my first rig consisted of the gt as well.. as for the bug net i went and got the eno guardian bugnet, its well worth the price plus you have the option of having a netless hammock, as for a tarp you could jsut go to harbor freit and get a 10x10 tarp and use that... i dotn usually use anything under me in the summer but in the colder months yes for sure you need a pad or an underquilt

    happy hanging

  8. #8
    Senior Member dammfast's Avatar
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    Thanks guys

    You confirmed what I was thinking already. UncleMJM the amount of use is causing me much self torture. I would like to say that I would use it a lot but my wife is not a roughing it kind of camper and my kids aren't old enough yet so for a couple of years it will probably only get used twice a year. Once midsummer and once later fall. As I would be using this in a canoe camping sort of way weight is not really an issue.

    Does anybody know if the skeeter beeter has the same calf ridge issue as the GT ultra?

  9. #9
    Two Tents's Avatar
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    You could try different angles for the hang on the GT UL and get it more 'dialed in'. You might try an adjustable ridge line too so you can get a consistent hang. Go to the Grand Trunk threads and read up on how to use it the best. Just sayin it may be worth a back yard hang and fiddle until you get used to setting it up for your best hang. Even a rough night in a hammock beats layin in the dirt.
    I like refried beans. That's why I wanna try fried beans, because maybe they're just as good and we're just wasting time. You don't have to fry them again after all.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dammfast's Avatar
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    I did quite a bit of playing in my basement, I have two support pole 14 foot apart in my unfinished basement that I could hang from. While playing and sleeping, napping I would increase and decrease the angle. I even made a whoopie ridge line out of some old poly I had around. I did succeed in reducing the calf ridge but still noticed it. It may be a case of knowing it is there making it bigger. At any rate I want to move to a hammock that I can sleep outdoors in northern Minnesota in. It will need a bug net or I may not survive the night.

    Keep em coming guys the more links and input the better. One can never be too well informed.

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