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  1. #21
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Wow no need to carry a pad. Think she's ever winter camped in a hammock.
    Summer, Spring or fall for that matter.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  2. #22
    Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nogods View Post
    BP Magazine will apparently publish anything. They have a "Gear Expert" column in which "Gear Chick" Christian Hostter dispenses her "expert advice" - here are two of her recent vomits:

    Her first irritating answer:

    Q.} Dear Kristin, I want to start going ultralight. I've looked at tarps and bivy sacks but what do you think about hammocks? They look nice, but do they really work?
    Submitted by:

    A.} The thing about hammocks is that you have to find trees that will cooperate. In other words they have to be the correct distance apart (approximately 10-25 feet depending on the model) and strong enough to support you. In reality, I find this a bit tough. Tougher, that is, than finding a relatively flat piece of ground to pitch a tent on. But if you typically hike in forests that offer plenty of hammock-friendly trees, hammocks can be wicked comfortable. And they eliminate the need to carry a sleeping pad.

    My Comments: First, for those of us who hike where there are trees it is way more difficult to find a flat piece of ground not strewn with rocks or roots to pitch a tent. Second, I doubt the person who wrote the question was asking about using a hammock where there are no tress,unles he or she is mentally challenged ("hey Christian, I'm thinking of camping above treeline, what hammock should I use?). Third, we can all tell from her answer that she has never ever used a hammock for camping.

    Her second know-nothing reply:

    Q.} I bought a pair of Swiss Gear poles from Wal-Mart for $17.00 just to see if I liked using them and have been very satisfied. I learned I do like using the poles and I've seen much more expensive ones in my local outdoor shop. What's the difference? Should I step up and buy the pricier ones? Thanks
    Submitted by: Mike

    A.}
    Since you've already made the investment and the poles are working for you, why bother? Drive your Wal-Mart specials into the ground, then re-invest when they konk out. The price difference comes down to two things: materials and features. Chances are, your poles have plastic grips, which get sweaty and are less comfortable to grasp than the rubber or cork handles on pricier models.

    Also, I'd bet that your poles don't collapse. I always pack poles on my trips, but since I sometimes like to have my hands free, I always use poles that shrink down to a couple feet or so. This allows me to strap them onto the side of my pack or stuff them in a duffel for airport travel. Shock absorbers are another feature that bump up the price. Some people like the feel of walking with spring-loaded poles, but I don't really feel the difference. My perfect pole: lightweight collapsible aluminum ones with cushy, contoured rubber grips and adjustable wrist straps.

    My comment: I bought a pair of those swis gear hiking poles from Wal-mart last year. They have cork grips, adjutable hand straps, shock absobers and collaspe - just like the $80/pair of leki's I own, but they only cost $10 per pole. So Christian loses the bet. I'll bet Wal-mart doesn't advertise in BP Magazine.
    This chick obviously has no clue what whe's talking about. Kinda hard to dispense so-called "expert advice" when you're not an expert on the subject which you're advising. I'd relly like to see BP mag pull its head out of its butt the next time they try to tell folks about the advantages, joys and wonder of hammocking, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  3. #23
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    [I]
    Those poles are not the equal to the higher priced poles in terms of weight, but they are very serviucable and function just like the big boys.
    I borrowed & used a set of the $10.00 trekking poles from wal-mart for a year or so.
    My biggest complaint was that you had to be careful not to put full weight on them or they would slide/shorten, even if i had them as tight as i dared tighten them.
    But other than that, they did OK... just didn't have that same feel as a nicer set<G>.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  4. #24
    Senior Member mataharihiker's Avatar
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    We had quite an exchange with some of us in the Clark Yahoo groups forums and Kristin Hostetter...I am copying and pasting one of her emails to us below...I explains who the testers were...I got this back at the end of April/beginning of May


    ************************************************** ******

    From: Kristin Hostetter, Backpacker Gear Editor and Shannon Davis,
    Backpacker Associate Editor

    From the title of our magazine, it's evident from what perspective we
    view the world. We're backpackers and within that realm, sleeping in
    a hammock is just one of many ways to camp. They're shelters, and so
    are tents, bivies, and tarps.

    Contrary to Clark's Yahoo forum posting, we haven't ignored hammocks
    as a legitimate shelter option for a decade—we review them from time
    to time and keep them updated in our online Gear Finder. But,
    compared to other shelters, yeah, they don't see the same amount of
    ink. The reason is simple: the vast majority of our readership
    sleeps in tents, and thereby those shelters get the most play. Tents
    also have far more versatility, styles, sizes, and manufacturers.

    Clark's comments and call to action was made without ever having read
    our review (which won't even be on the stands until 5/12). They were
    made within minutes after one email exchange and zero phone
    conversations.

    Had Clark asked a few more questions or picked up the phone, he would
    have discovered that our review is not of the "best 4 camping
    hammocks brands" as his posting indicated. In fact, it isn't even
    strictly a hammock review. It's a small roundup of lightweight
    shelters including bivies, tarps, and hammocks. There will be three
    products in the magazine and three more in an online version. The
    title is "Shelters Plus: These 3 shelters do more than keep you
    dry". From the title, you'll gather that the shelters in the review
    have multiple uses or functionality.

    Here's how our testing went in regard, specifically, to the hammocks:
    We called in and tested over a dozen hammocks and field-tested them
    in a variety of conditions over an eight-month period. Our test-group
    used them on trips ranging from two-days to two-weeks in
    Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Tennessee, North Carolina,
    Colorado, and West Virginia.

    Regarding the experience of our test-group: We had six testers, male
    and female, living in different regions of the country. One was a
    highly experienced hammock-camper having section-hiked much of the AT
    with a hammock. One was not keen on hammocks at all (this test was a
    failed attempt to convert him). The other four were among our most
    discriminating shelter testers. All six have a wealth of backcountry
    experience, ranging from summiting Denali to bike-touring across the
    country to knocking down huge sections of long trail. Two were former
    Outward Bound instructors. Three have had other types of professional
    guiding jobs… you get the idea.

    Clark and many of the people who have contacted us based on his call
    to action, have expressed dismay that we used "testers far less
    experienced than our (Clark's) customers." We feel that this is a
    pretty ridiculous statement, and reflects a misunderstanding of how
    an impartial product review works. Getting Clark customers to test
    hammocks would be preaching to the choir. The key point is this: We
    don't choose our testers based on the product, we use experienced
    wilderness experts to see if products make sense for serious
    wilderness experiences.

    In fact, in the opening description of a separate Yahoo Group forum
    on hammock camping, it says "Whether you are car camping or heading
    into the deep wilderness, you may never sleep on the ground again!
    Thousands of happy campers have switched already; what are you
    waiting for?" That is exactly the perspective from which we entered
    into this test: to see if hammocks work well and provide comfort in
    the variety of conditions that we—and our readers--face. As a whole,
    we feel they did not.

    After the testing period, we got two main complaints about hammock
    camping in general from the majority of our test group: 1.) The
    curved sleeping position was uncomfortable and not easy to adapt to.
    2.) Testers slept colder than in traditional shelters like tents.

    So the hammocks we chose to feature either had a more horizontal
    and "flat" sleeping position allowing for back, side, and belly
    sleepers; had multiple uses (designed specifically to be pitched as a
    ground shelter or rigged as a hammock); or had a stellar under-side
    insulation system.

    Only one hammock in our test had catastrophic durability problems,
    and it wasn't a Clarks. There were no fatal design, construction, or
    material flaws in the Clarks hammocks we tested. In fact, most
    testers were quite impressed with its engineering, though as
    mentioned earlier, we chose to feature hammocks that more effectively
    negated our test-groups two main beefs.

    Hopefully, addresses everyone's concerns. We encourage you to log
    onto our website, backpacker.com and respond to the story when it
    gets posted (some time in mid to late May).

    ************************************************** **

    I, for one, am thankful there are not all that many converts to hammock camping...leaves more tree for me!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    I borrowed & used a set of the $10.00 trekking poles from wal-mart for a year or so.
    My biggest complaint was that you had to be careful not to put full weight on them or they would slide/shorten, even if i had them as tight as i dared tighten them.
    But other than that, they did OK... just didn't have that same feel as a nicer set<G>.
    I had a similar experince. And to a much lesser extent I had that same problem with my leki's. Last year I bought a set of the black diamond with the cam locks and I've eliminated the problem

    If the so-called gear expert Kristian Hostetter had brought up that point I would have no beef with her review. instead, she pontificated facts about the features of the walmart poles that were completely false.

    She did what I call "puke spewing" - saying something she didn't whether it was true or not becuse she thinks people expect her to know the answer and she is too insecure to admit that she simply dosen't know the answer.

    My clients ask me questions all the time expecting me to know the answer when in fact I don't. I simply reply "I don't know, would you like me to research it?"

    Hostetter showd in that one reply that what she says is not necessarily based on knowledge. That alone is suffcient to question everything she says because you can never know whether she is "puke spewing" or speaking from knowledge unless you already know the answer. In which case you would never have need to seek her so-called expert opinion.

  6. #26
    Senior Member rigidpsycho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mataharihiker View Post
    I, for one, am thankful there are not all that many converts to hammock camping...leaves more tree for me!
    That is exactly whaT I told the associate editor I have been conversing with about the same thing.
    Chris

  7. #27
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    The reason is simple: the vast majority of our readership
    sleeps in tents, and thereby those shelters get the most play. Tents
    also have far more versatility, styles, sizes, and manufacturers.
    title is "Shelters Plus: These 3 shelters do more than keep you
    dry". From the title, you'll gather that the shelters in the review
    have multiple uses or functionality.
    Multiple uses or functionality indicates versatility to me. A hammock system is inherently versitile when you carry a pad because now you could use a "tent site" or hang.

    We feel that this is a pretty ridiculous statement, and reflects a misunderstanding of how an impartial product review works. Getting Clark customers to test hammocks would be preaching to the choir.
    One was a highly experienced hammock-camper having section-hiked much of the AT with a hammock. One was not keen on hammocks at all (this test was a failed attempt to convert him).
    I think if they were truely concerned about the impartiality of reviewers, they would have left out these two testers. Especially Grumpy McGee...

    After the testing period, we got two main complaints about hammock
    camping in general from the majority of our test group: 1.) The
    curved sleeping position was uncomfortable and not easy to adapt to.
    2.) Testers slept colder than in traditional shelters like tents.
    I know I am "preaching to the choir" here, but this is the reason more knowledgeable testers are likely to get more realistic results. There isn't a forum dedicated to hammock camping, where hundreds of us talk about using our hammocks in conditions ranging from near-blizzard to monsoon like rainstorms because we like to be uncomfortable and cold.

    Hammock camping is kind of like riding a motorcycle. It takes a bit of precision and in the wrong hands, it could be disastorous. Tents are more like a school bus, or something...
    Last edited by Narwhalin; 05-31-2008 at 09:58.

  8. #28
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    "...and field-tested them
    in a variety of conditions over an eight-month period. Our test-group
    used them on trips ranging from two-days to two-weeks in
    Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Hampshire, Tennessee, North Carolina,
    Colorado, and West Virginia."

    only one western (mountain) state? ok, I say, fair enough. But then there's this:

    "...expressed dismay that we used "testers far less
    experienced than our (Clark's) customers. We feel that this is a
    pretty ridiculous statement"

    but then she adds this?!

    "One was not keen on hammocks at all (this test was a
    failed attempt to convert him)."

    she continues... "After the testing period, we got two main complaints about hammock
    camping in general from the majority of our test group: 1.) The
    curved sleeping position was uncomfortable and not easy to adapt to."

    but wait...

    "In fact, most
    testers were quite impressed with its (the clark's) engineering, though as
    mentioned earlier, we chose to feature hammocks that more effectively
    negated our test-groups two main beefs."

    so how many of you Clark users sleep like a banana?
    (oh, but wait, you're not as qualified as the other guy(s))
    maybe you should trade your far more popular Clark for a Lawson, of which I have not even seen much discussion on the site that specializes in hammocks and their uses...

    this woman doesnt deserve a job sweeping the floor of WalMart much less writing for a medium that professes its all-knowingness of the gear industry and its uses. Bah Humbug.
    Last edited by te-wa; 05-31-2008 at 09:57.

  9. #29
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Would you send people out to test tents, biviys, or tarps that didn't know how to properly use them, including how to select a proper site?
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    Would you send people out to test tents, biviys, or tarps that didn't know how to properly use them, including how to select a proper site?
    Exactly! Right on point, slowhike!

    I also would like to add, reading her analysis was like a lesson in BS 101. That is why she is so self-contradictory...

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