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  1. #1
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    Summer thru hammock?

    I did half of an AT thru with a tarptent in '02 and I'm gonna be joining friends on a thru hike in about 6 weeks to do the other half. I'm thinking of changing some of my gear around here at the last minute and was considering a hammock.

    I currently have a Western Mountaineering ultra light summer bag (dunno the name, I bought it near the end of my attempted '02 thru and its still in pretty good shape and I often use it as a pseudo quilt), would this work for a hammock?

    Any suggestions on hammocks? I've been reading articles/reviews on various hammocks and its hard to tell the important differences. My biggest concern is something lightweight and easy to set up.

    I'm a side only sleeper so I think a hammock would work a lot better than anything on the ground based on screwing around in them at trail days. I'm also only 5'10 and under 180 pounds so I don't need anything longer or heavy duty.

    The skeeter beater with a tarp seemed like a solid, cheap option. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchfoot View Post
    I did half of an AT thru with a tarptent in '02 and I'm gonna be joining friends on a thru hike in about 6 weeks to do the other half. I'm thinking of changing some of my gear around here at the last minute and was considering a hammock.

    I currently have a Western Mountaineering ultra light summer bag (dunno the name, I bought it near the end of my attempted '02 thru and its still in pretty good shape and I often use it as a pseudo quilt), would this work for a hammock?

    Any suggestions on hammocks? I've been reading articles/reviews on various hammocks and its hard to tell the important differences. My biggest concern is something lightweight and easy to set up.

    I'm a side only sleeper so I think a hammock would work a lot better than anything on the ground based on screwing around in them at trail days. I'm also only 5'10 and under 180 pounds so I don't need anything longer or heavy duty.

    The skeeter beater with a tarp seemed like a solid, cheap option. Thoughts?
    Welcome to the forum.
    You can use your bag quilt style in the hammock. Trying to zip/unzip a bag in a hammock can often be a nightmare. Some have no problems doing this.
    Is that bag gonna be warm enough for you? It is summer but them mountains can still get cold at times as you are aware of I'm sure. As to what hammock/tarp to take, there are so many options. I'll chime in later after others have offered their ideas.
    The learning curve with hammocks is greater than with tents so I advise some serious gear testing before you leave. Check this great site out for sure. www.tothewoods.net/HammockCamping.html
    Last edited by FanaticFringer; 05-26-2008 at 23:52.
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    I bought a skeeter-beeter for my daughter. I like it a lot. The only thing I don't like is the way he bug net is arranged. I am still trying to figure out how to set it up quickly with the spreader bars and the two separate ridgelines for the netting. It's not enuf to keep me from using it or having my daughter use it. It is a nice cozy hammock otherwise. I have not had it in the rain soo I don't have any insights on that as yet.

    My own hammock is an HH Safari. I am a big guy so I like the extra room and the extra weight rating. But you don't need to worry about that.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    That isn't a bad cheap option. Doctari has that and mentioned that the zipper tends to break every 20 or so uses. A pad with your bag isn't a bad option at all.

    If you are willing to spend a little, I don't think you can go wrong with a Speer. I used a DIY version on my thru last year. Lots of nights at the start with bugs. It was nice after they wend away to sit on it like a chair. If you know how to sew it is really easy to make.


    It looks like you are in Athens. I have been doing some overnights out your way. Just got back from Shawnee State Forest last weekend. Hardly anyone around on a holiday weekend. Let me know if you want to meetup for a weekend.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies guys, the idea of using a hammock for this impromptu half a thru is really growing on me. Campmor has the skeeter UL for $40 so I'm thinking of grabbing that to at least screw around with.

    Sewing might be an idea. I did sew the tarptent, though if I made a mistake on the tarpent it wouldn't throw me a few feet to the ground in the middle of the night. Is the kit from speers the preferred DIY method? It would be pretty last minute to sew the tarp and get any experience using it before I hit the trail, but I pretty much did that with the tarptent so maybe that would make for some amusing symmetry.

    I couldn't tell from the description, but does the speers or its DIY kit come with something like those belts the hennessy hammocks use? Those seemed a lot easier to setup and more tree friendly. I don't think the travel hammocks come with them, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be that hard to modify them.

    I think my bag should be warm enough. The WM summer bags are fairly conservatively rated and even after years of use its still usually too warm in the summer time. That's actually one of the big reasons I'm considering a hammock. If I have good bug protection from the hammock I can half lay in my sleeping bag without being eaten alive.

    Hit me up with a PM if you wanna hike sometime Coffee, since my '02 AT experience I've been way too sedentary and I could use any extra conditioning. I did the 15 mi loop at wildcat on memorial day and I was pathetically sore the next day for such mild terrain.

  6. #6
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Patchfoot.. I would recommend modifying the suspension system of the skeeter-beeter if that's what you go with. The stock hanging system is not _bad_ but it is very limiting in my opinion. It provides you with a couple of hanging points unless you tie your own. The modification is the easiest I can imagine. tree straps and rope or the alternate rings/cinch buckles people here use would clip right into the s-hook on the hammock. Then you can hang at any angle of sag you want.

    The skeeter-beeter is not most durable option out there. But then again it ain't the priciest either. I like the one I got for my daughter. I'm going to snarf it sometime and try it out for a night just for kicks and giggles.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  7. #7
    jeffjenn's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Patchfoot;64114]Thanks for the replies guys, the idea of using a hammock for this impromptu half a thru is really growing on me. Campmor has the skeeter UL for $40 so I'm thinking of grabbing that to at least screw around with.

    Patch save yourself a few bucks:
    http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIte...Item=100705441
    http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIte...Item=100705442
    $39.95 shipped if noone else bids.
    Last edited by jeffjenn; 05-28-2008 at 10:03.

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