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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Jul 2008
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    Considering Clark Ultralight & BBM
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    Talk me into hanging

    I've spent many hours over the past few weeks researching hammock camping. I've been unable to decide if I truly want to bother. Or throw away hard earned cash if I don't like hanging. I do have a hammock on my deck at my S. Oregon ranch. I seldom use it although it is comfortable. That's the limit of my experience with hammocks. I've never even seen anyone w/a hammock in decades of hiking!

    Please do not confuse my request for help as coming from someone who has already decided to buy a hammock and is simply looking for reassurance. I am truly undecided. I am *not* looking for an argument!

    WTS; I will mention that the main reason I don't own one (yet?) is the weight penalty. I've noticed that claimed weights and actual weights, given my perceived needs, vary widely! I admit that perhaps I need a paradigm shift. So, let's please discuss weight for now and move on from there if needed.

    TIA for your help.

    Peace,

    Richard.
    To save BW and time please see profile prior to replying. TIA!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    May 2008
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    Issaquah, WA
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    1Tripod,

    Only three reasons to opt for a hammock:

    1. comfort,
    2. comfort, and
    3. comfort.


    You can sleep on the ground under a tarp for less weight than you can hang in a hammock, but you can easily find a hammock system that weighs less than a traditional tent system and not much more than the ground tarp system.

    FarStar

  3. #3
    New Member Toothless's Avatar
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    I too went through the 'debate' stage when moving from tent to hammock also. Being able to try a friend's hammock while on a trip sold me, as well as:

    Drop my weight from an already lightweight tent to a Speer w/tarp

    Never have to set up a tent, thinking I was on level, to find that I was balled into a corner of the tent at 2am

    Always guaranteed of a spot at camp (I usually hike with 6 or more and tent space can become a premium)

    Set up time for the hammock beats my tent, hands down... to mention a few reasons.

    I've set up in the rain and taken down in the rain with little moisture problems- try that with a tent.

    If you hike in a treeless region...then...never mind!
    Toothless

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I think hammocks have their place as does tarps and tents. Not only will the type of weather influence which shelter system looks best, but also the physical landscape.

    It takes trees with the right spacing that you can reach around to easily hang hammocks. Since you are suspended off the ground you can't handle high winds as easily as on the ground so you have to do a better job of staying out of the wind. But, you can hang in places that keep you out of the wind where you couldn't use a tarp or tent.
    Youngblood AT2000

  5. #5
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    My move to hammock was mandated by mobility issues. I have trouble getting up off the ground. I could choose to stay home but decided not to take that option. After I got through the learning curve... which admittedly can be daunting, I would never go back to a tent even if I could just pop up like any non-gimp. But frankly, I am not about to "talk you into hanging" as I am sure you are a adult and able to make your own choices and most likely highly skilled in that process.
    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."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    In case you haven't seen it, http://tothewoods.net/HammockCamping.html is a great reference tool for folks new to hammocks.

    For me, I wanted to swich to hammocks for two reasons:

    1. Many hammockers use an underquilt for their hammocks to provide bottom insulation. These are more compressable than the foam pads I use when I am ground camping. So, I saw an advantage in compactability.

    2. I feel that hammock camping is more versatile than ground camping because you can now select sites without regard to the slope of the ground. Roots and rocks don't matter, either. And, you don't have to go through the process of moving sticks and cleaning up the ground, as you do with ground setups.
    Last edited by Narwhalin; 07-09-2008 at 08:11.

  7. #7
    Hooch's Avatar
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    If you ask me, the weight penalty, if there is one, is far offset by the comfort you gain. I went from a tent to a hammock and dropped weight in my sleep setup. I've dropped more as I've upgraded items in my hammock setup like tarp, underquilt, etc. You can add as much or as little weight to a basic hammock setup as you wish, it all depends on you, how you sleep and what works for you. Good luck on your decision, we hope it's the right one to lead you to the Dark Side.
    "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

  8. #8
    As a recent convert to hanging(the past 6 months), I can say I'll never go back to the ground unless there is nowhere to hang from. Weight isn't an issue, unless you are extreme ultralight camper, even then you are only gaining a few ounces. The only challenge to overcome is temperatures, which can be done with sleeping pads, underquilts, peapods, or weathersheilds. So many options to solve a single problem. Plus with a hammock, its simple to make your own if you don't want to spend a ton of money. Then you get hit with the DIY fever and want to make all of your own equipment. I just finished making my own hammock, snakeskins, tarp, gear hammock, and now I'm working on an underquilt. Whatever you decide good luck

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lone Wolf's Avatar
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    Actions speak louder than words. See if you can borrow a camping hammock and see for your self the pros & cons. Above post are all correct, but everyone is different when it comes to sleeping habits and comfort.

    I converted for the following reasons

    Comfort
    Space
    Weight
    Site availability
    Love swinging in the breeze
    Its my lounging chair after a long day of outdoor fun.
    I dont have to share a tent and all the odors and noises that come with a tent mate.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhalin View Post
    In case you haven't seen it, http://tothewoods.net/HammockCamping.html is a great reference tool for folks new to hammocks.

    For me, I wanted to swich to hammocks for two reasons:

    1. Many hammockers use an underquilt for their hammocks to provide bottom insulation. These are more compressable than the foam pads I use when I am ground camping. So, I saw an advantage in compactability.

    2. I feel that hammock camping is more versatile than ground camping because you can now select sites without regard to the slope of the ground. Roots and rocks don't matter, either. And, you don't have to go through the process of moving sticks and cleaning up the ground, as you do with ground setups.

    I would say go to the above website, buy some dollar bin walmart ripstop, make the hammock that just jeff describes as under ten bucks....you dont even have to hem the edges to test it out. This will be a cheap way to see if it is for you. That is what hooked me. Be cause hanging sure beats laying on the ground!

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