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  1. #21
    Senior Member elcolombianito's Avatar
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    I "began" hammock camping by buying a Clark NA. Few days after that i got a hennessy expedition asym. Both were great compared to sleeping on the ground, or even most beds I normally encounter while traveling. The few people i know who rather sleep on the ground, no matter if not comfortable, are those who get dizzy easily. The hammock will swing you around a bit (not too much if in a hh or diy hammock with side guys) so you might feel some... nausea i think is the word.

    Now concerning the hammock:
    The clark (or any top loader) i think is a nice option when migrating from the ground, but if not sure of the money spending, get a Claytor or a DD travel, which IMO look like the "not so expensive" versions of the clark.
    Have you considered a Hennessy Hammock? The main difference would be the loading system: hh is a bottom entry/loading system, the clark's is the same as in most hammocks, top entry. I guess the top entry is better suited for people used to tent camping where pad (if in cold weather) and sleeping bag are easily arranged and then you sit and lay on them, then close the zippered netting.
    From what Ive read in these forums, many people who begin with hh change to a Diy top loader verion of the hensessy hammock, or to the Clark/Claytor top loader type hammocks. Others just have many different hammocks for different situations.
    I began with a top loader and ended with a hh (After using the hh i never used the clark again) and im now thinking of getting the ultralight explorer model. Im also thinking of a small zipper mod for the netting on the hh just to have access to things outside the hammock from within the hammock. the hh entry hasn't been a problem for me (except for a few velcro scratches and "outside access") and I find use of top entry hammocks just a little bit easier when using a pad and a lot easier for access to things outside the hammock. Maybe a mod to put pockets on the hh as the clark would also be nice, at least for muddy boots.
    So I hope my experience helps you.
    Last edited by elcolombianito; 07-09-2008 at 14:38.

  2. #22
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    Tam!!!

    Wow, i am very grateful that so many of you are taking the time to post a treasure trove of helpful advice, opinions and info.

    I'm swamped right now but I shall reply to all of your posts this evening (Lord willing).

    Peace,

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

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarStar View Post
    1Tripod,

    Only three reasons to opt for a hammock:

    1. comfort,
    2. comfort, and
    3. comfort.
    I was afraid you'd say that. [chuckle]

    Unfortunately the only for me to decide if I agree w/u is to buy one and then learn how to use it.

    Which is probably what i'll end up doing.

    Peace,

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

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toothless View Post
    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:
    I don't know anyone who hangs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toothless View Post
    Drop my weight from an already lightweight tent to a Speer w/tarp
    Please don't misunderstand me .... I am sure that some shelters are easily outdone by some hammocks. In my case my fave shelter is a Gatewood Cape from sixmoondesigns.com, (i have many shelters). With guylines and six carbon fiber titaniumgoat.com stakes it's about 14oz.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toothless View Post
    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
    Very good point!

    Quote Originally Posted by Toothless View Post
    Always guaranteed of a spot at camp (I usually hike with 6 or more and tent space can become a premium)
    IMH and inexperienced Opinion I see it as even because I camp in a wide assortment of environments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toothless View Post
    Set up time for the hammock beats my tent, hands down... to mention a few reasons.
    Please feel free to list them. I did write that I wanted to stick to discussing one issue at a time but now that I read all of your replies I realize it was a silly thing to ask. Ie; we're dealing with a system and should look at a hammock based system in its totality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toothless View Post
    I've set up in the rain and taken down in the rain with little moisture problems- try that with a tent.
    Not a problem with most of my shelters. Specially the Gatewood Cape.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toothless View Post
    If you hike in a treeless region...then...never mind!
    Well, that's a point i've often heard mentioned. But I plan my gear around my hikes. Not the other way around. [chuckle] Seriously, I have many shelters for varied conditions. My only 4 season, all terrain shelter is a big heavy Mountain Hardwear tent ..... which I almost never use.

    I am not loathe to add still another special purpose shelter. But it would be nice if it were useful in a treeless environment. I think some hammock designs might do in a pinch .... right?

    Peace,

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

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood View Post
    I think hammocks have their place as does tarps and tents.
    Horses for courses? Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood View Post
    Not only will the type of weather influence which shelter system looks best,
    As listed in my profile, i'm looking for a hammock to use as following:

    "Usual weather: Temperature extremes range (app) from 30F to well over 100F. Lots of rain but I try to avoid it. Winds seldom higher than 20 mph sustained.

    Terrain: Yeeeup, you guessed it .... BTDT. Including lots of bushwhacking (ie; cross country, trail-less route finding)."

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood View Post
    but also the physical landscape.
    Not overly concerned because I always plan my hikes based on terrain (and expected weather conditions, but the weather is more difficult to predict in some areas).

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood View Post
    It takes trees with the right spacing that you can reach around to easily hang hammocks.
    Now this does worry me. Please forgive my ignorance but if I want to make sure that I don't wind up on the ground, don't I have to take longer lines/cord (and re) adding to the claimed weight? And doesn't that incur added complexity, hassle, etc?

    E.g. I am so familiar with my shelters that I don't need to worry about camptime. Nor need to take extra gear .... just in case murphy rears his ugly head. I hope that this will also apply if I learn how to use a Hammock properly. But that could take quite some time making it difficult (if not impossible) to return it if I don't like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood View Post
    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.
    Yes. Wind. Worrisome.

    I haven't read much. A few vague references to wind problems when winds exceed 20mph, or so. Will I have to add additional cord, etc, to stabilize an OEM hammock if it's very windy? And being blown around in 20+ mph winds .... isn't that bothersome?

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngblood View Post
    But, you can hang in places that keep you out of the wind where you couldn't use a tarp or tent.
    True but then again if one has the time, etc, to find a sheltered place to hang .... one has the time to pick a good spot for a ground shelter. And none of my shellters suffer from wind created instability problems.

    The prob in this context arises from the fact that I can easily plan for terrain. I can, with greater difficulty, plan for tree spacing. But I can't plan for inclement weather (ie; very windy) without .... *presumably* .... bringing along more gear than i'd need w/a ground shelter.

    Peace,

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

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    My move to hammock was mandated by mobility issues. I have trouble getting up off the ground.
    I've seen a few videos which make it look easy with top loaders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    I could choose to stay home but decided not to take that option.
    Good for you!!!

    That is not an option until the day I die. And I pray it happens outdoors while doing what I love best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    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.
    I couldn't do likewise w/o giving up hiking in the desert (for example). But I don't mind owning multiple special purpose shelters.

    I'm also not worried about a large learning curve. I'm known for my tenacity (iow; stubborn, bullheaded, etc [jk]). What I don't want to do is end up having to get rid off a perfectly good shelter because I think it's more trouble than it's worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    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.
    Thx for the compliment!

    I do know it was a poor choose of words. But I wanted to make it clear that I am receptive to your advise and opinions.

    Peace,

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

  7. #27
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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.
    Thank you. I have looked around JJ's site and have it bookmarked. I'm now at the stage where I will continue to visit websites and learn from the wealth of info available.

    Unfortunately, I am also at the point where I suffer from TMI and the "...tyranny of choice." [chuckle]

    Seriously, I think i've decided on one of two possible hammocks. I'm just not entirely convinced (yet) it's worth the risk.

    Which is why i've turned to you for advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    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.
    Please don't think me argumentative but I won't learn if I don't question statements which I do not wholly agree with.

    I have a nice selection of pads. My fave pad (for general use) is a Big Agnes Clearview. Packs very small. But it seems that it will be inadequate for my purposes if I use a hammock and that I shall need additional insulation. Ergo; i'll end up with more, bulkier and heavier gear than I now use.

    Now, it *may* be worth it .... but??? Dunno. [shrug]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    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.
    You may not believe it but in decades of camping i've never had a problem finding a site level enough to camp comfortably enough. I do think that as a general rule of thumb you're right .... because a hammock should be more versatile in the woods. And I looove versatility!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    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.
    That *is* an added plus. Definitely!

    Peace,

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

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooch View Post
    If you ask me, the weight penalty, if there is one, is far offset by the comfort you gain.
    For me there is definitely a large weight penalty. Please note that I am not a "gram weenie" in the usual sense. The main reason I look for LTW alternatives is so that I may take "comfort" (ie; luxury) related items and remain within a reasonable (for me) total weight.

    E.g. I use a camp chair. 17oz as modded by yours truly. Rugged and cushy and therefore much heavier than other alternatives. In this case I won't loose weight by trying to use a hammock as a substitute because most of the time I use the chair under conditions inappropriate for hanging.

    As written in my profile: "Fave shelter and sleep system weighs app 54 oz all inclusive (note; also includes raingear). Warm, dry and very, very comfortable under all above listed weather & terrain conditions."

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooch View Post
    I went from a tent to a hammock and dropped weight in my sleep setup.
    I dare say that would apply to the vast majority of people out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooch View Post
    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.
    I like quick and painless. I mostly use floorless shelters because I can have a bomber set up w/my custom built, three man, plus all our gear, Mountain Laurel Designs Spinnaker Mid (23oz as customized) in a couple of minutes.

    Hanging appears to be more complex. Probably OK after one learns more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooch View Post
    Good luck on your decision, we hope it's the right one to lead you to the Dark Side.
    Thank you.

    I guess I should just buy one and risk it. It's not a great deal of money even after HIS both ways and re-stocking fees but I hate to throw away money.

    Peace,

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

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by S3ymour View Post
    Weight isn't an issue, unless you are extreme ultralight camper, even then you are only gaining a few ounces.
    I repeat: I do *not* want to sound argumentative but that is simply not true for the hammock systems I am considering (clark and JRJ).

    I do *not* consider myself an "extreme" ultra lighter. In fact some of my gear choices are much heavier than the *average* light weight hiker would use. Let alone an average extreme LTW hiker would choose.

    E.g. I mostly use Luxulylite.com trekking poles; with 5 pieces (ea) at 22oz per pair of poles. Almost as heavy as Leki Super Makalu AS PA poles.

    Quote Originally Posted by S3ymour View Post
    The only challenge to overcome is temperatures, which can be done with sleeping pads, underquilts, peapods, or weathersheilds.
    Briefly: 30F to 110F air temps. So, a hammock would be much more weight when cold and possibly much harder to keep cool than my present fave system. Which is most definitely *not* an extreme UL shelter system.

    Those facts alone make it hard for me to swallow the LTW myth. And make me question the comfort myth as well.

    IOW; for temperate conditions a hammock may be very LTW (but not lighter than a grounded system) but for the conditions I listed in my profile .... I remain unconvinced.

    Please don't think me harsh because I refer to myths. I can't think of a more polite term right now. As always, i remain open minded and willing to accept correction gracefully and gratefully!

    Quote Originally Posted by S3ymour View Post
    So many options to solve a single problem.
    That I can see already. Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by S3ymour View Post
    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.
    Congrats. I've always admired DIYers.

    Quote Originally Posted by S3ymour View Post
    I just finished making my own hammock, snakeskins, tarp, gear hammock, and now I'm working on an underquilt.
    Admiration assured yet set aside momentarily .... you're an example of what worries me and why I use the word myth. Forgive my ignorance but gosh .... that sounds like an awful lot of stuff. Heavy, complex .... stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by S3ymour View Post
    Whatever you decide good luck
    Thank you I really appreciate your kindness.

    Peace,

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

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    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.
    Gosh LW I am very grateful that you replied in detail. Coming from you I feel blessed. I mean it. I know you don't often choose to reply in depth.

    I assure you your time and experienced advice do not fall on deaf ears.

    Unfortunately I cannot borrow one (never known a hanger, ever), and am loathe to buy one on pure spec.

    The hammock on my porch is very nice but not similar enough to the two brands i'm considering to be helpful. I do like swinging in it (come on, who doesn't). As for the rest .... i've addressed in other posts (above). With the exception of sharing space within a shelter. You've actually hit on one reason why I often bring along an extra shelter .... privacy.

    Then again when out with my GF snuggling is niiice. ;-)

    Hmmm, I wonder if she'd like hanging? She dislikes creepy crawlies (nope, she's not a wimp, far from it, very far [chuckle].

    Peace,

    Richard.
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