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  1. #31
    MAD777's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    South Florida
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    I remember my first time out. I set my hammock up between two trees just fine. Then realized my tarp wouldn't fit between them as they were too close together. (Lesson learned; set up tarp first).

    Then I pick another pair of trees and attached my straps. I then proceeded toward the second tree, while letting the straps and hammock play out of my Bishop's bag, and was still 3' from the tree when I ran out of slack. (Lesson finally learned; pace off the distance between trees before removing backpack).

    It's no wonder I slept so well that first night. I was dog tired from setting up my hammock!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  2. #32
    Member MadWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Hammock
    ENO DN
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    WB Superfly
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    First off thank you Mrsmileyns for you initial question. I love how a simple question can produce sooooooooo much awesome information and help so many others who may be wondering the same thing.

    As for me, I bought my hammock in 2011 but have only gotten to spend like 12 nights in it. My wife likes to backpack camp with me and with two dogs it just makes much more sense for us to sleep in a tent. However, the cost of spending quality time in the tent with my wife and our two "furry children" is a sore body the next day...even on an Exped 3.5 inch thick pad.
    In those few nights spent hammocking I have gotten progressively more comfortable. Night 1 was cold and I kept sliding down in my ENO DN. Night 1 would have had me second guessing hammock camping had it not been for my pain free body when i awoke. It was worth learning how to get more sleeping comfort and warmth over the past year. This past saturday night was my most recent night spent in it and I slept great...warm into the 40s, dry in the rain, and as always in my hammock, no pain when i woke up. The addition of my DIY ridgeline and DIY UQ have added much comfort. Oh, and hangin the foot end higher. (sounds so counter-intuitive but stops the sliding) As others have said, it is often just test, modify, test again....repeat until....well for me forever....I like the tinkering aspect of Hammock Camping.
    As for Storage, my DIY ridgeline organizer keeps needed items close at hand and my other things just lay under the hammock under my Superfly. A gear bag hung from a ridgeline also sounds like a great and simple idea as well. I also like being able to get into my pack / stuff without having to unzip a tent, crawl in, crawl out, rezip...all while letting bugs and dirt in.

    One additional thing I have noticed is the peace of mind my hammock gives me....Now that I have my comfort figured out and trust my suspension, i Know i will awake rejuvinated. With a tent I am always concerned with rain somehow getting in my tent some way i did not anticipate and eventually getting me or my gear wet....not with my hammock. This past saturday night was my 4th night of our trip and the only night we got rain. This was my first trip using my WB superfly and it performed beautifully thoroughout the 4 hours it rained. Once the rain woke me up, i looked around to see my tarp perfoming properly and fell back asleep worry free. When I woke up me and my gear, even the stuff sitting on the ground, was dry thanks to my tarp and good site selection.

    As shug said, it isn't for everyone but I hope you find the comfort that makes it for you. My setup is ever evolving and to answer your orginial question, I would say by night 3 I was comfortable....by night 12, I was truly cozy, relaxed, content...all together overjoyed with my sleeping experiance...and I owe it all to HF and its members.

  3. #33
    New Member barnabus1898's Avatar
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    May 2012
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    Natchitoches, LA
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    I have to agree with everyone who says "go with what you like". I am discovering something new every time I go out with my hammock, and I'm always finding some new innovation on the forums.

    I CAN'T sleep on the ground, or on a cot, or a mat even. I've never been comfortable with any of those set ups. I prefer sleeping in my hammock to my own bed nowadays, but that's just me. I like being creative, and realize that I can indeed make most of my own gear, and that gives me lots of variety and excitement for the next adventure.

    With all that said, I am still learning the ins and outs of hammocking, but I know that it's something I deeply enjoy. All my friends think I've gone overboard with it, but it's the cheapest and easiest way to enjoy the wilds for me on my time off.

    If you find that you enjoyed tent camping more, and it doesn't feel like hammock camping is as exciting, it may just simply mean that you prefer tent camping. No harm done! Just get out there and enjoy yourself! Really, our quality of life isn't measured by the things that hinder us, but more so by the things that we truly enjoy. If it's within your power to enjoy things more, then you should by all means do so!

  4. #34
    swankfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ringtail-THFKAfood View Post
    Gear storage is easy. Having the right pieces of gear coming out/going into the pack in the correct order takes a bit of technique.

    I measure the tree distance using my trekking poles, then the poles are leaned against the chosen trees.

    The stake/pitch kit is the first item out of my pack. Part of that kit is a line about 20" long that is strung loose between adjacent trees. That line is the temporary storage for insulating coat, under and over quilts. My stake bag is hung from this line. My waterproof map bag is clipped to this storage line.

    The hammock is hung and the hammock bag becomes a peak bag to store the insulating coat.

    There is a leash on my clothes bag that is attached near the peak bag, the clothes bag becomes a pillow. My damp hiking clothes sometimes are hung over the storage line, sometimes are added to the clothes bag/pillow, sometimes hung over the foot end of the hammock - depends on the weather.

    My shoes are either under the hammock or connected with a carabineer and hung over the head end of the hammock - depends on the weather.

    The kevlar food bag is tied to a tree some distance from the hammock.

    The stove, fuel and water storage are together where I cook. Nothing in this kit needs rain protection, but is light enough that the wind might blow it away.

    The contents of my pockets and glasses are stored in the hammock mesh ridge line pockets.

    Head lamp is girth hitched to the hammock ridge line. Hygiene bags are clipped to the hammock ridge line with mitten hooks.

    Water bottle, shell coat and radio/book/kindle are in the Blackbird shelf.

    Nearly empty backpack is hung either on the storage line or hammock suspension.

    It took me three nights to sleep well in the hammock, a year to solve the storage issues and another year to tune the set up/take down order
    Ditto! You have to have an organized system with recognizable stuff sacks, pack and unpack in the correct sequence every time to ensure and enjoyable experience. Every piece has a place and every piece is in its place.

    As far as comfort, can't help you there.

  5. #35
    Senior Member XSrcing's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Hammock
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner76 View Post
    Tarp = Tent Rain Fly

    Hammock = Tent

    Top Quilt = Sleeping bag

    Under Quilt = Pad

    You may not save any weight over some of the light weight tents out there but what you can gain is a more comfortable nights sleep. As I learned in the Marines, with a good nights sleep, you can put up with anything.

    Make sure you foot end is several inches higher than your head end.

    As other have said, go to group hang and have some other folks check out your set up. While you might have a great hammock, it might not be the right one for you. I own a bunch of different hammocks but I find my BB is the most comfortable one for me.
    I would have to differ.

    Tarp = tent

    hammock = Earth

  6. #36
    SwinginIt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Cleveland, Ga
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    Darien UL
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmileyns View Post
    thanks for the additional replies - perhaps this is off topic of this thread...but not really...typically speaking a hammock setup is a bit bulkier and heavier than a light tent and pad setup? would that be a correct general statement?
    Depends on the set up you're comparing it to. If we're talking tarps and 1/4" thick foam pads then yes, it's gonna be heavier and bulkier. But if you're comparing it to an average weight backpacking tent and self inflating or blow up pad then it can go either way depending on the specific set up.

    Look at it like this,
    Hammock+tarp= Tent
    Underquilt/pad= Pad
    Topquilt= Sleeping bag

    If you have a tent set up already then compare the weights of your different components and see which is lighter. My set up is definitely lighter than my tent setup, and I have a BA UL tent and Neo Air pad. So again it depends on the specific set ups you're comparing.
    "As a well spent day brings happy sleep, a well spent life brings happy death." -Da Vinci

  7. #37
    pizza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    MN
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    My first half a dozen nights in the hammock really kinda sucked. I didn't sleep well and I struggled with proper setup of the hammock suspension and rigging the tarp. I kept patient and went through a lot of trial and error. I also read a great deal here on hammock forums which taught me a lot. Nothing better than learning from those that have been using hammocks awhile.

  8. #38
    Jcavenagh's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Location
    Chicago Area
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    I did not read all posts, so maybe I am repeating, but may I suggest you try to get to a group hang? That may be a BIG help to you.
    The road to success is always under construction.
    http://hikingillinois.blogspot.com/

  9. #39
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    Jersey Shore, NJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsmileyns View Post
    thanks for the additional replies - perhaps this is off topic of this thread...but not really...typically speaking a hammock setup is a bit bulkier and heavier than a light tent and pad setup? would that be a correct general statement?
    I would certainly dispute that notion. My Buttinasling 60" Weight Weenie Micro hammock is 7 ounces, as is my BIAS NanoBuginator bugnet. My HG Cuben Fiber 4 season tarp is 6.5 ounces. Find me a comparable tent that weighs 20.5 ounces. And when I leave the bugnet at home I'm at 14.5 ounces. Yes, the CF tarp is expensive ($300), but the total cost of my shelter/sleep system is $425. A tent simply can't compete in bulk to my setup.

    My 20 degree HG TQ/UQ weighs 38.8 oz., but I no longer have the bulk of a pad.

    As to your original question, Hennessy is one of several great hammocks on the market - but you might not have found the one with whom you want to spend forever. My first hammock was a Hennessy Expedition. It was light years better than sleeping on the ground, but I was a bit claustrophobic with the built-in bugnet. Eventually, I went to an 11 ft. hammock (BIAS DL) and noticed a tremendous difference. Where I slept good in the Hennessy, I slept excellent in the BIAS. I also like the independent bugnet so I can get out easily without putzing with a zipper - swing feet onto ground and stand up. Easy peasy.

    Clark Hammocks have pockets out the wazoo that can be used for insulation or gear. You might want to look at those, if weight is a non-issue. And people love the Warbonnet gear shelf. I just wouldn't base the answer to "Are hammocks right for me?" on a single manufacturer.

    Usually I just toss my stuff on a piece of Tyvek. It's all right there and I can reach down and grab it without getting out of the hammock. However, some psychotic red squirrels in the Adirondacks made me rethink that entirely. One of them stole my Swedish Bahco Folding Saw. I caught him before he took it up the tree.

    Now I hang just about everything from my hammock ridgeline - shoes, clothes, pack. Since I lay on a diagonal feet to the left and head to the right, I can hang the pack to the right of my feet and it doesn't interfere with my sleep. I can easily sit up and get stuff out of it. Sometimes I put the pack cover on it and hang it from where the whoopie attaches to the hammock.

    If the convenience & comfort of laying on the ground is attractive to you, by all means do so. However, you might want to check out some other hammocks before going back to ground dwelling. And you might want to develop a system, as many have suggested, so that you can have some of the convenience and accessibility to gear that you crave.

    Is there a December group hang in NJ I'm not aware of? Are you sure you don't mean the NJ Winter Hang in January?

  10. #40
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Location
    arizona
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    my interest for camping overnight in a hammock came after i got a byer single. it was easy to bring along on trips at only 10 ounces. i then got a grand trunk (before they were grand trunk) on some promotional deal, and tried it out once. i used my TNF 30 bag in temps about 50 degrees. that DID NOT work! i basically went to ground without a pad (it was much warmer - comparitively)
    that didnt stop me though, i went online searching for hammock camping and found Jacks R Better. used a hudson river as a top quilt, with a ccf pad. still, too cold (CBS) so i tried various pad thickness, to a point where i was so frustrated for temp/bulk ratio that i figured there must be a better way.
    upon searching for hammock insulation, i found just jeff's site and (even tho i realized UQ's existed, like the JRB quilt i had) decided i needed both down quilts on top and bottom. started tinkering. started sewing. that is actually how te-wa quilts was borne...

    long story short, about my 10th hang i was happily comfortable with a hammock camping rig, although they have come and gone and i've tweaked my gear to be the best that works for me.

    i am proud to say, at least, that since the day i slept in that old grand trunk ultralight, i have only gone to ground ONCE (grand canyon) in +/- 6 years.
    that was about 3000 backpack miles ago...

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