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  1. #1
    Senior Member PineMartyn's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    Ontario (Muskoka), Canada
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    On the fence about hammock camping.

    Greetings from Ontario, Canada.

    My wife and I are experienced canoe trippers, backpackers and winter campers. We've always used tents, except in winters when we use snow shelters (quinzhees and lately igloos), but we are thinking seriously about trying out the hammock style.

    The biggest incentive for us is that we camp and hike almost exclusively on Crown lands, not in parks, and so we always make our own bush camps after paddling or bushwacking off-trail, where the bush is typically dense, and the ground very uneven or hilly, especially near lakes and ponds. Finding a suitable tenting spot is often hard and we often have to forsake an otherwise ideal camping location because there's no suitable spot to pitch a tent. Stringing a couple of hammocks would eliminate that obstacle.

    I'm all ready to take the plunge and try out hammock camping, but my wife is much more reticent (and budget conscious). She has two reservations which I'm sure everyone here has heard: she's concerned about sleeping comfort because she's a side-sleeper, and she likes snuggling in a tent. I can sleep in any position, but she can't sleep on her back except for short periods and she's prone to lower back pain when she can't get a proper sleep. Regarding snuggling, presumably, sleeping two to a hammock is either not possible or not comfortable. The snuggling problem is not a deal-breaker, but sleeping on her back, she insists, is not something she can learn to do. I wonder if anyone here can offer any insight on one or the other concern. We don't have the sort of money it takes to buy a couple of hammocks, tarps, and whatever other gear we might need only to discover she can't sleep comfortably.

    I'd consider buying just one setup for myself, which she could try out before buying one for herself, but we always camp together and so I wouldn't need one of my own if it didn't work out for her.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or input you can offer, especially from lower back pain suffers.

    Cheers,
    -Martin
    No one has ever been heard to say on a deathbed, "I wish I'd put in more time at the office."

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2012
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    Lubbock, Tx.
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    Welcome soon to the dark side

    I also sleep on my side and I sleep better in a hammock then in my bed.

  3. #3
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Minnesota
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    Maybe try and just rig one up with a sheet or tablecloth to try. Give you a feel.
    I sleep like a mummy in my hammock....much more still than in my bed where I may toss and turn. A night or three in the real woods is the best test. Home is distracting.
    Maybe look at a Clark Vertex if you seem to lean towards hammock comfort. It sleeps two.....http://www.junglehammock.com/store/p...p?productid=38
    Carry forth......
    Shug
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
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  4. #4
    New Member
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    May 2007
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    Currently using a Hennessy Adventure Racer as my primary and prior to that a Hyperlite, so my experience is with A-sym hammocks only: As someone who is primarily a side-sleeper, I initially found it tricky to get comfortable, but after experimenting/tweaking the setup i.e. how tight it was hung, making sure the foot end was slightly higher than the head and perhaps most importantly (for me anyway) was using one of my clothing stuffsacks or an outer layer to support my legs/knees. Also, as a side-sleeper, switching to a hammock has vastly improved the quality of sleep as I am no longer being awakened throughout the night d/t hip and shoulder pain.

    Although you didn't specifically mention it, I just want to add that if your wife is a cold sleeper, be sure to include good bottom insulation. I've found that even when I am having a hard time finding the most comfortable position, being nice and warm makes it better.

    Mentioned only because size and weight can be a factor when hanging, I'm female, <130lbs.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    And check out Shug's videos on YouTube, he has a ton of great information on them and they are all very entertaining.

  6. #6
    Boothill's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
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    The Beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota
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    at home i am a side or stomach sleeper and can't sleep on my back but in my wbbb i have no problems sleeping on my back and am also able to get into a comfortable side position and sleep great

    if you are looking something even more suited to side sleeping i might suggest the ridgerunner from warbonnet, it has an extremely flat lay and side sleeping in it would be very easy

    as far as cost, you can spend lots of $, or if you want to go the DIY route and consider your time "free" you can do it very reasonably

    my set-up is

    warbonnet blackbird $180
    diy down top and bottom quilts $100 total - if you purchase down quilts your probably looking at $300-$500 range
    warbonnet bmj tarp $110

    add another $50 all the various lines and dutchware

    if you search the "for sale" threads here you can sometimes find some good deals or if you watch for hennessy's yearly scratch and dent sale you can find their hammocks at really good prices

    there are also many other options out there, eno etc. that are less money, just need to start doing the research

    the best piece of advice i could give you though is to find a "hang" in your area and go attend it, there you will be able to see all kind of different set-ups and almost everyone will let you lay in there stuff to check it out, and typically if you let people know you are coming and don't have stuff people will pack along extra so that you can have your "own" set-up to spend the night in and try it out that way

    boot
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  7. #7
    Redoleary's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Pennfield Twp, MI
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    I use just your basic gathered end hammock (IOW nutt'n fancy) and I can comfortably sleep on my side in it. My hammock is the only thing that doesn't give me lower back pain.. my actual bed does.
    Being above the rocks and roots is a wonderful thing when it comes to finding a sight for sure. I was initially concerned my wife wouldn't like being off in her own tarp and hammock but she loves it, and I don't wake her up anymore with the 2 or 3 times a night I get up to water the bushes.
    The thing with hammocks is ya won't know until you try. Because my lower back does hurt in my bed I didn't think they were gonna be for me, turns out they're the best things go'n.
    The cost of the gear is quickly equalized by the quality of sleep achieved with it.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Good luck,
    RED

    My Youtube Channel

    Deep peace of the running wave to you.
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  8. #8
    Member soulsurvivor's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    danville, il
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    modded grand trunk sb pro
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    side sleeper here. i have a $60 modified skeeter beeter pro from grand trunk. im wondering why i pay rent and own a sleep # bed when i always sleep in the backyard. best nights sleep youll ever have.

  9. #9
    Rat's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bertram, Texas
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    Just throwing my two bits in here...
    I also suffer from lower back pain when I sleep in my regular bad (sleep number BTW) but not in my hammocks.
    I also sleep on my stomach in my bed but I have no problem sleeping on my back or side (or anywhere in between) in my hammock. Many mornings I awake in the exact same position I was in when I went to sleep; we do not toss and turn if we are comfortable!

    All the rest is true as well; finding a spot on uneven ground etc.

    However, there have been a few documented cases of people who just could not get comfortable in a hammock. So let me just throw this out:
    1) DIY a hammock or two on the cheap just to see if you and your wife can handle it.
    2) Buy her a good set up (War Bonnet, Hennessey, etc) and give it a go. If she really can't use it then you can sell it on here for (in many cases) what it cost you.
    Either way your not out much money.

    Best advice so far though is to find and attend a local hang. Let 'em know your coming and I am sure some one will bring extra hammocks.

    If'n ya wanna, come on down to Texas in a few weeks and we'll let ya try 'em all out down here!
    "I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Mal Reynolds
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  10. #10
    gunner76's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    at home i am a side or stomach sleeper and can't sleep on my back but in my wbbb i have no problems sleeping on my back and am also able to get into a comfortable side position and sleep great

    Ditto

    My wife also has a Blackbird and loves it. When ever she says we have too many hammocks I tell her I will sell her BB and she tells me ( in not so polite language) that I had better not sell her hammock.
    Merchants Mill Pond SP Swamp Hang

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    Warbonnet BB 1.7 and a whole lot of other great gear from the vendors on HF

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