Biking/Hammocking through South America
Hi there guys,
I have been lurking around for a few weeks reading and trying to make the best out of all the information you guys have built in here. I really like the hammockers community, as we all share a similar perspective on this life and are willing to help each other.
Anyways, just a wee bit about myself, I am a chilean guy who is currently working and living in Australia, but who'll be back to Chile soon. I've saved some money here, and I want to use my bicycle and travel through all of south america (starting from Chile, up to the west coast until Colombia, then down through Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Argentina and back to Chile. I am thinking of doing this in a year's time, but obviously it will depend on what goes on in this adventure.
So, preparing myself I've already started gathering my gear. I would say I am set in the cooking and clothing areas (I've made my own lightweight cooking set), and will not carry much clothes. Also I am set with basic survival stuff and a first aid kit. The bike check I have to do it when I'm back home and same with the panniers. I have a good sleeping bag. So, what I am lacking really is my shelter, which is obviously what leads me to this forum.
I tried a henessy hammock a few weeks ago when we went out camping with some friends and I absolutely loved it. Not the HH itself, but the concept of hammock camping, specially if I'm going around solo, it gives me so much versatility, and this is one of the most important things for me, to be able to get out there and be prepared for the biggest number of scenarios with the less amount of stuff possible (well, don't we all...).
I've been considering the different options. What I would love to do, is a DIY hammock, but I don't have access to a sewing machine here and I don't really have all the tools that I have at home. However, back in Chile, I couldn't get all the fabrics and all that jazz that are available here in Australia and that I can get online (most stores won't ship to south america or will do it at a very high cost). So I've been considering maybe buying the hammock here and leaving the tarp and the bugnet to do myself at home, or if a good deal comes up, just buy the whole thing here. So I've looked at all the main brands I suppose, and I can't really decide on which to choose.
So, what I am looking for is a hammock that is good on entry level and that can get the job done. I don't need something very pro or anything like that, and I don't believe my trip will take me to temperatures below 0º Celcius (or 32ºF).
- Henessy Hammock: They look very nice, easy to set up and packable. Problem is, the shipping to Australia is 60 dollars alone, which increases the price quite a bit.
- WB Black Bird: I think this is a more pro-gaming hammock, I've read it's one of the best, but a little bit pricey for me.
- DD Hammock: 130 dollars here in AUS with the tarp included, looks like a good option.
- ENO Hammock: I've read mixed reviews on this hammock, but what draws me towards it is that, in the first place, it's on sale on amazon for 50 bucks (shipping included), and the strapping system. The hammock is super easy to set up, however many claim that the 'slap strap' system made out of nylon will strech during the night leaving your butt in the dirt. I am 5'8'' and 136 lbs., would this be a problem for me? The bug net and tarp I could take care of at home.
- No-See-Um No More Hammock Bliss (did I get it right? hehe): 100 dollars here in AUS and looks pretty good for me. Layer to put a sleeping pad separately, can turn it around to make it a 'normal hammock'. Integrated bug net. This is the one I'm going for, at the moment.
- Tenth wonder hammocks: Don't know much about them. You can take a look here. Very cheap.
So, I think that's about it. Pardon me for my english if it's not good at times. I would really appreciate the advice of fellow hammockers that are more experienced in this game, and sorry for the long read, hehe. Thank you very much!
Last edited by Diegojuul; 11-07-2012 at 01:48.
Oh, also: Insulation. I think this depends greatly on what kind of hammock I will be carrying around, but still. You guys have done infinite more field tests than I (none), so what set up do you think could work for me, and the temps. I'm aiming at? I was thinking on hammock + underquilt + sleeping bag (my sleeping bag says its good up to 0ºC - 32ºF), but this may be an overkill. Maybe just mat, hammock and sleeping bag? Thanks guys.
G'day and welcome to the forum.
Where in Australia are you located ? If you are ever near Fremantle on the West Coast , you are welcome to check out my Warbonnet collection of gear.
What size and weight are you as this can make a bit of a difference to comfort in some brands for some people.
Good luck with the planned ride.
Hey! I am currently in Sydney. Thanks for your post and kind offer; sadly I will be leaving Australia soon and I don't think I will get to see the west coast (for now!). I am around 173 cms and 62 kg, or 5'8'' and 136 lbs, what would be your recommendation for a person my size?
Originally Posted by bikerbobbo
Search for posts by Gosbh or Gobsh. He is an English chap currently biking across the U.S.A - BUT he did ride from Argentina to (can't remember) with a hammock.
If i find the link to his blog i'll come back and post it.
wow!! Wonderful blog. I will give it a read, it has a lot of information that's going to be useful to me. Thank you very much for that.
I had company last weekend and wanted to show off my new toy (Grand Trunk Ultralight hammock) but did not want my guests to feel trapped by a lengthy process of hanging it so guess what I instinctively grabbed from three options? It was the Warbonnet strap system.
Later that evening I realized that my giant 7/32" whoopie would work very well with it -- just clip it into the carabiners at the trees.
I say this to suggest a quick and easy system for your trip.
A double layer hammock with pad might be quick and easy, too.
Have a great trip!
Thanks for your advice man. I think I'll be buying the ENO hammock and using whoopie slings and some straps for the trees. Seems simple enough and very lightweight. Lightweight tarp as well. The mosquito net I think I'll do it myself. About the insulation, I guess it'll have to be trial and error to adjust to the best settings for me.
Originally Posted by MDSH
Sounds like quite the adventure -- good luck!
Your list of hammocks is great and any of them would be fine for your trip, although not all are "complete" kits with an included tarp and bug net. The Hammock Bliss no-see-um-no-more is a great choice if you are leaning that direction anyway. One thing that separates that hammock from the others on this list is that the Hammock Bliss hammock can be turned upside down with the bug net on the bottom when you don't need it. This is possible because the bug net does not use a structural ridgeline. I like this in a hammock because it offers more modularity.
The other really nice thing about this hammock is the body is made from a single piece of parachute nylon that is very wide. It's going to be a very comfortable hammock for you.
Since you are bike touring, you can get away with a bit more weight and also reduce costs. For an under quilt, you could possibly get away with a poncho liner under quilt, if you're looking to save some cash.
Originally Posted by Diegojuul