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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alabama
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    She's a natural born hammocker, me not so much.

    Hello, all.

    My wife and I are soon to be empty nesters from Alabama. We forgot how much we miss hiking, we are not spring chickens anymore and think hammocking will be a lighter weight sleeping solution for hikes that may go for a day or two.

    The little woman has health issues that give her little sleep, except when she sacks out in a hammock. We even rigged one up in our bedroom so she can actually get real rest. We watched a Shug Emery video where he slept out in some really cold weather. I came home the next day and she was rigging up her hammock in the back yard to experiment with on a cold night (30's). Two good pads, one fleece blanket, a tarp and a down comforter kept her quite cozy all night. Amazed, we were. We had never considered hammocks rigged for cold weather.

    I can't sleep well in a hammock because of a lower back issue (I sleep better on a flat, hard bed or a pad on hard ground), but I've been experimenting to solve the lumbar support deal. Even slept kind of OK last Saturday night in the wife's hammock. Her benefits from hammock sleeping way outwiegh my problems with them, so I have more work/experimenting to do. Maybe some member, with simular issues as mine can chime in.

    We hope to eventually be able to do a little section of the AT next year. Hope to also get rigged up with mostly homemade hammocks for some local overnight hikes in Alabama before it gets buggy here this year.

    Hope to learn more and hike lighter with these things.

  2. #2
    hairbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    n e missouri
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    wbrr/d i y speer
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    hg 4sccc 12 foot
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    968
    congrats you will enjoy your hammock life style its fun.have you tried a bridge hammock?im pain free and comfy in mine,when i awake im fully rested with no pain.i cant say that about my bed.

  3. #3
    Senior Member floorman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    lugoff, SC
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    depends diy,SB,WB
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    welcome
    My bottom disk is completely dry. On my first hammock trip (they arrived the day before we left) it took two nights before it hit me, no back pain when I got up. It had been 20 years. I'm happy for your wife and hope you can find that comfort also.

  4. #4
    MAD777's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    South Florida
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    Welcome from another empty nester from Florida!
    Glad to hear that you & the wife are getting out again.
    I'll also recommend that you consider a bridge hammock for your back issues.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  5. #5
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
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    Welcome from Gainesville.

    Glad to hear that Mrs. FlySubCompact is getting such great use out of an hammock. I second MAD777's suggestion of a bridge hammock for a flat, even lie.

    But...I am also going to be a bit controversial here. I know this is "Hammock Forums", but...if you sleep better on an hard, flat surface, why not stick with ground dwelling while your wife uses the hammock on the trail? Two folks in an hammock is...suboptimal...for any longer period of sleep, unless you're both contortionists. Oh, sure, there're multiple ways of hanging close together (double bridge designs, spreader bars for gathered ends, and even a couple of manufactured double-bed hammocks from Clark), but not a one of them has you sharing the same hammock bed ("double" width hammocks not withstanding). Why not just sleep on the ground nearby? After all...it's more about actually getting out there and enjoying the trip than using the gear. (*gasp* Heresy! )

    In all seriousness, though, check out bridge hammocks first for a flat lie.

    And, to be honest, though I prefer a hard, flat surface for when I'm sleeping normally, I find that a gathered-end hammock that's long enough actually helps my lower back on long days. However, I don't have any recurring medical issues with that, aside from general soreness after long days on my feet. So...

    Anywhichway...welcome to the madness!
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
    --Floridahanger

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mort's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Appleton, WI
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    144
    Perhaps I'm stating the obvious here, ...things that you've tried already, but:
    - have you tried sleeping on your side?
    - have you tried using some form of lumbar support pad while lying on your back?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Silverpalm2x's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Triad, NC
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    have you tried a pillow or something between your legs while laying on your side? i have found that if I don't have somethign between my legs my lower back is sore the next day.
    "Lets drive up to the Hills and get lost somewhere..." Chinatown by Folk Soul Revival
    Life is a Thru Hike... Hike Well. ΙΧΘΥΣ

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Near North, ON
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    With an ongoing upper back/neck problem for the last 30 years I second and third using a pillow between your knees (side sleeping) or under your knees (back sleeping) for resolving pain from sleeping.

    In addition to trying a bridge hammock for a flatter lay, try adding an inflated pad (use a double layer hammock). You can adjust the amount of inflation so that you get as hard a surface as you want.

    Patience and trial and error will get you into a hammock set up that will give you the sleep that you deserve.

    Oh, and you can always use a large enough tarp set-up that the two of you can 'sleep in one tent'.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Alabama
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    89
    Wow....a lot of replies. Thanks.

    As to ground sleeping....I haven't ruled out a hammock of some sort. Mebbe the bridge might work. The one night that I did try wasn't as nice as "my bed" but I did sleep 7 hours with a pillow under my back and awoke with no pain. Hey, if I can replicate that on a hike I'd be OK. Still experimenting.

    My wife is set with her's if we get the needed insulation and tarp.

    We are mainly interested in this hammock stuff because I'm seeing folks online with really cold-ready sleeping gear that is light in weight. When we were young tonnage on our shoulders wasn't an issue.

    This will be a fun experiment. Thanks guys.

  10. #10
    well, I'm in no hurry to get rid of my kids, but it sounds like fun!

    Maybe she should get her own handle & post here too?

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