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  1. #1
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    The Complete Hanger--the Hammocker's Bible

    When I was first starting out as a hiker, a worker at the backpacking store turned me on to The Complete Walker by Colin Fletcher. I am sure many of you have read this book, and have benefited from it's wisdom as I have. But, since 2001 when the book was published, the backpacking world has changed significantly. Not only are folks using fabrics not mentioned in the book, but hammocking was not as prevalent, and therefore not mentioned.

    We need a book that can sit on the shelf at the backpacking shops around the country that will direct the masses toward considering hammock camping as an option for their adventures they are planning. These folks are not on WB or HF searching for advice on what to buy. They are at the stores listening to salespeople who are selling products based on experience. Those salespeople are likely folks who have read The Complete Walker!

    To put a book on the shelf may be the way to get folks interested in our way of doing things, and also give a boost to some of our friends in the hammock related gearmaking buisness. I am no author, but I am throwing this idea out there in hopes that it will get the ball rolling somehow!

    I think the book could be easily compiled with the help of manufacturers who could showcase their gear and philosophy. Individual contributions of ideas along with information drawn from the forum would also likely be a good source of material.

    I look forward to your ideas!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I'll do a write-up on how to pee from a hammock; from a male's perspective anyway. Wait till you see the illustrations.
    Trust nobody!

  3. #3
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    Good luck with that. There are too many people who firmly believe hammocks turn you into a banana. I don't think, having tried the authorship route myself and discovering how easy it is for books to fail, that a book like that will have a chance at enough readership to sell. What you would have to do is find a self publisher or small publishing house, and sell the books to the folks here so they can donate them to libraries and give them to hammock contemplators they run into.

    We lose people who do not have the basic information about successful hammock camping. People do not understand that it's not "set it and forget it," it's "set it, tweak it, tie it, retie it, insulate it, try it, rearrange, sleep." Until you have all the nuances down pat, and you can just set it and forget it. They want simple, it looks simple, they try, get cold, and pitch the whole idea without ever thinking about it. Planning, thinking and testing are so foreign to many of the folks in my hiking group that I feel like a Christian in a mosque, or a Buddhist in a synagogue. About 90% of the folks who look at my hammock dismiss it outright despite the fact that I am clearly more comfortable and doing well with it. Some have tried it and say things like, even with a quilt a hammock is still cold - this is a quote from a thread over at backpacking light forums where someone wanted to know why hammocks were so great and multiple people are responding that they are not, even people who have never tried one. Even though there are also people posting in the thread who hammock and are clearly doing well, not cold, etc.

    I am, in fact, quite astonished by a few who express complete disdain for something they have never tried. "You won't be able to use that [someplace popular I have already hung]." So while I think a book is a great idea, I don't think it will be marketable enough for any publishing house. Sheeple will cling to tents = camping until the day they die.

    Having said all that - if you need a bikini model for some of the pics for the section on Warbonnets, let me know.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori View Post
    Having said all that - if you need a bikini model for some of the pics for the section on Warbonnets, let me know.
    Ooohh La La!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narwhalin View Post
    When I was first starting out as a hiker, a worker at the backpacking store turned me on to The Complete Walker by Colin Fletcher. I am sure many of you have read this book, and have benefited from it's wisdom as I have. But, since 2001 when the book was published, the backpacking world has changed significantly. Not only are folks using fabrics not mentioned in the book, but hammocking was not as prevalent, and therefore not mentioned..........
    Yes, that book was a major influence on starting my backpacking career! But not in 2001, rather 1984!

    Wouldn't Ed Speer's book pretty much function like the Complete Walker? Though even it might need updating to cover many new hammock and related gear developments.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  6. #6
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    Seriously, thanks, Lori for your thoughtful reply!

    I want to think that people would be able to understand the nuances of hammocking if presented in the right way. Dispelling the myths would be a good section to include right in the begginning of the book, probably in the introduction!

    I agree that it is hard to break the preconceived notions of the sheeple, but I like Cannibal think we are on a tipping point right now with regards to hammock camping. The ideas and gear have been very thouroughly developed and tested in real world conditions down to insane temps. I think it is time to push hammocking over the edge into the mainstream.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Wouldn't Ed Speer's book pretty much function like the Complete Walker? Though even it might need updating to cover many new hammock and related gear developments.
    I have not read the Speer book. I am talking about a book that features every manufactures' products and philosophy. I would imagine the Speer book would be referenced, though!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    lori, you are right about everything. Still, how do we change that perception. While I have absolutely no reason to believe that you in a bikini in a BB wouldn't be a huge success on its own, we need a reason for them to actually open the book.

    Eventually, many will come around to it. Peer pressure will work on our side in the future. There should be a good resource for them when they do. I know I searched out every book I could get my hands on when I got back into the backpacking game. It was staggering how much the gear had evolved in such a relatively short amount of time. I never had any reason to weigh my pack before. I just kept telling myself over and over; "big boys don't cry". Now, I'm spoiled and will whine if I have to carry extra tweezers.

    I agree it is going to have to be a small publisher, or maybe self-published and distributed old school through the roots of the community. Want to know how valuable a hammock book is? Go ahead and ask if anybody wants to give you their copy of Ed Speer's "Hammock Camping" book. Somebody here probably will, but that's not fair because the people here simply kick ***!
    Trust nobody!

  9. #9
    Senior Member te-wa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lori View Post
    About 90% of the folks who look at my hammock dismiss it outright despite the fact that I am clearly more comfortable and doing well with it.
    yeah, i know what you mean. But in our defense, many say the same (ignorant) remarks about things like Hiking Poles
    Quote Originally Posted by lori
    Even though there are also people posting in the thread who hammock and are clearly doing well, not cold, etc.
    i must have missed that one... but did you see my avatar and my sig that reads: "sleeping on the ground is for dogs"?

    Quote Originally Posted by lori
    Having said all that - if you need a bikini model for some of the pics for the section on Warbonnets, let me know.
    if you turn out to be a 300lb hirsute man in a speedo, Im going to shoot milk out of my nose!

    on hikearizona i posted a quick article on hammock camping, which probably leaves out a bunch of useful info but i wrote this all in one stroke, and tried to cover every major issue in as few words as possible. So far, i have personally turned on about 3 new hangers and helped a few others improve their rigs... here's a link: hammocks as camping shelters
    Last edited by te-wa; 02-12-2009 at 21:33.

  10. #10
    Senior Member chiefams's Avatar
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    You could turn Just Jeff's web page right into a book too with some added things such as the myths and advantages. Even giving a complete resource of all manufacturers listed here on the site--- possibly get their endorsements and they could sell it too!

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