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  1. #1
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Bugs biting thru hammock question

    I'm just getting into hammocking and therefore, I am a complete newbie. My question concerns biting bugs. I hike in Florida which has bugs year round and in New England where bug season is shorter but certainly no less intense.

    I've learned how to defend myself from biting bugs as a ground dweller, but the thought occurred to me that these pest can bite me through the bottom of the hammock as I lay helpless, feeding every blood sucking insect within a mile radius! The thought has me panic stricken with visions of being tied down to an ant hill!

    Here are some of the potential solutions have I have considered. I have no idea what actually works though.

    1. Sleep on a full coverage CCF mat. This would probably keep the bugs off but, I've read many a complaint about sweaty condensation, especially in summer bug season.

    2. Use an under quilt. Not sure if this works because we may see an UQ and think it fits tightly, but to a tiny blackfly, the small crevasses might look like an open door policy. Not to mention, a tight fitting UQ may be too warm in the height of bug season.

    3. Use a double layer hammock. I can't quite convince myself that a stinging insect that can get through one gossamer layer of nylon, can't get through two. But maybe?

    4. My last idea and the one that I hope works is to spray the underside of the hammock with permethrin. That stuff kills bugs on contact and doesn't harm fabrics. I wash my summer hiking clothes in this stuff. It's lightweight and compatible with the hot, dog days of summer.

  2. #2
    UncleMJM's Avatar
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    Option 4 has worked great for me in South Central Texas where mosquitos are rampant.

    I spent one night as a hanging buffet and decided real quickly that was not fun.

  3. #3
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMJM View Post
    I spent one night as a hanging buffet and decided real quickly that was not fun.
    "Hanging buffet" Now that's a good one!

  4. #4
    Member Chrisp70's Avatar
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    I use a silk sleeping bag liner in my single layer hammock. Keeps the bugs off and shields by body odor from soaking into the hammock. I live in sub-tropic southeast Texas.

  5. #5
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    Permethrin doesn't harm fabrics but I'm not totally convinced that it's harmless to people, especially those who sleep cocooned in it. There's always debate about whether DEET will melt nylon. Lots of people seem to be OK if they apply it to their skin and then get in the hammock/SB after it has dried, but the people who soak their hammock with OFF seem like they're asking for structural failure.

    Your instinct is right, bugs have a really tough time probing through two layers of fabric. I've been in places with terrible black flies and mosquitos, and my experience is the black flies don't get through the fabric at all, but the mosquitos do. Maybe it's just that the black flies are out in the day and the mosquitos take the night shift while I'm hanging. Either way, mosquitos are the enemy. I've had good luck with both the pad (clammy and sticky) and wearing silk long johns as my second layer of fabric. If you go that route, you'll want gloves and something to protect you from the neck up, which ends up being more clothes than you really want on a hot summer night. Another option is bug netting that hangs like an underquilt. Check out Grizz's Guide to Making a Bridge Hammock for a good example. It's light, but it still restricts airflow a little and makes things a little warmer. Your fine state is one of the only places I've hung where I couldn't get cool enough at night in a hammock.

  6. #6
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitamaltz View Post
    Your fine state is one of the only places I've hung where I couldn't get cool enough at night in a hammock.
    Yeah ... ya got that right ... it's either hot or hotter, an in either case, it's humid!

  7. #7

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    I have a Claytor double bottom and have never had a fly or mosquito bite through it. It's simple and it works. It also keeps your pads in place if thats a system you might consider.

    Miguel

  8. #8
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    If I were shopping for a hammock and I knew that bugs would be a problem all year long, I'd go for a double-layer, too. That's probably the option that would keep you the coolest, sans chemical deterrents.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SmokeHouse's Avatar
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    I agree with the double-layer. ENO states the have a hammock that has Insect Shield.

    http://www.eaglesnestoutfittersinc.c...le-insect.html

  10. #10
    sclittlefield's Avatar
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    You could just use a hammock with the bug netting cocoon type system. ENO has a good example, but there are other makers as well. That should do the trick - especially if you run a line out the sides to keep it expanded and away from the sides - kinda like the Hennessy asym lines.
    DIY Gear Supply - Your source for DIY outdoor gear.

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