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  1. #1
    Senior Member Curt's Avatar
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    I think I'm Ready to Hang

    Long time backpacker with a lot of experience, but ALL of it on the ground. The constant glowing reports of sleeping comfort have me looking to the trees - which there are no shortage of here in the Pacific Northwest.

    I'm trying to decide about a first hammock. Big guy - 6'3" and around 270. Relatively lightweight kit now (12-17 pounds usually).

    Looking for suggestions for a good first experience. The HH Exp. Deluxe seems to be a decent option, but I'd like to go under 3lbs. if possible. My initial concerns are strength (I'd like a 300-400 rating at least) and rain (we get soaked up here).

    Any advice is appreciated. It's kind of fun to explore an aspect of backpacking that I know very little about! I look forward to learning more!

    -Curt

  2. #2
    Senior Member txulrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Long time backpacker with a lot of experience, but ALL of it on the ground. The constant glowing reports of sleeping comfort have me looking to the trees - which there are no shortage of here in the Pacific Northwest.

    I'm trying to decide about a first hammock. Big guy - 6'3" and around 270. Relatively lightweight kit now (12-17 pounds usually).

    Looking for suggestions for a good first experience. The HH Exp. Deluxe seems to be a decent option, but I'd like to go under 3lbs. if possible. My initial concerns are strength (I'd like a 300-400 rating at least) and rain (we get soaked up here).

    Any advice is appreciated. It's kind of fun to explore an aspect of backpacking that I know very little about! I look forward to learning more!

    -Curt
    I have the HH Exp, but I'm a little lighter than you are. For your body weight, the deluxe is prolly your best HH option. Another option is to buy or make your own Speer type. You can make one for around $10-20 to see if you like it. There are plenty of threads here that discuss the merits of both.

    One of the first things you are going to have to consider is a larger tarp. Especially in the NW. I use the MacCAt Deluxe from OES. One of the best tarps available. A little pricey, but once you have used one, you'll be glad you spent the money.

    The second thing to address is bottom insulation. I use an underquilt that is a clone of a JRB quilt. I have a real JRB quilt that I use on top. They are another quality gear manufacturer. Many of us would argue that it is much more comfortable to lie directly on the hammock than on a pad. I didn't like the wet spot that developed due to condensation. Others will swear that a pad is the best way to go. You have to decide that question for yourself.

    BTW, welcome to the site.
    Peace,
    Joe

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Long time backpacker with a lot of experience, but ALL of it on the ground. The constant glowing reports of sleeping comfort have me looking to the trees - which there are no shortage of here in the Pacific Northwest.

    I'm trying to decide about a first hammock. Big guy - 6'3" and around 270. Relatively lightweight kit now (12-17 pounds usually).

    Looking for suggestions for a good first experience. The HH Exp. Deluxe seems to be a decent option, but I'd like to go under 3lbs. if possible. My initial concerns are strength (I'd like a 300-400 rating at least) and rain (we get soaked up here).

    Any advice is appreciated. It's kind of fun to explore an aspect of backpacking that I know very little about! I look forward to learning more!

    -Curt
    You might want to consider the Jungle hammock at this site.

    http://www.mosquitohammock.com/

    It's exactly 3lbs, will take up to 350 lbs of weight and is longer than most hammocks. I have one and like it a lot.

    Miguel

    PS Also...for really rainy conditions they also sell an oversized retangular tarp. It probably weighs a little more than the diamond shaped tarp but may be worth it for the extra coverage.
    Last edited by Miguel; 04-19-2007 at 13:42.

  4. #4
    Senior Member lvleph's Avatar
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    There is also the travel hammock. It has a 400lb rating and weighs 16oz. No tarp, but you probably already have one that will work. I recommend this, basically to give hammocking a try.

    EDIT: The ENO Single can handle 400lbs and is about the same weight and cost.
    Last edited by lvleph; 04-19-2007 at 14:26.

  5. #5
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Curt,

    Welcome to the site... Once you hang out and sort out the insulation issues you'll never go back to the ground....

    Surf around JJs site for a good comparision chart or tarps by size , weight and cost.

    Would also recommend you consider the bug issues and plan adequate bug protection that you are willing to live with... HH have it sewn in.... Speer kit is removable... eagles nest is a whole separate and heavy item....

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  6. #6
    Senior Member lvleph's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    If you want a quick all-in-one solution, the HH is the way to go. If you want to spend some more time tinkering to customize exactly what you want, DIY is the way to go. Speer is somewhere in the middle - removable bug net, you can change the amount of sag, etc. All can be very comfortable, and you can use several insulation schemes on any of them.

    And there are several other hammock styles to choose from...each brand has its fans and I'm sure they'll pipe up here.

    You can get by with a small tarp like the ones that come with the HH...but they don't leave much room for error, room for cooking and dressing, etc. Several aftermarket or DIY options there too - I like the JRB 8x8 and the MacCat Standard.

    In the PNW, one of your issues will be the large diameter trees...you'll definitely want the longer tree huggers if you get the HH. You can probably get by with the standard Speer straps. Again, there are a few DIY options to accomodate this.

    Biggest thing - have patience with the learning curve. It's not really complicated, but think back to a few of the mistakes you made outdoors when you first started camping. You're gonna repeat a few of them in the hammock until you get it down. Not too complicated, but easy to get frustrated in the middle of the night when you can't immediately fix the problem. If you can't figure anything out, just come on back here and post what happened - I'm sure you'll get several options to fix it within an hour or three.
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

    - My site: http://www.tothewoods.net/
    - Designer, Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover by JRB

    IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES LONGER

  8. #8
    Senior Member Curt's Avatar
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    Wow! What a great response!

    JJ, lvleph, Peter Pan, Miguel, txulrich, - thanks to all of you for your helpful information!

    Lots of good stuff there. I'm trying to decide now if I should go full-on and get something like the Exp Deluxe (bug protection is a must) and invest in this idea or take the safer route and get something like the ENO hammock to check it out as a proof of concept knowing that I may end up spending more in the long run by buying two setups. Decisions, decisions...

    Maybe I'll check with Hennessy and see if they send out demos. Worth a try at least.

    Thanks again, and any more advice and ideas are welcome!!

    -Curt

  9. #9
    Senior Member FanaticFringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    Wow! What a great response!

    JJ, lvleph, Peter Pan, Miguel, txulrich, - thanks to all of you for your helpful information!

    Lots of good stuff there. I'm trying to decide now if I should go full-on and get something like the Exp Deluxe (bug protection is a must) and invest in this idea or take the safer route and get something like the ENO hammock to check it out as a proof of concept knowing that I may end up spending more in the long run by buying two setups. Decisions, decisions...

    Maybe I'll check with Hennessy and see if they send out demos. Worth a try at least.

    Thanks again, and any more advice and ideas are welcome!!

    -Curt

    Yea e-mail Hennessy and ask if they have a demo list. I've bought 2 Hennessy hammocks this way that looked brand new. Saved a bunch of $$$
    "Every day above ground is a good day"

  10. #10
    Senior Member lvleph's Avatar
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    Or you could start making your own. Then you will really end up broke after you make 5 different set ups.

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