Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Gainesville, FL
First Night in a Hammock
Well, I survived my first night in my new hammock! The lowest recorded temperature was 51F. First night in any hammock, actually. Here is how my night went:
I started with the hammock between two trees in my front yard. My neighbors think I'm insane, but that's nothing new. I put my mom's old thermarest into the bag (I'm talking the original thermarest design) and my sleeping bag on top of that. I dressed in a wicking baselayer t-shirt and long undawear with wool socks- nothing on my head. Before I went out for the night, I drank two cups of hot chocolate so I'd be warm and waited until I had to go to the bathroom so I wouldn't be getting up in the middle of the night.
I sat in the hammock and swung my legs around and spent the next ten minutes finagling the contraption around until I was comfortable. It felt comfy but kind of unstable. At this point, it was 55F outside. Within the next 15 minutes, I became VERY hot to the point where I was starting to sweat. To combat this, I took off my socks... still too hot. I took off the shirt... still too hot. I wrestled out of the hammock and ditched the thermarest... still too hot! So I had to unzip the sleeping bag a little until I was at the right temperature. After about an hour or so, I was dead asleep. I slept for 8 hours straight, except for one moment around 4am of half-awareness when the paperboy almost hit me with the newspaper.
I found the hammock to be very comfy. I slept mainly in the diagonal position as it was the most level position. I awoke about 30 minutes ago and put the hammock away, which took about 1.5 minutes.
No more tents for me!
Some lessons learned:
-Despite all the articles about insulation and never being warm enough, some people (like myself) are naturally very warm while sleeping and don't need much insulation of mild temperatures. This might have to do with the fact that I don't have heat in my house and am used to sleeping in cold conditions.
-There are hundreds of positions in which to be in a hammock. I woke up this morning, stretched out my legs and arms, propped myself up on my elbows, and sat up to get dressed- all without falling out of the hammock. It is a very stable sleeping surface.
-Fog in the air feels exactly like dizzling rain, even though you don't get wet at all from fog. I woke up around 5am and was ready to start packing up because I thought it was starting to rain.
-Cats a very curious creatures and will walk beneath the hammock and touch it, causing alarm to whoever is in said hammock. However, trying to pick up your cat to snuggle with is not advised as cats do not like unstable surfaces and will dig their claws into anything to regain balance... even if it's your bare chest.
Last edited by SRPhotographic; 12-30-2006 at 07:23.. Reason: include low temp.
Great report. I agree about sleeping warm and cold. If you're acclimated to sleeping w/o heat you should have a head start on staying warm in a hammock. Lucky you!
Some fog may not noticeably wet your gear, but sometimes the rolling fog wets everything around...even the underside of tarps, hammocks, sleeping bags, etc. I've woken up pretty wet a few times in Charleston, SC, and Monterey, CA. But I still get paranoid if I feel even a little bit of fog on my face at night! Haha...
My cat comes running when I get in the hammock. She loves it.
And it's a good thing your neighbors are used to you acting insane. That happens when you start testing gear, so it sounds like you have a head start on that, too.
“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
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Upstate NY
Thanks for sharing your experience. Your report content is (imo) exactly what new hammockers need to read. No nonsense, no jargon or excess info (I get too caught up with all that, personally), and I could easily envision your setup.
Wish I could hammock in my front yard, but two problems prevent that:
1) My neighbors would steal my hammock with me in it. Actually, to be fair, they would think I put it there for the garbage man to pick up, then they would take it thinking it's up for grabs.
2) No trees (I guess that's the bigger problem...)
Happy New Year, and welcome to hammock camping!