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Roadtorque

Tent and Hammock talk

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I have been looking into a lightweight shealter for sometime now. I have first of all been trying to decide between using a hammock or staying with a tent. I have been reading a lot on a hammock forum and those people think people who sleep on the ground are crazy due to increased comfort and decreased weight of a hammock. I was not completly sold on the hammock idea as my main shealter so I bought and ENO doublnest with a stand to put in my back room to play with. Well it has only been a few days and I am having fun with the hammock and still trying to find the sweet spot. Only time will tell but I'm only 40/60 about hammock/tent. Part of it is living in AZ some of the camping I do there is not a tree in sight. Just wondering for those of you who use tents why not make the switch to hammocks?

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That's a good question.

 

The tent is the devil I know. The purchase was a large enough expense for the complete setup. The comfort level I know and I don't wake up with a bad back because I do have a thicker pad.

 

The hammock is another expensive purchase, and an unknown to me. I'd hate to buy one and find I really don't like it. The local stores here don't rent them and I don't know anybody local to borrow one.

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Hammocks are cold in the early spring and fall. I only break mine out in the summer.

 

BTW, the sweet spot is lying across the hammock at about a 45 degree angle, in line with the hammock and you have a curved back, perpendicular and your feet and head fall off the ends of the hammock.

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i've been in a tent and with nothing. i love both. tents can get muggy though. and obviously nothing leaves you exposed to all the elements...all the elements, even the bugs. so, i can see myself falling in love with a hammock (camping in a bed) given that i have a good sleeping bag in the colder months. however, the wife might not go for that.

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I converted from tents to hammocks a year ago. I own 2 hammocks; a DD and an HH exped w/underpad. I dont think I'll ever go back to tents as a hiker. For car camping, I am relegated to a tent, as the gf doesnt care to sleep alone...

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That's a good question.

 

The tent is the devil I know. The purchase was a large enough expense for the complete setup. The comfort level I know and I don't wake up with a bad back because I do have a thicker pad.

 

The hammock is another expensive purchase, and an unknown to me. I'd hate to buy one and find I really don't like it. The local stores here don't rent them and I don't know anybody local to borrow one.

 

Hey TotemLake I will gladly let you try one of my hammocks. Send me a PM if you are interested. The only cost to you will be shipping it back when you are done trying it out.

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That's a good question.

 

The tent is the devil I know. The purchase was a large enough expense for the complete setup. The comfort level I know and I don't wake up with a bad back because I do have a thicker pad.

 

The hammock is another expensive purchase, and an unknown to me. I'd hate to buy one and find I really don't like it. The local stores here don't rent them and I don't know anybody local to borrow one.

 

Hey TotemLake I will gladly let you try one of my hammocks. Send me a PM if you are interested. The only cost to you will be shipping it back when you are done trying it out.

I appreciate the offer and may take you up on it someday. The latest camping trip I took made me glad I had my tent instead though. Not only were trees scarce at the designated camping site, but it also made it easy to duck the weather and have my gear with me to paw through and pull out this stove to act as my heater while waiting out the storm. I may be wrong, but I'd venture to say I couldn't do the same in a hammock with the gear slung under me.

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I bought a Clarke "jungle hammock" a few years ago. My comments:

 

On the plus side, the hammock is surprisingly comfortable. Due to the even distribution of your weight, when you arise in the morning, there are no sore spots from laying in one position too long. They "can be" quicker to set up than a tent (not always though). They are generally much lighter and more compact than a tent. Obviously, when you are off the ground, there is no ground moisture to deal with. They are generally pretty water tight, although you need to have enough room (i.e., trees just the right distance apart) to tie it up properly.

 

On the minus side, there are limited positions to sleep in. If you're a stomach sleeper, forget it. For me, the most comfortable position is laying halfway between flat on my back and on my side. Also, your underside can get cold, even in summer. I've tried various pads for insulation, such as that foil covered bubble wrap stuff, a narrow thermarest pad (I found that the narrow (ie 20" wide) thermarest pads are too narrow, since they tend to wrap around you in the hammock), wide thermarest pad, a blanket, etc. For me, the most comfortable option was the wide thermarest pad (heavy), followed by a thick wool blanket (also heavy). So the weight savings are somewhat offset by the need for a pad. Also, a hammock can be a little claustrophobic. There's just not much room to thrash around. Also, there are places where a hammock just won't work, such as where there is heavy, bushy ground cover among the trees (like Salal bushes); or where the trees are spaced either too close or too far apart (like in old growth). I've been sea kayaking where there were very few places to hang a hammock and the trees I used were a little too close and I ended up getting quite wet over the course of a long rainy night.

 

Just my opinion....

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I use a tent when car camping because privacy is an issue. When I'm out in the woods I use a hammock and tarp. When I was a Boy Scout we used tarps because they were cheap. I searched for years for the perfect tent and finally wound up going back to my roots. I got a tarp. Tarps, especially the ultralight ones weigh less and take up less space in the pack. They are easier to set up, more versatile, and keep me drier and more comfortable. I have more room and a tarp is hammock friendly. I have found that experience in locating a campsite is more important that the equipment you carry. Sometimes a tarp and hammock are a challenge, but that's half the fun! :)

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If I'm on a solo I just use a bivy sack. It's small, very light, and adds warmth to my 3 season down bag to strength it into some winter outings. Most of my backpacking is expeditionary in nature and a tent and tarp are carried in the party. A hammock requires trees at the right distance and in the right location (I am picky when it comes to where I sleep). Plus, being off the ground you have a hard time insulating yourself. With a hammock you turn yourself into a bridge with cold air around your entire body. Also, if it rains or excessive moisture is in the air, there is no way to keep your gear dry. If the weather is going to be nice enough for a hammock, I would rather just sleep on the ground under the stars then carry the extra weight of a hammock.

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Me and my friends are using hammocks for almost 3 years. Hammocks is the best when it comes to relaxing wherever you go. It's either for a hiking, camping or at the beach. It is much more comfortable if you partner your hammocks a tarp on it because it can shelter you to a strong wind, rain, or even protect you under the sun. TarpsPlus provided a good quality with a cheaper price. :D

Edited by Helen0101

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Ahhh the old hammock debate... THE BEAR BURRITO Personally I use a ENO hammock and a Hilleberg tarp. I have remained totally dry in horrific downpours while my buddies get soaked in their tents. There is a reason tents have a feature called bathtub floors. I also camp year round in my hammock / tarp setup keeping toasty warm on cold and snowy nights. The main thing people overlook is a sleeping pad. Remember, when you compress the insulation in the sleeping bag it becomes useless, and heat loss through your butt is seriously chilling. The pad has more use as insulation than comfort in any style of camping and is a MUST in hammock camping. In fact I use a Big Agnes bag that only has insulation on the top and a sleeve for the pad on the bottom and use a light weight pad in the summer and an insulated pad in the winter. And on those clear cool summer nights- no tarp is required, just lay there looking up at the stars. Some people complain about side sleeping- this can be difficult for some but is possible. Other benefits include: No roots, sticks and rocks. Fewer creepy crawlers. No Condensation. Seriously reduced weight in your pack. Cons: I have been visited by a turkey and a raccoon. My friend has been kissed by a bear (that ate our guitar). Your breath will freeze around the mummy bags face opening on those seriously cold nights. Sometimes its hard to find perfect trees close to the fire pit.

 

:blink: I camp mostly in the Pisgah forest near Asheville NC

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I have remained totally dry in horrific downpours while my buddies get soaked in their tents.

 

Your buddies apparently need better tents.

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If my back could tolerate one, I'd be all over the hammock thing. They make some really nice outfits....Hennessey and others.

 

My wife on the other hand is all about some hammocks. She sleeps very well in one. Lately, she's been studying about them. One fellow we like to watch and learn from on Youtube is a hammock guy named Shug.

Be warned...this guy is like Robin Williams trippin on acid laced coke. :) Good, entertaining videos, he does. (Also check out his amazing juggling videos---the guy is awesome on stage)

 

Anyhoo...my wife had been itching to try some of the cold weather set ups, so a few weeks ago she took some of his cold weather tips in the back yard. It was 29 that night. We rigged her up...tarp and all. I thought she was crazy. She slept quite warm all night. Only complaint was a cold nose. Warm fleece sleep ware, one fleece blanket, insulated back pad and a down comforter on top.

 

We're thinking about a cover tent/hammock set up for us. Her in the hammock, me on the ground below.

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If my back could tolerate one, I'd be all over the hammock thing. They make some really nice outfits....Hennessey and others.

 

Have you tried the hammock at an angle? (meaning your head is on one side of hammock, and your feet on the other side at an angle) I have back problems (bulging lumbar disc), and a hammock (or cot) is the only thing I can stand sleeping on.

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Have you tried the hammock at an angle? (meaning your head is on one side of hammock, and your feet on the other side at an angle) I have back problems (bulging lumbar disc), and a hammock (or cot) is the only thing I can stand sleeping on.

 

Glad you can sleep on one. Your disc must bulge from a differnt angle than mine. :)

 

Tried hammocks over the years....straight, diagonal, sideways, loose, tight....nothing ever worked. Can even sleep in them. I just pay the price the next day. A good thermorest with a layer of leaf duff usually yields decent comfort on the ground though. That big Hennessy would be nice for light packing and easy setup/teardown, but I just can't go that route.

Edited by Woodstramp

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I prefer to use a Kifaru Supertarp for most seasons, I don't think 40oz including 2.5" thick sleeping pad is too bad of a weight.

 

What do you do about ticks/other bugs since there is no ground cover?

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I've got 2 tent hammocks, one Hennessey, and one a cheap brand, and God-knows-how-many tents. I like 'em.

 

Years ago I went through a phase where I swore by the hammocks and would sleep in nothing else. Then I got a boyfriend who would have nothing to do with them, and let's face it, getting in and out is much easier in a tent with two people then a hammock. Besides, I only have one person hammocks.

 

I tried many different tents, most of which I love.

 

Comparisons:

Hammock:

-Needs trees at the right distance

-Needs good insulation under the body

-Mine only had a mesh cover, which I fixed with my sewing machine. Now it has a velcro on solid cover, which I have never taken off since I put it on. I've still got the option of mesh, but haven't used it.

- I find hammocks incredibly comfortable. I sometimes think I don't turn over once the entire night, and I sleep very soundly.

 

-I am highly claustrophobic and do not recommend them to people who are. Mine came with an entrance in the bottom. Sleep on top of my escape route? I DON'T THINK SO. I would not use it until I installed a zipper in the side. Now I can sleep if I start out with the zipper open just a bit with my hand sticking out. (For the claustrophobia)

-The easiest and strongest way to secure them to trees is with rafting cam straps. These work great, but are too heavy to use backpacking. You might as well carry tent poles. (I carry them anyway)

 

- Both of my hammocks have withstood incredible rain storms for days. We were able to do some of our kitchen activities UNDER the hammocks (which is where we stowed our gear at night), but still needed to set up an additional tarp for the kitchen. Adds more weight again.

 

Tent:

-Better for two people who want to snuggle.

-Can be a lot heavier

- More privacy for changing

-Can keep gear dryer

- a bit more versatile

- Can get wet from underneath.

I was on a trip where we had about 8 tents. It poured for a couple of days and nights. Every single tent leaked from below, and everyone had wet sleeping bags, except for me because I had an air mattress that kept my bag up out of the water. That was a really soaking rain that inundated the area. Yes, I know the bit about putting the tarp in such a way that it doesn't channel water under your tent. If the whole area around you turns to puddle, then it's going to get over your tarp. There were no options of where to put our tents. Long story. Hammocks would have been dryer, yet we were out for 8 days, so we had no guarantee we would have been able to find trees every night for 8 days. The way it goes sometimes.

 

I think each are better in certain circumstances.

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Depends where you are hiking/camping. My number one reason to use a tent. Mosquitoes!

 

As well as other biting insects. Here in New England you would be drained completely of all your blood.

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Hello,

I am a huge fan of the hammock. I converted about six years ago. I have a Clark North American and I love it! I've looked at or owned several others and the Clark is my fav. I camp almost every month in New England except for dead of winter and that's because I have a strong sensativity to the cold. First I am normally a stomach sleeper but I never fail to get comfortable in the hammock, and because of the way it is designed I have successfully slept in any position and I'm constantly moving and have never felt awkward. I camp with a bunch of Boy scouts and with the XL rain fly I've never had a changing issue. Also I have fibromyalgia so sleeping on the ground is agony, no more sore spots now. With some modifications to the original design I can now set up in about 5 minutes in the dark and rain.

The other nice thing about the Clark is that if needed it can be set up on the ground with a couple of walking sticks like a bivy sac, so you have the best of both worlds. My dog likes it too because she just curls up under the hammock. No more claw punctures in sleeping pads, or growling at things she can't see. Because of the built in bug net bugs have never been an issue, in fact I had many more problems with them getting trapped in the tent. Not to mention ticks from being on the ground.

It's true that they are cold from underneath in cold weather but the are a couple of good fixes for that. I have used car sun visors, yoga mats, and backpacking sleeping pads under me and that has helped. My newest thing I'm fixing now is a quick DIY underquilt. I picked up a down throw quilt at a thrift shop for $3 and I have stitched a cord at both ends. This way I can hang the blanket under the hammock and pull the cords tight to form a little down coccoon. It's so light and easy to compress it really doesn't add any extra weight. As you can see I am a huge fan and am on a mission to convert campers everywhere.

Good luck,

Heidi

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I switched over to a HH a couple of years ago. For colder weather I use a 20 degree bag and pad made of a polartec sleeping bag with an unfolded space blanket inside - keeps my butt warm. About the only time I bring the tent is if I know the wind will be blowing.

 

I prefer the hammock because of the lighter weight and the better sleep I get. I think sleeping in a hammock is much more comfortable than sleeping on a flat surface.

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Depends where you are hiking/camping. My number one reason to use a tent. Mosquitoes!

 

As well as other biting insects. Here in New England you would be drained completely of all your blood.

 

We're talking about tent hammocks here, which are fully enclosed like a tent. Bug free zones.

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hello! I really love using hammocks as it brings me the comfort that I wanted. I want to relax after long hours of work so I purchased hammocks here http://www.mexicanhammocks.com.au/

 

And take note, I am also using it for camping purposes. Their hammocks here are really good. You would really love to purchase one from here. Don't worry about the price because their products are all affordable. :)

Edited by mpanganiban

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My wife has been finding sleeping outdoors to be more and more of a chore due to her bad back (herniated disk and spinal stenosis). We've tried thicker and thicker sleeping pads and more recently an air pad, but she still has a good deal of pain.

 

I thought perhaps a hammock would be helpful. We ordered a Warbonnet Blackbird on the advice of a number of hammock enthusiasts. I figured that if it worked for her, great, if not I'd have a hammock for solo trips. I thought the latter scenario was the more likely one.

 

We got the Blackbird a few weeks ago and tried it out right away, camping in a local state park. My wife was not real thrilled with the idea of sleeping "alone" but tried it anyway. She woke up the next morning saying it was the best nights sleep she had in years and even more comfortable than our bed at home (a 1,000+ dollar mattress).

 

We camped again for 3 nights at Geowoodstock X and same thing, she woke up refreshed each morning instead of stiff and in pain. I was sleeping in an Eno Single Nest and it was OK, but not great. My knees were real sore every morning.

 

The Blackbird hammock has probably extended our backpacking/camping lives by years. It was nearing the point where the pain wasn't worth the camping experience to my wife.

 

My very own Blackbird should be in our mailbox today or tomorrow. I don't have a bad back, but found the Blackbird to be extremely comfortable. Because of the way it allows you to lay diagonally, I don't get the knee pain from it that the Eno Single Next caused.

Edited by briansnat

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if you find a tent that has cable tv, running water, and a fridge , I think my husband might be convinced to go camping .

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