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#120645 - 09/10/09 04:04 AM Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters...
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
...and never the twain shall meet, or so it seems on lightweight forums. We're all in one of these "camps" and once we gravitate there, we tend to stay. Why I dunno.

But I think Henry Shires over at TarpTent, and the folks at a few of the other cottage tentmakers seem to have convinced a few to their way of thinking with their beautiful, UL silnylon creations.

TARPING> I understand the romance of tarping. Learning a variety of tarp configurations is very handy. I've done most from airy to nailed down for snowstorms. It's cool (sometimes literally) but I've long ago become a tenter.

TENTING> Good tents are fast to set up and bugproof. Single wall tents are light and, if well designed, cool and don't get much condensation in MOST situations. I love to see well designed tents in use. They are clever sculptures in fabric. My NF Tadpole is a good example.

HAMMOCKS> And, though I've slept in canvass hammocks aboard a tall ship I crewed on for three summers (U.S. Brig Niagara) I just can't understand backpack hammocking UNLESS I'm in a wet jungle or swamp.

Hammockers, enlighten me.

Eric

BTW, Who knows, someday we may see a Tarptent hammock that has an innovative design answering a hammocker's many needs. Who knows...


Edited by 300winmag (09/10/09 06:53 PM)
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#120647 - 09/10/09 05:17 AM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: 300winmag]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 654
Loc: Upstate NY
A more accurate description of my hammock is a suspended tent. Basically I have a single person tent with a large rainfly that happens to not touch the ground. It is very stable, dry, and bug free unlike what most would think of if I just said a hammock. The biggest difference between the hammock and tent is comfort; I sleep better in my hammock than I do in bed. Does this help?

_________________________
http://ducttapeadk.blogspot.com

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#120648 - 09/10/09 07:28 AM COMFORT [Re: 300winmag]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
OK, that does not seem like that much of an answer.

Labor Day weekend I hiked with 3 guys. At a potential campsite they rolled out pads to test for level, rotated the pads, walked in circles and scratched their heads. In the mean time I have found my 2 trees and marked them with hiking poles and rigged the group bear bag. After a conference they decided that the site was OK. They started putting up their tents. I hung my hammock and fly, laid out my quilt, then went for water. They were still rigging their tent when I returned.

We got a light rain at about dinner time. I cooked under my rain fly sitting in my hammock. They stood under a tree with their rain jackets on and watched their stoves.

I had to wake up a couple of guys the next morning. They said that they had only slept about a half hour at a time and not gotten much sleep. I had the food returned to camp and the bear bag gear stowed before they crawled out of their tents.

The rain pack up technique is the same bor both shelters. You pack either under your hammock rain fly or in the tent then quickly put the wet shelter in the outside mesh pocket. There is much more room under the hammock rain fly and I do not need to crawl around.

During bug season I use a Warbonnett BlackBird, but prefer the Claytor No Net.

I figure that normally I carry about a pound more to sleep in a hammock. The complete weight of the Claytor No Net, MacCat Deluxe rain fly and pads is 58.4 oz. A TarpTent Sublite, 60" Big Agnes Insulated Air Core and Ridgerest ground cloth is 56.7 oz.

For a thru-hiker a hammock is probably not much of an advantage. When I hike in the desert I sleep well on the ground AFTER the second night. The big advantage is that it allows us week-end warriors to sleep well.

IMO tents have an advantage for snow camping. Hammocks can not take advantage of the insulation from snow.

Shelters are like all our gear-- it needs to be matched to the hike. I primarily use a hammock, but I also use tents when they work better. I guess I do not understand the gear polarization


Edited by food (09/10/09 07:33 AM)
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#120650 - 09/10/09 08:04 AM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: 300winmag]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
Like "Food" said, comfort. I don't think I've camped in a tent in 15 years. Hammocks just suit me..I sleep better in a hammock than my bed at home. I didn't become curious about hammocks because of backpacking/camping. While in Cozumel, Mexico, I visited our guide's home and there were net hammocks strung up all over, no beds. So, I bought a couple and tried them...then took them camping. There is one on my back porch now. I considered the Mexican hammocks a bit on the heavy side and made my own from ripstop, using a plastic tarp as a fly.
Then Hennessey came along and that's what I've been using.
The fact that you can pitch them on the ground like a tent is an added benefit, if you run out of trees.
As "food" indicated, its quite nice not having any ground concerns at all. As long as you have rope long enough to connect two trees, you're good. My wife loves 'em too.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#120651 - 09/10/09 09:52 AM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: 300winmag]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
In a tent, I was cold, sore, and tired - did not sleep a wink at night, rolled around all night trying to be comfortable, ended up frustrated and contemplating a very heavy down mat and a very expensive non-mummy bag.

In a hammock, I sleep all night, unless there are random noises to wake me up. I don't need the bag. I don't need a flat spot. I don't sleep in a banana shape, roll around all night, or get cold.

Recently I picked up a NeoAir as I was going over the Sierra Crest and the chances were good that I would end up on the ground under my tarp somewhere. I did, and while it wasn't as bad as the 1.5" pad on the ground, and I did get some sleep, it's not as good as the hammock. I didn't need to use the hammock as a bivy as the bugs are mostly gone late season. Since there are some regions where it may be harder (not impossible, just harder than I care to fiddle with) to hang a hammock, I am contemplating a tarp tent in addition to it. However - for trips several nights long, where most nights I will be able to hang, you can bet I'll be out in the hammock. Any night spent off the ground is one where I'll get a full eight hours in comfort.

Hammocks do get a lot of sarcastic comments out here in Cali, but as long as I'm sleeping I don't care about skepticism from my hiking group about falling out or getting blown around in the wind. I'm the one sleeping comfortably, waking early, and sipping coffee as the sun rises and they're all moaning about getting up. I was perfectly stable and hardly swaying in the wind while a friend's tent was flapping and straining at the stakes - pitched the hammock head into the wind, staked the tarp to the ground with the end closed, no problem. Cooked on my alcohol stove under the tarp in the dead space while the wind howled. Another campout, a friend had to pack up the muddy, tracked-in-wet-leaves tent to take home to wash and dry - my gear never hit the wet ground. My pack hangs with me in a gear hammock, my clothes are in the hammock shelf (only the Blackbird has a shelf, there are hammocks with pockets) and my shoes sit in the middle of the 10x10 dry spot under my tarp. Everything packs under the tarp and stays dry, and the tarp comes down last to be tucked in a side pocket.

On a recent three day, a friend who will swear by tents because he doesn't like bugs got ants in his tent. I've never had ants or other bugs in the hammock. I treat the straps with permethrin.

Actually, once someone is interested in a hammock, 8 times out of 10, they sell the tent and never look back. You may never understand until you try it, but the difference between a camping hammock and sleeping on the ground is night and day. Some people don't care to bother figuring it out, for others it's the solution to enjoying backpacking without soreness and suffering, so is it any wonder they embrace it like a religion? I wouldn't be backpacking otherwise.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#120655 - 09/10/09 12:39 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: lori]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
So, lori and food described my sentiments. I do it for comfort. Someday I may have enough cash for a DAM, and then I can compare. But, sleeping on the ground has never been fun for me.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#120660 - 09/10/09 04:14 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: finallyME]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
Lori you hammock camp in california? Whats the highest you have hammocked in the sierras? Also what was the lowest temperature? Oh and do you use and under quilt?
I have thought about getting a hammock for sometime now. I like the option for sleeping well at night, and when trees cant be found just pitch the rain fly. Every time i go hiking i always seem to spot a place where a hammock could be hung.

Thanks

Ps- i use a tarp, its floor-less and also serves as my poncho. Light, multi purpose. I also made a light bug-netting that keeps bugs out.

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#120664 - 09/10/09 05:50 PM Re: COMFORT [Re: ringtail]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Originally Posted By food


During bug season I use a Warbonnett BlackBird, but prefer the Claytor No Net.

I figure that normally I carry about a pound more to sleep in a hammock. The complete weight of the Claytor No Net, MacCat Deluxe rain fly and pads is 58.4 oz. A TarpTent Sublite, 60" Big Agnes Insulated Air Core and Ridgerest ground cloth is 56.7 oz.



The set up you describe is a mirror image of mine, with the exception of a Warbonnet SuperFly for my tarp.

The Tarptent Sublite, as dear to my heart as it is, cannot compete with hammocks. Even in winter i will be using my Warbonnet or Claytor No-Net with and under quilt. More room, comfort and ease of use with very little weight penalty. As winter sets in, you will end up saving weight with a hammock over a traditional 4 season tent set up with thicker pads.

BF cool


Edited by bigfoot2 (09/10/09 05:51 PM)
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#120666 - 09/10/09 06:13 PM Re: COMFORT [Re: bigfoot2]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
I learn something from everyone I hike with. I am looking forward to the PNW hike.

I have never slept in the Sublite. I got it as a dedicated Grand Canyon tent and loaned it to a guy for my May Canyon trip then he borrowed it again for a Labor Day mountain trip.
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#120670 - 09/10/09 06:54 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: Bushman]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I set up the hammock at 10,000 feet just east of Donahue Pass, between a couple of small high elevation trees in the subalpine meadows. I would have gotten through the wind okay except it was the beginning of that storm that blew through the first week of August - the trees were stablized by my weight in the hammock but not enough to keep the tarp from flapping around and keeping me awake. Since I was relatively certain it was weather and not just high altitude wind, I didn't want to just take down the tarp, so took everything down and pitched the MacCat in a flying diamond pointed into the wind. I had the NeoAir and was fine until about 2 am when a fierce gust snatched the tarp D rings off the groundhogs - note to self, put bigger rocks on the stakes when winds are 40-50 mph!

If I had been by myself I would have simply headlamped off into the night in search of a more sheltered spot, but I would have been out of sight of the tent dweller group I was with. I usually use a JRB underquilt but this was one of those multi-9000ft+-pass outings, and I felt the pads would make it easier. Temps routinely dip into the 30s and the JRB 3 season quilts are more than adequate to the task. I will be going out in October to high elevation Sequoia NP, and anticipate using both quilts, the Neo Air, a GG 1/4" foam pad, and possibly a tarp tent, depending on whether I can get myself another job soon.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#120671 - 09/10/09 07:17 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: lori]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
I don't buy into the "one or the other" syndrome. I have used and continue to use tarps, tents, and hammocks in different situations. For no bugs, super light trips I take a tarp. For trips with my family I usually take a tent as it is significantly lighter for me than putting all of us in hammocks. (I'm the pack mule for the family). For winter trips in Minnesota I go with a tent or even build an igloo if we aren't moving every day. For a good nights sleep, a dry spot to store gear or cook, a comfy chair, and just plain coolness I take a hammock. For all three I keep tweaking, looking for the best combination of gear that gives me a light load and a comfortable nights sleep.
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#120702 - 09/11/09 04:09 AM Re: COMFORT [Re: ringtail]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Originally Posted By food


I have never slept in the Sublite.


As funny as it sounds, i've never slept in one, either shocked and i co-designed the darn thing based on my old TNF Dandelion tent!
http://www.freewebs.com/bigfootpictures/unknownorthfacetent.htm
Never even seen one up close. I'm much happier in my Blackbird than any tent i've ever used, though. The only type of tent that i would even remotely be interested in would be a teepee or 'mid style for winter camping (Golite, Oware, MLD, etc).

BF cool


Edited by bigfoot2 (09/11/09 04:16 AM)
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#120743 - 09/11/09 08:38 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: lori]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

I'll add my $0.02 to Lori's comments regarding elevation and temps.

While I haven't come anywhere close to 10,000 feet I have been down to 23F in my hammock.

I used a 3/8" ccf pad, with a fleece blanket on top of it, RayWay alpine quilt, layers of clothing and emergency reflective blanket on the outside. All covered by a home made tarp pulled down tight. I would have used the same gear if I had been in a tent.

I now have a Exped DAM 7 and really enjoy it in the hammock. I use it partially inflated and it really adds some welcome degrees. I also have a home made "hammock sock" that can add 5-7 degrees.

As others have said, I use a hammock for comfort.

I also have tents and use them when the need arises. Those times are getting fewer and farther apart.

My son also uses a hammock and prefers it. He's trying to convert others in our troop.

Tango
_________________________
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.

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#120746 - 09/11/09 10:15 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: Tango61]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
I am trying to decide if i want to use a hammock on a thru hike or not. I fell asleep in one last night...with a little help. I am sure after a long day of hiking it would be like sleeping on a cloud. Heck my sleeping pad feels that good...until i wake up at 1 in the morning.

See i am going to attempt to thru hike the pct next season. Plan on test running a bunch of gear later this month, maybe a hammock will be included. Can i rent on from anywhere?
Thanks

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#120754 - 09/12/09 12:32 AM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: thecook]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By thecook
I don't buy into the "one or the other" syndrome. I have used and continue to use tarps, tents, and hammocks in different situations.


I concur completely. I do spent the majority of my trips in the hammock but not all. I tent in the winter. I tent if I'm a lot of time above treeline, I tarp it if I'm trying to go really light and there are no bugs, etc.


Now as for being enlightend? well Eric, you just have to try it. You can't be enlightened until you do, and you'll either like it or not. This is not your bend in the middle ship hammock, a good camping hammock you can lie flat in.

My two big reasons:

1) Comfort.

2) Epic Camp sites and morning views from in your bag you just can't get in a tent:







_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#120755 - 09/12/09 12:48 AM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: thecook]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By thecook
I don't buy into the "one or the other" syndrome. I have used and continue to use tarps, tents, and hammocks in different situations.


Yep, I swing both ways too. Or is it all three ways? I sometimes use just a bivy which is neither tarp, tent nor hammock.

I use a hammock when it's practical. When it's not I'm on the ground.

When I'm on the ground I use a tarp when it's practical. When it's not I use a tent.

That sums it up for me.
_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#120764 - 09/12/09 12:16 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: Trailrunner]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I haven't tried camping in a hammock, but I get very uncomfortable after 15-20 minutes in the backyard variety. Primarily, I need a bug-free space for me and my dog, and for that reason I need a tent--preferably a Tarptent with lots of ventilation and views out more than the door. My dog is part of my sleep system (keeps my feet warm), and if he were separated from me, both of us would whine all night! I may switch to a tarp for fall camping, once the bugs are all gone (they appear still to be lingering in the Cascades).

An insulated air pad takes care of the unpleasantness of sleeping on the ground. Food, I found your friends' "committee" (remember the one about the camel being a horse that was invented by a committee?) approach to putting up their tent really amusing. I can get my tent up in less than 5 minutes, including removing major sticks and stones from the tent site. No, I don't cook or eat in my tent and I recommend you not cook or eat in your hammock, either, unless you want a bear passing in the middle of the night to think you're a burrito.

In the end, each of us picks the style that suits us as individuals. HYOH, YMMV and all that.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#120771 - 09/12/09 02:05 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: 300winmag]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
Originally Posted By 300winmag




Hammockers, enlighten me.

Eric



Here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxevtxnkmkk

BF cool

_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#120789 - 09/12/09 05:33 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: bigfoot2]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
Hiking HQ has a hammock 101 section. I found it helpful.

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#120823 - 09/13/09 01:33 AM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: 300winmag]
ConnallMac Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 25
Loc: Eastern Indiana
I gave up tents years ago for the flexibility of tarps. A few months ago I finally took the plunge and bought my first backpacking hammock. I bought an Eagle's Nest Outfitters' Single Nest and I had the first good night's sleep while backpacking ever!

I took it with me this past week on a four night excursion to North Manitou Island and slept wonderfully all four nights. My two frequent backpacking buddies had advised me that I should try placing my ridgerest closed cell pad under me in the hammock to combat cooler weather. They were right on target! I used my 40 degree bag like a quilt to cover me on top; the only time I ever got cold was when I moved about in my sleep and raised the edge of my bag. Last night when I got home I even found myself wishing I could set up my hammock in the bedroom, as I found my Sleep Number bed to be less comfortable!

I will continue with ways to extend the range of my hammock, like I did on the last night of our North Manitou trip, where I set up my tarp over it in case of rain. We lucked out and had no rain, but it set up with far less paracord than I would normally use and only two stakes!


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#120848 - 09/13/09 12:22 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: 300winmag]
bigfoot2 Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
For those few of you on TLB with a Warbonnet hammock, here's how to convert it to 4 seasons:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvWKmjFHvdQ&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hammockforums.net%2Fforum%2Fshowthread.php%3Ft%3D10646&feature=player_embedded#t=88

I'm DROOLING awesome awesome

BF cool
_________________________
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

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#120996 - 09/15/09 11:27 PM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: bigfoot2]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
I believe I've been enlightened... enlightened but not sold. Thank you all for the information. I noticed the word COMFORT kept appearing in many posts. Being a confirmed Hedonist I may just give a hammock a try - again.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#121051 - 09/17/09 12:28 AM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: 300winmag]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Don't forget to lie kitty corner in the hammock to avoid feeling like a banana grin
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#121053 - 09/17/09 12:39 AM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: thecook]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#121060 - 09/17/09 10:11 AM Re: Tarpers, Hammockers & Tenters... [Re: thecook]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Yes, lying correctly in the hammock will make or break the experience.

_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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