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#88463 - 01/29/08 08:04 PM Too close for comfort
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Hiya,

I am getting into backpacking in my slow, methodical way after many years of not doing it - I am doing sort of a combo of backpacking and car camping (car packing - stuff it all in the backpack, drive to campsite, set up tent, use the rest of the gear on day hikes). Ever so slowly I am accumulating the items necessary for actual multiple night hikes - I am a water filter short of being a 3 season packer.

I am finding that my longstanding claustrophobia is acting up, however. I have always disliked feeling confined - this is how I end up with a two bedroom apartment and there is only one of me, a four door sedan rather than a tiny compact, etc. The two person tent I have is fine for me and my gear, but after being in it zipped up in a mummy bag overnight I'm waking up anxious and swearing at the zipper (it sticks) then leaping out of the tent.

After lots (and lots and lots) of reading online in various forums I settled on a Hennessy Hammock, to which I shall add various suggested items (ccl pad, space blanket, etc) to make it warm enough; I intend to use the mummy bag as a quilt to fend off my zipper anxiety, until such time that I have saved my pennies to pick up one of the lovely sounding down quilts I keep reading about. I have trekking poles and intend to practice setting it up as hammock and with the poles before heading into the wilderness.

Does anyone feel claustrophobic in those hammocks? I like the thought of having the netting overhead and maybe tying the tarp high when it's not rainy so I can see around me and get more ventilation. I also like that one can use the tarp to shield your cookstove, which isn't possible with the tiny vestibule of the tent. I'm just not sure how it's going to feel sitting/laying in it - I'm sure not getting a peapod any time soon! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Lori

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#88464 - 01/29/08 09:01 PM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: lori]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Did you buy the HH yet? You can make your own hammock with cheap fabric, then try it out with a tarp in your back yard or car camping. If claustrophobia is a big problem, then I would do this before throwing the money at an HH.

I don't get claustrophobic, so I can't comment on that. But, a blanket and tarp are better for it than a mummy and tent, I think.

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

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#88465 - 01/29/08 10:09 PM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: finallyME]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I have never used a hammock, but from the pics I've seen, they look much worse than a tent to me as far as feeling closed in when covered with a tarp.

Take a look at one of our sponsors-Tarptent. Henry (the owner of Tarptent) makes an open designed tent-hence the name. They all get rave reviews and come in different sizes.

Click on the Portal (top of the page) to find the link.

Six Moon Designs also makes a small tent that can be open on one side except in heavy rain when you will want to close it up.

Before getting a hammock, I would take a good look at those.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#88466 - 01/29/08 11:16 PM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: lori]
billk Offline
member

Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 1196
Loc: Portland, Oregon
If the hammock doesn't work out, you might take a look at the Ray-Way tarp and net-tent. That is, if you're a do-it-yourselfer. It's quite large and airy, so no closed-in feeling. I made the net-tent part a bit wider and with a zipper entrance.

Tarp & Net-Tent on Ray's site

This is the one I made:


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#88467 - 01/29/08 11:35 PM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: lori]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

If you haven't already bought the hennesey, Try this first., and
if you absolutely can't stand it, don't buy a hammock. You'd probably be way
happier with a tarptent as TomD suggests, they are very roomy.

If you have, don't fret just yet, the hennesy is a very good choice. - it is surprisingly
roomy inside (at least to me). I get clastrophobic in a bivy - I don't in a hammock.

1) rig it firm, but not too tight.
2) The hennesy has little elastic points on the side - many people don't use these because they don't care how big the hammock feels - you should - since the hennesey
has loose sides, these pull it out a bunch and make it feel much bigger inside, so be
sure to stake the side elastics out.

Oh, and one more thing, the only real dumb thing about the hennesey is clipping the
tarp onto the hammock support lines with the clips that come attached to the line with prussik knots. I strongly suggest you buy some small lengths of light cord or spectra to hang your tarp with seperately from the hammock, so when you get in, your tarp doesn't sag. Finally, it may be the nearness of the small tarp rigged right overtop that bothers you,
so you may want to consider a combination of:
a) rigging the tarp a bit higher (being careful about site selection/placement so you don't get wet)
b) finding a slightly larger silnylon tarp to use, allowing you to rig the tarp a bit higher, but still have protection from the elements.
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#88468 - 01/30/08 05:05 AM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: lori]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3569
Loc: Texas
"I have trekking poles and intend to practice setting it up as hammock and with the poles before heading into the wilderness."

You mean setting it up as a tarp?? Trekking poles won't support that hammock, but it makes a nice tarp using the poles if no trees are around.

Anyway, I've been a avid user of Hennessy's (i have two) since they started making them and one of the reasons why is that I DON'T feel all closed up. You can see out and exiting the things is by simply falling out the bottom slit in one easy motion. From the outside it looks like a cow giving birth.... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Probably the creepiest thing I had to get over, albeit quickly, was the feeling of being suspended and sleeping in mid-air, by two thin ropes. You'll enjoy not being cocooned in a mummy bag, using it as a quilt instead. I never put out the rain fly unless it's wet or really windy and the bug netting stops a lot of wind, which give a more open feeling.
My wife had the same claustrophobic misgivings as you but after her fist night in the hammock, I had a hard time getting her out the next morning. You will sleep very well! We use only a Ridgerest pad for the inside and a mylar sheet to block wind on the outside...nice and warm.

As others have mentioned, there are some nice tarps out there too. There's just something elegant about being able to suspend and be inside your shelter, in one minute, with absolutely no concerns about ground levelness or rocks/sticks, as in a hammock.

Before the Hennessey, I used an open homemade hammock made from 4 yards of ripstop. I still use it as a loaner. You lay in it the same way as a Hennesey but the bug net is separate. You can duplicate that hammock using a queen/king size bed sheet tied with rope using sheet bends on the ends....for a trial run, assuming you haven't bought the Hennesey yet. One advantage of an open hammock is that you can enter/exit from all sides. I still prefer the Hennessy though, for other reasons.

Car camping and day hikes.....ain't nothin' wrong with that, what-so-ever! Makes for nice trips!
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#88469 - 01/30/08 06:58 AM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: TomD]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Quote:
I have never used a hammock, but from the pics I've seen, they look much worse than a tent to me as far as feeling closed in when covered with a tarp.

Take a look at one of our sponsors-Tarptent. Henry (the owner of Tarptent) makes an open designed tent-hence the name. They all get rave reviews and come in different sizes.


I looked at those too - I wouldn't have an issue with the tent I have, except for my panicked morning exits, which (should have mentioned this too) are more problematic because I have a hard time getting out and up off the ground. I'm afraid I'm going to ruin the tent. The zipper doesn't work unless I have proper tension on the material or I'm pulling the right angle, and anxiety makes me less patient with that. And my legs work fine for hiking around, up and down, but I have trouble rising from the ground.

Needless to say I'm getting back into yoga again, but it's gonna be a while. The hammocks have the appeal of getting my feet under me with minimal fuss. And I'm gonna have to get used to tarps and covers, one way or the other, because there's no avoiding it - but the hammocks seem to have more flexibility than a double wall tent, so far as how close or far you hang the cover. That said, I appreciate the suggestions and if I can overcome some of these issues I may have another look at tarptents and retire the dome to car camping or loaning to friends.
_________________________
"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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#88470 - 01/30/08 07:05 AM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: phat]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Quote:


If you have, don't fret just yet, the hennesy is a very good choice. - it is surprisingly
roomy inside (at least to me). I get clastrophobic in a bivy - I don't in a hammock.

1) rig it firm, but not too tight.
2) The hennesy has little elastic points on the side - many people don't use these because they don't care how big the hammock feels - you should - since the hennesey
has loose sides, these pull it out a bunch and make it feel much bigger inside, so be
sure to stake the side elastics out.


thanks for the suggestions - I ran across an ebay auction for a used backpacker ultralite and managed to shave off a third of the full retail of the hammock. I have been eyeballing maccat/blackcat tarps as they are lighter and have more tie loops than the standard tarp, plus the maccat looks like it really lets in the light.

I liked the side tie-outs on the hennessy - it looked like it might make it roomier. Thanks for confirming that hunch.

Lori
_________________________
"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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#88471 - 01/30/08 07:17 AM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: billk]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Quote:
If the hammock doesn't work out, you might take a look at the Ray-Way tarp and net-tent. That is, if you're a do-it-yourselfer. It's quite large and airy, so no closed-in feeling. I made the net-tent part a bit wider and with a zipper entrance.

Tarp & Net-Tent on Ray's site

This is the one I made:



cool tent! But do it myself? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> Oh, man. I would probably sew my fingers into it. I can install a motherboard, but the last time I sewed anything I was in high school home ec, which gave me the only D I have had in my entire life.

Maybe if the hammock doesn't work I can swindle a crafty friend into doing it for me. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#88472 - 01/30/08 08:58 AM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: lori]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada


I think the big thing for you with a bigger tarp like a maccat will be that you can pitch it a lot higher
above your hammock in most situations and still be protected from the elements. The stock hennesey
tarp works just fine, but you need to pitch it fairly close to the hammock. With a bigger tarp you'll have a lot more headroom.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#88473 - 01/30/08 10:23 AM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: phat]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Don't forget-for a hammock to work, you need two anchor points for it, which will limit where you can camp. Some tents or tarps just need one or maybe both of your trekking poles (or their own poles) so they can be put up almost anywhere.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#88474 - 01/30/08 11:22 AM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: TomD]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:
Don't forget-for a hammock to work, you need two anchor points for it.


TWO. Are you sure? I guess that is my problem. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#88475 - 01/30/08 01:33 PM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: finallyME]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Quote:
Quote:
Don't forget-for a hammock to work, you need two anchor points for it.


TWO. Are you sure? I guess that is my problem. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


What was I thinking?
Not if you have one of these. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Porta-ledge

And a point to hang it from (really big tree or cliff not included).


Edited by TomD (01/30/08 01:34 PM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#88476 - 01/30/08 02:28 PM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: lori]
Ender Offline
member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 779
Loc: ME
Quote:
Does anyone feel claustrophobic in those hammocks? I like the thought of having the netting overhead and maybe tying the tarp high when it's not rainy so I can see around me and get more ventilation. I also like that one can use the tarp to shield your cookstove, which isn't possible with the tiny vestibule of the tent. I'm just not sure how it's going to feel sitting/laying in it - I'm sure not getting a peapod any time soon! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Lori


I use a HH, and love it, but just a warning, you do feel very enclosed in a hammock. If you have claustrophobia issues, you should test a hammock first before you buy one if possible to see if you can deal with it or not.

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#88477 - 01/30/08 09:12 PM Re: Too close for comfort [Re: lori]
Tango61 Offline
member

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

lori,
Your'e not the first to be concerned about claustrophobia in a hammock
There are several threads about it on HammockForums.net

My hammock is referred to as a 'body bag' so you can guess how it wraps around me (plus it's black!). I've found that as long as I can keep my face in an open area, I'm okay. Plus, it's easy to get in and out of (I have a top loader as opposed to a bottom entry like a Hennesy), which helps me with the feelings of claustrophobia. Knowing I can quickly get out of something seems to be half the battle. The tie outs on a Hennesy allow it to feel more open. I have them on my hammock and use them during the summer, mainly to help with air circulation.

Tango

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