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#188763 - 01/27/15 05:48 PM newbie with tent hammock ?'s
redbeard2 Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 2
ok...first off i am poor.....second i just took first test hike/camp with gear i have. i plan on more solo trips but gf went with me this last time and it went ok...my pack was heavy but not too crazy. i do need to learn how to lighten load. so my first question is i have a cheap 2 person tent i got at target, it is roughly 2.25 pounds. I cant afford ultralight. but i am planning trips without gf and been thinking of getting a hammock. I am worried about weight and cost. i can invest in ultralight tent poles and steaks to lighten load or get hammock plus tarp that will cost more money. i am interested in grand trunk with net around 75 bucks and tadpole tarp around 90 bucks. but i think i need tree straps that will add to cost and probably weight. i would like some insight.......i am 185 lbs and 6'1".....i will be hiking in mo. some cold weather but probably more spring and and fall. so basically will a hammock lighten my load and be worth the investment or should i just invest in lighter tent poles/steaks. if i should get hammock what brand and or tarp do you think will suit my needs

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#188765 - 01/28/15 05:41 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: redbeard2]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 666
Loc: Upstate NY
I camp in a hammock, I love it. That said if your question is about weight and money, I would stick with your tent. I find hammocks to be much more comfortable, but that wasnt your main area of concern.
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#188766 - 01/28/15 09:54 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: redbeard2]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Do you sew? At all? I'm a hammock hanger for many years and my first hammock was made by me about 15 years ago and is still used today.
12 feet of ripstop (heck, even a bed sheet!), some good line like Spectra or AmSteel Blue, and you are in biz. If you are really poor, nylon ski rope works just great (what I used). Add a ridgeline (piece of masons string) and now you can hang a rainfly or bug net, which you can make. I think I bought all the fabric at Walmarts $2 a yard bin, everything for under $20, if that.
Back then, there were no Hennessey's or War Bonnets yet. I own a couple manufactured hammocks but as I said, I still use my homemade ones. You can make them as light as you want!

Oh, and I don't use "tree straps". Instead I wrap the suspension line around the tree a couple of wraps, to spread out the load. Secure with a couple half hitches. No carabiners, no buckles, no hardware, no straps. Never ever damaged a tree.


Edited by Dryer (01/28/15 09:59 AM)
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#188774 - 01/28/15 11:48 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: Dryer]
AdventureMyk Offline
member

Registered: 06/16/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Knoxville, TN
I'm curious what cheap 2 person tent at Target was 2.25lbs? Heck, Big Agnes $450+ 2-person tents are barely in the 2-3lb range.

That said, a hammock can be easily lighter than a tent depending on what you use and both have good points and trade-offs. Depending on where you are you might not need a bug net, just a hammock and tarp (for weather) and that shaves weight and cost. Do you have any idea what kind of hammock you are interested in? They range from $40 for a nice comfy one that will last years up to the $650+ range like my Clarke Vertex (which is an enclosable 2-person hammock with individual suspensions).

As you will be camping in some cooler weather you might also consider the infamous CBS (Cold Butt Syndrome) that comes with hammocks. That means you will need either a good pad/reflector set-up (perk, it can also be used with the tent) or an insulated underquilt (which can be used as a top-quilt in some cases while tenting). Either way you are going to need something between your body and the ground or your body and the air as the sleeping bag you might bring will be compressed against the material. Again, neither is better or worse, just a trade-off for different styles.

For what it's worth, I have 5 tent set-ups from single to 6 person and 5 hammock camping rigs. I just take whichever fits the upcoming location and weather the best and tailor it around who is going with me. You might find that if you really like camping it's not hard to end up doing that. <grin> Welcome to the addiction!


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#188775 - 01/28/15 11:51 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: redbeard2]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1050
Loc: Madison, AL
most people choose a hammock for comfort not weight. By the time you are out the door, I doubt you will lose weight by switching to a hammock.

Actually, I doubt you lose much weight by buying new poles and stakes. I would check out the comparison to your current poles and stakes before you spend the money. Stakes may be cheap to replace, but lightweight poles are usually pretty expensive (and not that much lighter).

The easiest weight to drop weight is not bringing stuff. After your trip go through everything you brought and ask if you used it enough to be worth bringing next time. You shouldn't get rid of your first aid kit, but you might be able to pair it down considerably. How much extra food and clothing did you bring? What did your pack weigh?

If you have the money to upgrade one piece of equipment, you usually get the best bang for your buck with a sleeping bag/quilt. A quality bag is very expensive but you get what you pay for.


Originally Posted By AdventureMyk
I'm curious what cheap 2 person tent at Target was 2.25lbs?



That's a really good question... please let us know


Edited by BZH (01/28/15 11:54 AM)

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#188777 - 01/28/15 12:18 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: redbeard2]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 848
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
You could easily get a complete hammock setup for less than you've quoted if you're willing to do little bit of DIY and if you're camping in warm weather. I use a Grand Trunk Ultralight, $20, but you could spend half that if you sew up a cheap polyester table cover. The strapping for homemade tree straps was $7, and the rope (Amsteel Blue 7/64") was $5.25 for 25 feet. I cut toggles from an old aluminum arrow I got for free, but you can use found sticks instead (the arrow shaft just slides out more easily).

One of the two gotchas I mentioned above is cold weather camping. If you'll be doing this, you'll have to have insulation underneath you, either a pad or an underquilt. A foam pad is cheap, but hard to keep in place, and depending on the weather, may need to be pretty thick. I've done this down to low 30s with the famous Walmart blue pad, but I was not toasty. I basically had to choose between keeping my torso warm with my coat or keeping my feet warm by wrapping my coat around them. In the end, I balled up into a fetal position and stayed warm enough, but I woke up with a very stiff knee. So, the moral is, if you use a foam pad, make sure it's thick enough and wide enough. I haven't tried an underquilt yet (unless you count an emergency blanket slung under me), as they are very expensive. Some people have had good luck with turning a military ponch liner (about $20) into an underquilt, but I don't imagine that'd be warm at very cold temperatures either.

The other gotcha I was referring to is bug netting, which I see you were planning to buy. But, be aware that you won't need it in winter. You could put together the rest of your kit and get some use in before you need to make this purchase. Also, some people have made their own bug nets from inexpensive bargain bin fabric - tule, organza, "wedding veil fabric", etc.

In the end, it's all about how much work and time you're willing to put into it to get the price down and still be comfortable. You might be better off sticking to a tent for now, but that's a decision you'll have to make.
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#188796 - 01/28/15 05:28 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: redbeard2]
redbeard2 Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 2
ok first off....big typo with tent weight..its actually like 4.5 or more......lol, sorry if i had you all rushing to target. but it was 2.6 k.g. about 4.5 ish pounds
when i mean poor, i mean i am on fixed budget. recently divorced with 3 kids. thanks for all the input, it is greatly appreciated.
yes i can sew but not great but i have a mother who can show me right way with machine.
i was interested in grand trunk with net around $75 plus tadpole tarp, i think $90 plus options. that is still a little over budget but i might be able to make that. Although now you all got me thinking maybe i just get ultra light and make my own net by summer, if i go backpacking in summer time. i like idea of myog but time and resources are an isssue. i have been known to spend more on diy than just buying, just because of learning curve, on previous addictions, aka jeeps. J.ust E.mpty E.very P.ocket. now that i am single i need a cheap hobby. i am already addicted to backpacking and i have only did it once.....so here is what i know so far. backpacking in winter is favorable when conditions are right. in warmer months i am guessing clothes will be less and bugs will be more. i am willing to do both but dont want to dedicate myself to one or the other. kinda in between

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#188805 - 01/29/15 08:58 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: redbeard2]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
After thinking about this more, my first hammock was made during Boy Scout summer camp in the '60's! A blanket, with nylon rope tied at the ends using sheet bend knots became all the rage and held up to a ton of abuse.
When I sewed my first hammock, I did the same thing with the prototype to get all the tensions right (you want the sides slightly tighter than the middle), so the fabric would lay "just right" before hemming the ends and sides. (the sides are actually ironed hems using "Stitchwitch".
I never really had to sew the final hammock. 4 yards of ripstop, some capable suspension line, sheet bends, done! This would give you the ability to change things around as needed for a custom fit.

My first hammock rain fly was a plastic blue tarp. Again, any coated nylon or sheep plastic will work fine, and be light weight. Learn the "pebble trick" to attach line anywhere on a sheet of fabric/plastic. Before hammocks caught on, this is how it was done.

I bet you could build your own spiffy hammock for under $10, no sewing required! Maybe even free if you look around.






Edited by Dryer (01/29/15 08:59 AM)
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paul, texas KD5IVP

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#188806 - 01/29/15 10:40 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: Dryer]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 848
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Dryer
My first hammock rain fly was a plastic blue tarp.

I'm currently using a 2mil plastic drop cloth cut down to 8.5 ft square and pitched as a diamond. The loops (that the ridge line attaches to) and the guy lines are all held on with sheet bends. You just have to be sure to gather up enough material when tying the sheet bends so it's strong enough to take the tension. It's not the most durable, but it works well, and it only cost a few bucks (US).
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#188807 - 01/29/15 11:27 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: 4evrplan]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 666
Loc: Upstate NY
Dirtbagging the hammock setup is of course an option. The same could be done for the ground setup.
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#188808 - 01/29/15 11:53 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: DTape]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 848
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Yes, of course, that's true. I only bring all this up because the first thing the OP wrote was that he's poor. And, he wants a hammock setup.
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#188811 - 01/29/15 04:05 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: DTape]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
"Dirtbagging"....explain. Not sure what that means.
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paul, texas KD5IVP

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#188812 - 01/29/15 04:08 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: 4evrplan]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Have you tried putting a pebble in the attach point and tying around the pebble? I've never tried a sheet bend in drop cloth plastic but I'm sure it will hold if done with enough meat in the knot. I use the pebble trick to attack guys to any flapping fabric.....holds amazingly well.

(put a pebble, bean, marble, into the cloth and a larkshead knot on the other side around the pebble. As strong as any sewn point.)
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#188813 - 01/29/15 04:10 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: Dryer]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 848
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Dryer
"Dirtbagging"....explain. Not sure what that means.

Dirtbagging explained.
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The journey is more important than the destination.

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#188814 - 01/29/15 04:14 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: Dryer]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 848
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I haven't tried that yet, but I'm sure I will if I have need to attach a line in the middle at some point. So far, I've only needed lines at the corners.

Actually, come to think of it I did that to attach a giant blue tarp to my trampoline as a privacy screen for sunning (not an "all-over" tan or anything, we're just really modest), but the only rocks I could find were really jagged and tore up the tarp pretty bad.
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#188816 - 01/29/15 04:46 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Not a hammocker here, but I do have experience attaching guylines to tarps that have no grommets or loops, especially plastic. You need to use smooth pebbles from stream beds. Other possibilities are conifer cones (if not prickly) or even a small piece of rotten wood (at the stage where it's soft but not too crumbly). You could take along a handful of dried lima beans--they're big enough, although smaller beans probably wouldn't be. Just pack a few extra because you'll probably lose a few.

Sgt. Rock's "dirtbagging" article is one of several I recommend for those wanting and/or needing to gear up inexpensively. Here's another recent one (i.e. sources and prices are up-to-date): $300 gear challenge


Edited by OregonMouse (01/29/15 04:52 PM)
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#188818 - 01/29/15 05:21 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: OregonMouse]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
I've used beans, marbles, wadded up TP, anything that won't cut your fabric and won't slip through the knot. I've got a big square of silnylon I use for multi-tasking (rain fly, tarp tent, etc.), and that's how I attach guys to it.

Dirtbagging.....good article, don't remember the term. Kinda like "dumpster diving" in ham radio circles. It's a positive thing. grin
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paul, texas KD5IVP

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#188819 - 01/30/15 12:33 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: redbeard2]
Mr. Jowee Offline
member

Registered: 11/18/13
Posts: 34
--Dutch Ware PolyD 11' - $35 (9oz) DutchwareGear.com
--Warbonnet Edge tarp - $85 (11.3oz) WarbonnetOutdoors.com
--Warbonnet Travel Net - $65 (9.3oz)
--Cinch buckle's w/ 1" poly webbing and 7/64 AmSteel continuous loops - $12 (~5oz) DutchwareGear.com or DIYGearSupply.com

Grand total of about $200. At about 2.2 lbs. the price rivals most ultralight sleep systems of the same weight, and surpasses them all in comfort. It contains a little bit of DIY in the form of AmSteel continuous loops. You could go cheap on the tarp if you're not going far, and some have had success with painters drop cloth or that plastic you put over your windows in the winter (polyethylene?). You might be able to skip the bug net as well, depending on the time of year and the environment you're hiking in.

Of course the biggest bulk and investment in a hammock setup is your insulation. You can get away with a foam pad, or an air mattress, but an under quilt is really the way to go.

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#188821 - 01/30/15 09:18 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: Mr. Jowee]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 848
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Mr. Jowee
...some have had success with painters drop cloth or that plastic you put over your windows in the winter (polyethylene?).


The painter's drop cloth is PE. The window film is supposedly "polycryo" or "polycro"? I've seen it both ways.
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The journey is more important than the destination.

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#188884 - 02/02/15 08:31 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: redbeard2]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
I have the Grand Trunk and I didn't like it. I do have the Tadpole and LOVE it! I take it with me sometimes even if I'm tent camping. If a buddy going join me I'll pack the tarp incase of down pour we can hang out under the tarp instead of our cramped solo tents. Tadpole is worth the money and investment, and you be hard pressed to find a better tarp in its price range. It used to be cheaper until it got too popular. I paid $75 or $80 for mine before the price increase due to popularity.
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It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#190352 - 04/24/15 03:50 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: redbeard2]
SurvivalDad Offline
member

Registered: 03/23/15
Posts: 26
I have always wanted to hammock camp over a long trek. Family makes it hard to do that. But good luck man.
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** Be alert, be aware and have a plan **

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#190355 - 04/24/15 08:24 PM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: ETSU Pride]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
If you go to www.hammockforums.net you will learn pretty much everything you need to know to get started with hammocks. It also has manufacturer forums so you can ask about particular gear from users. It also has a buy/sell forum for used gear. I'm a big proponent of buying used camping gear. You can often find good deals on used gear that is barely used because the seller didn't like it, quit camping, bought it for one special trip, etc. Half retail or less is what I've paid for a fair amount of my stuff, including gear and clothes.


Edited by TomD (04/24/15 08:30 PM)
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#190369 - 04/27/15 12:29 AM Re: newbie with tent hammock ?'s [Re: TomD]
the-gr8t-waldo Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/11
Posts: 162
Loc: Tacoma, Washington
there's a very good book on the subject....."The Ultimate Hang" the hammock forum has a lot of hiking information as well as hanging. and of course here. btw hi n welcome

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