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Topic: Lets talk hammocks, Imput please< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 11:21 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I do not own a hammock but am in the market for one. Once I first started doing a little research on them i quickly found out that there is a lot more brands and styles and things than i originally thought.

Like i said i dont own a hammock yet but in browsing around I seem to really like Warbonnet Blackbird double layer. (im a big guy, big like fat not tall lol)

Each one seems to have at least one unique feature that seems likeable. Can you hammock users put some imput here on your opinions of what would be the best hammock for a person to buy. Also, since im expanding into weekend/multi day backpacking rather than day hiking I was curious about the tarps that you hang over the hammock as well. Im guessing a multi use tarp that can be used over the hammock as well as "storm pitched" on the ground if caught in bad weather is one I would need. Imput please.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 11:32 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have ENO and Claytor Hammocks.  I owned a Clark back when they had a 90-day trial period and returned it because it was too short for me (but my son kept his - he is only 5' 11", i'm 6'2").

I like the Claytor because it has all you need - a double bottom waterproof hammock with attached bug net and separate tarp for a decent price.  It can even be pitched on the ground, although I have never done that.

You might want to replace the suspension system with either straps/ring buckles or whoppie slings, but that is not necessary, just a convenience.  Adding a gear hammock is also a convenience.

Other than the suspension system, the only other downside is that the bug net is not removable and unzips on only one side.  I'd prefer a bug net i could completely remove, or at least open on both sides, but for the additional zippers would add more weight for the UL users.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 12:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Random thoughts

As you have already determined, there are plenty of options. I humbly suggest you start watching some of the Youtube videos to see how they work and read through the hammock forums. There are plenty of bells, whistles and such and it's just like any other shelter...What works for you?

I went with the most simple light hammock I could find at the time (Hennessy Hammock Ultralight Asym). Their current version is a bit heavier than mine. The one you are looking at is probably the most popular hammock (at least the one I see most often).

You have to ask yourself - What seasons, what type of weather will you be encountering (I have a very small tarp that barely covers my hammock), what type of entry, etc.

In other words, there are no easy answers. I have used my tarp in a storm on the ground and also slept inside my hammock on the ground to deal with bugs. I've done this several times. It is awkward, uncomfortable and not an experience I would do unless in a pinch. A larger tarp would be much better (at least bigger than the one I have).

I don't have a problem using the straps that came with my hammock so I guess I don't know what I'm missing in regards to the other methods for strapping to trees. I also have found plenty of ways for dealing with flapping tarp, rain drip issues, etc. I hang a water bladder from the edge of the strap, tie a small piece of parachute cord for water to deal with dripping water, etc

All that said...My hammock is my favorite shelter. I sleep better in it than any of my other shelters.


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If I'm going to be lost, in the woods is where I want to be...
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 12:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WarBonnet now makes a convertible net hammock.  The net zips off completely.  I own a WBBB dbl 1.7, and should have gotten the dbl 1.1 since it's limits are closer to my weight.

I bought an OES tarp, but now that maker seems to be out of touch. WarBonnet makes tarps, as well as some other fine garage companies.  Just make sure to get a cut like MacCat so it is self tensioning along the edges.

The best accessory I have added is snake skins by Mtn Goat. These are mesh pouches for sliding over the hammock, while it is suspended but not guyed out. Makes put up and take down so much easier.

You might be interested in dropping by
https://www.hammockforums.net
for even more info.  There are some really good folks over there (not like here), and more information that you probably need right now.  They also have an extensive list of manufacturers of all things hammock.  


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Everything I know, I learned by doing it wrong at least twice.

"I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth."  Steve McQueen
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 12:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Jul. 18 2013, 11:14 am)
QUOTE
Random thoughts

As you have already determined, there are plenty of options. I humbly suggest you start watching some of the Youtube videos to see how they work and read through the hammock forums. There are plenty of bells, whistles and such and it's just like any other shelter...What works for you?

I have watched as many as I can stand to watch over the past few weeks. Youtube is actually a great way to get to see a item in use and get to see reviews of items. Its sometimes hard for me to determine what works and what doesnt from their reviews when they are done right out of the box and done either in there living room or in there backyard. Which is why I try to get imput from many sources.

Thanks for the advice Tigger! Im looking at being in it 3 seasons, maybe a low of 30-35 degrees sometimes and highs of 95-100 sometimes. Ive read about the underquilts and top quilts and such, I just really kind of planned on making a smart decision on the initial purchase of the hammock (because of cost of course) then taking it out there and tweaking the accesories such as slings, quilts tarps ect. to what I need or want.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 12:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

ol-zeke...I can see where skakeskins would be a definate plus for more than one reason. I thank you for your imput  Ill check out that website for sure
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 1:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've used mine in temps down into the 20's and used my 3/4 Prolite Plus in combo with a full length Z-Rest. The cold coming in from sides has been my "biggest' battle in cold temps. I often tuck my rainshell and other leftover clothing on both sides of me to keep warm. I could see how the underquilt would be a blessing but I've decided to spend my money elsewhere. The few times I've used it in temps that cold, I've been plenty comfortable enough without it. In hot weather, it is an absolute blessing. I love having a slight breeze blowing under me while I lay in it with the bug netting watching the stars at night in my "bug free" zone.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 18 2013, 5:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Another good thing about hammockforums is that you might find a hanger or two that live near you or a group hang close, so you can try some before you buy one.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 21 2013, 8:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a double layer warbonnet blackbird. At the time it was the lighter of the two material options, so maybe a 1.1oz?

My tarp is a big mamajamba with the optional door kit.

My experience is the hammock is great. It is roomy, I have an enclosed gear shelf to use, the bug net keeps (most) of the critters away (except for those that fly in when I am changing clothes, getting in, etc when I have the net open and I'm sitting up).

What I will offer in terms of tarps is that my preference is to have protection from the elements. That is why I went with the biggest tarp they offer. It wasn't a weight consideration that got me to that tarp, it was protection. I know a lot of people will use the real light diamond shape tarps that barely cover the hammock but that doesn't help me at all. When I get to camp I unload my pack and lay everything out - under the hammock on a tarp/ground cloth of some kind. I need to keep all my gear dry so I need a tarp that covers a lot.

Another thought regarding the tarps is that they can be used as a group shelter when in camp. I was on a trip one year where it started raining as we were cooking dinner. So we all got under my tarp, finished cooking, ate dinner, and hung out until the rain let up. We had plenty of space.

Most trips I do not use the door kit, mostly because it can be a pain to set up and takes more time, but if I know conditions are going to warrant their use I'll put the effort in. Such reasons would include storms, wind, or winter hanging.

In regards to winter hanging - I just got an underquilt from Hammock Gear last season - full length, rated to 20deg, with the most over-stuffing they offer. This quilt totally transformed my cooler weather hanging. No more pads to shift, and my bulky home-brew fleece quilt can stay at home (weighs 4-5lbs). The down underquilts are the way to go. They are expensive, but they are worth it. Nothing else compares. Your comfort on the trail is going to be well worth the investment. You can try other options if you like, but I would highly recommend getting a down underquilt right off the bat. Also - don't skimp on the temp rating. If you are anywhere near being a cold to moderate temp sleeper you want to have more than you think you need.

Last weekend I was backpacking and day temps were in the mid-upper 80's and night temps were in the mid-upper 60's. Perfect sleeping weather so I left my underquilts at home. With my sleeping bag only I just about froze my nuts off. The reason is as you lay in a hammock you compress the insulation that is inside = it is between you and the fabric of the hammock so it compresses. There was essentially no insulation below me and air to freely move and wick away heat below since I wasn't on the ground. Even at 65+ degrees I got really chilled. That part of the system I need to work on because I don't think it warrants the use of my down underquilt, but I definitely need something there.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 21 2013, 1:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When you go to the Hammock Forums ( and I highly recommend it ) go to the general hammock talk forum and check out the sticky *Video Series - Hammock Hangin' Shug Style... Essentials For Noobs*. Shug explains a lot of the different styles and gear of hammocks.

Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7 dbl.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 21 2013, 11:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The hammock system can be as modular as you can make it, which is good. I have a Blackbird and wish I could zip off the netting after the mosquitos are over and done, as they are the only bugs that are a bother for me where I go most of the time.

Underquilts are the comfortable way, but if going where I know there is a mixture of forest and alpine, I'll take an inflatable insulated mattress instead. Tarps work for the ground as well as in the trees. If most of the trip is going to be above treeline I take a Lightheart Gear solo.

I have Jacks R Better quilts - use them all the time no matter what, gave up sleeping bags a long time ago.


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All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
     Friedrich Nietzsche
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