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I've read a comment here and vthere about using hammocks.


And truth be told, the one thing I hate about camping is the tent.


Well..mors e speciffically, the squatting down to crawl in and out, and the getting down on the groud to get into my sl;eeping bag and getting back up again in the morning or the 4 times during the night to pee that only happens in cool wether when you are nice and snug in your bag!


My problem is my back will start aching and is just waiting for me to do the wrong thing so it can go out at work Monday morning.


I have an air matrress to help with cushion, and it does raise my "bed" 6 inches, but I am still dropping and crawling into my tent and crawling on the ground to my bag.



So the idea of a hammock that is at least waist high off the ground is music to my ears.


So, my questions are:


Do yopu have a rainfly over it or just veiw the sky ( when not raining of course)?

Do you use mosquito neting or just slather yourself with bug spray?


Do ants and other bugs do the congo down the ropes/webbing that connects to the tree?


Do you have to use extra padding between you and the hammock to retain heat in the winter/ coller weather?


Is a rainfly/tarp sufficient when it really rains or just a sprinkle?


And considering YP...where do you get dressed or change clothes?



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About 10 - 20 years ago when I was in my 30's, I took a Troop camping in the jungle in Panama (RP).


We used hammocks and wahtever bug spray they wanted. I used none and had no problems. Others used plenty and had plenty.


Never tried the ones with the covers but you could rig a rope and use a ground cloth for it if you wanted.


Just my $0.02.



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I confess that I can't sleep in a hammock. I like to be able to turn over and move around. So while I am incredibly envious of those who have and use jungle hammocks, I choose to allow the land leeches access. For some reason, I am far more comfortable on the ground. There's just nothing as good as soft ground, a warm sleeping bag, and rain on the fly. But then, my back is still in good shape so I don't mind wallowing with the leeches.

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Scoutfish.....I am a hammock hanger.....I have spent more than a month sleeping in it this year. The best sleep on a camp out ever. The down side is I still must tent camp at camporees or events like that.


I have a warbonnet blackbird I have a couple of tarps I use, from a supper light silnylon to a full fly with doors depending on the weather forecast.



Do yopu have a rainfly over it or just veiw the sky ( when not raining of course)? I usually take a tarp, Keeps the dew off you


Do you use mosquito neting or just slather yourself with bug spray? My hammock has mosquito netting.


Do ants and other bugs do the congo down the ropes/webbing that connects to the tree? Nope


Do you have to use extra padding between you and the hammock to retain heat in the winter/ coller weather? I bought myself an underquilt for my birthday, but I used to use a walmart blue pad. Even when the air temp gets into the 60's I would get cold butt.


Is a rainfly/tarp sufficient when it really rains or just a sprinkle? Tarps are great and when pitched right will protect you from all but the most wind driven rain.


And considering YP...where do you get dressed or change clothes? I am usually the first one up in the morning and the last one to bed....so I change clothing before I get into it in the evening....so never an issue....if your worried step to the far side of it. no biggy.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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Environmentalists raise all kinds of objections about the outdoors these days --- but never address the one that I'm most sensitive to --- how much harder the ground is these days than it was 25 years ago!



At age 61, I use a camp cot when I'm camping these days. That solves most of the issues raised by Scoutfish in his opening post for me. And I can set it up in my tent.



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rkfrance's link shows a very cool hammock that claims you can sleep on your side. It even has one that two people can sleep in without touching each other...if you believe it.


No see-um netting and rain flys that cover completely.


If you don't mind forking out $300.00 :)


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I too enjoy a good hang. I use a Hennessy Hammock Asym model for 2 years and have been very satisfied with my purchase. Mine has a built in bug mesh cover, enters through the bottom, and has a rain fly. There a few pro's and cons.



-Don't have to crawl in and out of a tent.

-My back feels great in the morning.

-Opens up more sites to camp.

-Is pretty small and light for backpacking.

-The boys think it looks its cool.


Truth be told my Boy Scout saw our old SM have one and asked for Christmas. HH had a buy one get one free sale (usually around Christmas every year).



-I get tree anxiety every campout-will I find big enough trees the right distance apart?

-The Hammock's have a weight limit (before the fabric tears not the rope). So when I weighed 236 and my hammock had a limit of 250 I sweated out how much my clothes weighed. They do make hammocks for bigger guys. It was a great incentive to loose weight.

-The enclosed ones are great but can feel a little confining.

-The biggest problem can be keeping warm in the morning. The underside of your body gets colder than on the ground. I get around this with a blue pad that wraps around my shoulder. This is less an issue in Florida.


If you are an experienced camper Hammocks open up a whole new world of fiddling and gear to you. I recommend lurking around hammockforums.net.

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REI: $40




I'm 6'2" and 220. After getting in it and listening to all the squeaking as the knots tightened the first time, it's been great!



1- I put a thermarest in the bottom to hold the netting out from my face. Never had cold butt.

2- A short section of thick rope protects the bark on trees I'm hanging from.

3- Multiple wraps of rope around a carabiner make it easier to untie your knots in the morning.

4- A $4 polytarp (6x9) attached to your trees diagonally and pegged to the ground provides: a) Privacy ("Look! Nekkid knees poking out from under a tarp!") b) Windscreen c) Dew and rain protection

5- The 'Bolivian style' diagonal sleeping keeps your back flat. (I was very skeptical!) I roll up clothes/jacket/whatever to provide elevation under my knees.

6- I store my pack on the ground under me. Ideal standing entry height is a little too high for me to reach into my pack on the ground; so I'm working on a lower hanging height, but then I can't stand under the tarp beside the hammock for dressing, etc...

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I tried a hammock for sleeping and found that I have the same complaints as packsaddle. Still, I take one everywhere (except Philmont) because I like resting off the ground after a long day of activities, expecially backpacking and canoeing. While I used one during the day after canoeing in Canada, I can't imagine using one at night with the Canadian dive bombing mosquitoes.



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I love my hammock, and use it whenever possible on campouts.


Mine is homemade and 12' long, 5 ft wide. I have a rainfly over it (a Noah's tarp 12 imitator), but have slept under the stars in nice weather. I use a "cot" mosquito net suspended over it during mosquito season. I use a Walmart blue pad for insulation when it gets colder. My tarp is huge, so I've got room to hide to change clothes. I've lucked out and not had rain yet.


I went to http://www.tothewoods.net/ which is Just Jeff's Hammock camping page for basic instructions. Also go to http://www.hammockforums.net/ for more advanced hints.



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I have slept in a hammock more than 40 nights in the past year. Since moving up, I have not had to sleep on the ground since. At summer camp, I set up my hammock a few yards behind the rest of the tents. It rained over 4" during the week, mostly in 3 heavy spurts; the only dry spot in camp was my hammock under my tarp. Even my down bag was perfectly dry! I have slept in my hammock from 85 during an afternoon nap, all the way down to 21 during a winter backpacking trek with plenty of comfort.


I can set up my hammock in less time than two scouts can set up a simple tent. I cannot describe the level of comfort afforded me in the hammock. I would rather sleep in the hammock than in my own bed, and my wife and I have even considered replacing our bed with one or two hammocks.


perdidochas has a good description of the less expensive way to hammock. But for me, I have a mosquito hammock (integrated bug net) a lightweight silnylon tarp and an underquilt. And I have also gone to a topquilt, a lighter alternative to a sleeping bag. My winter weight backpacking setup has my entire sleep system (hammock, tarp and top and underquilts) weights only 5 lbs 3 oz, thethe equivilent of a traditional tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag. It will keep me warm down to 15.


One more note is that finding a sleep spot is much easier than finding a tent spot. I can hang my hammock over rocks and roots on a 45 slope, or even across a stream. All I need is 2 6" diameter trees 14-20' apart. This is much more common than you might think, and where I camp, I have never had any tree anxiety. I know they will be there. If I am near large rocks, I can use a cam on one end and a tree on the other. With a litle effort, I can convert 2 paddles to support to substitute for one tree, and anchor it like a monkey bridge. The only real places I cannot hang are in the desert and above the treeline. The neither of which are within 1000 miles of where I live, so that is not an issue for me.


However, unlike, tent camping which is largely intuitive, the mechanics of hammocking are not so obvious, especially regarding staying warm in temperatures below 70. There is a definate learning curve, and like any real camping skill, takes practice to master. My setup honestly cost more than traditional camping equipment, but the comfort gained is more than worth it.


If you are interested, you must go to www.hammockforums.net. There is a lot of information there, and it is easy to experience "information overload." I spent a solid 3 months last fall learning and preparing to hammock, and I am still tweaking my gear and upgrading a do-dad or two, but for me, that is part of the fun.


I have the camporee this weekend, a campout/backpack trek over Veteran's Day weekend, a backpack trip with a friend after that, and Thanksgiving weekend, my son and I will spend a weekend backpacking as well. So between now and December 1, I will spend another nine (9) blissful nights in my hammock! :)(This message has been edited by Buffalo Skipper)

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In a completely disgusted tone, my wife claims that I'd be happy sleeping in a ditch. Sadly, she's right. My opinion regarding sleep conditions is worthless to anyone else.

I really hate it when I wake up with a slug crawling on my face.

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Okay, so how about storage and maint?


With my tent, I unstake it and flip it upside down while still connected to all the graphite poles in an attempt to shake some of the 45 pounds of dirt, leaves, twigs, and whatever else my son tracks in. I roll it up, take it home and set it back up during the middle of a dry sunny day to air out, vacuum and wipe all dirt off .


So, how about tha hammock?


I'm willing to bet cleanup and maint is less, but is it the same? Shake out any dirt and twigs, leaves and air it our before......?


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