5+ Reasons you should Hammock Camp & CONSIDER ditching your tent

Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by dredman, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Bath-tub style floor and two vestibules. The vestibules house my gear. They'd stay perfectly dry. I always carry my SuperFly as well, so I'd even throw that over the tent for further protection.

    But yea, the vestibules are great.
    #61
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  2. dredman

    dredman Dirty Moto-Tourist

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    I addressed the only point I could?
    You cannot get comfortable? I am sorry for your loss?
    As I said in #47 above "I cannot argue with people that have tried it and don't like, it makes no sense to do that."
    Much the same as I cannot argue with people that camp only in the desert - No trees? No hammock! No argument from me!
    Not sure what your objective is here?
    I have stated mine pretty clearly - try a hammock!
    If you have tried it and don't like it, I am sorry - would you like me to give you a refund? Get you a hotel room? Loan you some Prozac?

    I still am waiting for that video? :-)
    #62
  3. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Literally the same exact post I made:
    Not sure where you're going with this. I have both. I found the tent simpler to setup.

    I'm done responding to you. Have a fantastic day.
    #63
  4. dredman

    dredman Dirty Moto-Tourist

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    I thought your issue was you cannot get comfortable, not simplicity? Did you want me to address simplicity?
    #64
  5. HickOnACrick

    HickOnACrick Groovinator

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    I have come to believe one's comfort in a tent vs. hammock may have a lot to do with the baggage one carries. Not the travel baggage, but rather all the aches and pains one has accumulated over the years.

    Personally, I sleep better in my Warbonnet Blackbird than I do in my king-sized pillow top mattress - this is largely due to the way the hammock does not aggravate chronic pains in my shoulders, back and hips. The fiddle-factor of hammocks took me a long time to get right, and tents are certainly much more self-explanatory, but for me, the entire experience of hammock camping has been superior to tent camping. In point of fact, when my shoulders are flaring up and achy, I will set up my hammock on the front porch and sleep in there for a few nights until the aches have subsided.

    Have I thrown out my tents? Nope. Will I opt to sleep in a tent over a hammock if given the choice? Nope. Does the hammock decrease pack size and weight? Not really unless I know I won't need the underquilt and top quilt (summer camping).

    Objectively comparing the two sleeping systems, given that one is comparing a high-quality hammock vs. high-quality tent, I believe there are 2 advantages to hammocks:

    1. With a proper tarp and a little practice, one can set up, sleep, and take down a hammock in a torrential rain and still keep everything dry. Two of my tents can theoretically be put up in torrential rain while keeping the tent dry, but practically, this is harder to accomplish than with a hammock.
    2. Hammocks are easier to get into and out of.

    The objective advantages to tents:

    1. Not a lot of fiddling around to find what works best for you.
    2. Does not require something to hang from.
    3. Better is you sleep on your belly.
    4. If sharing a tent, the weight can be distributed between riders.

    All the other things mentioned are really subjective. Given that I live in the Southeast where there are plenty of trees, that I prefer to wild-camp vs. staying in designated campsites, that wild camping is mostly on uneven terrain, that rainy nights are the norm not the exception, that tent poles don't easily pack on my bike, that I personally am more comfortable in a hammock and that I don't usually camp in weather < 40F, hammocks are my personal go-to.

    If I am traveling where there are few options to hang, especially if traveling with others, I take a tent, bivy, or cowboy camp. Often the lack of trees also means a lack of precipitation and more flat areas.

    Here is a typical personal experience Hammock camping in the southeast: Riding solo on a adventurized dirt bike, I start looking for a camp a couple hours before sunset. I find a trail leading to a completely remote place to camp. I setup my rainfly and hammock on uneven terrain, often in the rain. While standing under the rainfly, I change from riding gear into dry sleeping gear, storing all my riding gear below the hammock. While sitting in my hammock, I make dinner, perform my ablutions, then slip into the hammock where I comfortably read until I fall asleep. I can piss from under the rainfly without getting wet. In the morning, often still in the rain, I can take down the system and keep all my sleeping gear dry, easily don my riding gear while under the fly, even using the hammock as a seat while donning my socks, boots and pants. Lastly I take down the rainfly and pack it up wet, storing it where it will not get anything wet that I want to keep dry. Rinse, repeat.

    Here is a typical personal experience tent-camping in the southeast. Riding solo on a adventurized dirt bike, I start looking for a camp a couple hours before sunset. I find a trail leading to a completely remote place to camp, then struggle to find a piece of level ground - not impossible, but harder than finding two trees to swing from in this part of the country. Hoping the tent poles have not been damaged by some dirt nap earlier in the day. If it's not raining, setup is easy peasy. If it is raining this is where it gets straight comical: on hands and knees I setup the rainfly first, then fuck and fiddle trying to get the tent setup under the rainfly on wet and muddy ground. By the time I am finished, there is inevitably some mud and water on/in the tent. Load all my dry sleeping gear into the tent, inflate the air pad (praying there is nothing under it that will cause a puncture), and lay out my sleeping bag. Sitting in the vestibule I switch from riding gear to sleeping gear, then uncomfortably make dinner and perform ablutions within the tiny vestibule. In spite of intent, my sleeping clothes inevitably have patches of mud. Store all the wet gear inside the tent if the vestibule is too small. Lay down and uncomfortably try to read a book. By this time I realize I need to piss again, so I remove all my clothes (so they stay dry) and crawl out of the tent to take a piss. Crawl back into the tent, use my backpacking towel to dry off, then struggle back into sleeping clothes. In the middle of the night, when I need to piss again, I repeat. Again, if it's not raining, this is not such a struggle. Alternatively, I could keep some sort of piss bottle inside the tent but the risk/reward of this endeavor needs to be carefully weighed. In the morning, reverse all of the above but inevitably end up packing up a tent, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag that are at least partially wet (wet ground, condensation, entering/exiting the tent).
    #65
  6. dredman

    dredman Dirty Moto-Tourist

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    I am not quite sure it can be said any better than the entire post above?

    I forgot about comfortably pissing while standing under a rainfly - that should be enough for anyone to try it.

    Oh, and thanks for "ablutions", I need more vocabulary !!

    Mattie Ross: Where is Mr. LeBoeuf?
    Rooster Cogburn: Down by the creek performing his necessaries ablutions.

    #66
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  7. MrDralas

    MrDralas Super n00b

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    I usually roll to one side and just piss out of the hammock, the side that’s away from where I left my gear.
    Standing might be a better option, but not even having to get up is pretty hard to beat.
    #67
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  8. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    I may or may not have done that.... LOTs of times.

    [​IMG]
    #68
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  9. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Yea, that's pretty much where I'm at. I'll set it up decent one night, then the next I just can't seem to get it like I had it the night before. Just a lot of variables I have to dick around with. I honestly haven't used it enough to get the kinks worked out. I always get worried once set up, I sit down on it the first time and it drops down like a foot.
    #69
  10. dredman

    dredman Dirty Moto-Tourist

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    I suppose it'd be the acme of foolishness to inquire if anyone else had done that, so I am glad you fellers went first :)
    #70
  11. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    you need better hardware, or a better method.
    there is a learning curve involved, and it can be as intense or as laid back as your experience allows.

    #71
  12. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    I bought the setup used. Has...Dutch buckles I think they're called? So along with the Dutch buckles and the centerline (ridge line?) the minimal distance I can have between two trees some something like 23'. Its massive. So by the time I get it strung up, once I set my fatass in it, it sinks right down a foot or two.

    these are them:

    https://dutchwaregear.com/product/the-dutch-buckle/
    [​IMG]
    #72
  13. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Ive never been a fan of the structural ridgeline, it certainly does make it more fiddely to set up.

    and 23 feet is pretty silly.

    my hammocks are 9-11 feet in length and I can hang them between trees 14-20 feet apart ( with some pretty good adjustability still)

    with simple tree straps and whoopie slings.
    #73
  14. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I've always used a center ridgeline. I find it makes setting up quicker and allows for different spacing of trees while still keeping the same lay angle.

    Trees can be 12 or 20 ft apart and it doesn't make a lick of difference.
    #74
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  15. dredman

    dredman Dirty Moto-Tourist

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    I have problems with anything under 14' - but I am 6-5" and the closer to perfect the trees are the better I sleep, and less adjustments.

    Finding the perfect trees are not that hard, but finding one close enough to the urinal that I can pee without sitting up is.

    [​IMG]
    #75
  16. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Out of curiosity how does it make setting up quicker?



    #76
  17. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I walk up to a couple trees hang the head end strap around it, walk to the other tree and do the same. Kinda judging somewhat middle. Pull on the foot end, then walk to the head end and pull until the ridgeline is taut.

    The hammock doesn't have to be centered. Without the RL, once sitting in it the angles will be messed up.
    #77
  18. Snapper

    Snapper Long timer

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    - Yup, I do need to roach around on my back to change pants, but otherwise seated works for everything else.
    - Floorless mid’s inner tents are freely modular so I convert to just fly and footprint while awake and in bad weather. It becomes a giant vestibule, can cook in it, dig a cathole latrine, leave shoes on, sit in my low camp chair, etc - I don’t need to go outside either. A hammock tarp and ground sheet seems same, except a lot more head room/height.... but at the cost of a lot more wind/rain exposure. Guess we pick our poisons.

    I personally can’t see how I could rig my Hennessy tarp to provide wind-blown rain protection for ground cooking, and still keep the hammock dry. Yes a larger tarp will do it, but it’s already a lot bigger/heavier packing than my mid set-up.

    I never had flooding issues, but that comes down to site selection... and as I said I do like the idea of hanging because where I go, it’s way easier to find well spaced trees, than good spots to pitch a tent.
    #78
  19. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    I am unsure how that is simpler, but thanks for the explanation.

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  20. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I don't have to center the hammock. I could span 12ft ft or 25 ft, and be within 5 ft of one of the trees and it'll lay the same every time.

    Without the rigdeline, one may have to make several trips back and forth to adjust to center. So it'll lay the same as it did the night before.

    #80