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Clarks Jungle Hammocks

10:46 a.m. on September 13, 2013 (EDT)
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So I’m considering trying the hammock thing. The main (and really only) draw for me is the ability to camp on non-flat ground. For me, that would open up a new world of potential campsites.

I spent some time lurking around hammockforums.net and picked up a vibe that the Clarks products are considered over-priced / perhaps not worth the money.

I know there are some hammock folks around Trailspace (and some that are members of both forums) and I would love to hear their thoughts.  I know TheRambler is a Warbonnet guy, Ewker is an experienced hammock camper as is Goose.

I had never heard of Clarks but met a guy on the trail recently that just raved about them; so much so that I looked them up on-line when I got home. The TX and NX series are basically hanging tents. Is the tent pole configuration a boost in comfort?

I’m not a DIY gear person and if I do buy a hammock I’ll get something ready to use.

If I don’t get a lot of response I’ll suppose I register on the hammock site for feedback but I wanted to hear from the Trailspacers that I know a bit more about first.

Thanks,

2:43 p.m. on September 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I don't own a Clark. I have a friend who owns a Clark. I have considered murdering my friend deep in the woods in order to take his Clark from him.


Seriously, if you've been on the Hammockforums site, you know the best hammocks come out of the cottage industry (Warbonnet, Clark, & etc). Everyone of them hangs a bit differently, and people are going to have their preferences.


I am smitten with the Clark North American. I want one. It is at the TOP of my list of gear I want to carry on the AT (which is still several years off).

Yeah, I wish it was cheaper, but I don't consider it over-priced. My buddy's Clark is nearly 10-years old, and he still uses it regularly. That better than a lot of gear out there.

4:22 p.m. on September 13, 2013 (EDT)
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Horrors! Going over to the Dark Side, Patman?

(Just kidding. Your reasons for trying out a hammock make sense. Let those of us who haven't tried it know how it goes.)

5:28 p.m. on September 13, 2013 (EDT)
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Peter,

The downside to hammock camping is it's not as intuitive. With a tent, you pitch it. You sleep in it. (Yeah, I'm oversimplifying a bit).

Hammocks take a lot of work. After more than a year, I still continue to play around with my hammock set up. I'm constantly tweaking and experimenting with new ideas. For me, that's part of the fun (and gives me an excuse to sleep out in my backyard and even the garage).

BUT, I'll never go back to ground again. I sleep so much better. I've hung in rain, sleet, & snow. The only night I was truly uncomfortable was a night that got down to 23F, and my butt was cold.

That's why I want the Clark North American. It's a 4-season hammock, with a weather shield and pouches under the hammock that can be filled with either a purchased insulation kit, or stuffed with leaves.

Come to the Dark Side...we have cookies!

6:40 p.m. on September 13, 2013 (EDT)
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Gets a LOT colder than 23°F overnight here, Goose, and I sometimes have to spend a night out where there aren't many trees to pick from. 

But I know that Patman will let us all know what the advantages and disadvantages are. 

8:12 p.m. on September 13, 2013 (EDT)
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Peter1955 said:

Gets a LOT colder than 23°F overnight here, Goose, and I sometimes have to spend a night out where there aren't many trees to pick from. 

 How about -26?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnoo4BPe2eo&list=TLsmJocONZuACnQBg0NDhG3y41AkvVoQo0

Shug is absolutely nuts, which is why I love to watch his videos.

9:46 p.m. on September 13, 2013 (EDT)
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As most of you know I am a hammock convert for sure. I will never go back to the ground. I , like Shug, take my hammock setup down to the -20 range with no issues.

I am a lover of the Warbonnet Blackbird hammock. I have heard alot of great things about the Clark hammocks, the only downsides being the price and the heavier weight.

I have been using my WBBB (Warbonnet blackbird) and Superfly tarp for I think about 3 or 4 years now. It fits the bill perfectly for me and allows me, with the proper insulation, have a true 4 season setup. Rain, sleet, ice, snow, wind, hail I have seen it all in this setup and I have a renowned faith in it to perform when needed.

3:18 p.m. on September 15, 2013 (EDT)
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I'll have to be careful or you guys will talk me into giving it a try. ;-)

3:26 p.m. on September 15, 2013 (EDT)
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I absolutely love my hammock system…it is DIY…but I borrowed ideas from everywhere. In the summer my hammock system gives me the ultimate freedom when it comes to making camp while paddling down rivers. Put differently…from my boat my view is often of little more than the river bank and maybe a few feet beyond it…so coming across a good flat and sheltered site can take time and often requires scouting. If I have a hammock all I need to see is two trees spaced the appropriate distance apart and it is a possible campsite for the night. With that said…I sleep on my stomach…so it took me a while to learn how to get comfortable sleeping in a hammock…and unlike others…I get really cold in a hammock. Anything around the 40s is too cold for me. I have used under-quilts and sleeping pads…and they work fine…but I prefer to use a bivy and a sleeping pad if I have to bring all that additional gear to stay warm. As far as comfort goes…I listed some things that helped me use a hammock more comfortably in the paragraphs below.


Eleven-Point-9-04-2013-18-.jpg

Wide and long hammocks are more comfortable than short and narrow hammocks. It might be that you’re one of those people that just take to the hammock right away…and can sleep in just about any hammock long and wide enough to hold you safely (a lot of back-sleepers are like this…so is my friend who falls asleep in chairs at my house). However…a lot of people need more material so that they can sleep in different positions…particularly the ability to lay more flat by positioning yourself in the hammock asymmetrically. If you have a buddy with a hammock get in touch…if not…you can do like most folks and buy a cheap 40.00 hammock with an integrated bug-net to see if it is something you can get into. These cheaper hammocks are not the most durable things and almost always too little for most folks…but they are a great value IMO for a first hammock experiment…they provide bug-protection…weigh almost nothing…and though not extremely durable will easily last a year or two of heavy use.

You may already know this…but the structural ridge-line is a very important piece of equipment in the hammock tool-box. I use an Amsteel whoopee I made specifically for the purpose of a structural ridge-line…which allows me to adjust the length with a simple pull of the cord…and more importantly…also allows others to change the length to their preference…but an adjustable ridge-line is not necessary at all. What’s so great about a structural ridge-line? Well it does two things really: 1) allows you to adjust the sag in your hammock 2) it fixes (make immobile) the sag in your hammock so that as you hang your hammock from one set of trees to another your hammock sag always stays the same. Structural ridge-lines are so great that nearly every hammock maker would offer them if Hennessy had not patented the idea so that other hammock makers cannot install them! One other word of advice about structural ridgelines…you should only use low-stretch cord…do not use paracord…it stretches far too much.

I’ll finish with a little on suspension. I am a big advocate of the Amsteel Whoopee sling….they are great for two reasons: 1) adjusting the length of your suspension is as easy as pulling a cord…you can position your legs higher than your head (which is supposed to relieve pressure on the neck)…or you can lower both sides really low…really high…whatever you want or think you might like 2) the Amsteel which the whoopee is made from is low stretch so the hammock does not sink a lot when you get in…or fly up in the air when you get out…so whether you use whoopee-slings or not…make sure to use Amsteel or another low stretch cord for your suspension.

Well…I could say more…but all of this might have been unnecessary…I just get really excited about hammocks! Also…I know you said you were not interested in a DIY project…and if you haven’t used a hammock before I would not recommend making one yourself until you know you like it. However…if you do find you like it…and that you want to get a serious hammock…I think a DIY hammock system is one of the easiest projects to do…and it can save you some serious cash. My hammock system is easily on par with any system you can buy…I made it in about 3 hours with very minimum stitching…and I spent right at 60.00 for my hammock +suspension + bug-net!


Tarp-and-Hammock.jpg

9:19 p.m. on September 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Peter1955 said:

I'll have to be careful or you guys will talk me into giving it a try. ;-)

 I'm telling you, the Dark Side has cookies!!!!!

April 21, 2014
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