Hammock questions

10:32 p.m. on April 15, 2014 (EDT)
363 reviewer rep
130 forum posts

  I was hiking in the Ouachita Mountains this week and got caught in a severe storm with loads of rain, high wind, and hail. My old Eureka Zeus EXO took a good beating and is now ready to retire. I made my mind up years ago that my next shelter would be a hammock but I have a few questions I would like to pose to those already using hammocks before I commit. Keep in mind 90% of my hiking is 3 season in the Ozark and Ouachita mountains

1. What specific hammock has the best quality to price ratio?

2. How well do they perform in severe rain? Does the rain wick into the hammock from the suspension ropes?

3.  I have always kept my gear in my tent with me. What do most of you do with your gear? Are any hammocks large enough to accommodate  gear?

4. On occasion I desert hike in west Texas and Arizona where there are no trees, is there a way to set up any of these hammocks on the ground using trekking poles and stakes?

 

Thanks in advance for your input.

10:54 p.m. on April 15, 2014 (EDT)
99 reviewer rep
32 forum posts

My general advice is to head over to hammockforums.net where thousands of hammock fans hang out. I own an Exped Ergo Combi hammock/tarp/bugnet/suspension and it works well with my inflatable pad; I like it.

1. What specific hammock has the best quality to price ratio?

Now, that's just trying to start an endless discussion! ;-) IMO, my hammock setup is the best. Others will say the same! ;-) You need to figure out which type of hammock you might want: end-gathered, bridge, or Ergo and go from there.

2. How well do they perform in severe rain? Does the rain wick into the hammock from the suspension ropes?

This is a function of the tarp setup and your desire to carry a light load. Tarp and hammock are independent choices for a lot of users. There are standard ideas that are effective in keeping water from wicking down the hammock suspension.

3.  I have always kept my gear in my tent with me. What do most of you do with your gear? Are any hammocks large enough to accommodate  gear?

You won't keep much gear in the hammock if you want to sleep well. Some hammocks have pockets for small items; some folks hang small bags from the ridgeline ('RL organizers'). Most of the gear goes in the pack under the tarp somewhere or hung on a tree. Some folks carry 'gear hammocks' which they hang under the sleeping hammock.

4. On occasion I desert hike in west Texas and Arizona where there are no trees, is there a way to set up any of these hammocks on the ground using trekking poles and stakes?

Human ingenuity is limitless, so I won't give a categorical 'NO', but it would be difficult. Look at the forces vs holding power and compressive strength of the gear. People have hung from rocks using climbing techniques to fashion anchors. If you are car camping, you can always bring a hammock stand, but that doesn't really count, in this context.

See you at Hammock Forum!

11:04 p.m. on April 15, 2014 (EDT)
363 reviewer rep
130 forum posts

What is the difference between end-gathered, bridge, and Ergo?

11:56 p.m. on April 15, 2014 (EDT)
BRAND REP REVIEW CORPS
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+1 on HammockForums.

Also look up "Shug" or "Sean Emery" on YouTube - you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who's as equally informative as he is entertaining. He's also a regular contributor on the aforementioned forums.

His beginner series below is especially helpful (and fun to watch):

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB8752777861C2AA8

I'm going to chuck a few stones with the intent of hitting as many birds as I'm able.

The make and model of hammock really becomes a personal choice.

I know folks who swear by their mass-manufactured ENO hammocks, and much the same, others who wouldn't want anything other than their handmade hammocks from the cottage makers.

I started hanging in an ENO DoubleNest, and moved to a Warbonnet Blackbird 1.1 Double Layer (which I currently use).

HammockForums literally breaks down the most popular hammock makers on their forum boards:

https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?2-Hammock-Gear-Manufacturers-and-Services

You can't ask for an easier way to get an at-a-glance view at all your options. This forum also enables you to speak with users of different hammocks, and more often than not, the manufacturers themselves. You'll get answers straight from the horse's mouth. 

When it comes to what you're looking for:

Look into double-layered hammocks with an integrated bug net - they're lighter (because the netting only spans across the top opposed to encompassing the entire hammock), and the double bottom layers enable you to slip a sleeping pad between them (enabling cold-weather protection when needed). 

This way, you'll essentially have a bug bivy and a closed-cell foam sleeping pad in case you have/need to "go to ground."

Pair that with the tarp, and you've a shelter that doesn't require trees (although trekking poles will make pitching the tarp easier). 

Speaking of tarps...

Weather protection largely depends upon where you hang and site selection, and after that, the size and style of tarp you're using: a larger tarp (with sides extending to the ground) with doors (that close the otherwise open ends off) will offer a lot more protection than a smaller, diamond-shaped "asym" which one could liken to the hammock equivalent of a miniskirt.

Heck, I've even pitched my hammock and tarp as close to the ground as possible when the conditions get especially sketchy:

TRIP REPORT - FOREST GLEN PRESERVE

Rain can be kept away by something as simple as a bandana, tied in front of the hammock on the suspension lines. Some suspensions, even, naturally have a break which allows water to drip down.

I keep my gear beneath my hammock and under my tarp. Since my tarp (an ENO ProFly) is small and short, I rely largely on a trash compactor bag. During the day it serves as my pack liner, protecting the inside contents. At night, the entire pack goes inside it, keeping not only the contents dry, but the whole pack itself. Some folks will use a plastic bag or poncho as a ground sheet, too, to keep the pack off the wet ground. 

Hope this gets some gears turnin' for ya!

-E

12:03 a.m. on April 16, 2014 (EDT)
99 reviewer rep
32 forum posts

steven said:

What is the difference between end-gathered, bridge, and Ergo?

 You REALLY need to get over to hammockforums.net or settle in for some online searching and reading! :-)

Gathered end:


Gary%20Sisley%20at%20the%20zoo.jpg

Bridge:


wb-Ridgerunner-615x416.jpg

Exped Ergo


Ergo-Hammock.jpg

9:23 p.m. on April 16, 2014 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
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+1 for hammockforums and shug's videos

I love my warbonnet blackbird(wbbb) hammock. I use the superfly tarp also from warbonnet which is a large tarp and offers a palace of protection. Absolutely zero issues in severe storms. I hammock year round with this setup and it has done wonderfully well in both heavy snow storms and heavy rain and thunderstorms.

The type of hammock you ultimeately choose is personal preference. Its a gatherend end asym style for me.

8:23 p.m. on April 19, 2014 (EDT)
MODERATOR TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
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+2 on Hammockforums.

Also, The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide To Hammock Camping is worth every penny. http://www.amazon.com/The-Ultimate-Hang-Illustrated-Hammock/dp/1466263687


Do your research. Don't buy in a rush.

8:44 p.m. on April 19, 2014 (EDT)
299 reviewer rep
141 forum posts

+3 Hammockforums.

Also the Utimate Hang +1, also he has a website which has great information,http://theultimatehang.com.  

The only other thing is how you sleep, back, side or stomach, I am stomach and side sleeper which I went with longer hammock so I could lay flat.  

November 22, 2014
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