West Coast Trail - Hammocks

12:41 a.m. on January 19, 2008 (EST)
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Hi there,

This is my first post and so far the site has provided me with some great information, so thanks very much! Also I hope I put this in the correct thread, it may fit better in Gear Selection, my apologies to the mods.

My question comes with my planning of a West Coast Trail trek with a group of friends. I won't pretend to be anywhere close to an extended trip expert (my first expedition sized pack just came in today!) but I do have some outdoor experience. Anyway, I've been looking for a good backcountry shelter and I stumbled upon this site:

http://www.junglehammock.com/index.php

Clark hammocks seem to be a good investment and while I may or may not purchase one in time for the WCT I'm interested in seeing what some more experianced backpackers have to say about hammocks on the Trail (and hammocks as a shelter option in general), mainly: are they viable for beach camping? (I know most campsites are on the beach but trees aren't far away). Thanks in advance for your help,

Jim Simpson

10:32 a.m. on January 21, 2008 (EST)
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Hi Jim.

Welcome to the board.

I have one of Tom Claytor's Jungle hammocks.

you may want to check out: http://www.mosquitohammock.com/

It's only $120 and practically the same thing.

I have about 7 hammocks in my camping supply inventory.

I have tried several times, but I find sleeping in a hammock very uncomfortable. I also don't like leaving my gear back at camp exposed to the elements when I go on long day hikes.

I definetly prefer a tent for sleeping and as a base camp shelter.

I do carry a Byer Mosquito traveler hammock on every camping trip for taking breaks and just lounging around.

check that out at:

http://www.storesonline.com/site/1247203/product/A103016

6:13 p.m. on January 21, 2008 (EST)
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Thanks very much for the information, and the more reasonably priced alternatives. The base camp scenario is one to keep in mind as is comfort. I'll definatly try a few overnight trips with a borrowed hammock to see if I can stand sleeping long hours in them (naps, so far, are the norm!).

Thanks again,

Jim

7:17 a.m. on January 22, 2008 (EST)
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here's another web site you should check out. Lot's of usefull stuff here about hammock camping.

http://hikinghq.net/

3:24 p.m. on January 22, 2008 (EST)
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Wow this is exactly the kind info I was looking for! Thanks once again Ed, extremely useful!

7:04 a.m. on January 23, 2008 (EST)
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No problem - "Jimbo" :)

11:31 a.m. on February 10, 2008 (EST)
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I have a Hennessy Expedition Asym hammock with the large fly. They come standard - or as an option - with the large fly. The Hennessy is cheaper than the Clark, although the Clark is a good hammock too. U-Tube has pleanty on the subject. Hennessy also has a website.

I set it up seperately. Then the hammock and gear goes under it. Sleeping in a hammock takes getting used to. Some love it. The Hennessy is designed so that you can sleep more or less sideways. Possibly even on your stomach - although I haven't.

One big plus is that you can set it up over wet or rough ground. However, you do need trees. I use mine when bicycle camping in hot weather. When travelling light and fast on my bike, I just pull off the road, hidden by the trees and set up for the night. I'm gone first thing in the morning. Tear down is really quick. The hammock can also be used as a seat or lounger. It weighs two pounds.

Hammocks are cold in winter. There are blogs on how to pimp them for cold camping. I use a tent in winter.

The large tarp to me is important. It shelters me from rain. I cook and live under it. It protects the hammock. Lots of luck.

3:17 p.m. on February 10, 2008 (EST)
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You might find it difficult to use a hammock on the WCT - all camps are on the beach.

10:28 p.m. on February 16, 2008 (EST)
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Well, as far as comfort, I have a Hennessey hammock and I absolutely love it. It takes a while to get used to because of the different sleeping style which is why some may say they are not comfortable. I am not saying that everyone will be comfortable but I love them. If you are looking for a lightweight shelter, and don't need a lot of living space, get a bivy sack. They are a lot lighter and will make your hike more enjoyable as you will not need to stress your back as much. I am planning on doing the triple crown in the next six years and am planning out my pack to save weight and I am going to get a bivy sack because of the lightweight design.

In either case, do not purchase either if you are claustrophobic (not sure if i spelled it right) because they are definitely not roomy.

5:07 a.m. on February 20, 2008 (EST)
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Thanks very much for the tips everyone, my apologies for not getting back sooner, I've neglected the forum lately.

Winter hammocking would no doubt be very cold, haha, but I'm not too sure how much winter camping I'll be doing, late fall at worst most likely, but I'll be sure to check out some of those pimping sites never-the-less so thanks!

As for the WCT I think I'll just stick to a tent, I will be travelling with a group so tent(s) really make the most sense. But as for a personal shelter I'm still looking into it so thank you all for the advice.


Jim

-my mummy bag is restricting enough so I doubt I'll notice the added closeness of a hammock :D

August 27, 2014
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