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  1. #1
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    Default Aimed at the beginner hammockers...

    Hammock Packing list for the beggining hammocker

    by Me & U
    Last edited 8 April 2005

    Lots of hammock styles out there! Hennesy's , Speer's, Jungle hammocks, both civilian and military, Byer's, and more I'm sure of it.

    We used Byer Backpacker Hammocks for our thru hike in '03. Since then we've custom made our hammocks using a spin off of the Speer method.

    Basically, a nylon rectangle with knots tied at both ends. A webbing on both ends for tying off to trees, or whatever, and an 8x10 silnylon tarp set up with two stakes in a diamond shape.

    Our sleeping bags are also a spin off from Speer. Two Army poncho liners sewn together, velcro along the long edges to form a cylinder when connected, and draw strings at either end to form the caccoon.

    The hammocks also have velcro along the edges to attach our bug nets, when needed.

    The insulation factor in a hammock is different from that in a tent. In colder weather, you need to be a little more creative than simply jumping into a sleeping bag. In a bag, on the ground, you tend to have pressure points along the bony prominences like hips, shoulder blades, ect... you toss and turn, even if dead to the world, and this keeps the insulation in your bag fluffed, providing the warmth that your bag is rated to.

    In a hammock, there's no ground. No ground, no pressure points. No pressure points, no tossing and turning... you get the idea.

    A sleeping bag in a hammock works, but has it's limitations as far as warmth, expecially on your back. A better approach might be a caccoon style bag. This provides an envelope of warmth that surrounds your body and won't suffer the flattening effect underneath you as you sleep peacefully. It also provides a multitude of options to play with in regard to staying warm. For example, in colder weather, I place a thin bed mat under my hammock, on top of the inside of my caccoon. This gives my system another layer from the outside. I then place my hiking clothing on top of the matt. Another layer. I then open the draw strings a bit to provide some ventalation, and place my head tube into the mix and I'm good to go! I also use a Thermo Lite Reactor from Sea to Summit if it's real cold. This is a bag liner thats made of Thermo Lite by Dupont. I simply use this as a sleeping bag inside my hammock.

    Many thanks go to Ed Speer for providing the public with ideas he's shared in the arena of hammock camping. Those who have not read his book should. That being said, I'd like to add my idea, which I've mentioned, the head tube.
    This is a light weight fleece bag with velcro on one end. The shape is that of your skull, chin to crown. Take a piece of string and wrap it around your head as if to wear a birthday hat. That is the measurement for the bag. The velcro attaches to the velcro on the caccoon providing an opening. While you lie in your hammock, install the tube above your head and lie back, then slip the fleece over your head. The idea here is that when your lying down, your looking straight up through the opening. Your breath exits through this opening and the condensation goes with it. On a cold hike recently I was able to give it a good test. I was chilled to the bone! I flipped on my lamp and noticed my breath covering my body. I put the tube in place and instantly felt warmer!! It works like a charm, takes some getting used to, and multifunctions as a pillow when you don't need it.

    The following is a list of my gear for a mild weather hike:

    *Pack:
    Mountain Smith Phantom pack

    * Living room/ bedroom:
    Tarp
    Hammock
    Poncho Liner
    Bug net
    Head tube
    2- stakes
    beanie hat/light wt gloves

    *Kitchen:
    2- 1L soda bottles
    1-1L water bag
    esbit stove and fuel (both in a gatorade container)
    windscreen
    matches
    MSR Kettle
    12 oz Nalgene
    spork
    spice kit
    food
    bear bag rope

    *Clothing:
    1- long sleeve synthetic shirt
    1- pair compressoin tights (for sleeping)
    2- pair socks (one a liner)
    Light wt soft shell top

    *Essentials:
    2 oz first aid kit
    tooth brush/listerine pocket packs
    2- steel backed razor blades
    sun glasses
    1/2 oz headlamp w/spare coin cell batteries
    1 oz bottle of bleach
    camera ("ME" carries it)
    8 oz listerine bottle (flask)
    journal/pen


    Round about 10 lbs base gear.

    Give or take 1 1/2- 1 3/4 lbs food per day.
    Gormet style cooking in a kettle, a meal example: a pasta dish like mac n cheese with chunk cheese, some veggies, and spice, an oriental soup with tofu, (pour your pasta water into the 12 oz nalgene) (I use the tofu to clean my kettle of the cheese) crackers, some sort of meat stick or the like, and a desert shake or cookies. A night cap and occasionally a rum soaked apricot or two. (for the pain)

    When I set up my hammock I consider cooking. I set it low enough to be able to sit and cook at the same time. My tarp is high enough to be free of the heat, and I usually have the East side propped up for the sunrise. My gear is organized such that I pack three compartments, livingroom/bedroom, clothing, and kitchen. My essentials go in the top of my pack. Packing only takes a few minutes this way and always provides an effecient set up. I pack my tarp in a stuff pouch on the outside of my bag with the stakes. This allows for a dry set up in the rain.

    Our favorite hammock sites are those away from others. We like to be way off the beaten path and save time for searching out a cool site that no one will bother us in. In this sense we're "solo hikers". I enjoy sleeping near rocks and usually seek out a crag or spot where I can strap up to a tree on one side and a rock on the other. We also set up using three trees in an "L" shape and the resulting camp site is pretty cool with two diamond shaped tarps set up with trekking poles facing the East for the sunrise.

    Consider using trees at least 4 inches thick or bigger. With my hammock size I use 5 paces between tieoff points, and always look for overhanging limbs or things that may fall in the night. We don't usually have fires (2 on our thru hike) but the "L" setup is perfect for it, a fire right in the center of us so we can both sit and enjoy.

    My hope here is to help our fellow new hammockers with ideas on set ups, simple light loads to save money in the long run, and great ways to cook. There's nothing like a biscotti with your hot mocha/b-fast drink in your hammock while you sit in comfort and watch the sun rise with your honey. Or alone for that matter!



    sincerely,

    "U"
    Last edited by attroll; 06-25-2006 at 12:31.

  2. #2
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I would like to see a break down of equipment so you have stuff like:
    o Kitchen
    o clothing
    o Hammock/sleeping
    o Pack

    you get the idea.

    I also think that, especially with the hammock related items for insulation and such, that you might want to have a brief discussion about those sorts of things.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  3. #3
    Registered User Big Dawg's Avatar
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    I must say I'm intrigued! I will admit that I've seen threads about hammocks in the past & wasn't at all interested. But after reading a few hammock threads recently, I must say, I gotta see what all the fuss is about. As I lighten my pack weight by replacing some pieces of equipment, I was just about zeroed in on the Tarptent Squall2 for my next shelter when I stumbled on the hammock threads recently,, & after much research, feel the Hennessy Explorer Ultralight A-Sym would work for my size (6'5", 225 lbs). But before I can get comfortable w/ changing my whole mindset of a shelter, I need to lay down in one of these hammocks & see for myself what everyone is raving about, but no outfitter in my area stocks hammocks. Any suggestions?

  4. #4
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Go to Trail Days and talk to Tom Hennessy or Ed Speers. Either one will show you the hammocks and talk for hours. I know Tom had hammocks you could lay in and I think Ed did too.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  5. #5
    Registered User Doctari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock
    I would like to see a break down of equipment so you have stuff like:
    o Kitchen
    o clothing
    o Hammock/sleeping
    o Pack

    you get the idea.

    I also think that, especially with the hammock related items for insulation and such, that you might want to have a brief discussion about those sorts of things.
    Perhaps also (even if included in instructions that come with a hammock):
    Some tips for first time set up of hammock AND tarp.
    What to look for in a site (specially useful for those of us who havn't yet made the change).
    Minimum distance between trees (average?)
    Maximum distance between trees (average?)
    Minimum/maximum tree diamiter?
    Hints for overcoming that pesky minimum/maximum thing?

    Maybe for a more "advanced" art: How to cook in/from a hammock. Gear storage (UL, Light & traditional?). Set up when no trees etc avalable.

    BTW: I am going to convert, just waiting on "extra" $$$$
    Curse you Perry the Platypus!

  6. #6
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    How about hammocks for people over 200lbs? Most of the hammocks I've seen seem to limit the weight of their occupants to 200lbs. I'm nearly 6'3" tall and have a 50" chest, me getting below 200 would be a difficult proposition. I'm not fat, my chest is significantly wider than my midsection, just big.

  7. #7
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    Hennessy Safari Delux.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  8. #8
    GAME 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGT Rock
    Go to Trail Days and talk to Tom Hennessy or Ed Speers. Either one will show you the hammocks and talk for hours. I know Tom had hammocks you could lay in and I think Ed did too.
    Ed is going to be at Trailfest in Hot Springs, NC later this month (23 & 24th) and he is sponsoring a hammock campers get together. I'm planning on being there and I believe Peter Pan (he uses a Hennessy A-sym backpacker) of Jacks'R'Better said he was going so that may be a good opportunity to kick a few hammocks around. Sarge, are you going?

    Youngblood

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by James
    I must say I'm intrigued! I will admit that I've seen threads about hammocks in the past & wasn't at all interested. But after reading a few hammock threads recently, I must say, I gotta see what all the fuss is about. As I lighten my pack weight by replacing some pieces of equipment, I was just about zeroed in on the Tarptent Squall2 for my next shelter when I stumbled on the hammock threads recently,, & after much research, feel the Hennessy Explorer Ultralight A-Sym would work for my size (6'5", 225 lbs). But before I can get comfortable w/ changing my whole mindset of a shelter, I need to lay down in one of these hammocks & see for myself what everyone is raving about, but no outfitter in my area stocks hammocks. Any suggestions?
    EMS.COM order a byer hammock for $20.00 and then go hike the AT with it... We did!

    Thanks for the suggestions, will follow up asap on the other ideas of hammocking.
    "U"

  10. #10
    Registered User Dances with Mice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James
    I must say I'm intrigued! I will admit that I've seen threads about hammocks in the past & wasn't at all interested. But after reading a few hammock threads recently, I must say, I gotta see what all the fuss is about. As I lighten my pack weight by replacing some pieces of equipment, I was just about zeroed in on the Tarptent Squall2 for my next shelter when I stumbled on the hammock threads recently,, & after much research, feel the Hennessy Explorer Ultralight A-Sym would work for my size (6'5", 225 lbs). But before I can get comfortable w/ changing my whole mindset of a shelter, I need to lay down in one of these hammocks & see for myself what everyone is raving about, but no outfitter in my area stocks hammocks. Any suggestions?
    You do need to try it. I'm 6'4", 240# and like the UL A-Sym very much. I added an 8X10 silnylon tarp, snakeskins, and a closed cell foam pad.
    You never turned around to see the frowns
    On the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all did tricks for you.

  11. #11
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I was going to go, but then the Army decided it had better use for my time. So I'll miss that one and be at Trail Days. Unless the Army finds something else for me to do then as well.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by James
    I was just about zeroed in on the Tarptent Squall2 for my next shelter when I stumbled on the hammock threads recently,, & after much research, feel the Hennessy Explorer Ultralight A-Sym would work for my size (6'5", 225 lbs).
    You know what, I couldn't decide myself either between those exact same two shelters, so I bought them both! This fall I'll be doing a 2 week hike in Vermont and I think I'm going to bring them both and see which I like more. I'm 6' tall and weigh about 155-160 so either one should give me plenty of room.

    I figure it only costs me an extra 2 pounds and for 2 weeks, that's not a big deal.

  13. #13
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    made some revisions and wanted to bring it to the front...

    Thanks everbody,
    "U"

  14. #14
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    I also am 6'3" with a 52" chest. My HH Asym Explorer Deluxe has been a very comfortable sleep for me down to 40 degrees w/out an underpad. Granted, I am a warm sleeper and was out last night with my sleeping bag unzipped. I would think that cold sleepers need to go to additional lengths to keep warm in a hammock.

  15. #15
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    I am presently 6'4" and also use the HH Asym Explorer Deluxe.. sleep like a baby. First time I used it i didnt think about the cold and it got a bit chilly, 32*F.. The next time I took it out I had bought one of the aluminized windshield sunblockers and I slept nice and toasty. The sunblocker only added 6oz to my packload and it packed(after crumpling) in my sleeping bag compression sack. Hammocks rock and you get a decent nights sleep

  16. #16
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    Also check out Eagle Nest Outfitters hammocks. They are based out of Asheville, NC. I just bought a single with a rain tarp. Works awesome.

    -shaun

    ps ..and no I don't work for them.

  17. #17
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    I made my own hammock/tarp from the Wal-Mart $1 shelf - they had 2.? ounce ripstop nylon, which could be visually confirmed, and when I tried to blow thru it it was very difficult. Bought 6 yds, took it home and confirmed it was waterproof: treated with silicon. I went back and bought the rest of what they had, about 8 more yards. Had enough altogether to make hammock, 9x12 tarp, a homemade 2500c.i. pack, and a half dozen stuff sacks. All the seams were painted with generic seam-sealer. Bought 40ft. of climbers strap from Mountaingear.com for $16, using it for a complete tie-off/ridgeline... The whole setup cost me less than $30 and about 2 hours on the sewing machine. It works great, is very comfortable...I'll have trouble tenting ever again! Then my local Wal-Mart closed out the fabric department, eliminating my supply of heavy-duty silnylon. Homemade gear is cheap, and there are url's all over with ideas.

  18. #18
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    Do any hammock hikers and campers keep everything off the ground, even when cooking? Also wondering how far some of them go up, just of the heck of it, or is that getting into a whole other field of endeavour of which hammocking is just one part?

  19. #19
    Section Hiker, 1,040 + miles, donating member peter_pan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAK View Post
    Do any hammock hikers and campers keep everything off the ground, even when cooking? Also wondering how far some of them go up, just of the heck of it, or is that getting into a whole other field of endeavour of which hammocking is just one part?

    JAK, et al,

    There is no need to take cooking off the ground.....FWIW, it is probably safest on the ground....Also when set up a couple feet from the hammock center one can easily sit in ones hammock and cook in comfort...

    All my gear other than Waldies is off the ground....In the bear bag or in my gear hammock at the foot of my hammock...(Sorta like an Army footlocker at the foot of your bunk approach...super convient).

    If you want to study hammocker in their subcultural environment go over to www.hammockforums.net

    Pan
    ounces to grams
    WWW.JACKSRBETTER.COM home of the Nest and No Sniveler underquilts and Bear Mtn Bridge Hammock

  20. #20
    Registered User sarahgirl's Avatar
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    Just wanted to say thanks for the great info. I especially appreciated the "head tube" idea and can't wait to try it. I got a little chilly last oct while camping in BSP. I have a -15 bag, but it didnt help protect against the condensation of my breathing which obviously made my bag damp. It was very frusturating, because I knew what was causing it and I was helpless! I'm getting off the ground for my AT thru next year, and hope there will be other "hangers" as well

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