Hammocking, where to start?

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cipherdias

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Jan 1, 2014
455
194
Wales
I’ve camped and wild camped for best part of 35 years but never done any hammock camping, ideas for a beginner please??


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C_Claycomb

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Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,417
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Bedfordshire
Why do you want to hammock camp? Have you tried sleeping in a hammock and liked it, or have an area that is tree covered but too lumpy for ground sleeping? Just curious to try something different?

I have used a hammock more than sleeping on the ground, but there are definitely limitations and challenges. Hammocks became popular in the US for the long distance hikers of the Appalachian trail, at a time when tents were quite heavy. Hammocks were a lighter option and could be set up over rough ground in many places along the mainly wooded trail.

Are you looking for something to carry a short way, set up direct from a vehicle, or something that gets carried a long way, or in addition to a ground sleeping set up?

What size are you, height and weight? That determines somewhat what hammocks people might recommend.

You are bound to be given DD Hammocks and Easy Hammock as companies to look at.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
4,587
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Mid Wales
I agree with Chris, I do both but without doubt ground sleeping is more versatile. It's surprising the places where there are not suitable trees in the UK even in the lowlands. If you really want to give it a go try borrowing one or trying it out on a camp with others. If we ever get the Mid-Wales meet together you can try mine.

In the mean time get a copy of the 'Ultimate Hang' (£7.45 on Kindle)
 

cipherdias

Full Member
Jan 1, 2014
455
194
Wales
Why do you want to hammock camp? Have you tried sleeping in a hammock and liked it, or have an area that is tree covered but too lumpy for ground sleeping? Just curious to try something different?

I have used a hammock more than sleeping on the ground, but there are definitely limitations and challenges. Hammocks became popular in the US for the long distance hikers of the Appalachian trail, at a time when tents were quite heavy. Hammocks were a lighter option and could be set up over rough ground in many places along the mainly wooded trail.

Are you looking for something to carry a short way, set up direct from a vehicle, or something that gets carried a long way, or in addition to a ground sleeping set up?

What size are you, height and weight? That determines somewhat what hammocks people might recommend.

You are bound to be given DD Hammocks and Easy Hammock as companies to look at.

Because I have never tried it basically and Iam not getting any younger and figured it might be a more comfortable nights sleep.

I’d be looking to carry it 5-15 miles or so. I am 6ft and 15.5 stone (on a good day lol)


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cipherdias

Full Member
Jan 1, 2014
455
194
Wales
I agree with Chris, I do both but without doubt ground sleeping is more versatile. It's surprising the places where there are not suitable trees in the UK even in the lowlands. If you really want to give it a go try borrowing one or trying it out on a camp with others. If we ever get the Mid-Wales meet together you can try mine.

In the mean time get a copy of the 'Ultimate Hang' (£7.45 on Kindle)

Good idea there Broch and I’m hoping in 2021 we can do the mid Wales meet :)

I will grab a copy of that and have a read cheers mate!


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Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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Exmoor
I hammock camp. Particularly if it's to be more than one or two nights, as I find it far more comfortable.
There are pluses and minuses.
The minus is,
it's more open so can be colder, though a good underquilt solves that problem, and since I have purchased and started using an underquilt it's been a revolution in comfort.
There is less privacy of course, but that realy doesn't bother me.
The weight factor can be more than a lightweight tent, and bulkier, but it's a trade off for the joy of a hammock against the security of a tent.
Feels damper when the weather is wet.
The plus is,
waking up and watching nature in the morning without having to stir..
Lack of creaks and groans from lying on a hard floor.
A much closer connection to nature.
No scrabbling around on the wet ground to hammer in loads of pegs, and keep the inner tent dry when you pack up, as it can all be done in a large dry space under the tarp, which goes up, and comes down first and last.
Much more room than a tent under a tarp.
You can lie and watch the fire, if you have one, once snuggled in.
Hammocking in good weather is a dream.

These are just my own personal experiences, and feelings of course, and others will have different views I'm sure, but I've not looked back since I started using a hammock. Its kept me going when I was beginning to think I'd have to give up.
Remember to use drip lines, a good underquilt, and I'd recommend daisy chains and carabinas for slinging the hammock to make life easy. These two changes in my hammocking adventures have made it even better for me.
I still tent camp now and then, but I realy feel claustrophobic nowadays in a small backpacking tent.
I say go for it!
I'm not into all the technical stuff on lengths etc, others will give you that info, but I find my dd set up just fine, and it's not massively expensive realy. Standard 3x3 tarp, hammock, and underquilt, and daisy chains, are no more cost wise than a decent tent, and the tarp on it's own has so many uses on day trips to provide shelter, and expand the ways you bushcraft.
 
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MartinK9

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Dec 4, 2008
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Leicestershire
Shug, the king of lollygagging......


I find Hammocking gives me a more comfortable night's sleep.

A cheap set from D D Hammocks will serve you well until you decide to go down the rabbit hole permanently.
 
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Nice65

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Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
I’ve camped and wild camped for best part of 35 years but never done any hammock camping, ideas for a beginner please??


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Double sleeve to put a partially inflated wide sleep mat or wide foam cell sleep mat into because under insulation is key to staying warm. And it offers a ground sleep if all else fails. Get at least a 9’ hammock, longer if poss.

Don’t pack an inflatable mat anywhere but the centre of your pack because the tiniest thorn as you drag through the bushes will result in a rotten night.

Use simple webbing and a pair of lightweight carabiners to tie off with, bit of string for drip lines if it’s raining.

I’m a fair weather hammocker, tried an underquilt and as well as being a bulky thing to pack it didn’t offer me much when it broke and snapped the clips in the middle of the night.

As Woody Girl says, just go for it. Any half decent hammock, or tent for that matter, comes with the kit to set it up. You can adjust that to your needs, your insulation is your main concern to start off, it’s horrible waking up cold (even summer nights) and trying to tuck your sleeping bag or clothing into the chilly spots.
 
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punkrockcaveman

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Jan 28, 2017
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yorks
I think the hammock is my favourite bit of outdoor kit. I use it quite a bit even when I'm not sleeping out, just to sit in and chill, however not all hammocks are comfortable to just sit in but really that's off topic.

I would ask if you are a side sleeper or if you can comfortably fall asleep on your back. I'm about same size as you, and I need a larger hammock for wriggling and side sleeping, I use the dd chill out hammock. This is very comfy to sit in. I started with the dd camping hammock, which was great for being on your back, my mate bought it off me and he is about 6' 2" and he loves it because he falls asleep on his back easily.

The one thing I would say is buy an underblanket. I've convinced two people to take up hammocks, they both graduated very quickly to underblankets.
 

cipherdias

Full Member
Jan 1, 2014
455
194
Wales
I think the hammock is my favourite bit of outdoor kit. I use it quite a bit even when I'm not sleeping out, just to sit in and chill, however not all hammocks are comfortable to just sit in but really that's off topic.

I would ask if you are a side sleeper or if you can comfortably fall asleep on your back. I'm about same size as you, and I need a larger hammock for wriggling and side sleeping, I use the dd chill out hammock. This is very comfy to sit in. I started with the dd camping hammock, which was great for being on your back, my mate bought it off me and he is about 6' 2" and he loves it because he falls asleep on his back easily.

The one thing I would say is buy an underblanket. I've convinced two people to take up hammocks, they both graduated very quickly to underblankets.

I am indeed a side sleeper and cannot get to sleep on my back.


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cipherdias

Full Member
Jan 1, 2014
455
194
Wales
This deal should take care of everything I need right guys?



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They also have this deal for just £75 which might be a better idea as I am just starting out with hammocking?



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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,587
3,845
Mid Wales
At 6' I'm not sure the DD hammock will be big enough for you. Check the width of the hammock; as a guide it needs to be about the width of your outstretched arms from finger tip to finger tip to get a diagonal flat lay (or wider). I'm only going by what a number of keen hammockers have told me; I've never tried sleeping in a DD hammock.

Plus, if you intend to use it in the cold you will need some form of insulation under you - I prefer the under-blanket as I couldn't stop a sleep mat moving around. If you're not going to use it before it warms up you may as well wait till you've tried one out before spending any money.
 

cipherdias

Full Member
Jan 1, 2014
455
194
Wales
At 6' I'm not sure the DD hammock will be big enough for you. Check the width of the hammock; as a guide it needs to be about the width of your outstretched arms from finger tip to finger tip to get a diagonal flat lay (or wider). I'm only going by what a number of keen hammockers have told me; I've never tried sleeping in a DD hammock.

Plus, if you intend to use it in the cold you will need some form of insulation under you - I prefer the under-blanket as I couldn't stop a sleep mat moving around. If you're not going to use it before it warms up you may as well wait till you've tried one out before spending any money.

Cheers Broch I will check measurements before ordering anything

I think the 1st kit I posted a link to has an under blanket with it


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cipherdias

Full Member
Jan 1, 2014
455
194
Wales
At 6' I'm not sure the DD hammock will be big enough for you. Check the width of the hammock; as a guide it needs to be about the width of your outstretched arms from finger tip to finger tip to get a diagonal flat lay (or wider). I'm only going by what a number of keen hammockers have told me; I've never tried sleeping in a DD hammock.

Plus, if you intend to use it in the cold you will need some form of insulation under you - I prefer the under-blanket as I couldn't stop a sleep mat moving around. If you're not going to use it before it warms up you may as well wait till you've tried one out before spending any money.



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henchy3rd

Full Member
Apr 16, 2012
390
250
Derby
DD do a XL frontline hammock.
It’s huge, so might have to set the tarp (3x3)in a diamond formation.
Failing that, consider a 4x4 tarp.. some folk like the given extra space?
There are other manufacturers out there, but I tend to stick with what I know.
Try second hand auction sites, you may get a better deal?
 

Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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Exmoor
I have the dd frontline, and am a side/stomach sleeper. I'm 5'6"" and I have plenty of room .
I have no idea how long the hammock is, but I have a friend who is 6" who has tried it out and was ok, but had never slept in a hammock before, so he had nothing to compare it to.
The frontline has the double underneath that you can slide a mat into aswell which gives you a nice semi firm bed, and extra insulation, even with an underquilt I'd still put in some sort of mat, either a simple foam, or self inflating. It helps keep the hammock shape better too.
Having had a Hennessey for many years, and only a mat that slid always and needed clothes etc stuffed into cold spots even on an August night, I realy rate the dd.
The Hennessey had a wider flatter lay, but the dd feels much more secure and cuddled in. I know some dont like that feeling, but I do, and have no problems with it. I prefer it.
The thing is to try out different ones if you can, and find what suits. I started with an expensive " premier superior hammock experience " and found it didn't suit me so well. Still had a lot of fun with it though.
It makes sense to start with a less expensive set up and upgrade if you want or need to.
If you go to the wilderness gathering, most hammocks are the dd set up . So they can't be at all bad!
 
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