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[Yosemite]

Hammocks

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Re: Hammocks

Postby Caminante » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:59 pm

I like my DIY gathered end a lot, but a lot of the commercially available ones are too short, such as ENO's, and aren't all that comfortable for more than a nap. Once they get in the 10.5' to 11' range I think they work well for a lot of people. I also made mine out of poly instead of nylon as I prefer less stretch. This was a really nice site just after the Lost Valley burn.

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Re: Hammocks

Postby Phil » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:35 pm

The Eno is what I tried. That was not good for me. Besides being a side and a restless sleeper, what gets me is the tension on my lower spine instead of compression. I can haul 35-50lbs in my pack all day without too much problem, but where I get hit is when I drop my load and move things around when I release and stretch out. I've got to be really ginger with my back for at least a few minutes after that and stretch it out very methodically or I end up with that same twinge I felt before my laminectomy/discectomy. With so little of that L5-S1 left over, the disks next to it take a lot more strain. My last x-rays looked like I just had a few sheets of wax paper between my vertebrae. I also can't wear a hip belt going up hill, so if you ever see someone going for miles carrying a Baltoro 75 without one, that'll be me. I take it fully on my shoulders and sternum strap. I want to keep backpacking and walking when I get old, so if being on the ground and sleeping in a fetal position makes that happen, viva la terra firma. But if you do have a better idea for another type of more supportive hammock, I have enough painkillers to be willing to give it a whirl. Hey, now that's adventure. If you're not in pain or bleeding, you're not trying hard enough.

That is the brightest pack I've ever seen. You'll never get lost because they'll be able to see you from space. :lol:
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Re: Hammocks

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:42 pm

Sleeping in a bridge hammock is about as dead flat as you'll get. Imagine a bathtub only comfortable.

In South America, where the tribes sleep in hammocks year round, the hammocks are huge and you sleep perpendicular to the ends -- across, not in line. That is the flat sleeping you'll get with an asymmetrical or shaped hammock like the Warbonnet Blackbird, the Dream Hammock, Hennessy or any other hammock that you are able to sleep across, or nearly so, in. The vast majority of people who say the hammock hurt their back just get in a cheap, narrow gathered end without ever finding out other hammock designs exist. And then they just don't care to try another.

I am a side sleeper, a cold sleeper, and a restless sleeper -- all very good reasons for me to use my hammock.

I have learned the hard way to only let people lay in my hammock with underquilt in the morning right before I take it down. It's been inevitable -- they don't want to get out again.
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Re: Hammocks

Postby Phil » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:56 pm

Yeah AT, that experience with a bad hammock is exactly where I've been...ugh, never again was all I could say.

I also always find myself wondering how much site selection versatility you get with the hammock vs tent or tarp. I don't want to run around and have to look for perfect trees and be honking lines to get it exactly right at the end of the day. It's also about wondering how you deal with being at 9k and can find a good pair of trees, but tomorrow you'll be at 11k and won't. I'm used to being able to say "Yeah, if I jigger those guy lines and vestibule a little, I cram it in there. That'll work."
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Re: Hammocks

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:23 pm

If I were to sum up conversations with every non-hammock-user ever it would run something like this.

Them: I can't use a hammock because of cold/rain/motion sickness/bad back/don't want to be shaped like a banana/too claustrophobic/bugs/animals/side sleeper/active sleeper/stomach sleeper.

Me: I get motion sickness so easily I can't ride in boats on the ocean, or back seats of cars, or sometimes front seats. I get cold so easily I am the first person to put on a jacket. I can't go to sleep on my back. I'm so claustrophobic I am unable to sleep in a bivy, or a very narrow tent, and I had to stop using mummy bags. I've been using a hammock for a decade and I have been warmer, slept flatter, on my side, without feeling claustrophobic, been drier than I ever have in a tent -- and my gear stays cleaner, too. I can sit up and make dinner (can't do that in a tent) dry clothes on the ridgeline of the hammock (tents don't have ridgelines and are too poorly ventilated to dry things, usually they get condensation where hammocks/tarps rarely do) sleep in any position including on my back (I absolutely MUST be on my side, if I am in bed at home or in a tent on a pad, not so with a hammock) completely isolated from bugs (full bugnet, off the ground, permethrin treated hammock suspension, double layer hammock) and able to build a house around my hammock (tarp so big that it qualifies as a six person tent, staked around the hammock -- friends whose tents have leaked have been able to bail out and sleep with ME).

I have eight foot straps and long whoopie slings -- the trees would have to be more than fifty feet apart to defeat my knotless, effortless setup.

The things that hammocks can't do: hang where they are prohibited (parks with redwoods and sequoias don't like stuff hanging from their trees) or hang where things are completely flat without rock faces or trees, and you have no hammock stand. And it sucks to be in a hammock with someone. So if the significant other doesn't like hammocks for some reason (mine is just too big for most and too cheap to spring for a custom made version of a good hammock) you get stuck on the ground. And that is why the camping gods have blessed us with Exped Synmats, Big Agnes Q Core, or similar 3-4" cush insulated ground sleeping gear.
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Re: Hammocks

Postby Caminante » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:48 am

At least on the east coast, site selection works in your favor more often than not with a hammock. No shortage of trees at any elevation and no worries about slopes, rocks, roots, etc. like my tent compadres worry about. I can see that the equation might be different out west.
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Re: Hammocks

Postby Phil » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:35 am

Thanks AT! You make a very compelling case, and if I've learned one thing here, it's that your advice is based on sound knowledge and experience. I've got like 7 or 8 tents and bivies, and 0 hammocks. Maybe it's time to strike a balance. I have what I know, but I can't even find one arguable point that wouldn't make be want to step out of what's always been my comfort zone and shoot for something better.
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Re: Hammocks

Postby Caminante » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:54 am

Phil, that pack is also a DIY, 65L and designed to carry a canister. I used blaze orange ripstop poly from a vendor that happens to be local to me (https://ripstopbytheroll.com/products/h ... 1156472897). The bottom and back is a grey 420D robic nylon for extra durability. I did a few shakedown hikes beforehand, but my Yosemite hike was its maiden voyage in a backpacking capacity. It is indeed bright, my 10-yo daughter has nicknamed it The Lorax.

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Re: Hammocks

Postby Phil » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:45 pm

Looks like a nice rig when it's not lighting up the forest. 8) Just pure, functional volume. Almost like a canyoneering or rope bag, but with more external storage. More packs should be designed with carrying a can in mind.
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Re: Hammocks

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:46 pm

Reminds me of a ULA pack. They're selling off some returns at a good discount at the moment. I'm tempted, but I'll let mine get a few more patches before I do that.
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