BWCA Hammock or tents in the BWCA Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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BoundaryLife
  
04/18/2021 12:10PM  
My friends and I have been going into the BWCA for several years. They started in tents and now we only use hammocks. One of my friends is thinking about trying a tent again. I don't feel like sleeping on the cold ground is going to be comfortable at all.

What's your favorite sleep system? Tent, Hammock or other?

 
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04/18/2021 01:32PM  
I have been in the hammock camp for several years now and still prefer most aspects of it over tent camping. I sleep better and am able to get up in the morning easier.

In my hammock, I miss having all my stuff handy in the middle of the night. Night time urination is easier for me in a tent with a bottle. I have to get out of the hammock for that type of relief.

I love the privacy aspect of the hammock. No noisy tent mates. Usually have more location options with a hammock.

I only use the hammock in the BWCA. My other camping is in a tent or the back of my truck or a rustic cabin with my wife.

We used one of the Bayfield (WI) county yurts a couple years back. That was kind of neat. I spent a lot of time just examining the construction of the yurt.
 
04/18/2021 03:06PM  
Im a hammock guy also. This will be my third full year in a bridge hammock. Having back issues I have never slept better in the BW. I don’t see myself going back to a tent. I have used a tent recently but only car camping with a thick blowup mattress.
 
04/18/2021 04:28PM  
I tried a good quality Hammock for a couple of years. Didn't dig it so now I back with a tent
 
Canoearoo
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04/18/2021 07:36PM  
4 inch down filled sleeping pad, down sleeping bag and a nice pillow
 
straighthairedcurly
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04/18/2021 07:44PM  
Our family is divided. I only sleep in a tent. My husband only sleeps in a hammock. Our son started in a tent, then converted to a hammock for a few years. However, after the oppressive heat of last summer he has switched back to a tent.
 
MidwestFirecraft
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04/18/2021 09:18PM  
straighthairedcurly: "However, after the oppressive heat of last summer he has switched back to a tent."


Isn't the Hammock much cooler than the tent? That is one of the biggest advantages to me. I was boiling in my tent last May. A hammock usually has more tree cover being that it has to be in the trees and you get the convection heat loss.
 
04/19/2021 06:07AM  
I have only napped in a hammock years ago and did not find it that comfortable. Maybe because I'm a side sleeper? So I stick to tents. This way I can also keep my dog in the tent so she doesn't explore every sound she hears overnight.
 
KarlBAndersen1
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04/19/2021 06:36AM  
I abhor sleeping in a tent in the B'dub. It's one step above torture.
Hammock - period.
Somebody mentioned not having "all my stuff".
Get a Clark - period.

Clark Hammocks - simply the best.
 
04/19/2021 06:58AM  
Hammocks by far are more comfortable, but as they pack so small, we also take a tent.

We were on Red Rock Lake in July 2016 (?) when a storm with 70+ MPH winds blew through...we bailed out of the hammocks and into the tent. Even with a good tarp set-up we would have been soaked.
 
scotttimm
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04/19/2021 10:45AM  
Unas10:
In my hammock, I miss having all my stuff handy in the middle of the night. Night time urination is easier for me in a tent with a bottle. I have to get out of the hammock for that type of relief.

We used one of the Bayfield (WI) county yurts a couple years back. That was kind of neat. I spent a lot of time just examining the construction of the yurt."


The boys in our family have perfected the art of peeing out of the hammock. It is an odd feeling to pee while laying down ("am I asleep and just dreaming this?"), and you must remember to not leave your shoes within firing range, but it's something I LOVE about hammocks!
 
Pilgrimpaddler
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04/19/2021 10:54AM  
I've been a tent sleeper for decades, but am now awaiting delivery of Superior Gear hammock that I'll be using on may May trip. I'll still have the ability to move to the tent (Lean2+) if the hammock doesn't work out, but I'm hoping I'll really like it.
 
BearBurrito
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04/19/2021 11:07AM  
I am firmly in the hammock group.
 
ockycamper
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04/19/2021 11:31AM  
We take 12-18 men up to BWCA every fall, split into 3 groups. They started out in tents 15 years ago. Now all of them but one are in hammocks. I think it has to do with:

we can put hammocks up in less then one minute, and if using snake skins take them down wet easily

no crawling out of a tent on your knees several times a night and finding every rock and pebble.

and as we use down underquilts, we are warmer in the hammocks then the tents.

Less gear.
 
04/19/2021 01:24PM  
 
Lawnchair107
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04/19/2021 01:37PM  
ockycamper:
Less gear."


Is it though? My lean 3+ at 3.7 lbs can hold 5 people. I cant imagine 5 hammock setups having less gear than that ;)
 
04/19/2021 01:43PM  
Situational management. In the BWCA trees are much easier to find than a flat space hence the hammock. There are other benefits to my camping style that might not fit others'.
 
04/19/2021 01:58PM  
I go back and forth. When solo I'd say two thirds of the time I'm using a hammock. When with a group, of more than two, I'm also likely to sleep in a hammock. I don't have a hard n fast rule for when I will or won't.
 
Othello
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04/19/2021 03:42PM  
With wife or kids, tent. With a buddy or solo, which is 80% of the time, hammock. In both scenarios, I don't even consider the other shelter as an option.
 
RickyBHangin
member (20)member
  
04/19/2021 05:28PM  
Hammock all the way for this happy camper. Never sleep better all year in fact. Shug’s videos convinced me years ago and I’m glad I made the switch.
 
SevenofNine
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04/19/2021 06:42PM  
Tent man thru and thru. Take what best suits you.
 
OCDave
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04/20/2021 09:30AM  
scotttimm: "The boys in our family have perfected the art of peeing out of the hammock. ... "


This is just wrong! (Akin to those tent dwellers who put their ground cloth INSIDE the tent) ;)

 
04/20/2021 11:07AM  
I've been interested in getting a hammock, but I feel like it is too expensive for me right now. You have to buy the hammock, tree straps, bug net, and rain fly just to get started. Then there is trading the sleeping pad for an underquilt and the sleeping bag for a quilt.

I started with cheap and borrowed gear, so upgrading piece by piece has been easy. Buying all that gear at once is not so easy. Then you have to worry about your tripping buddies too. I can't just buy a hammock and tell my canoe partner that he needs to buy his own or carry the tent by himself. It's a lot to switch over entirely for multiple people and without really knowing if you are going to like it ahead of time. Then there are the sites that might not have multiple good hammock spots. It's a big change and I just can't justify the expense to satisfy my curiosity.
 
Pilgrimpaddler
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04/20/2021 03:21PM  
One of the nice things about getting older is that I find I occasionally have the $$ available to buy some gear that I don't need - in this case, a new hammock system. I figure that if it doesn't work out I can sell it to someone who might want to give hammocking a try and I might not have to take a huge loss on it.
 
TipsyPaddler
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04/20/2021 03:44PM  
Started with tents but now a dedicated hammock camper. My reasons why are similar to what others have mentioned earlier. I cannot imagine going back to a tent for BWCA trips.
 
jillpine
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04/20/2021 03:52PM  
As I hit the decade of my fifties, I became really sore after a night on the ground, no matter the sleeping pad. The compression points were so sore, I wondered how much longer I was going to keep up with sleeping on the ground and thinking it was fun to camp. Hammock-sleeping changed that. I get much better sleep than I do in a tent (doesn't even compare), and often better sleep than I do in a bed. I am one of those who struggles to get up and get going in the morning because it is that comfortable and snug. Also, prefer a hammock during heavy downpour than in a tent, regardless of the "innie" or "outie" plastic lining or Tyvek or what have you.

The expense issue is a fact - I use my down bag as a quilt, and I bought a gently used Clark NX-250 ("buy once, cry once"), but yeah - there are straps and suspension, an underquilt and so forth. For me, the learning curve has been a lot of fun, well worth it.

All that said, I completely understand why folks choose a tent - cost / learning curve / perhaps the ease of set-up, the "room effect", space to spread out gear / maps, snuggle-up with a spouse or s.o., etc.

I still have tents; use them if paddling in burn area or no trees 6 in. +.


 
LilyPond
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04/20/2021 07:13PM  
jillpine: "As I hit the decade of my fifties, I became really sore after a night on the ground, no matter the sleeping pad. The compression points were so sore, I wondered how much longer I was going to keep up with sleeping on the ground and thinking it was fun to camp. "


Same here. I solved this by getting a Helinox cot. That changed my whole sleeping experience.
 
straighthairedcurly
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04/20/2021 07:32PM  
MidwestFirecraft: "
straighthairedcurly: "However, after the oppressive heat of last summer he has switched back to a tent."



Isn't the Hammock much cooler than the tent? That is one of the biggest advantages to me. I was boiling in my tent last May. A hammock usually has more tree cover being that it has to be in the trees and you get the convection heat loss. "


No, he felt like the hammock was pressing in on him and wrapped around him too much which made it feel very stuffy.
 
straighthairedcurly
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04/20/2021 07:35PM  
Lawnchair107: "
ockycamper:
Less gear."



Is it though? My lean 3+ at 3.7 lbs can hold 5 people. I cant imagine 5 hammock setups having less gear than that ;)"


I agree LawnChair: Our 4 person tent weighs much less than 4 hammock setups. My solo tent (Tarptent) weighs less (and takes up less space than my husbands hammock setup.
 
Saberboys
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04/20/2021 08:25PM  
Question for you hammock folks. Do you go with a two person hammock for more room, or stick with the single hammock to conserve weight and pack space? Is a 2 person hammock just bigger, or is it cut differently?
 
04/20/2021 09:30PM  
Saberboys: "Question for you hammock folks. Do you go with a two person hammock for more room, or stick with the single hammock to conserve weight and pack space? Is a 2 person hammock just bigger, or is it cut differently? "

Saberboys, you are thinking of lounging hammocks, like the Eno Doublenest. While some do sleep in those hammocks a true camping hammock is asymmetrically cut to allow you to sleep flat on a diagonal. Many also include an integral bug net. True camping hammocks are designed to accommodate only one person. Check out Shug's videos to learn all there is to know about hammock camping. He's a hammock guru and very entertaining. Here's a good one to get you started: Hammock Hangin' How-To for noobs, part 1.
 
04/20/2021 09:37PM  
jillpine: "As I hit the decade of my fifties, I became really sore after a night on the ground, no matter the sleeping pad. The compression points were so sore, I wondered how much longer I was going to keep up with sleeping on the ground and thinking it was fun to camp. Hammock-sleeping changed that. I get much better sleep than I do in a tent (doesn't even compare), and often better sleep than I do in a bed. I am one of those who struggles to get up and get going in the morning because it is that comfortable and snug. Also, prefer a hammock during heavy downpour than in a tent, regardless of the "innie" or "outie" plastic lining or Tyvek or what have you.
"

I totally agree with this. I was 49 when I got my first sleep hammock. It's very tough to want to get out of bed in the morning. There's a reason why Shug has "breakfast from the hammock".
 
pastorjsackett
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04/20/2021 09:43PM  
I tried hammock for the first time last year. My partner got up every day all sore from sleeping on the ground. I slept like a baby and I'm never going back to the ground again. It's not about the weight...it's just so darn comfy and I love being able to move far from the snoring crowd and never have to search for a flat tent pad.
 
Beast388
senior member (95)senior membersenior member
  
04/21/2021 08:26AM  
Our June trip this year will be four guys....one 20-something and three 40-somethings. The old guys are all in hammocks....and will be spread apart so the snoring isn't a factor. The young guy loves his tent and sleeping on the ground. I wonder if his tune will change in another 20 years....

 
04/21/2021 08:55AM  
I prefer my (to use my wife's term for a hammock) Floating Coffin.
 
scotttimm
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04/21/2021 09:45AM  
OCDave: "
scotttimm: "The boys in our family have perfected the art of peeing out of the hammock. ... "



This is just wrong! (Akin to those tent dwellers who put their ground cloth INSIDE the tent) ;)


"

Dave - ha! Don't knock it till you've tried it! It takes some mental effort to force yourself to pee while still cozy in bed, but man I love not having to get out of bed in the middle of the night!
 
DMan5501
senior member (75)senior membersenior member
  
04/21/2021 11:51AM  
I got into Hammocks in the early 2000's with Hennessey... Being a side sleeper never found it comfortable.. always woke up with a backache.. Recently discovered Tentsile which is a 3 point hang and provides an absolutely flat surface... plus the fly can be wrapped completely around the body providing bomb proof weather protection.. the down side is its heavy so its car camping only system..

 
04/21/2021 01:35PM  
I sleep great on the ground but have advancing arthritis so getting in my tent (a true solo lightweight), and getting out. Have been looking closely into hammocks taking to users getting ideas.
The only tent to compare with a hammock is a true solo, so no cost/weight/size/setup/complexity differences at all. It's all down to comfort in use!
The more trouble I have with my knees the better a hammock looks.

Been looking and gathering ideas and discussions for several years. This may be my time to change.

butthead
 
04/21/2021 01:53PM  
As a hammock camper, I can tell you it took some learning to get hanging right, just like perfecting a tent setup. If you can power through the learning curve and eventually buy a top end hammock, I think you could overcome almost any objection other than price to entry, which is common in most camping gear.

I started with the common gathered end hammock, which sounds like type almost everyone on here who doesn't like hammocking has referred to. They are typically the cheapest and most claustrophobic option, requiring clunky bug netting, shifting insulation and little to no storage for all your 'things'. After using a gathered end for a few seasons and finding them lacking I upgraded to a bridge or "spread bar" hammock and found the biggest outdoor game changer for me since a carbon paddle or gravity filter.

The hammock I use is a Warbonnet Outdoors - Ridge Runner. Since buying it every friend I've let borrow it, now owns one or was forced to buy me one after refusing to return it. It has a connected bug net with TONS of open space above you when set up correctly. Mine lives in my car and bike in the summer. It replaced my tent for every trip other than the rare one my wife comes on where she wants me sleeping in a tent with her.

If you're in the twin cities and want to try it out, let me know. I'd HIGHLY recommend it. If you get a double layer, you can even overcome the issues of bottom insulation and use a regular sleeping pad. The saddle bag pockets fit all my clothes, things and extra insulation should I need it close by. I know I've been touting this sleep system for years, but it truly is a game change in my opinion. All that said, I'll never sell my favorite Marmot Limelite tent.

 
04/21/2021 03:25PM  
So from what I am seeing it looks like side sleepers are not as comfortable with hammocks? Is this common to all hammocks or are there some like the warbonnet, that are more comfortable for side sleepers?

When you are planning on sleeping in a hammock, do you bring a tent at all? I can imagine storms being a concern in a hammock. Even if the rain doesn't reach you, the wind probably would. I think a tent would be much warmer than a hammock. Do you buy warmer sleeping bags or quilts for a hammock?
 
Michwall2
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04/21/2021 03:53PM  
A1t2o: "I've been interested in getting a hammock, but I feel like it is too expensive for me right now. You have to buy the hammock, tree straps, bug net, and rain fly just to get started. Then there is trading the sleeping pad for an underquilt and the sleeping bag for a quilt.


I started with cheap and borrowed gear, so upgrading piece by piece has been easy. Buying all that gear at once is not so easy. Then you have to worry about your tripping buddies too. I can't just buy a hammock and tell my canoe partner that he needs to buy his own or carry the tent by himself. It's a lot to switch over entirely for multiple people and without really knowing if you are going to like it ahead of time. Then there are the sites that might not have multiple good hammock spots. It's a big change and I just can't justify the expense to satisfy my curiosity. "


+1
 
Lawnchair107
distinguished member (412)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/21/2021 04:00PM  
VaderStrom: "As a hammock camper, I can tell you it took some learning to get hanging right, just like perfecting a tent setup. If you can power through the learning curve and eventually buy a top end hammock, I think you could overcome almost any objection other than price to entry, which is common in most camping gear.


I started with the common gathered end hammock, which sounds like type almost everyone on here who doesn't like hammocking has referred to. They are typically the cheapest and most claustrophobic option, requiring clunky bug netting, shifting insulation and little to no storage for all your 'things'. After using a gathered end for a few seasons and finding them lacking I upgraded to a bridge or "spread bar" hammock and found the biggest outdoor game changer for me since a carbon paddle or gravity filter.


The hammock I use is a Warbonnet Outdoors - Ridge Runner. Since buying it every friend I've let borrow it, now owns one or was forced to buy me one after refusing to return it. It has a connected bug net with TONS of open space above you when set up correctly. Mine lives in my car and bike in the summer. It replaced my tent for every trip other than the rare one my wife comes on where she wants me sleeping in a tent with her.


If you're in the twin cities and want to try it out, let me know. I'd HIGHLY recommend it. If you get a double layer, you can even overcome the issues of bottom insulation and use a regular sleeping pad. The saddle bag pockets fit all my clothes, things and extra insulation should I need it close by. I know I've been touting this sleep system for years, but it truly is a game change in my opinion. All that said, I'll never sell my favorite Marmot Limelite tent.

"


What do you use for an underquilt for your Ridge Runner? Or does the double layer protect you from skeeters?

 
04/21/2021 05:05PM  
I use both. I prefer to sleep in a hammock. Not that I get better sleep, just easier to get in and out of. If the week looks like rain every day, I will definitely bring a tent. Just easier to keep dry.
 
04/21/2021 05:25PM  
Tents - I've always been hesitant of a Hammock since my preferred way to sleep is on my stomach. Sometimes I need my leg up by my side too. IDK I just sleep like that.......I have a lounging hammock for camp and have tried that position and it does not work well nor feel great on the old back. Thankfully for modern sleep pad technology I sleep well on the ground.
 
04/21/2021 06:22PM  
scotttimm: "
OCDave: "
scotttimm: "The boys in our family have perfected the art of peeing out of the hammock. ... "




This is just wrong! (Akin to those tent dwellers who put their ground cloth INSIDE the tent) ;)



"

Dave - ha! Don't knock it till you've tried it! It takes some mental effort to force yourself to pee while still cozy in bed, but man I love not having to get out of bed in the middle of the night!"


I ain't even trying it - and I'll bet they aren't either at 70 ;)
 
MidwestFirecraft
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04/21/2021 06:39PM  
A1t2o: "So from what I am seeing it looks like side sleepers are not as comfortable with hammocks? Is this common to all hammocks or are there some like the warbonnet, that are more comfortable for side sleepers?


When you are planning on sleeping in a hammock, do you bring a tent at all? I can imagine storms being a concern in a hammock. Even if the rain doesn't reach you, the wind probably would. I think a tent would be much warmer than a hammock. Do you buy warmer sleeping bags or quilts for a hammock?"


Bridge hammocks like the Ridgerunner work well for back and side sleepers. Gathered end hammocks are for back only for the most part.

With a four season tarp you are more protected than a tent, especially with designated tent sites that don't have the best drainage.

 
04/21/2021 07:51PM  
+1.....my 'Floating Coffin' is a Warbonnet Ridgerunner.

Can sleep on my side, I use a Neoair Xtherm or Xlite rather than an underquilt, and like how the pad gives additional structure.
 
LilyPond
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04/21/2021 09:29PM  
Questions:

Hammocks look claustrophobic. Are they? It looks to me like the visibility is better in a tent.

Is there anything you can do in a hammock besides sleep and read a book? Things you can do in a tent besides sleep: sit cross-legged, sit in a chair, eat a meal (foolhardy in bear country, but possible), change your clothes in privacy, dry clothes on a clothesline, write in a journal, spend a rainy day, pack gear when it's raining, cook outside while sitting in your tent when it's raining, play cards, draw, take a bath, use a bucket toilet for privacy, repair stuff. I've even set up an office and worked inside my tent at night. If you want to do those things with a hammock, you would need a separate screen house, which would be fine, I guess.

I love a hammock for daytime lounging in camp. I prefer a tent for all of the above. A good air mattress on a Helinox cot is incredibly comfortable. The cot will add an extra 4.25 lbs to your gear, which some may consider prohibitive. For older people it will quadruple your sleep comfort. A cot adds just enough suspension to be noticeably more comfortable than a mattress alone.
 
MidwestFirecraft
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04/22/2021 07:12AM  
LilyPond: "Questions:


Hammocks look claustrophobic. Are they? It looks to me like the visibility is better in a tent.


Is there anything you can do in a hammock besides sleep and read a book? Things you can do in a tent besides sleep: sit cross-legged, sit in a chair, eat a meal (foolhardy in bear country, but possible), change your clothes in privacy, dry clothes on a clothesline, write in a journal, spend a rainy day, pack gear when it's raining, cook outside while sitting in your tent when it's raining, play cards, draw, take a bath, use a bucket toilet for privacy, repair stuff. I've even set up an office and worked inside my tent at night. If you want to do those things with a hammock, you would need a separate screen house, which would be fine, I guess.
"


I have way more room under my hammock tarp then any of my backpacking tents. There is plenty of room for chairs on each side of the hammock. If you want the whole area simply unclip the hammock and you essentially have a large tarp. For privacy shut the doors. If you are referring to a tarp like on an Amok hammock then I would agree, but any decent 4 season tarp will give you lots of room and coverage.
 
04/22/2021 10:44AM  
A1t2o: "So from what I am seeing it looks like side sleepers are not as comfortable with hammocks? Is this common to all hammocks or are there some like the warbonnet, that are more comfortable for side sleepers?


When you are planning on sleeping in a hammock, do you bring a tent at all? I can imagine storms being a concern in a hammock. Even if the rain doesn't reach you, the wind probably would. I think a tent would be much warmer than a hammock. Do you buy warmer sleeping bags or quilts for a hammock?"


As for side sleeping, I am a life long side sleeper and sleep great in the warbonnet, but it definitely needs to be set up right. Again, it's one of those things you've got to just try out and tinker with at home before trying to figure it out when you're camping.

In regards to wind, it all depends on what weather I'm expecting. If it's cold and windy, I pull my tarp down closer to the ground and end up getting zero wind. Usually, I love the breeze and keep my tarp higher above my hammock or don't even put it up. Even if it rains I like to keep my tarp up high enough to get the breeze, but not the rain. That setup is one you need to have a bit of experience with before going to bed with it set up that way. There are some great budget quilts you can find that are very well made.
 
04/22/2021 10:50AM  
Michwall2: "
A1t2o: "I've been interested in getting a hammock, but I feel like it is too expensive for me right now. You have to buy the hammock, tree straps, bug net, and rain fly just to get started. Then there is trading the sleeping pad for an underquilt and the sleeping bag for a quilt.



I started with cheap and borrowed gear, so upgrading piece by piece has been easy. Buying all that gear at once is not so easy. Then you have to worry about your tripping buddies too. I can't just buy a hammock and tell my canoe partner that he needs to buy his own or carry the tent by himself. It's a lot to switch over entirely for multiple people and without really knowing if you are going to like it ahead of time. Then there are the sites that might not have multiple good hammock spots. It's a big change and I just can't justify the expense to satisfy my curiosity. "



+1"


If cost is your detractor, I'd urge you to try borrowing setups from folks on this forum or just using a simple tarp for your 'rain fly'. I started with very cheap test setup and that's what confirmed that I wasn't going back to ground any time soon and gave me the confidence to jump all the way in on hammocks.
 
04/22/2021 10:54AM  
Lawnchair107: "
VaderStrom: "As a hammock camper, I can tell you it took some learning to get hanging right, just like perfecting a tent setup. If you can power through the learning curve and eventually buy a top end hammock, I think you could overcome almost any objection other than price to entry, which is common in most camping gear.



I started with the common gathered end hammock, which sounds like type almost everyone on here who doesn't like hammocking has referred to. They are typically the cheapest and most claustrophobic option, requiring clunky bug netting, shifting insulation and little to no storage for all your 'things'. After using a gathered end for a few seasons and finding them lacking I upgraded to a bridge or "spread bar" hammock and found the biggest outdoor game changer for me since a carbon paddle or gravity filter.



The hammock I use is a Warbonnet Outdoors - Ridge Runner. Since buying it every friend I've let borrow it, now owns one or was forced to buy me one after refusing to return it. It has a connected bug net with TONS of open space above you when set up correctly. Mine lives in my car and bike in the summer. It replaced my tent for every trip other than the rare one my wife comes on where she wants me sleeping in a tent with her.



If you're in the twin cities and want to try it out, let me know. I'd HIGHLY recommend it. If you get a double layer, you can even overcome the issues of bottom insulation and use a regular sleeping pad. The saddle bag pockets fit all my clothes, things and extra insulation should I need it close by. I know I've been touting this sleep system for years, but it truly is a game change in my opinion. All that said, I'll never sell my favorite Marmot Limelite tent.


"



What do you use for an underquilt for your Ridge Runner? Or does the double layer protect you from skeeters?


"


First, I've never got a bug bite through my double layer RR, but I won't guarantee that it wouldn't happen without an underquilt or pad slid in the sleeve.

I use a home made underquilt...it took way too long to get perfect, so I'd recommend getting a cheaper one to try if you can spring for the warbonnet's down underquilt.

Ridge Creek

Warbonnet Lynx
 
WIMike
distinguished member (247)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/22/2021 07:34PM  
Always been a tent guy but bought a hammock this winter and plan to use it locally a few times to get the "hang" of it before taking it on two Sept trips to the BW. Hopefully I'll love the hammock but the tent will still go on backpacking trips out West or anywhere trees aren't abundant.
 
ODoyle
member (10)member
  
04/23/2021 04:06PM  
I am going to be following this thread. After only ever tent camping and lounging/napping in the cheap gathered end, took the plunge and bought a Ridge Runner. After reading lots and lots of posts on here and hammock forums, countless hours of you tube, one of my buddies pulled the trigger quicker and once I saw it, had to get my own. Got the double layer with the intent to use my exped synmat 7 in between and either the 10x12 or 10x14 CCS tarp for shelter. Not have to go the full plunge of custom fit tarp, underquilt, top quilt etc. The whole time thinking I'll take the tent that I have and love the protection of and play around with the hammock until I felt comfortable with it. Then I took a nap in it in the garage waiting on nice weather to do some practice runs in the timber.

I don't think I am taking the tent. Best 2 hours sleep I've had in a long time and no crawling on the knees, no concern of rocks or roots, low spots to collect water or un level tent sights that have you sliding to the foot end every night. Then another one of my buddies that had been contemplating getting one laid down in mine. He now has one too.

But, am curious to see what input anyone that has been hanging for years has to say about how hard it is to get set up right and stay dry on those really nasty nights or the trips when you barely see the sun and rain is part of every day. This is my biggest reservation now. I can make that 10x14 have doors and fully enclose the hammock in the middle of Illinois where there is plenty of top soil to easily stake it.
 
04/23/2021 04:38PM  
But, am curious to see what input anyone that has been hanging for years has to say about how hard it is to get set up right and stay dry on those really nasty nights or the trips when you barely see the sun and rain is part of every day. This is my biggest reservation now. I can make that 10x14 have doors and fully enclose the hammock in the middle of Illinois where there is plenty of top soil to easily stake it. "

I've been hammock camping maybe five years now. I use a 20D Silpoly Warbonnet Superfly tarp over a Dutchware Chameleon hammock and I've been in some seriously intense storms and never once gotten wet. I have complete confidence in my setup to keep me dry in any situation. That being said, you do want to be sure that if the weather is nasty you pitch the tarp nice and low. I also always set up a 10'x12' or 10'x14' CCS 1.1 oz. Tundra tarp as a community shelter so people aren't stuck in there hammocks or tents when it's raining all day.
 
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member(915)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/23/2021 04:50PM  
It takes me quite a while to set up a gathered end hammock, but getting the right lay with the ridge runner is pretty quick and easy. What kind of suspension do you have? Make sure you have some kind of break where it enters the tarp so water won't run down the suspension and get your hammock wet.
Drip Line
 
ODoyle
member (10)member
  
04/23/2021 05:03PM  
MidwestFirecraft: "It takes me quite a while to set up a gathered end hammock, but getting the right lay with the ridge runner is pretty quick and easy. What kind of suspension do you have? Make sure you have some kind of break where it enters the tarp so water won't run down the suspension and get your hammock wet.
Drip Line "


I went with the Dutch beetle buckles and spider straps with the dutch clip. The few times I have taken it out and just string the tarp up between two random trees in the yard, I can get the hammock where I like it pretty easily.

And plan to tie some prusiks of cord either on each side beneath the continuous loop or maybe one on each piece that runs out from the corners. The buckles are right at the edge of the tarp and with a slippery half hitch and some twists in the strap, I figure a couple of drip lines are easy added insurance. I'm more worried about if the wind swings around and pushes rain against suspension end. Even with doors.
 
ODoyle
member (10)member
  
04/23/2021 05:16PM  
unshavenman: "
But, am curious to see what input anyone that has been hanging for years has to say about how hard it is to get set up right and stay dry on those really nasty nights or the trips when you barely see the sun and rain is part of every day. This is my biggest reservation now. I can make that 10x14 have doors and fully enclose the hammock in the middle of Illinois where there is plenty of top soil to easily stake it. "

I've been hammock camping maybe five years now. I use a 20D Silpoly Warbonnet Superfly tarp over a Dutchware Chameleon hammock and I've been in some seriously intense storms and never once gotten wet. I have complete confidence in my setup to keep me dry in any situation. That being said, you do want to be sure that if the weather is nasty you pitch the tarp nice and low. I also always set up a 10'x12' or 10'x14' CCS 1.1 oz. Tundra tarp as a community shelter so people aren't stuck in there hammocks or tents when it's raining all day."


Good to know. I've ridden out some nasty ones in a tent. Some we stayed dry, some not so much. I just fear the wind coming at the suspension end and rain coming with. And can it be rigged good enough. Always felt like in a tent you're at least holding it down by laying in it. Not to say the rain fly couldn't blow away.

As a group we have a 15x15 CCS screen tent and whichever one of mine doesn't get used for the hammock will be part of the community shelter. Fire wood, miscellaneous packs, kitchen area of sorts. Or a wind break if needed. I'm just hoping to make do with one for the hammock. Eventually upgrade to a Superfly but trying to ease into it.
 
04/23/2021 06:18PM  
ODoyle: "I am going to be following this thread. After only ever tent camping and lounging/napping in the cheap gathered end, took the plunge and bought a Ridge Runner. After reading lots and lots of posts on here and hammock forums, countless hours of you tube, one of my buddies pulled the trigger quicker and once I saw it, had to get my own. Got the double layer with the intent to use my exped synmat 7 in between and either the 10x12 or 10x14 CCS tarp for shelter. Not have to go the full plunge of custom fit tarp, underquilt, top quilt etc. The whole time thinking I'll take the tent that I have and love the protection of and play around with the hammock until I felt comfortable with it. Then I took a nap in it in the garage waiting on nice weather to do some practice runs in the timber.


I don't think I am taking the tent. Best 2 hours sleep I've had in a long time and no crawling on the knees, no concern of rocks or roots, low spots to collect water or un level tent sights that have you sliding to the foot end every night. Then another one of my buddies that had been contemplating getting one laid down in mine. He now has one too.


But, am curious to see what input anyone that has been hanging for years has to say about how hard it is to get set up right and stay dry on those really nasty nights or the trips when you barely see the sun and rain is part of every day. This is my biggest reservation now. I can make that 10x14 have doors and fully enclose the hammock in the middle of Illinois where there is plenty of top soil to easily stake it. "


Congrats on the RR!! With it you’ll NEVER get wet from your suspension as it’s a triangle and puts the water onto buckles at worst, but it won’t get that far. Just make sure your tarp is pulled low enough. One nice thing is you can move much deeper into the woods when you’ve got a hammock and avoid wind off the lakes. I’ve had my co-campers go through a tortured night of wind but I didn’t feel a thing way back in the woods.

For the right hang, always put your foot end in the highest side as you’ll want it about 8-13” higher than the head as your feet drop and there’s no drop on the head end. Then it’s a balancing act that you should be able to get right after some practice. My biggest tip is choose trees that look a little further apart than you’d normally think are right. In 7 years of using a RR, I’ve only had one campsite that I was unable to get what I’d consider a perfect lay at and I’d blame the fact I was looking for trees in the dark.

Welcome to the best sleep ever. Good luck being the first one up in the morning. I never am anymore unless I’m solo.

 
Lawnchair107
distinguished member (412)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/23/2021 07:49PM  
You have no idea how hard it is not pulling the trigger on a RR. I’m also looking closely at the Chameleon. In all honesty, is there any space savings when 4-5 guys choose two tents (2-3 person tents) vs. 4-5 individual hammock setups?
 
04/23/2021 08:29PM  
Lawnchair107: "You have no idea how hard it is not pulling the trigger on a RR. I’m also looking closely at the Chameleon. In all honesty, is there any space savings when 4-5 guys choose two tents (2-3 person tents) vs. 4-5 individual hammock setups?"


Probably not, however on many sites areas that are unused (not good tent pads, nor areas people naturally spend time in) can be spots for hammocks. I think it's an advantage more often than a disadvantage.

The RR is a great piece of kit. My dog Cerberus will sometimes hop up into it - with or without me.
 
pdog21
  
04/23/2021 08:36PM  
Last year was first year in a hammock and I'm sold. I'm a side sleeper but in the hammock you dont have any pressure points AND you dont have to get up to pee.....just remember which side you put your shoes! I would assume I will dial it in from last year, so I'm never going back. It is much more comfortable and consistent-no rocks or bad drainage to worry about.
 
Lawnchair107
distinguished member (412)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/23/2021 09:28PM  
Has anyone been lucky enough to get their hands on Dutch’s Banyon Bridge Hammock before Covid?

Ridge Runner vs. Banyon Bridge
 
Daubenspeckm
member (5)member
  
05/11/2021 04:12PM  
Can someone explain to me why an expensive hammock is better than a $19.99 Menards cheapo? When a good tarp, underquilt, and bug net are used - what is the benefit of an expensive hammock? I cannot imagine the fabric matters much. Is it the shape?
 
05/11/2021 06:47PM  
Daubenspeckm: "Can someone explain to me why an expensive hammock is better than a $19.99 Menards cheapo? When a good tarp, underquilt, and bug net are used - what is the benefit of an expensive hammock? I cannot imagine the fabric matters much. Is it the shape?"


When your cheapo hammock fails in the middle of the night you will be asking yourself why you didn’t spend the money on a quality product.
I will cheap out on somethings but not on my sleeping stuff of portage packs.
 
05/12/2021 10:17AM  
Daubenspeckm: "Can someone explain to me why an expensive hammock is better than a $19.99 Menards cheapo? When a good tarp, underquilt, and bug net are used - what is the benefit of an expensive hammock? I cannot imagine the fabric matters much. Is it the shape?"

Surely.
An inexpensive hammock is typically designed for lounging and is symmetrically cut, so you lay in it somewhat shaped like a banana. The fabric will be also be heavier and it will lack a structural ridgeline. Think ENO and the like.
A hammock designed for sleeping will typically be asymmetrically cut which allows one to lay flat on the diagonal instead of being shaped like a banana. It will also have a structural ridgeline to control the tension and shape of the hammock body regardless of the distance between trees. There will be many choices in fabric based on it's weight vs. strength to suit your needs and how much you weigh, but all of the materials will very high quality and much lighter than you would find with an inexpensive hammock. A camping hammock may allow you to add and remove a zippered bug net and/or a winter top cover, and it will have hooks for securing the underquilt.
 
ODoyle
member (10)member
  
05/12/2021 04:55PM  
Daubenspeckm: "Can someone explain to me why an expensive hammock is better than a $19.99 Menards cheapo? When a good tarp, underquilt, and bug net are used - what is the benefit of an expensive hammock? I cannot imagine the fabric matters much. Is it the shape?"


Having only napped in both, and I am comparing the cheap menards gathered end ones to the ridge runner bridge type, take it for what it's worth. The differences are huge. The addition of the second layer, a bug net and the saddle bags plus being able to be comfortably on your side, partly because it's a bridge type, but just to see the quality difference side by side. It is money well spent. Have not had the hammock fail but the $10 tree straps they sell, had one of them fail. Fortunately just in the garage and had just slid my exped in between the layers so I had some cushion from the concrete. Having had that experience, it speaks to the level of quality.
 
AtwaterGA
distinguished member (216)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/13/2021 10:33AM  


tent. Side sleeper and prefer to sleep with my wife.
 
05/14/2021 07:27AM  
We started in a tent, and switched to hammocks after bringing them along to take naps in. Now i struggle with keeping my feet warm at night. We are going early July this year, so that should help. I know there area lot of factors that go into it, and I only hammock once a year for a week straight so I probably don't have it fine tuned as much as I should. Bringing a tent this year for my son if he chooses to sleep in it as he has struggled with staying warm also.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(1360)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/14/2021 11:30AM  
I'm a tent guy. Hammocks weren't used much as a shelter sleeping system when I started canoe camping. Additionally, I'm a stomach sleeper, which doesn't work so well in a hammock. Lastly, if I'm rained in all day, a tent gives me some ability, even minor, to move around a bit, from lying to sitting, and in between.

I think a hammock would be a great system, just not for me.

Mike
 
LittleRiver
senior member (62)senior membersenior member
  
05/15/2021 08:20AM  
VaderStrom: "...The hammock I use is a Warbonnet Outdoors - Ridge Runner. ..."


Are there any side sleepers that can give a first hand opinion of how well this hammock works for them?
 
Wharfrat63
distinguished member (146)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/15/2021 08:31AM  
LittleRiver: "
VaderStrom: "...The hammock I use is a Warbonnet Outdoors - Ridge Runner. ..."



Are there any side sleepers that can give a first hand opinion of how well this hammock works for them?
"


Love it....but I needed a pad to slip between the double fabric. Without the pad, was too restrictive for me. I use a Klymit Luxe pad (30 inches wide) fits perfect.

 
05/15/2021 07:43PM  
Wharfrat63: "
LittleRiver: "
VaderStrom: "...The hammock I use is a Warbonnet Outdoors - Ridge Runner. ..."




Are there any side sleepers that can give a first hand opinion of how well this hammock works for them?
"



Love it....but I needed a pad to slip between the double fabric. Without the pad, was too restrictive for me. I use a Klymit Luxe pad (30 inches wide) fits perfect.

+1
"
 
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14436)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
  
05/15/2021 09:35PM  
Started out in a tent, then many years in a hammock. Next trip I will be back in my tent. It’s way more roomy and comfortable in a tent for me. I will still take my hammock for naps.
 
05/27/2021 07:11PM  
Anyone in this thread that wanted the Cadillac of hammocks, there’s a 20% off on all warbonnet hammocks through the weekend. memorialday20 Is the code.
 
ForestDuff
distinguished member (203)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/27/2021 07:48PM  
Side and stomach sleeper here, I just don't think it would work for me. Similar to using a kayak paddle for my SR Tranquility, tried it......my shoulders didn't like it, and I have a rudder. Camped with guys that have them, no doubt there are some advantages to both hammocks and tents.
I see the solo aspect gets mentioned, myself and the guys I go with, if not in hammocks, are solo in 2 man tents. I've only camped with someone else in the tent up there once in the last 20 years. We separate for the snore factor when possible. You get pretty good at spotting a tent pad that has a level spot for only one sleeping pad.
I take two sleeping pads though, to deal with the hips being on the ground, and for warmth's sake.
It has been interesting to watch the hammocks popularity take off, I'm sure there is so much more customization with the number of products available these days. Sorta like watching kayak fishing take off in the angling world.
I'm a comfort guy, first brought a little folding chair along on a '89 winter trip and said to myself "Why am I not bringing this on every trip?!".........a chair has been on every trip since.
So I so understand the folks for bringing them for comfort alone, good sleep is crucial to enjoying your stay in the BW.
Heck, comfort in every aspect .......clothes, footwear and gear........is why there is more folks enjoying the outdoors these days.
Uncomfortable has a tendency to weed a lot of folks out.

One thing also kind of freaks me out about hammocks, I've just now lately been able to handle the mice climbing around and over my tent, the thought of a bear walking under me would add a little mental stress. :)
 
DMan5501
senior member (75)senior membersenior member
  
05/28/2021 10:11AM  
DMan5501: "I got into Hammocks in the early 2000's with Hennessey... Being a side sleeper never found it comfortable.. always woke up with a backache.. Recently discovered Tentsile which is a 3 point hang and provides an absolutely flat surface... plus the fly can be wrapped completely around the body providing bomb proof weather protection.. the down side is its heavy so its car camping only system..


"


Problem solved for 2021!!

New Testsile UNA 3.0 1 person 3 point lay flat hammock tree tent.. Comes in under 5 pounds.. double floor so you can add insulated pad and optional bug net that fits under it! (shown below with out fly attached)..

 
goalie
  
06/01/2021 06:52PM  
VaderStrom: "Anyone in this thread that wanted the Cadillac of hammocks, there’s a 20% off on all warbonnet hammocks through the weekend. memorialday20 Is the code."


Thanks. I snagged one to try out.

I've got a Townsend Big Guy Bridge hammock, and it's amazing, but heavy.

I'm light enough to try a single layer and see if I can get a bridge setup light enough to backpack with.



 
06/13/2021 11:26AM  
I’m definitely in the hammock camp. As I got older I nearly had to give up backpacking as I could never get a quality nights rest with my tents no matter how much I spent on pads. I bought my wife and I WB a Ridgerunner and BBXLC along with the underquilt and tarps. My wife was a huge skeptic and definitely took notice of the growing price tag. I tried mine out this winter in my heated garage and immediately fell in love with them. My wife started using them this spring and also fell in love with them, so much that she confessed that I was right and she was wrong and that she doesn’t care what they cost.

We spent the last week camping on some property we own near Ely and noticed the following:
+I sleep on my side just fine in both models but I find the RR easier
+My wife prefers the XLC
+I like the RR’s wide open view when you don’t have the tarp deployed. Beautiful night sky viewing and lake views during the day
+Definitely make sure your feet are slightly elevated or you will slide down
+With the tarp set up properly we had no problem staying dry in high winds and rain (Thunderfly tarps)
+Mosquitos etc were absolutely not an issue
+Our family staying in our camper and in tents woke up way earlier than we did
+we both woke up without any aches or pains

Everybody is different and hammocks do come with a learning curve but for us they are a game changer. Thank you to Shug, and The Marine for all your great videos and all those on this site who shared their advice and helped take the steepness out of the learning curve.
 
06/15/2021 12:00PM  
Hammocks are so lonely. You only have your own body heat to keep you warm.
Love me some tent lovin' :)
 
06/20/2021 04:03PM  
I find the hammock gives me a more comfortable sleep.
The weight of tent and hammock are close enough that it makes little difference on that score.
I got a tarp with doors so I get complete rain coverage even in windy conditions.
And I can pitch the tarp in porch mode to give open air feeling when the weather is nice.
The issue I have is that I like to go far north, e.g Wabakimi.
Up there the predominat trees are black spruce.
Those can be spindly and I have had nights when I could not reliably hang the hammock.
But in the BW that is not really an issue.
 
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