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Author Topic: Hammock Camping Gear Tips And Reccomendations For A Newb?  (Read 712 times)

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Offline KevinB

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Hammock Camping Gear Tips And Reccomendations For A Newb?
« on: May 19, 2019, 12:06:50 PM »
I recently purchased a second-hand Clark NX-270 to start dipping my toe into the moto-camping pool. 


Now I need some tips and recommendations for accessories, gear, set up, etc. I'm looking for items that keep the experience newb-friendly, idiot proof and comfy for a tender-foot.

I've already got a basic sleeping bag I'll be using and a cheap Walmart roll-up self-inflatable air pad, but I'd like to upgrade the pad to something more packable and that'll provide better insulation in the hammock (I doubt I'll be doing much hammocking in lower temps, though). Looking at the options for pads, it's a little overwhelming.

Other stuff I think I want/need right now are a rain fly and a packable pillow.

I've got a few things sitting in a shopping cart on REI.com right now waiting to pull the trigger, but obviously I have zero knowledge or experience so some insight or guidance is appreciated.

- Nemo insulated sleeping pad


- ENO Hammock Matress


- Therm-A-Rest ProLite Plus Pad


- Nemo Pillow


- ENO ProFly XL tarp


- ENO Helios suspension system


I'm not looking for the lightest, most-expensive options...but I also don't want cheap stuff either. I'm mainly looking for simplicity, ease of set-up, and comfort.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 12:07:42 PM by KevinB »

Offline JBMFT

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Re: Hammock Camping Gear Tips And Reccomendations For A Newb?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2019, 12:38:12 PM »
I think a lot of people overthink hammock camping. As I see it, the main advantage is that you need less to be comfortable in a hammock than you do with a tent. I use an regular ENO Straps, an ENO Double Nest and a generic hammock rainfly I got off of Woot. The only accessories I take are a small Kelty camp pillow and a sleeping bag liner for warmer months or an actual sleeping bag in cooler months. If it is going to be really cold I'll take a Mexican blanket to use as a base layer in the hammock. I do not use a pads, bug nets, lights, etc.

Before you spend a lot of time thinking about pads just set your hammock up in your back yard and spend the night in it. You might find you are looking for a solution for a problem you don't have. It will also let you get familiar with how to set it up and take it down. I have been on a ride with someone who had to struggle to set his up in the dark because he never did it beforehand and it was very frustrating for him. His rig also came down in the middle of the night dropping him several feet knocking the wind out of him and scaring the sh!t out of me. Not fun.

I have comfortably hammock camped in the desert in the blazing-hot middle of summer and also at campsites in Alabama where temps got down to the low 30s. The trick is knowing what you'll need to have to get a good night's sleep. Anything else isn't necessary.

Offline springer

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Re: Hammock Camping Gear Tips And Reccomendations For A Newb?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2019, 04:23:46 PM »
 Love my hammocks! I hate sleeping on the ground, I much prefer hanging from trees. When it gets cold, I use a under quilt. It goes under the hammock bottom, not in the hammock. There are a few ways to make them, lot of videos on Youtube. I made mine a no-sew type, got the quilt from Costco...2 for $25.00.
 Here is a sample video of 1 way to do it;

I used those no-sew snaps things to make mine. I think I have a bunch leftover with the tool thingy. Those Costco quilts make the bottom of the hammock wind resistant. Another plus, the quilt goes under the hammock, not in the hammock. I move around when I sleep so stuff in the hammock winds up at the bottom. I have slept in mine in 20-30 degree weather and stayed warm with just a small blanket.
 My biggest advice is to buy a well made hammock and one the will sleep 2. It give you more room, so since I move around a lot a small hammock makes me feel like a banana waiting to be peeled.
 I use Eno atlas straps to wrap around the tree. They give you several places on the strap to hook you hammock to. That way if you want it to lay flatter , you can hook to one of the many loop things. I also use those aluminum clip type carabiner things like shown here; https://www.amazon.com/climbing-carabiners-and-quickdraws/b?ie=UTF8&node=3402541   
 They stay on the hammock and the clip thingy clips to the loops on the Eno strap.

Anyway, that is how I do it.  ;)
What we've got here, is a failure to communicate.  Strother Martin as the Captain in Cool Hand Luke.
 Endeavor to persevere! Chief Dan George as Lone Watie in The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Offline Mulley

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Re: Hammock Camping Gear Tips And Reccomendations For A Newb?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 05:45:50 PM »
I'm not a fan of using a mat in my hammock. It usually ends up on top of me or to the side. I have a double layer Warbonnet and it's designed to have the mat in between the two layer but it just doesn't work for me. So I've been bringing a cheap dollar store throw blanket to add some warmth. I really want to do an underblanket. Maybe I'll do that before it gets cold again. That is definitely the way to go.

I just tried out a cheap inflatable pack pillow this past weekend, it worked well. You don't need a thick pillow at all for a hammock, your head is held a little bit higher by the natural curve of the fabric.

I recommend for the summer time getting a small rechargeable fan (or USB powered with a batter pack) that you can clip onto a guy line above the hammock. That feels so good after a long day of riding. Check Amazon, there's a hundred to choose from and they are pretty cheap. (Glenn get's credit for this idea).

You are definitely over thinking it. Hammocks are so easy as long as it's not too cold. Just a hammock, a rainfly, a sleeping bag and a t-shirt for a pillow works just fine for mild temps.

Practice getting in and out a few times before you actually go to sleep. That way you don't fall trying to go relieve yourself in the middle of the night. The shape of a hammock puts a strange pressure on my bladder and their is no way I can make it all night. Especially after a few campsite beverages.
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