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Old October 7, 2012, 07:59 AM   #22
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Join Date: August 18, 2009
Posts: 826
A hammock is nearly the only way to go - for me. I sleep in one AT HOME, you can say that I am used to them. Lots of advantages to a hammock, but in cold weather, they can be a challenge. Still, I've camped in one in heavy snow and cold temps....and I still preferred that to sleeping on the ground.

Like others, I create a shelter with a line stretched between two trees, about as high as I can reach (7' or so) , then a tarp over that, stretched tight and staked (though I have used guy lines instead of stakes, or even rocks - it depends on the terrain). Then, I hang my hammock under - with the straps (around the trees) at about 4' off the ground. The hammock should be fairly tight - you do NOT want a large sag when you are in the hammock - that WILL be uncomfortable (and is a common newbee mistake).

I hang the hammock higher (closer to the "roof") in cold weather, which creates a better wind break. I also stake the bottom edges of the tarp shelter closer together in the cold, making a narrower, steeper-roofed shelter, to fight the wind. In hot weather, I often do just the opposite - guy line the bottom edges a couple feet up neighboring trees, to create a very shallow roof and such that the bottom edges do not touch the ground. This allows breezes to pass through easily. Since your butt is up, off the ground, even a light breeze will have a nice cooling effect.

Of course, bedding materials will vary based on the season. In winter, a GOOD sleeping bag is a MUST. In summer, sometimes I use nothing at all.

I would say, go with that to which you are accustomed. If you want to use a hammock in the woods, try one at home first. Then, you can intelligently decide if they are for you. You said that you only have a few more days before your trip. That might be enough time to test a hammock - or might not. Obviously, your call.

"If a strong wind comes up in the middle of the night that would make for a heck of a ride."

I realize that you were probably kidding.....but actually, not really. Such a setup will actually only lightly sway, even in a 25 knot wind. In heavier winds, yes (quite a ride). But, in the average night time breeze in most places, it's not a problem.

Last edited by wpsdlrg; October 7, 2012 at 08:10 AM.
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