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  1. #1
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    Hammocking and Biking

    Anyone ever camped in a hammock instead of a tent on bikepack expeditions? I normally like to bring one with on short rides to chill out once I finish, but I've never heard of anyone using these on a long bike trip.

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    I use a hennesey deep jungle or explorer. Most of the places I go it is easy to find spots to hang them. I have also used them as bivvies when no place. I think it is terrain dependent, if you were somewhere in a desert with no trees a tent is better I would think. I used a hammock on some days on the munda biddi last September 3 weeks in total although some days I slept in shelters and once a week a hotel to get stuff washed and have a couple of beers etc
    I do most of my trips in south East Asian rain forests; as well as being light and packing up small they get me off the ground which makes for much cooler night and less chance of bug attack than a tent

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    I have an Eno Singlenest + Guardian SL + Hennessy Hexfly. The wight is comparable to a lot of tent setups and offers a lot of versatility. I can leave the bugnet behind when not in the buggy season to save weight, too.

    No lack of trees out here, though, I could just use the rainfly to setup on the ground, too. I normally will bring along my thermarest prolite, too - adds some comfort and stability to the hammock (plus a bit of insulation on cold days) and saves me from having to setup the hammock in the even there's an Adirondack available.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  4. #4
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    That's all we've pretty much used for the short trips we've done. Only downside is sleeping in too much in the morning because it's so comfortable.

    I have a Warbonnet Blackbird, husby has a Dream Hammocks Dangerbird, kid has a Hennesy Scout (going without a bug net isn't a realistic option here in the NW unless it's the middle of winter).
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by icamponyourMOM View Post
    Anyone ever camped in a hammock instead of a tent on bikepack expeditions? I normally like to bring one with on short rides to chill out once I finish, but I've never heard of anyone using these on a long bike trip.


    I've got a hammock and have used it touring.

    They work well. The major downsides are that they are heavier than a UL tent especially for 2 people and they are very cold since you are not insulated from the bottom. There are ways to insulate yourself from underneath, but they add more weight and complexity to your shelter system.

    The obvious plus is that they keep you off the ground if you expect to be somewhere that finding a spot for a tent would be a challenge, but having said that I have yet to encounter that problem on a bike tour.

    I keep my hammock and use it for kicks occasionally. I wouldn't bother buying another one and generally prefer an UL tent.



    It's possible I have yet to tour in ideal hammock country and I'll one day see the light. Maybe in the jungle?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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    The good ones are heavy, no question. I sleep very comfortably in a full gore-tex bivy sack. One thing I haven't seen people do - get one of the simple, cheap, open hammocks and sleep in it, inside a bivy. It wouldn't yield the kind of open space of a Hennessy but does open a lot of options

    I recall a UL hammock that weighed 6-8oz

  7. #7
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    Most bivies are as heavy as an UL tent so you'd have the hammock + bivy to deal with + you need to insulate underneath you. I have yet to see how that makes sense from any perspective except folks that can only sleep comfortably in a hammock.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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    Really? 9oz if you don't need a hoop. OR Advanced 24oz. Maybe I haven't kept up with UL tents lately, what can 24oz get you these days?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fourfa View Post
    Really? 9oz if you don't need a hoop. OR Advanced 24oz. Maybe I haven't kept up with UL tents lately, what can 24oz get you these days?
    UL tents are 24-35 oz.

    The waterproof breathable bivies I had with some bug mesh were 30-35 oz. So there was no weight savings.

    If the 9 oz bivy is a tent equivalent [fully waterproof and bug mesh] that's great. If it's a tarp equivalent than that's not so light.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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    I love my Eno Double nest. Not heavy. Not an ultralight geek either. For me , way more comfortable than on the ground. Hammock, bug net, light tarp and use some tyvek for warmth under the hammock. I tour in the summer, so no cold issues for me. Mostly in MA and NE, no tree shortage.

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    Black Diamond Twilight, 10oz (not 9oz, my mistake). Definitely a very minimal mountaineering bivy, probably more often used inside a mountaineering tent or igloo to protect the bag from drips, but does zip closed with mesh. With my OR bivy, it's often as much about the freedom of choosing camp spots with its tiny footprint, than strictly about the weight. Probably more applicable to my mountaineering pursuits than biking, as I'm often on rock ledges above treeline.

    I hadn't looked at Hennessy's site in a while - I had recalled them all being 4+ lbs, which is solidly in regular double walled tent territory. I see a couple hovering around the 2lb mark now, though those do come with weight limits. Also if the right size and spacing of trees is not a given in your AO, the side-zip models would make a fine bivy on the ground if needed.

  12. #12
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    If you're trying to pare down weight on a hammock lash-up, Randy over at Dream Hammocks has some designs worth checking out. He's also a super nice guy, and for what you're getting his prices are quite reasonable.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

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    I really want to be able to use a hammock. Camping in the summer here is intolerable due to the heat and my limited experience has shown me that hammocks are a great improvement in heat management.

    I have tried ENOs, both single and double, and find them to be about the most uncomfortable way to sleep I can imagine. After trying every type of pitch I could manage I gave up. I want to try other brands but experimentation is cost prohibitive.

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    I have both a hammock and an ultra-lite tent, and I choose one or the other depending on conditions. Neither is superior on its own.

    If you are biking into the backcountry and doing lots of wild camping in forested regions, the hammocks rock. I just sleep SOOOOO much better in a hammock, and you never have to worry about finding a flat piece of ground to pitch a tent. I have a basic Hennessy hammock with the under-pad insulation, and it is super quick to set-up and take down. I just stuff everything (hammock, tarp, sleeping bag) into a big compression sack. I love the simplicity, and no poles to deal with. But it is a full pound heavier than my tent and sleeping pad.

    If you are doing more traditional touring and using campgrounds a lot, or you are in a place with few trees to hang a hammock from, a tent is more practical. In fact, in some places, I was told I had to put my "tent" (hammock) on a pad and could not string my hammock to trees (it is possible to rig up a hammock like a bivy using a picnic table and your bike, but it isn't ideal). I don't sleep anywhere as good in a tent, but it is better for privacy in campgrounds, too (e.g., changing clothes).

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    Horses for courses as they say, but a UL tent is probably more versatile

    Good hammocks are not necessarily much if any heavier than a UL tent My Hennessy Explorer weighs 1Kg which is comparable with most UL tents with bug net I think. The deep jungle is a little heavier at about 1.2Kg. If you factor in a sleeping mat requirement with a tent or bivi I reckon there is no difference

    I have done a lot of rain forest back & bikepacking in Borneo, Thailand, Sumatra and other parts of Indon - my opinion is that a hammock is way superior to a tent for these type of trips.
    The main reason as I said before is sleeping on the floor on thermarest or foam mat in a tent gets hideously hot as the ground holds a lot of heat, the air flow round a hammock and silk bag liner makes for much cooler and less sticky nights.
    There are also a lot of snakes hunting other critters that are hunting bugs etc knocking about on the forest floor at night, being up in the air gets me away from them.

    I find hammocks very comfortable, I always get a good nights sleep in either of mine. I also find Thermarests on the ground pretty comfy too and can always sleep.

    For alpine or desert riding I would definitely go with a UL tent, I am getting one for next years trip ; my backside was definitely a bit cold in the hammock on a trip I did in the UK this weekend, when it got down to about 3'C over night.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I really want to be able to use a hammock. Camping in the summer here is intolerable due to the heat and my limited experience has shown me that hammocks are a great improvement in heat management.

    I have tried ENOs, both single and double, and find them to be about the most uncomfortable way to sleep I can imagine. After trying every type of pitch I could manage I gave up. I want to try other brands but experimentation is cost prohibitive.
    My Eno double nest took while to get set up properly. Using a guide line up top? Measured out? Checked out the Eno site? Most comfortable sleeping on a diagonal. I use polyester straps and 2 descending rings on the hammock ends. I'm 6'4" and the double nest is like 9+ feet long. Works well for me. Try hammock forums for some expert help.

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    I did check the ENO site, I only saw one picture of someone laying down. Makes me wonder...

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    ^^^ What length top line are you using? The fixed one between the 2 ends.

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    I like mine. DIY hammock made from 1.0 HyperD. Hammock alone weighs less than 6 oz. With suspension (whoopies & straps), big tarp, & minimal bugnet (tho mine's a DIY version), it's right around 2 pounds total. I use a NeoAir pad (so I can go to ground if necessary), and a sleeping bag as a top quilt. No complaints. Love being out in the open more & not enclosed in a bivy or tent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    ^^^ What length top line are you using? The fixed one between the 2 ends.
    I have no idea what a top line is.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I have no idea what a top line is.
    I think they mean ridge line?

    Edit to add: Structural ridgeline.

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    Ah, well the short answer is "no". I was unaware of this item/method but it seems like it will be counter productive for my issues. No matter what I do I feel like the hammock has too much sag and my knees feel hyper-extended. I will snag some cord and a figure 9 and experiment some though.

  23. #23
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    Spend some time over at hammock forums. Yes, top line = ridgeline. You need one. Keeps it from sagging to much. And proper set up. Sometimes my feet are up higher than my head. And hammocks in general take some getting used to. There some science to setting one up. Starting with a 30 degree slack for your suspension lines ? What are you using for sus lines? Nothing that stretches correct? You need static cord, not dynamic cord.

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    ENO Atlas straps.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    ENO Atlas straps.
    Those straps are fine, and leeboh's advice is solid - hammockforums.net is an excellent resource to help you sort out your issues.

    Regarding sag - the structural ridge line ("SRL") allows you to have a consistent amount of sag regardless of the distance between trees you hang from. So once you figure out your ideal SRL length / amount of sag, it's much easier to replicate in the field. Definitely takes some time to dial in your ideal amount of sag - everyone's different.

    Knee hyper-extension is fairly common (I've dealt with it too); the simple solution is to stuff extra clothing, hydration pack, etc. under your knees to prevent it. The more complicated solution is to fiddle with setup and/or try different hammocks.

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