Gear needed to start hammocking ?

Discussion in 'Hammock Kit' started by murpharoo, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. murpharoo

    murpharoo Section Hiker

    I've never slept in a hammock and I'd like convincing over ground sleeping. What are the advantages ?

    If I were to start what "bits" do you need ?
    Who are the MLD or Zpacks equivalent in the hammock world ?

    I was pondering the Chameleon hammock by Dutchwear. Any good ?

    Hammock tarp ?

    Suspension options ?

    Can you use a normal quilt in a hammock ?

    Underquilt or pad or both ?!

    I have the book "The Ultimate Hang" which is excellent. The number of suspension options seems bewildering though :confused:.

    Any advice appreciated though I realise it's a massive question! :)
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
    theoctagon likes this.
  2. paul

    paul Thru Hiker

    Normal quilt is absolutely fine on top

    underquilt is the way forward - Hammock gear in USA are the best in my opinion Incubator 20 will cover off nearly all UK use and 3 season overseas.

    Hammock - chamelion still not out yet but looks heavy with that chunky zip but im sure it will be well made. Warbonnet are supremely comfortable ive had the standard blackbird and XLC. Very spendy but satisfaction assured. My current hammock is a simply light designs trail lair. Custom made for me in 11ft length with extra wide 1.6 hexon fabric and zip off bug net. Easily my fave ive owned and cost me £135 delivered. Prices have risen slightly due to exchange rate but probably still the best value for a fully functional really comfortable hammock. For a no bugnet hammock its easy to make one with minimal sewing skills and there are plenty of tutorials out there. Whatever you get id go 11ft finished length and as wide as you can.

    Suspension is a complex area. to begin with id go whoopies and tree straps as its pretty intuative. some ducth buckles and whoopie hooks make life easy.

    Tarp - doors recommended to block out weather. Warbonnet superfly is the gold standard for coverage but again spendy. Hammock gear do cuben for ££££ insane.

    Biggest rule ive found is once you get it go out with someone experienced to help you set up. So many people start and dont go back due to errors in their understanding. Id be more than happy to meet you at cannock or other suitable woods to go through stuff.
  3. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    What he said.
    Plus, might be a good idea to get a taster overnighter, borrowing stuff from a convenient hammock evangelist.... if you are ever down Devon way...
    murpharoo likes this.
  4. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Ditto to all the above

    I've been a bit out of touch with the hammock scene for a couple of years but if you're going Gucci I'd recommend Warbonnet for the hammock and Hammock Gear for quilts and a cuben tarp.

    The lightest and most compact suspension would be whoopie slings and tree straps

    A ground quilt is likely to be wider than a hammock quilt so no problem using one for hanging

    If you want to venture north one weekend I'm sure we can sort a meet out somewhere, clubhouse maybe
    murpharoo likes this.
  5. murpharoo

    murpharoo Section Hiker

    That's what I love about this site. The wealth of knowledge along with the humility and generosity of the folk on here. 3 people immediately offering to show me the ropes !
    I'll continue to peruse the web and ponder.

    I'm guessing that even the lightest hammock setup is going to be heavier than an ultralight ground shelter though what with the hammock itself and the under quilt ?

    Where do you cook in inclement weather ? Just under the tarp while sitting in a low set hammock ?

    Thanks again chaps.
  6. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    Hammock kit is generally bulkier, not so much heavier, it's harder to lose weight by not carrying as much so you tend to have to throw money at it

    I can set my Superfly tarp just a few inches off the ground in really bad weather, so there's huge amounts of cooking room

    I usually have my hammock at a height where I can sit comfortably with my feet on the floor
    Tartanferret and murpharoo like this.
  7. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    • Advantages
      • comfort and space
      • lumpy/steep ground is no barrier
      • get changed standing up
      • convenient seat for cooking/chillin'
    • Disadvantages
      • need trees (or other high anchor point)
      • less chance of picturesque ridgeline pitches,
      • big tarps are bad in high wind,
      • lots of fiddle factor (that might go under advantages too I guess)
    murpharoo and paul like this.
  8. MartinK9

    MartinK9 Section Hiker

    Northwood Meet at the end of the month. :whistling:

    Plenty of hammockers. :biggrin:
  9. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    Your force is weak old man.
    There are lighter ways now. My system is lighter, but someone argued that 2.2g/foot Kevlar webbing all the way to the hammock is lighter than a 1" polyester webbing/7/64" Amsteel combo. I'm hoping my new Dyneema webbing will blow both out of the water.
    murpharoo likes this.
  10. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    Fixed that for you :D
  11. MartinK9

    MartinK9 Section Hiker

    You mean their kit I hope.....
  12. Meadows

    Meadows Section Hiker

    For a tarp to work with an 11ft hammock you need something with a ridgeline of more than the standard 3 meters. 330 - 350cm is pretty normal.
    If you are wanting one set up to do it all then a tarp with doors like the superfly or UKHammocks catdoor tarp (make sure its in stock if you are in a rush though ) will see you through all seasons, but with a weight penalty. If you already own a small solo tarp you could try that on the diagonal.
    Go for a modular hammock with removable bug net or separate net. @Scotty Von Porkchop has good looking set ups on his ebay page.
    Whoopies, straps and toggle is a simple and effective suspension.
    Underquilt all the way in terms of comfort. But a foam pad with wings will do if you don't want to take the financial plunge on an UQ.
  13. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    Advantages have been said, comfier (for me), infinite setup variety especially in terms of suspension for both hammock and tarp. It's all interchangeable. Don't need flat ground. Porch mode on the tarp. Cooking and getting dressed/putting shoes on whilst sitting.

    Disadvantages also numerous and even more so when in the UK (not on the appalachian trail) as there aren't trees everywhere you look.

    I think both MLD and zpacks make (they certainly used to) some hammocky stuff.

    Chameleon looks cool. Too heavy for me though. A simple hammock with a fronkey style removeable net will be much lighter and interchangeable. Definitely 11ft long though or 10.5ft if you go really wide.

    Tarps, hammock gear for cuben. Otherwise I don't like ribbon bound ridgelines (warbonnet and others). I have seen various failures posted and I just don't see how it can be as strong as a real seam. Seems to me it's a way to speed up production. If you only get one tarp then get one with doors.

    Suspension, for tarps I like a line coming off each side with a Dutch flea. Tie outs are the usual LL3 and Lawson Glowire.
    Hammock lightest and relatively simple I've used is Dutch 2.2 kevlar and hammock anchor with amsteel. Don't know if the hammock anchor is still available.

    Hammock gear afaik have the best design for underquilts.

    Top quilts you can use what you have already. Actually for in the hammock your quilt doesn't have to be as big because the uq is wider and wraps slightly as does the hammock and traps the tq. Also because you are never completely flat the quilt doesn't have to be quite as long.

    Other advice, if you want to give it a try without commiting much then ask for loaners on here. I'm sure most of us have gear we could loan you for a trip if you pay postage.
    Meadows and murpharoo like this.
  14. Scotty Von Porkchop

    Scotty Von Porkchop Ultralighter

    I'd suggest a basic big hammock, whoopies, adjustable ridge-line, hug style bug net and tree straps. All had for £60-70 quid and just try it out on overnighters with decent weather forecast, in local parks and your back garden (just use your existing quilt and pad). That'll give you a very good idea if hammocks are for you.
    Tartanferret, Ken T., Gadget and 2 others like this.
  15. KVerb

    KVerb Trail Blazer

    Time for me to bring back some life to this thread. I have sort of the same question but also sort of not...

    I want to know what the cheapest way is for me to test out the waters in hammocking. I'd like to spend less than €50 for a basic setup that comfortably fits a 187cm tall guy that weighs about 90kg. I know you can only choose two out of three (cheap, good quality, lightweight) so for starting out, I'd be OK with a heavier/bulkier setup as long as it's decent comfort.

    Another important question: what's the cheapest season to start out with? In summer I'd need a mosquito net here in Belgium, but I might not need a tarp if I start out with overnighters. In winter I wouldn't need the mosquito net but I'd probably need a tarp and underquilt. In spring or autumn I'd need all of the above...

    Given that I know barely anything about hammocking, I won't just need a gear list but actual product names and preferably links ;-)
  16. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    I take it you want to buy gear, not myog?
  17. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    If you ain't worried about weight and just wanna dip you toe, then you could prolly just about do it for €50.
    If you don't have a x3m tarp you can set up on a diamond, then buy a cheap 4x4 builder's tarp and 4m of ripstop nylon (or a polyester tablecloth).
    Then Google make a tablecloth hammock.
    Make treestraps from 25mm polyester tiedown straps and use your sleeping bag and ground sleeping mat.
  18. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    Just don't buy one of those cheap hammocks you see, unless the fabric is at least 3.2m long. Short hammocks aren't great.
  19. KVerb

    KVerb Trail Blazer

    I do not (yet?) own a sewing machine, but I do know some people who would probably do some stitching for me. For MYOG other than sewing, I'm up for it as long as the tools aren't too pricey.

    That's what I thought... Any ideas on minimum width as well?
  20. Gadget

    Gadget Thru Hiker

    1.5m is a good width, wider folk might like the wider 1.8m material that is now available, but personally I think it's unnecessary.
    You will find the cheaper hammocks use the cheaper, narrow bolts of material, so to make up the width, they make the hammock out of 3 panels. They aren't quite as comfy as a single panel hammock, the seams do not stretch to the same extent as the material, so you will feel them a bit. But if you are using a pad in the hammock, that will be the least of your worries!
    Also beware the vendors. Often they will advertise the length, but not tell you they are including the suspension cord in that measurement, so therefore, the material can be significantly shorter.
    I can recommend these chaps,
    They are having a closing down sale (again!) this year, the less popular colours are reasonably cheap. But you will see, they advertise them as 3.5m long, but in truth the fabric is barely 3.2m. A good deal, all the same.
  21. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I started with a Nomads Land XXL hammock about 12 years ago, very comfortable in stretchy parachute silk, I'm not sure how much they go for these days but they're a good starter option. Easy to swap the suspension for lighter alternatives.
    I never got on with the cheap DD or TW types, I found them too short and too hard.
    The Nomad gave good service for years until I finally switched to my first Blackbird.

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