Alpine Hammock

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Sep 8, 2012
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197
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Toronto
Interesting concept. Many hammocks CAN go to ground, but this one is DESIGNED to go to ground.

The drawback about the all-in-one (for me) would be, if you wanted weather protection, you'd have to be within your hammock. Having a fair size separate tarp over your hammock or bivy (or grounded hammock bivy!) allows you to be outside but protected in a heavy downpour.


Weight-wise, at 3 lbs, it's less than my hammock (2 lbs 5 oz) plus tarp (1lb 4oz), totalling 3lbs9oz. But I use a big bridge-style hammock.

I look forward to hearing a review of it in the spring. Thanks for posting that.
 
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Thanks for this info Sturgeon. I'm playing hop scotch between this section and the other; in any case, surely a fair sized tarp is handy regardless of sleeping set ups. I use a tent with relatively roomy vestibule, but still like a tarp for rain free luxury around the "front door". As a hammockless tripper, I'd imagine you'd use a good sized tarp regardless of hammock design. What's a bridge style?
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2012
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Bridge style hammock. Like a suspension bridge, the hammock is suspended from two "suspension triangles," the bases of which are the spreader bars. The reinforced upper edge of the bed fabric carries the weight out to that spreader bar triangle. You can lay very flat. Like a coke can cut in half lengthwise.

DSC03615-M.jpg


I used to use a gathered end hammock, but despite my best efforts, couldn't get comfortable. The bridge is heavier, and requires poles, but it was worth it for me, for comfort.
 
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Big tarp, 11 feet long by 10 feet wide, over bridge hammock. If I anticipated needing to go to ground, I'd bring an inflatable Thermarest pad instead of the under-quilt pictured here.

DSCF1281-M.jpg
 
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I love my Hennessy Hammock. I sleep better in it than any where else, including my bed at home.

On the St.Croix last month, it got to around 27 degrees (american) at night…I was warm and dry with only the rain fly (much like Sturgeon's), a self inflating camp mat, and a zero degree bag.

The only issue I've had was on that trip. I have a bladder "like a little girl" (to quote a friend)…there is a time during the night where nature calls, and I can't ignore it. When it is 27 degrees, you can't just hop out of the bag in your long johns and hit the tree. It was Extremely hard to get warm clothes on and off while still somewhat in the bag. Getting out isn't so bad, but you HAVE to have that air mat under you- every part of you, or you will freeze, so getting back in, stripping back to the long johns, and still staying adjusted on the mat (which takes practice anyway) isn't the easiest task.

That was the only time I've ever wished for more stability…a tent sounded great. I managed, and ended up sleeping great, but it was a struggle when nature called.

The Alpine Hammock is appealing to me, because (know that I know), that would have been on the ground and I wouldn't have had so much trouble. The Hennessy fabric seems really delicate (it is the "ultralite backpacker"…weighs in at under 2 pounds with the rainfly). But, looking at Sturgeon's bridge style, it seems like that would be much easier to meneuver in. I like the idea of getting in on top, and haven't tried one of that style. The Hennessy hammock has their "classic" entrance…it's a velcro slit in the bottom about a quarter of the length of the hammock. It's easy to use aside from all of the issues I've described. You stand up in the slit, turn around, put your bum down, lay back, close the slit, and your done.

The Hennessy will be with me for all warm weather trips. The nights where no rain fly is needed are the best (duh)…falling asleep to the sounds of the river staring at the stars.
 
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What is it like when in serious mosquito country, for changing clothes etc, inside the hammock? I would imagine you cannot keep a gear bag in there with you, is there space for a change of clothes? I mean, here in Manitoba the bugs can be so bad, sitting in the tent at night is like being inside a bee hive with all the bees trying to get in. The noise of thousands of mosquito's is quite intense.

Another thing... how long to set up the hammock and tarp? I can get our Wanderer 4 up and ready in about 5 minutes.
 
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Same issue with mosquito season (for me anyway), but you'e not dealing with a big heavy jacket, and multiple layers, so it's much easier. There is enough room for a change of clothes, but you are snuggling with it. My hammock has a handy pocket hanging in it for some small things and more could be added.

I can probably just beat your 5 minute time, including all the bedding. With some practice, the hammock is extremely quick. I can pack it up in 2.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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Hi Easypaddler, Not to be coarse, but surely you've heard of the "Pee Bottle"? Now I don't use a hammock but I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work for you as well. It's not such a bad thing to produce plenty of urine; first off it would seem to indicate that you're keeping hydrated well and have a little to spare!

Best Wishes,

Rob
 
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I've heard about the bottom entry on the hammock model you use Easy, I think it's a brilliant design. I still wonder how you manage negotiating around bedding. I'm not criticizing the gear, nor your choice of it, only wondering how I would manage on a buggy night. It's probably easier and roomier than I imagine. The bridge style is equally intriguing. The wider weight distribution makes for a "king sized" sleep. But how do you enter? Is there also a bottom slit? Someone, somewhere, mentioned using a carpet on the ground below, making things even more organized and hassle free. That along with a large tarp does indeed look like a nice set up. The night time pee thing is an issue with any gear arrangement. Like Oldie suggests, some people save themselves the trip, using a bedside bottle. Given that I trip with my wife, that must never be an option. I'd be banished to sleeping on the "couch" by the fire. Been there, done that. I don't like raccoons licking my face in the middle of the night.
 
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Bugs and weather are absolutely not an issue. You're really tucked in nicely with the rain fly, and you're off the ground, so water is never any issue. It is fairly roomy. The bug netting that, for my hammock anyway, is permanent, but there's plenty of room to hold a book, or hang a little gear bag and not feel like it's right in your face.

I think you're focusing too much on the pee…I'm kidding, I started it. I have used the bottle, and it's just fine for me. Unfortunately, aside from enough whiskey, that was the one thing that I failed to bring on that trip.

The issue, for me, is more about adjusting to be sure you are completely on the air mat. Things can get out of whack at times. In warmer weather it's not a big deal, but when it's really cold and you're trying to adjust- at times you have to be sitting up and out of your bag, it has been a little complicated.

I look forward to trying an under quilt as well. Sturgeon- do you need a mat under you for warmth when you use your under quilt?

More practice may be all I need…I'm willing to keep giving it a go. The difference in sleep comfort is worth the effort finding what works in all conditions.
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2012
Messages
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Toronto
@mihun09 In serious mosquito or black fly country, you might have a problem. In the bridge hammock, you could bring some clothes in with you and try to change. There is space for some gear at the foot, or in the side "saddlebags", but not a lot. I think every style of hammock comes with a bit of squirming required. I change outside, and then dive in. And in the morning I squirm, or change sitting on the edge of the hammock, depending on bug defcon level.

A short blue foam pad goes on the ground under the hammock, to put extra gear on and give me a place to put my feet when I sit on the edge, to put on my shoes.

@ easy paddler. When I use the under quilt, I don't use a pad.
(By the way, quilts fit really well on bridge hammocks because of the simpler shape; less adjustment is required compared to gathered ends hammocks.)

Have you tried a hammock with a double layer bottom? Slide a pad in there. Helps it stay put.

@ those considering the whole hammock thing, the first paragraph of easy paddler's post above (#11) summarizes some of the good points of a hammock.

Here's my take.

pluses: really comfortable (when u find the right one...like picking a mattress!), dry= no contact with dirty wet ground, or mice etc., always level, usually lighter than tent, can be set up in unconventional spots, great view and awareness of surroundings v. a tent, it's also a chair, and finally if you use an underpad, you can go to ground if necessary if u bring a groundsheet of some kind.

minuses: smaller, harder to change clothes or spread out gear, a lot of places just don't have trees, or trees in suboptimal locations, need to learn how to hang a tarp (a good thing IMO ), lots of variations between different models and styles to learn about, a few people complain of "calf pressure" in some gathered end models. If u use an under quilt you can't go to ground (no cushion and no insulation value to compressed down)

For me it's all about a good night's sleep. I sleep as we'll in my hammock as I do in my memory foam bed at home. :D
 
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Hey all,

The main reason I switched to a hammock was the ex got the tent. The main reason I stay with hammocks is allergies. I find when I sleep in a tent I need to bring allergy meds due to dust and dirt. That doesn't happen in a hammock. Easy breathing combined with the comfort means I usually have a great night's sleep. I have been able to reduce weight, but for canoeing that isn't a big deal. Saving a pound means a lot if I'm backpacking, but when I'm in the canoe I bring the big hammock with the extra-large bug net.

Daniel
 
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