Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Hammocks for Backpacking

I am well into my second season of using a hammock instead of a tent while backpacking. As far as I am concerned, a hammock is the way to go. Here are two good reasons why I will always choose a hammock over a tent:

1. Comfort - They are 100x more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.
2. Location - You don't need flat ground to get a decent nights rest. You can literally hang on the side of a mountain if you so choose. If you get to a camping spot and it is already taken you can easily find a somewhere else to hang.

I currently own a Hennessey Ultralight Asym Hammock. The Hennessey Hammocks (HH) are specifically designed with an asymmetrical shape so when you lay at a diagonal you are laying flat on your back, side, stomach, or whatever.

HH's come with a nice ridge-line, which is a string traveling from the foot end to the head end of the hammock. This ridge-line can be use for hanging stuff. They have a bug net on the top, and are entered from the bottom. See my photo galleries for pictures of my hammock.

If you are backpacking and for some reason decide to camp on the ground, the HH's can be used as a bivy, or a small single person tent on the ground.

I strongly recommend getting an under-quilt to hook on the bottom of the hammock. Hammocks can get cold if you don't have proper insulation. I also recommend using an over-quilt instead of a sleeping bag. It is much more practical and is lighter.

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