Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Mike Ediger, Jan 10, 2009.
When guiding I don't use a tent as I am the last one to bed and the first one up. When out for pleasure I take a tent. My lightest and largest in a Missing Link for Cascade Designs. It weighs 3 pounds, sets up with trekking poles, and will fit two adults and a dog. During raining / buggy weather they are well worth the weight. I think that the Missing Link is about $200.
Why is everyone so paranoid about bears? We have them all around the neighborhood and I trail run every day. Did anyone catch this 605 pound bear shot on the KP? Did anyone catch the 400 pounder that was shot as well? Why don't you just stay home and watch video games?
I use a Hennessey Hammock on all of my backpacking and river trips. It weighs less than two pounds and packs down to the size of a cantaloupe. It’s fully enclosed and I don’t need level ground to set up camp. The lack of a ground footprint makes it ultra low impact. My backpack goes underneath and stays dry, and I can dry out clothing under the rain fly. The asymmetrical shape allows me to sleep flatter, and I am comfortable sleeping on my back and on my side. On a side note, I do use a sleeping pad for insulation underneath my body.
I don't hunt, but also don't condemn it. The houndsman I know sit on the back of their flat beds drinking. When their dog’s collars alert them that they’ve treed something, they hike in and shoot. I can just imagine the fear of a cat or bear being hunted down by hounds.; trying desperately to get away, only to be shot when finally exhausted scared and cornered. For me that is just fundamentally wrong, but to each their own. Bow hunting, for me, is true sport--real hunting.
I love the seeing wildlife, that is part of why N.ID mountain creeks are my favorite type of fishing. When I went fishing in AK I took about 20 pictures of fish and about 200 of the Grizz. Just about every trip to the NFCDA I get to see moose, elk, deer....saw one cat and my buddies have seen bear and a wolf; so that is a big reason why I go up there. I was simply curious as to who uses a tent and who doesn't and why. It was a bit unnerving to have Yogi sniffing around my feet as I slept, but I only used that story as a starting point to ask the question. I am not looking to start blowing Boo Boo away just for being curious.
You have all given me some great ideas and it a tent is only weighing a few pounds, that makes a big difference. Most of the time I return back to my Pathfinder and sleep in the back, but I want to do some longer hikes and my 15 lb Big 5 two man (which only sleeps one) simply doesn't get the job done.
For those of you who use hammacks, are they hard on your back? It seems being bent in half all night might get uncomfortable?
That hammock ray showed looks like it would work great. If I wanted a lightweight tent/sleeping area, that would be the one for me.
I spend 20 to 30 nights a year in my hammock, and sleep 10x better in it than on the ground. The asymmetrical shape allows you to sleep diagonally, flattening out the sag. Don't get me wrong, there's still sag, but not so much that I can't sleep on my side in the fetal position.
Mediger....there is a misconception that when you sleep in a hammock that you are bent in half in a banana shape. Not true, because you sleep diagonal to the center line. This allows you to lie pretty flat. But because you're sleeping bag gets compressed underneath you, you need to still sleep on a pad for insulation or better yet, get an underquilt that attaches to the bottom of your hammock. I sleep great in a hammock and if it rains I don't worry about puddling under my tent.
If you really get interested in trying one out, there is a hammock forum with lots of great info. Making a homemade hammock for backpacking is stupid simple. If you go to China Mart (Walmart), you can find ripstop nylon for $1 a yard and make one for about $4. I've made plenty and my son and I use them when we hike. Also, lots of really great info here.
Having never slept in a hammock I was concerned about sleeping like a bananna, so I am glad to hear that it isn't a big deal.
Speydude. Your pics look great. Thanks for the links, although I am a bit amazed that there is an entire forum simply to talk about hammocks. I didn't realize there was so much to talk about.
Speydude or Ray: Does the underneath side of the hammock cover get condensation or sweat when it rains or in a heavy dew? It is pretty tight in there and if it did sweat that could be quite uncomfortable. The high quality tent from Big 5 that I have is completely wet on the inside many mornings.
I've had some condensation on the underside of my rain fly, but not the underside of my hammock. Of course, on clear nights, I don't use the rain fly.
Hehehe, I hear ya. I'm sure there's lots of forums for lots of stuff besides fishing that we would never think of. That hammock forum use to be a sub category on a backpacking forum and they splintered off. There is actually a bit of a learning curve to hammocking. Mostly on getting the right sag when you set it up.
As far as condensation, I've never had a problem in the hammock. If you use a pad, you might get a little if you sweat on your back.
I meant condensation under the rain fly, not under the hammock. Sorry for the confusion.
That might be your problem. Bears have acute senses of smell, but poor eye sight. Having food without 100 feet of your camp is like chumming the waters for sharks -- they smell the food, but can't quite find it, so they mill around the general vicinity. Hang your food 150-200 feet DOWNWIND of camp. I've enjoyed more than 1,500 nights in the backcountry (up to nearly 200 nights per year a few years back) over the last 20 years and only problems I've had with nighttime critters were a direct result of poor camp hygiene. Food too close (brings in mice and raccoons as well as bears -- and they are generally WORSE than bears cuz they automatically chew hell out of your gear). Worst problem, though, was mountain goats, attracted to salt from urine on the rocks just behind the tent. Nothing like the sounds of three or four mountain goats tripping over tent guylines, crashing into each other and the side of your tent, to bring you out of a sound slumber.
Good to know. I thought 30 feet or so was far enough away.
And 200 nights a year, what were you doing...job or purely recreational? If it is pure recreation I want your job.