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I am trying to learn what I can about using a hammock for my upcoming 16B elk hunt. I have tried to find information from past threads, and cannot...
Can anyone share the pros/cons, and as well as possible recommendations?
Thanks in advance!
There are some really good Hammock camping websites and FB groups. I would recommend checking them out. You will find a wealth of information there.
Norseman 's Link
A few on this subject in BS archive as well. PM sent, Dan.
I got a haven tent hammock that's great. Not sure if its for elk hunting. Weights bout 7 lbs.
I have a Wise Owl single plus large rain Wise Owl rain tarp I'm taking first 10 days of Sept ... how well it'll work? I dunno, can't be worse than the ground on my 53 year old well used body. Strong storm/rain/hail and lightning bothers me a bit
Just stay hydrated Stealthy! 8)
I use a Clark hammock for archery elk and love it! The first half of September I don’t need an air mattress but come cold weather you’ll need something to protect against cold-butt syndrome. Also, you’ll need to watch out for widow makers when choosing your spot especially during any wind. For me, tent or hammock is not good sleep but at least you don’t feel like a Mack truck ran you over after a night of hanging.
Get a long hammock. 10’ minimum. 11’ is better. Get an adjustable ridge line to set the sag you like. Get an underquilt. I’d get a four season tarp with doors. The rest is just a choice. The advisement of the above gear is a must if you intend to stay comfortable and warm.
Hammock forums has a lot of info. But, it isn’t typically a hunter friendly place. Stop in, search the archives, and go. Once you’ve got the jist of it, dutchware gear is a one stop shop for your hammock needs minus quilts.
Don’t skimp on the quilts either. Synthetic is awesome. You aren’t hiking a trail. So, weight savings that down will give you is mere ounces. And the dollars more are hundreds. I use and will testify to the warmth of synthetic.
It’s an investment. It isn’t cheap unless you make your own quilts. If you can sew, the quilts are doable. Pretty easy really if you have a large enough work area. If you can’t see, order custom lengths and such on your top quilt.
A finished kit is going to weight between 5-6 pounds if you do it right. But, you will be very comfortable. Very warm. And wander why you haven’t done this before. If you cut corners you are going to be miserable. Don’t fall for a pad underneath or, use a sleeping bag with no underside insulation.
Get the gear, set up up and get familiar with it. You’ll be glad you did.
Thank you all for the feedback, much appreciated
Reading back through these threads it's kind of crazy how upset MC got over some of our opinions, how he insulted some of us and how personal he took things. All we did is share our opinions and experiences with one type or brand of hammock. I don't think we ever said that there is no hammock system that would work or that the system he is using is no good. The information we provided should help others avoid the same "mistakes" we made. In regard to being ignorant and unprepared, I first used a Hennessey hammock in 2002 when hammock hunting was in it's infancy. I did my research, used the best hammock available at the time and used all the tricks known and recommended at the time. I did not like the results and went in another direction with my sleep system, which I'm completely satisfied with. I have no reason or desire to abandoned the high quality gear I have accumulated and go back down a new and more expensive hammock road.
Utility, weight and functionality is a premium in the back country. No hammock for me.
I used a hammock with a rain fly on a pack in hunt in the flat tops once. ONCE! It was a rough 8 days for sure. Lots of heavy thunderstorms in the night and very cold as well. Even tho it was september, it was 9500'. Ended up wearing all my clothes in my mummy bag and still froze. I can easily stay warm in a tent with a cot and sleeping pad. Hammocks are for summer time. lol
Since opinions are like....well you know, and I am sure I am one.......I'll pitch in my take.
I went to hammock camping several years back. Weight and speed are the prime benefits in my mind.....comfort is a close 3rd once you figger it out and get used to the unique challenges.
I have tried 3 types....the cheapo Eno's, a Dutchware last year, and my tried and true Hennessy Hammock. You get what you pay for. Eno is fine for hanging out a few minutes.....sux for camping. The Dutchware was just not well made in my opinion....the main guide line broke leaving me to plummet to the ground in the middle of the dark last year and the bug screen zipper broke. Crap in my opinion. The Hennessy was not cheap but my gosh is it well made and well designed.
I can get to camp and have my shelter set up in 15 mins or less. Bang. Done. With the asymetrical designs, once you learn them and how to use them allow you to lay nearly flat in the hammock with great comfort. If you are a belly sleeper.....move on without further consideration....the hammock life is for side and back sleepers only.
The best thing about having a hammock in camp is a great place to get off the ground when you are in camp but not sleeping. You can sit it it without laying down and it is awesome. I have never gotten wet in my hammocks and have been through hard blowing heavy rain, sleet, hail, you name it. I do have an extra tarp sheet that I hang overlapping my hammock tarp so that I have a larger area of dry area to store my gear.
Obviously it ain't for everyone but I love mine. This year I got lazy and decided to combine my hammock system with one of my cots. So I set up the cot, lay the hammock on top, then attach it to trees so that the hammock is laying on the cot but the bug screen is held up and away from my head/face. Then set up the tarps to have weather shelter. This was pretty awesome. Still fast set up. But the added comfort of a solid cot with thick pad. This was a truck camp situation obviously and would not due for packing in. duh
To each their own.....
Quilts....never used one. My hammocks, both the Hennessy and the Dutchware have sleeves (two separated layers of material) into which you can insert insulation of choice. I use a thin reflective pad from Hennessy. Never get cold.
I don't hangout in spike camp, I'm either eating dinner or sleeping. Otherwise I'm hunting.
My brother tried one a couple of years ago on a super windy night. He woke up an hour later with a bad case of motion sickness. He was queasy all night long after that. They sound like a great idea if its not too cold.
You are without a doubt a mans man Cheesy....and have the trophies to show for it. Seriously...I make fun of everything, mostly myself, but much respect for you, your skills, and your results. No doubt.
I get tired of sitting on the ground so having the hammock as a bed and a chair when in camp to eat dinner, and a quick breakfast, and often I come back in the heat of mid day to relax and have lunch/snack. For me it makes the hunt go better.....but I spend too much time shitting in the woods and hanging out in my hammock to ever kill anything. ;)
If you get an under quilt, they are as warm as any sleep system. I’m not saying that to change anyones mind. Just saying if you drive around on one flat tire, a truck loses its appeal too.
I appreciate that Jordan, I'm just a regular guy who hunts hard and is continually striving to learn and grow. My open minded attitude and willingness to try new things is what allowed me to try a hammock when hammock camping/hunting was in it's infancy and very few even heard of them. They weren't as refined back then and I had a bad experience, as did my hunting partner who got so cold that he got sick and had to cut his hunt short. It was downright miserable. I have no doubt that hammock systems are much improved these days and they would work great for some people. However, I have a system that works well for me and have no reason to try a hammock again. For those who are interested in trying a hammock I would strongly recommend that they talk to you or WV Mountaineer and start out on the right foot. I've been accused of going into hammock hunting ill prepared and uninformed and therefore making bad decisions but that simply is not the case. I bought one of the best hammocks available over 20 years ago and researched all the internet sites related to hammock camping. I implemented what I learned but regardless, it didn't work for me. I'll continue to share my hammock experiences so others are aware and prepare accordingly.
Incidentally, fwiw I think one of the biggest mistakes many elk hunters make is coming back to camp midday. It's a huge waste of time and energy, it cuts greatly into your hunting time, wears you down physically, reduces the amount of time spent in productive areas and prevents you from getting as far from camp or covering as much ground as you would if you hunted all day. I've killed a handful of bulls that I never would have killed if I'd have gone back to camp midday. It might only take a few seconds or minutes for things to come together and kill a bull, but every minute spent hiking back and forth from camp is a minute that most likely will not provide a kill opportunity and therefore in my opinion is time wasted.
Thanks Mike. Yup...if you don't have insulation figured out on the bottom side of a hammock the wind just sux the heat right outta ya......nasty and miserable way to hammock. Surprisingly, in my experience, it only takes a thin heat reflective layer underneath (or an underquilt if you are old skool) to keep you warm and cozy. My Hennessey Hammock has a second layer underneath creating a pocket in which one can stuff said insulation layer. Works great for me. Similar to how BA has the sleeve for the air mattress built into their sleeping bags. Now it ain't perfect. The insulation pad can move around in that sleeve and so you have to pay attention and adjust things once in a while. That and figuring out how to position your self correctly in an asymmetrical hammock are the top two keys for me that made hammock camping a sweet option when truck camping is not an option. Like most things...you get what you pay for. With Hennessey that is true, with Dutchware it was NOT the case......crap product imho.
Recently I tried combining my hammock (with bug screen) and a cot. Hang the hammock so that it mostly lays on the cot but still has a taunt line holding up the bug screen above your face.....get some headroom. Best of both worlds when you can use a cot. Much easier than setting up a whole tent.
I spent a night in unit 15 with nothing but a space blanket after getting my cotton camo rained on at sunset. It wasn’t fun but I think your setup will work just fine. ;)