Monday, March 26, 2012


                 One of the ways I enjoy camp while backpacking is using a hammock at camp. It has multiple uses for comfort and sleeping at night. Weather is a big concern when we backpack in slot canyons. If there was a threat of rain we would not have been able to go, so with a good weather report I would leave my tent at home and just sleep on the ground with a ground cloth sleeping bag and a sleeping pad. 

I read some articles on people backpacking with hammocks and thought I would give it a try. I liked the idea of getting off the ground and not wake up in the middle of the night with large Beatles crawling on my face. I looked at the system I had and wanted it to be lighter as well. In our slot canyons camping spots are hard to come by. We have spent multiple nights on either a sloped slab of rock or on a screed of medium sized rocks. My thought was with a hammock I could get above the rocks and have a good night sleep. The first night I tried it and just slept in the sleeping bag and my butt got cold. The second night I zipped my sleeping around the hammock and my feet were very uncomfortable. 

My Grand Trunk weighs 9.6 oz
 The next step I took was to cut a hole in my sleeping bag at home. It worked great, It was warm and comfortable, I was able to sleep on my back or side and relatively flat, and my favorite part was my butt was not freezing, a good night sleep overall. My system is still evolving as far as rain fly/ tarp and bug nets which can be as light and easy as a bug head net which may not be as comfortable as other options but has more than just one use at night. It can be used during the day when the ceder gnats are not detoured by any other bug repellent we throw at them. The rain fly I was using did not fair well as far as repealing water the last time I tested it, and am working on making a new one out of sillnylon. I wish I could say that I was making it out of Cuban Fiber but can't find enough funds to go that direction. Hopefully I will be able to give you more info on the tarp after I fabricate it. The hope there is that I will have the ability to stay dry in the hammock and have an ultra light system if there are no trees to go to the ground and have an effective tarp to use as a shelter with a few guy lines and a hiking stick. I like the hammock the best for its comfort around camp. I am able to have a nice seat to relax in and eat my dinner and a warm comfortable place to sleep at night. It also opens up the possibility of places to camp that I would not have considered before. I have setup camp where no one has ever camped before suspended over large boulders or on slopes that would send you rolling like a mummified burrito if you tried to sleep on the ground. For me, I will keep working on the system and reading the hammock forums.

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