Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by Magna, 25 Jan 2008.

  1. Magna

    Magna New Member

    As it stands i'm a virgin bike tourer but reading all the tips I can to get together the perfect set-up for the future.

    The Yank chat sites rave about the Hennessy Hammock-sounds awesome. Given that I want super versatility in camping and will start my career on UK only tours then Northern European, I want to know whether the hammock idea would work out for me.

    Your thoughts and experience on this matter are welcomed.
  2. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    You will definitely remain a virgin if you sleep in a hammock - there's no room to do anything else ;)
  3. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    More seriously I think it would not work well in the UK. A lot of American campsites are built in wooded areas where is is probably easy to hang a hammock between two trees, which is not the case in the UK or Europe.

    In many parts of the States you have dry weather for most of the summer so it is common to sleep outdoors without a tent. In the UK you would obviously risk getting very damp. I think you would also find you are very vulnerable to all sorts of biting insects if you sleep out in a hammock.

    So personally I would go for a light weight tent and sleeping bag. If you search the forum there have been various threads on these - in fact I think there is an active one at the moment but can't immediately spot it.

    Anyway welcome to Cycle Chat. And I am sure that within a few hours you'll get plenty of posts offering other views on the subject.
  4. Maggot

    Maggot Guest

    For wild camping a hammock is a great idea. I would be surprised if you could not find 2 trees 10-15 feet apart in the UK. It is much more subtle than a tent, and you won't have stone digging in your back all night. They come with a flysheet and mozzy netting so are weather and insect proof as well.

    Get your self a hammock:biggrin:
  5. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    I see few hammocks in use, so conclude they have few advantages. The "selling point" seems to be lightweight, easy to set up and dismantle, but so are small tents. When grounded due to poor weather, 24 hours in a tent sounds preferable to 24 hours in a hammock, you are able to keep the rest of your equipment dry and have ready access to it. The hammock is ok for wild camping unless you are in treeless terrain, also unsuitable for the many treeless campsites. Wild camping is illegal in many countries, in which case some may stealth camp, but many tourists prefer to stay within the law.
  6. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    If you don't mind buying military surplus there are hammocks that pack down to the size of your fist. They are also wider than they are long and can be hung from one fixed point, eliminating the need for a second tree.
    I used to own a waterproof sleeping bag that had arms and a hood which worked brilliantly and also eliminated the need to carry a tent.

    T x
  7. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    FWIW my view would be to forget the idea unless you are really travelling Xtra light and only out for a night or two...seriously the weather in the uk or northern europe would not suit a hammock. If you tour for a few weeks you are almost guaranteed to get a spot of bad weather at some point. Also where are you going to leave your gear when you go to the pub?
    I wouldnt want to rely on finding two suitable trees in the right place either.
  8. OP

    Magna New Member

    Thanks. You weren't wrong. And a few of you have confirmed my suspicions about the suitability to our clime. Still dead keen on one though. It's obvious there aren't many around so perhaps you may want to peruse the site if you haven't came across them.


    Anyway, have lots more questions but will be patient and not saturate the board just yet.
  9. OP

    Magna New Member

    Waterproof bag sounds cool, I like the idea of super roughing it.
  10. tdr1nka

    tdr1nka Taking the biscuit

    German paratroop issue, dead cosy!


    The end of the sleeping bag also unzips so you can wear it like a parka. I have slept on beaches and under hedgerows in mine. Nearly as expensive as a decent tent and proper 'under the stars' kit!

    Have fun!

    T x
  11. Bigtallfatbloke

    Bigtallfatbloke New Member

    ...I'd be very careful about pitching that thing above rocks...you've only got one spine. Oh and another thing...dont forget your sea sick pills for those 'breezy' European days.
  12. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Meanwood, Leeds
    The hammock would have been totally useless for the first three days of my ride through northern France. There were no accessible trees in a large expanse of monocultural desert. I'd also place unnaceptable stresses on the structural integrities of small trees.

    Some of the weekend tours that I have planned for this year do not have suitable hammock spots either. I think that the hammock promises much but delivers little on the camping front. For me, the hammock places too many restrictions on where one may camp and thus reducing the flexibility that I enjoy on a tour i.e. camp site or stealth site i.e. out of sight behind a dry stone wall.

    Having had a look at the Hennesy site it seems that the target users are ones who enjoy the challenge of improvising add-ons to make the product flexible enough to match the performance of a tent.
  13. OP

    Magna New Member

    Finally bought a hennessy hammock. Testing it out this weekend in my garden.

    Took the overwhelming advice and got a small tent for last summer, but going to challenge myself this Spring with some one-nighters in the hammock.
  14. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    Yes, style over substance - minimal advantage and huge disadvantages.

    BTW I've never tried one.
  15. mike1026

    mike1026 Active Member

    I am surprised that no-one has mentioned DD Hammocks in the UK. Have a look at the website for lots of useful info and video clips. A hammock combined with a lightweight tarp is a very useful addition to a small tent.
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