Hammocks

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.
 

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
You will definitely remain a virgin if you sleep in a hammock - there's no room to do anything else ;)
 

Danny

Legendary Member
Location
York
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.
 

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.
 

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
 

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.
 
OP
M

Magna

New Member
Dannyg said:
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.
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.

http://www.hennessyhammock.com/

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

Magna

New Member
tdr1nka said:
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
Waterproof bag sounds cool, I like the idea of super roughing it.
 

tdr1nka

Taking the biscuit
Magna said:
Waterproof bag sounds cool, I like the idea of super roughing it.
German paratroop issue, dead cosy!

http://www.military-kit.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=66&products_id=268&osCsid=85e3c0a5567edf816958b78cd10f2e49

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
 

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.
 

vernon

Harder than Ronnie Pickering
Location
Meanwood, Leeds
snorri said:
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.
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.
 
OP
M

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.
 

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.
 

Brains

Guru
Location
Greenwich
I've slept in a hammock. Once.

Also you would have major hanging problems in most camping areas in western Europe
Get a tent for your first tour, and look at hammock options as you go along
 
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