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Hammocks in Desolation Sound area?


Oct 27, 2020
I was wondering what the general opinion is regarding using a hammock in areas which provide tent platforms. Obviously the idea with tent platforms is to minimize ground disturbance (while also being flat, level surfaces).

Would using a hammock in areas such as Desolation Sound be in poor taste?

Or to put it another way: am I overthinking it?
If the trees/supports are within the specific formal campsite platform area, I can't see a problem - or at least it can easily be argued that it is a vanishingly small issue.
If the trees/supports are within non-restricted areas of the park with a designated campsite nearby, I don't see a logical usage problem - but see how it could be an issue to some.
If the trees/supports are in a mininimally developed location that happened to have platforms [I'm thinking like a Howe Sound site], I can't see that there would be a problem as the platforms are to enable camping in difficult terrain and a hammock is just another solution.
So the answer varies with the assumed/specified rules of the specific location as all of Desolation isn't parkland . . . and how rigourously those rules are or can be applied . . . I'm not saying where, but may have on occasion 'hammock stealth camped' near a designated campsite vicinity.

edited to add: [near a vicinity?]
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>Set up your hammock above the tent platform. That’ll show ‘em!

That's what I do if there are bordering trees.

Note the comment that the platforms minimize ground disturbance. So does a hammock! the ground is only disturbed as much as it would be if you were walking on it - which is sort of what we do with ground.

The real issue is usually appropriate straps/anchors around trees. Don't use cord - or if you must, put twigs/sticks vertically between the cord and the tree. Most hammock campers use 1-inch polyester (nylon stretches too much) straps. Some parks require 2-inch straps - I carry a set just in case. Seatbelt material works.

In the PNW we have big bark trees. I'd wager the bark on one of our Ponderosa's would bite into any cord more than a cord would bite into the bark. But park officials have their orders/rules. And those rules, if they exist, usually dictate the use of straps rather than something like paracord - which you wouldn't want to use anyway because it's too stretchy.

As far as visuals - once you get your suspension set for your tarp and hammock, you can unhook them and tuck them away somewhere (drybag, kayak, fellow camper's tent) and put them up for use just by connecting the suspension around the tree - wrap and clip - done. So nothing to see until you are using them at night. However, if it is raining, you'll probably want to keep the tarp up.

The platforms I've seen usually have "eyes" screwed into the border around the perimeter. They can act as ground anchors for some non-tree supports. But understand the forces you are asking them to hold. I think they are expected to only have light duty.
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This all pretty much agrees with my thinking.

"Don't be a nuisance and you'll be fine."

Now I just need to get a hammock.
If you don't have sources already, other than REI or Amazon, I'm sure we can provide you w/ a good list of cottage venders that make excellent hammocks.
I was thinking of a Hennessy, but I'm sure there's other options out there.
Something asymmetric for a flatter lay and a bug net is about all I've settled on.
Many have started with Hennessy. If you go that route - I think the REI sales are over - and buy from them, you used to be able to opt for their Hex Tarp by paying the retail difference between it and the standard, smaller, tarp that comes with the hammock. I think you'd like the utility of the large Hex.

But give us an idea of your size (length, weight). For example, if you are in the 6 ft + range or the 250lb + range, there is probably a better fit for you than the Hennessy.

Many hammock campers end up with more than one hammock because 1) after some experience they have a better idea of what they are looking for. 2) Many hammocks cost under $100, with "On Sale" bargains for $50, so they aren't costly. 3) After you've finally found "your precious" the hammock you had before can become a loaner for friends.

That the "flatter lay" comes from the suspension rigging. You don't pull it tight. You hang with about a 30° (or 60° depending on which end you measure from) angle. That puts sag in the hammock so the ends are a distance apart that's about 83% of the hammock length. So if the hammock were 10 ft long, you'd hang it so the hammock ends are about 8 ft apart. The lines from the hammock ends are connected to the trees so the bottom of the hammock is about chair height (18") from the ground - so getting in/out is like getting out of a chair.

That sag allows you to lie in the hammock at an angle to the center line of the hammock. It's that angle, head right, feet left (or vice versa) that gives you the flat lie.

Those numbers are not golden - they are "-ish's", "sorta's", and "about's".

The basic setup is a hammock with a built-in, or separate, bug net, tarp, top quilt, and under-quilt. If you have a sleeping bag, you can use that instead of a top quit (just unzip it most of the way but keep the foot box). If you can a camp sleeping pad, you can put that in the hammock instead of the more comfortable under-quilt.

The pad or under-quilt is needed because, in a hammock, your heat loss is from air currents passing under it.
To give some perspective, I'm 5'11" and 140lbs. I use a long sleeping pad, I think it's 6'5" or something, because I got peeved with my head or feet slipping off 'standard' 6 foot mats. Ideally that same mat fits into a hammock.

I was thinking of ordering directly from Hennessy. I was also thinking of foregoing their fly system and just using a rectangular tarp which I already own. I think the ability to sort of close things into a sort of 'floating tent' would be nice in ugly weather.
I knew Cougarmeat would give you loads of details, he's wordier than I am.
I skipped over the Hennessy and got a Onewind double netless for my first camping hammock (11'×68") but not my first hammock, those were from my years in Central America were hammock life was the norm. Three years later I'm still using it pretty much nightly as I live outside full time. I'm also about your size. I have no complaints about their hammocks or tarps, their quilts are crap in my opinion. Their stuff is a bit heavy if you're into the Ultralight head space though.
Would I buy there stuff again, probably not now that I've become aware of some of the innovative venders out there and I would go a little narrower on my next hammock but still over 60" in width as I like a wider hammock and a bit more "sag" than some to get that nice flat lay.
I had some pictures of my setup w/ my tarp "doors" closed and it looked like a floating tent but my phone took those away this summer.
As far as a pad in a hammock, haven't tried it but from most people's reviews on that I also jumped over that and went straight to an Underquilt (UQ). Nothing like floating in a setup that's the equivalent of a full sleeping bag, half under you and half on top.
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CPS, it's been a while since I've visited the Hennessy site. Back in the day, their Expedition hammock came as a set; a hammock and tarp. If you went that route, you'd be getting a tarp anyway. The small tarp that comes with the Expedition would keep the hammock dry but that's about it; not much extra area is covered. So, it is worth the extra $ to upgrade to the Hex.

But if you are going to just get a hammock, and repurpose the hiking/camping gear you already own, then just getting a hammock is a start. Rather than fill this site, and General Topic area, with more hammock info, it can all be found at www.hammockforums.net (or in the Gear Sub-Forum)
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I was thinking of a Hennessy, but I'm sure there's other options out there.
Something asymmetric for a flatter lay and a bug net is about all I've settled on.
Check out some of the other hammock styles other than the 'wrapped in a taco' type. :) Amok Draumr and Exped Ergo, for example. I really like my Exped Ergo which takes a sleeping pad in a pocket unerneath, so no faffing about with underquilts. And, of course there's more info than you probably want at hammockforum. :)
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Just fyi. A lot of the sites especially at curme islands and hare point don't have sufficient trees to set up a hammock directly over the tent pad. Some maybe do but the user demand is high and you won't be able to be too choosey about your site. there are trees but they may be outside of the official sites.
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