Hey Ryan. They are not cold, if you use a underquilt on them. You can use an old sleeping bag, or something of similar nature. Watch Shug Emery on youtube. Good pointers there. Or else use a plastic foam groundsheet thing. From what I've seen, hammocks are all good. I'm sure as hell wanting one!
Still trying to figure out why no company has come out with a sleeping bag with a hammock built into it, seems like the logical way to go to me. Been looking for something like that for years still have not seen it. Maybe BUSHCRAFTNZ could create and sell its own products and we could make it.
That is one damn fine idea! (I hope there would be discounts for BCNZ members!) Lol!
shug promoted a hammock book on his youtube channel the other week which I brought and I can fully recommend, The Ultimate Hang, it would take many many hours to piece together from the web and forums all the info that is in that one book, ask me how I know...... ha ha. eg, I have read many pages on vapour barriers and was still hardly any wiser but the book explains it in 4 paragraphs.
Also anyone about 5 foot 9 or under interested in a cheap hammock there are deals going at the moment for a Hennessy Hammock - Expedition it comes complete with a small tarp and a built in bug net for $218 delivered. They say it's for people up to 6 foot and I nearly brought one but on hammockforums.net people 5 foot 10 say they are a bit small inside and much prefer the bigger version called Hennessy Hammock - Explorer which is $278 . There is a side zipper version and a bottom entry version, most people prefer the zip version.
Cheers for the info and suggestions guys, I have recently been looking into hammocks myself as they'd be very handy for the bush hunting I do.
I use a Hennessy Expedition, and at 6 foot and 200lbs find it adequate, tho I do wish I'd brought the bigger one, if I had known they were to be had. The upsides are: it's bug proof, it you gets up out of the mud and lumps and once you are in it's dead comfortable. The down sides are your junk has to stay outside and yes, they can be damn cold, tho there are ways around this. The easiest way is a sno-foam mat, finally they have a use apart from fire starters! I usually use the smallest and thinnest therm-o-rest and wear socks to bed if it's cool-cold. The mat also helps to hold the sides out, giving you a bit more elbow room. It's easier to get into your sleeping bag THEN get into the hammock, rather than the other way around. I put my pack on the ground under the 'door' then stand on that to keep my bag clean. The main thing to remember is it's a hammock, not a tent. Some hard cases snow camp in them, not me, I have a MacPac Olympus for anything other than warmish and semi-settled weather. Horses for courses. Since most of my camping involves spending the day fly fishing in poly props and wading boots, it suits nicely.
The fly that comes with it is...ok...I guess... (this is the Expedition, remember) and properly set up will fend off most of the elements, but getting up in the night to re-set the fly because the wind/rain has changed direction is quite possible. A couple of ways around this. I made a (much) bigger fly out of a 3 man pup tent fly that I turned sideways and added a new tape with D rings at right angles to the old one. It fits on the hammock stays but does need a slightly longer pitch. It's possible to leave the original fly at home and stuff the new fly in the Hennessy stuff bag, but I usually take both. It's also possible to 'double deck' the flies together if you are paranoid about wind damage.
The up side is you now have a good sized 'hang out' area for cooking, changing, generally coming and going. Yes you need a slightly bigger camp site, but is that really such a problem when you are in a 50,000 acre park? It's more than balanced by the places you CAN camp, for those that have never used a hammock you would be staggered at the places that suddenly become primo real estate. One of my favorites was a 45 degree bank on the Ngaruroro River. The top edge of the fly was pinned to the ground up hill of the hammock, the lower edge just high enough to give me a morning view of the river to wake up to.
They take some practice, and it's fairly easy to do it wrong, a day trip to some place where you can practice putting it up, taking it down, moving a 100 meters and doing it all again is vital, but once you get the hang (sorry) of it, you are laughing. Two pieces of nice long para-cord and a Swiss Army knife saw will become your best friends for clearing scrub, branches etc and getting the fly 'just so'. I wish I had one 30 years ago, I could have saved myself some uncomfortable, wet, buggy nights. If you are the bivi bag type, give a Henny some MAJOR thought.
I have a Hennessy hammock Expedition Asym Classic. It's a great piece of gear. i got the one with the velcro entry as it closes by itself and less likely to fail like a zip would. I have only tried it 3 times in early spring, first time i tired it i was inside my 4 season sleeping bag with no under insulation and i was quite warm, it was rather difficult getting into the sleeping bag inside the hammock though, harder work than the 6hr tramp before hand :) i slept well in it, the key is to sleep diagonally across it otherwise a ridge can form down the centre of it and can be rather uncomfortable.
second time i tried it, i tried sleeping on my closed cell foam mat in my silk sleeping bag liner with my 4 season sleeping bag unzipped over the top of me. i was warm when i was on the mat but i woke up as the mat had moved to the side and my legs were rather cold.
Next time i am going to try and sleep on my Italian army wool blanket while inside my sleeping bag liner with the sleeping bag on top and see how that works, and also try with my multimat.
I put a ground sheet or my poncho down underneath the hammock, i wrap my pack and boots up in it to keep them dry and insects out and also something to stand on while getting in/out of the hammock. it also comes in handy to sit on and just in case i need to use the hammock as a bivvy. the fly is good but could be a bit small if the weather turns to custard, i haven't used it in hard rain yet, but i normally either carry a british army poncho or a basha as a extra fly/emergency shelter. The snake skins work great too, saves a lot of time and hassle.
It weights about the same as my basha and bivvy bag system size wise its a bit bulkier but i haven't tried compressing it down yet
Thanks for all that useful info. I'm thinking of getting a Hennessy Safari Delux (the biggest model they do), but I can see I've got a bit more homework to do on the subject. One of the reasons I want to get a Hennessy Hammock is to have a compact, all-in-one system to use with a good 3-4 season sleeping bag, but it sounds like I'm going to need a warm compact underlayer of some kind too. The space blanket from Amazon sounds a good idea.
Here is a local dealer that sells them http://www.tripleonecarebop.co.nz/first-aid-supplies/hardware/therm...
They only have them in orange. I haven't got one yet but I am planning to when I have the cash.
The only downside I can see is condensation. a few weeks back I tried a large wind shield sun reflector from super cheap auto, it worked but it was covered with condensation. I read on the Hennessey hammock website that the owner used one with polar fleece attached to the reflector to stop the condensation problem. I haven't tried it yet. i found it moved around too. I was in my 4 season sleeping bag. the next night I used my sleeping bag and my wool blanket as a under blanket. This worked great. I was inside my sleeping bag and lying on top of the blanket, I got quite hot. don't know how good it will be during winter though. plus it weighs about 2kg.