My Dogs Hurt, so I Climbed in a Camping Hammock


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I recently took Hennessey’s Ultralite Backpacker for a spin in the Uwharrie National Forest in North Carolina.

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I’m a bigger guy at 6’1, 210 lbs — slightly over the advertised weight/height limit of the hammock — and still had a comfortable hang.

I’m glad I still brought my sleeping pad along, because it afforded some extra insulation when it cooled off overnight. My dog, Ralph, enjoyed it too. He hopped in and out of our hammocks while we slept.

I didn’t have to use the rainfly, but it was nice to have it right there in the same container as the hammock and if necessary, I could have set it up in a matter of minutes.

My comrades on the height were both using the ENO DoubleNest. I didn’t try them out myself, but they seemed comfortable. Both of them passed out soon after laying down. I don’t know if that’s an indication of how comfortable they are or how much the hike kicked our butts.

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In the camping world, you may see netting advertised as “no-see-um” proof. This refers to netting with mesh fine enough to prevent the 1-4 millimeter insect known as the biting midge from being able to pass through it.

Biting Midge
The aptly-named “no-see-um”, a 1-4mm long bloodsucking fly.

No-see-ums are essentially miniature mosquitoes, sucking your blood and leaving extremely itchy welts that can last several days.

I’ve had run-ins with the critters a few times on the trail. Their bites aren’t too bad in small numbers, but they itch like crazy. You don’t want to wake up on the morning of an out-and-back and find yourself covered in bites.

I definitely recommend “no-see-um” netting for your next backpacking outing.

Best solutions as far as camping hammocks go are Hennessy Hammocks’ line of camping hammocks. The prices seem a little higher than the ENO hammocks, but since all of their hammocks ship with a rainfly included (in the same 2 lb 10 oz bag) they’re a great value starting from $99.95.

Hennessey Camping Hammock
P.S. If you’re still trying to decide whether to try out a camping hammock or stick with the traditional sleeping bag, this post by Derek Barker on Quora.com might be helpful.

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