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  1. #1
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    Hammock questions for my bike trip!!

    (Sorry for not the greatest English) Alright so I am going to live on my bike for about half a year throughout Europe from late April to mid September.
    I will be travelling from Denmark to Greece and probably back again, taking good time in each country along the way.

    So here is where I am in a conflict. I have two decision on what to take with me to sleep in:

    1. I take my tent (Hubba Hubba NX).
    2. I take my hammock (XLC Blackbird, double layer).

    i have tried to make a combo for the hammock that makes it possible for me to be on ground aswel as having bottom insulation when hanging.
    Here I am using my therm a rest sleeping pad and a all weather blanket(survival blanket/space blanket) where the bottom of it is water/wind proof material,
    making it possible for me to make a ground shelter together with my tarp. This setup by connecting it to my bike actually works pretty good i most say.

    My problem is i have no idea how well this all weather blanket will be doing in a "cold night" while hanging. The Blanket(and the pad) seems abit of a hassle to make it lay perfectly in the hammock aswel,
    but it is possible. But will it keep me warm enough, i would love not to need the pad aswel..

    This is why i consider my tent, i know it works good and got some good perks as double doors, being very roomy and good ventilation
    But i do know from experience that it can get kind of hot on my therm a rest(3-season), so i can imagne mid summer in greece how that would be
    This is where the hammock would shine since i would probably not need anything but two trees to hang on when everything starts to get warmer down south.

    Total Weight wise my tent is actually ligther and in my opnion easyer to setup (this might be because of my low experience with the hammock).

    So what is you guys suggestion, Would the tent be the way to go for something like this or do you think i should give the hammock a try? Any opinion and suggestions would be appreciated.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    New Member
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    Jan 2017
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    Charleston, SC
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    Is the go to ground an emergency plan or do you expect to be on the ground a large percentage of the time? You will probably want to figure out if you will be mostly hanging or mostly on the ground. After that you can look at what is the best solution for the primary arrangement and acceptable for the secondary. If you think you may be on the ground one or two times in an emergency over six months all you really need is to make it safe and less than miserable. If your warm dry but uncomfortable for one night but hanging in comfort for the next dozen that one night will be long that day but a short blip in the big trip. If the majority of the time will be on the ground the tent may be a better choice.

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Mar 2017
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    Thanks for your response. I would be doing most of the trip (hopefully) hanging. But nothing is certain, right? I had considered buying a underquilt but that would mean that i wont bring any of the ground equipment = abit troubleing night. I could still bring my the blanket for ground use to prevent getting wet and for storage below my hammock but then again, i would really get some extra weight. (my sleeping pad is 300g, i dont think i can get a underquilt for that weight?)

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2016
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    East Texas
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    I would say bring the hammock, and maybe a light weight bivy for those emergency/ have to situations. You can make or buy a bivy that has very minimal weight and space concerns. You should already have a tarp for your hammock set up, insulation in a pad/TQ. A light weight bug net bivy would breath during summer, and if it rains a heavy storm, just secure your tarp down tight and you should be good.

    My hiking buddy has a bivy that's about 9 oz and packs down to a soda can. His tarp, ground cloth, bivy and all the cordage is about 1.5 lbs.
    Where the trail ends the adventure begins!

  5. #5
    Herder of Cats OutandBack's Avatar
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    April to mid September.
    from Denmark to Greece.

    How much rain?
    What temperatures will you be expecting?

    I would never give up the comfort of hammock camping. I would consider an emergency going to ground plan using my tarp and sit pad for ground insulation.
    I hope you will have internet access I'd love to see a week trip log here on the forum or maybe a link to a blog.

  6. #6
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    I have done a couple of bike tours around Germany, and it has always been a challenge to hang. But I never camped "wild"; I only used public campgrounds. If you plan to camp outside of campgrounds, I think your chances of finding a spot to hang most nights are not bad. If you're using campgrounds, you'll spend quite a few nights on the ground.

    Since I'm not cycling fast (80km per day were my maximum - my average was more like 60km), I didn't mind more weight on the bike. And since I wanted maximum comfort, I took both a tent plus pad as well as my hammock set-up (hammock and underquilt). I have since bought a Bear Paw Net Tent to use with my hammock tarp instead of taking my trusty Tarptent Rainbow, but I haven't yet had the chance to try it. It doesn't save an awful lot of weight and is quite a bit more hassle to set up, so I'm not sure if it will replace the Rainbow (or maybe another lightweight tent) permanently. But it has the advantage that you can hang the tarp quite high and have a lot more air flow than with a single walled tent.

  7. #7
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    One more thought: you could also get a summer-weight 3/4 underquilt to use with your hammock. Your pad would insulate the torso, the underquilt will take care of the shoulders. Cold shoulders and hips have always been my main problem with a pad in the hammock.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutzelbein View Post
    One more thought: you could also get a summer-weight 3/4 underquilt to use with your hammock. Your pad would insulate the torso, the underquilt will take care of the shoulders. Cold shoulders and hips have always been my main problem with a pad in the hammock.
    Thank you for your response!
    I did consider getting a full lenght underquilt, since really the only turn off i have had on my hammock is those **** pads. Problem with that is the one i want is coming from USA and could be very pricey to get it to Denmark. Seen a few others but they just dont seem as good, i dont know, maybe im wrong.

    Despite the dream of bringing a hammock for the trip, it seems so hard to get everything in place for it to work.

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Mar 2017
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    I'd go with the hammock.

    To me the price you pay for some of the inconveniences of the hammock far outweigh sleeping on the ground.

    As for staying warm you could always just wear an extra shirt and pair of sweatpants to sleep at night. That would probably be the easiest solution.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Have you thought of diy quilt? Trust me, it doesn't have to be pretty to be functional. It's just gotta keep the cold at bay.
    Where the trail ends the adventure begins!

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