090: HANG: The Hammock Camping Episode

Show Notes: Episode 090

Today on the First 40 Miles, HANG: The Hammock Camping Episode!  We’ve always schlepped a tent while backpacking, but recently our eyes were opened to the other options on the trail.  And today, we’re all about the possibilities that hammock camping opens up to backpackers.  Next, the SUMMIT Gear Review turns into the SUMMIT Gear Dump, as we unload the box of gear that was loaned to us for our first hammock trip.  Next, on the Backpack Hack of the Week, a quick way to find the perfect distance between two trees to hang your hammock.


  • We were challenged by Jonathan at the Hang Your Own Hang Podcast to try out hammock camping
  • We had a few hammocks that we used for lounging on the trail—not totally new to the idea of hammocks
  • Bold and brave, sleeping in a hammock—we’d never slept overnight in a hammock
  • Our trip to Mirror Lake with Jonathan from HYOH
  • We each had our own hammock for this trip
  • Some apprehension…and you can hear that in our voices in the recording Jonathan made right before our first night hammock camping

Top 5 Questions We Had About Hammock Camping

  • Will I be squished and folded up?
  • Will I fall out?
  • Will I get motion sickness?
  • Is it really as awesome/comfortable as it sounds?
  • Will I be warm enough?

SUMMIT Gear Dump: Jonathan’s Gear

Everything that came in the box that Jonathan brought to us from New York.  This was his personal gear.

  • Hennessy Scout and Cub
  • Yukon Outfitters full set (top quilt, under quilt, hammock, tree straps)
  • Heather used Hammock Gear Incubator 20 Underquilt http://www.hammockgear.com/incubator-20/
  • “Dutch Bling”: Dutch wasp, Dutch Hook, Dutch Whoopie Hook
  • Jonathan also brought DIY or do it yourself gear (a tarp made of Sil-Poly PU 4000 which he got from an online retailer called Ripstop by the Roll)
  • If you’re looking for a mentor or a group to help you, check out the link for group hangs or hangouts on HammockForum.net
  • https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/forumdisplay.php/44-Hangouts-Campouts-and-Trip-Planning
  • We also brought our Eno Double Nest with Atlas Straps

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Using Trekking Poles to Find Perfectly Spaced Trees

  • Stand between two trees with your trekking poles held out. This is roughly the distance you should shoot for.  (6-8 paces, 12-13 feet or 4 meters)
  • This is how much space you’ll need for hanging your hammock

Trail Wisdom

  • Jim Gaffigan on hammocks: It’s like a giant net for catching lazy people.
  • Or, this…“An optimist is a man who plants two acorns and buys a hammock.”