Shug was inspired by this site to hammock backpack.
Quick important note. Don't use permetherin near cats. It's okay once dried, but it's highly toxic for them in liquid form.
Great video. As a beekeeper & backpacker, maybe I can offer some additional info. Bees' vision is attuned to quick movement and edge contrast. When they go to sting, it's often along a contrasting edge, or something small that is moving at or above the waist. Favorite spots include wrists, face, hands, neckline or belt line. Also, all mammalians that predate on bees are dark (think bears, raccoons, skunks, etc). They are alarmed by large blotches of dark color, which is the reason that bee suits are white or sometimes light blue like the sky. They also see yellow and blue, which can attract them, but they don't see red very well. (Notice that red flowers attract other pollinators and are usually inaccessible to honeybees). Biting deerflies are also attracted to blue in a big way.
Bees communicate through pheromones and have unbelievably sensitive olfactory senses. So there are two things to avoid here: anything lemon scented and bananas. Citral is used to scent lemon products and is a significant component in the Nasonov pheromone, which bees use for location and worker recruitment. In short, they are attracted to it; so much so that some beekeepers even use lemon pledge to bait swarm traps. The alarm pheromone which will trigger a defensive response is released when stinging or when the colony is disturbed. So if you get stung, the sting site will give off a smell that tells more bees to sting you. It also smells just like a banana. Eat a banana near a colony and you may attract unwanted attention. Avoid floral scented stuff as well, but if you smell like flowers while backpacking you're probably not backpacking. Just sayin.
A honeybee will die when it stings, so it will do everything it can to deter you before stinging. If you get too close to a colony (it varies usually somewhere between 15 and 50 feet depending on the time of year), some workers will fly up and bump you as a warning - usually in the head area. If this happens, you are probably walking toward a colony. If you turn around and go the other way, without making sudden movements or swatting, they will leave you alone after a short distance. Lastly, ammonia emulsifies venom and pheromones. It's usually the active ingredient in those sting pens. I carry a 1 oz squeeze bottle that works way better than one of those pens. Hope that helps and clear skies!
A few natural tips for insect "repellent". I carry a small bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap with me and mix the Tea Tree and Mint soaps, 50/50.
I'll use to clean my dishes after a meal and as a quick wipe down at the end of the day and in the morning. Yeah, it's a luxury, but there are some benefits. Tea tree and mint are natural insect repellents. The thin residue of left over soap after a wipe down leaves a layer of the oils behind. It's not as effective as DEET, but every little bit helps.
Tea tree has natural antiseptic properties. So, you can drop the antiseptic wipes. Mint is cooling and helps get rid of skin irritation around bites, scratches, and hot spots.
Yes, hiker musk is real, but bad hygiene is the best carrier of viruses and bacteria. Hand sanitizer only does so much and is just breeding more badass versions of Noro and others. Besides, I just feel better after a quick wipe down. 😛 Also, dirty utensils and eating containers cause food poisoning. Vomiting, diarrhea, and fever on the trail SUCKS!! Better hygiene with miniscule added weight is worth it. Wash up, ya filthy hippies!!😜
One last tip. Moist tobacco on an insect bite or sting will help draw out the toxins, decrease histamine reactions, and numb the affected area. So, even if ya don't smoke, a couple of natural tobacco cigarettes or rolling tobacco in your first aid kick comes in handy. Also, makes for an easy bit of fire tinder to get a campfire lit.
Been hanging for forty five years. I used one in Boy Scouts. It rains in Washington. After a couple of miserable trips I swore I wouldn't sleep on the ground again. I've slept well since.
A few things I've earned over the years:
I string a mesh hammock beneath for gear, pack at one end. It keeps everything off the ground, helps block wind. and gear dries off.
To keep crawlies off the hammock attach fly paper to a piece of cloth and wrap it around the rope at the ends sticky side out. Fold and keep in a ziplock. If you're careful there's no mess. Ben Gay works around stake lines, keeps ants off and it's waterproof.
The bigger the tarp the better. Mine's 12X12 (Tyvek). The extra tarp as compared with a 10X12 is about 4 ounces, the benefits far outweigh the extra weight. Like I said, I live in Washington. I tie up 4" off the ground 3' either side of center. That's 5' at the ridgeline. My hammock hangs 2' off the ground in the center in the lying position. It's the best balance for me.
12' length lets me pinch the ends with a clip to reduce air flow.
In really cold weather I draw one side under my setup to block air and trap heat.
I carry a half a shower curtain for a ground cloth. It's durable and keeps the dirt off my feet.
My under quilt is a lightweight sleeping bag (rated at 40 degrees but not really useful below 50 as a bag).
I'm good to about 15 F.
I cook with alcohol under the tarp before going to sleep to prewarm the enclosure a bit.
Site selection is probably the most important thing. A site protected from the wind is usually a plus unless it's warm out and/or the view takes precedence. If rain is forecast I always choose a site on a slight slope so water doesn't accumulate.
Last but not least more expensive doesn't necessarily equate to better. My son uses a window sheer knotted at the ends. It's worked well for years. My Tyvek tarp is well worn but still water repellent. My tree straps are webbing from Harbor Freight. We're not the REI crowd but we make out pretty well. It all depend on what you're trying to do and how you use what you have.
2 months ago (edited)
I took a bridge hammock (diy) for the first 815 miles or so of the Pacific Crest Trail (Part 1--I flew out due to altitude sickness) resuming with a gathered end hammock from Echo Summit to Canada (Part 2). Love both hammocks. Had to go to ground a few times on Part 1--my underside insulation: a Thermarest Neoair xtherm. The rest of the walk(Part 2), I had an Underquilt from Hammock Gear. I had a poly-cryo tarp for part 1, but due to neglect, it needed 10 ounces of duct tape to hold it together. For Part 2, my tarp was a Warbonnet Superfly (doors!) which really shone in some wind and rain whipped nights.
I camped in so many places that tent campers had to pass, including sides of hills and over rocks. I never had to push on past sunset to get to what the trail apps marked as campsites.
For a few really cold nights I'll swear by those mylar reflective emergency blankets--take one!
I often sleep in a hammock at home.
It's not a habit I want to break!
Good, honest comparison between tent and hammock hiking.
From 2017, but really interesting discussion of how to get cell service while #camping in the boonies.
Hobo Stove made from Ikea product?