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The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide To Hammock Camping Paperback – October 27, 2011
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About the Author
Derek Hansen is a lightweight backpacker, Scoutmaster, and "hammock enthusiast" who enjoyed his first hammock hang at age 14 at a Boy Scout high adventure base. When he’s not out testing outdoor gear, he enjoys reading and spending time with his family.
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The Basics- The book starts off with the authors first hammock experience and some terminology related to hammock camping. The pros/cons of hammocks and tents are discussed which helps decide if it is something that will work for you. Basic Gear, Tree Selection, Anchor Points, Suspension Lines, Weather and Bug Protection, Staying Warm, and Getting Comfortable are addressed briefly. These points also serve as a bit of an outline for the rest of the book where these points will be covered again in more detail. There are also a couple of great illustrations with bullet points showing the right and wrong way to hang.
Sight Selection- The next section deals with some aspects, not all of which are specific to hammock camping, but serves as great general advise. Lighting safety, Bear/Animals, Widowmakers, Choosing trees, Wind, and the principles of "Leave No Trace" camping are discussed.
Mechanics of Hanging- The book helped me a lot here. I had watched numerous videos and read a lot of different things on the internet on just how to hang the hammock. Different knots, methods, and accessories used had me confused. This section finally helped make sense of things like Various Straps, Whoopie Slings, Carabiners, S-Biners, Cinch Buckles, Descender Rings, Dutch Clips, Elephant Trunks, Tri Glides, and many other things I didn't know much about. It also taught me the different knots and lashings I would be using.
Staying Warm/Dry/Bug Free- Different tarp designs like A-sym, Diamond, Hex Cut, etc are discussed with pros/cons. Sleeping Pads, Under Quilts, Pull Over Bags and Pods, Net designs are discussed as well as numerous personal tips, and great illustrations.
Comfort/Utility/Sleeping Tips- The last section of the book gave me great insight on different ways to utilize my hammock as different camp furniture while not sleeping. It gave me a few ideas on how just how versatile the hammock could be. Sleeping tips, quick set up methods, packing and carrying techniques were also highlighted. The book concludes with great Appendices containing information about manufacturers, gear list, and some handy quick reference illustrations.
Bottom line- This book is a "must have" for any new or experienced hammock owner. You could just look at the pictures in this book alone and learn more about hammock camping than from most other sources. I read the Kindle version. But I will most certainly order a hard copy to keep with my hammock. It's better than any instruction manual out there. Essential Reading for hammock campers!!
I'd tried hammock camping a few years ago but it did not work well for me. But hammocking has progresses a lot way, and Hansen's books is the perfect introduction. It will show you not only all the basics, but give clear illustrations to help clarify a lot of the mystery. What are "whoopie slings" anyway? How do you keep warm in that thing? What do you do when you are hiking and there are no trees?
Hansen answers all that clearly and with nice illustrations. If you are not fully comfortable on the hard, cold ground, learn more about how to sleep comfortable in a hammock with this great introductory guide.
This book has everything - types of hammocks and scenarios, best way to hang them, great info on accessories like bug nets and underquilts, tying knots with diagrams. They include some manufacturers links but it isn't an advertising vehicle - these are real world applications. All with fun cartoons. I was able to put some of these tips into action right away on a winter hammock camping session, complete with underquilt.