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Thread: Hammocks or Tents?

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    Hammocks or Tents?

    I help run a youth group for 6-13 kids, and we camp at a local forest about 10 weekends over a year. Previously we've had them in tents, I've always took my own hammock and tarp shelter, and a lot of the lads have expressed that they would like to try them. We got six of them and tried them out with the older ones and on the whole it was really good - in fact they seemed a lot quieter at night and slept in later (big bonus). We usually camp about 14-18 of them and if we put them all in hammocks the only downsides I can see is that the camp would be quite spread out with the layout of suitable trees for putting up 20 hammocks. I'd appreciate the thoughts of other leaders who have hammocked YP at camps.

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    big chris (14-06-2018)

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Kids need help putting them up properly so plan for that. Make sure the helpers know how to do it properly.

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    bernwood (15-06-2018)

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    If you've got the hammocks, experienced help, space, and trees for it, I don't see why not. We're just missing #1 on that list at the moment, and we're looking to fix that in the near future.

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    The main issue is them learning to pick trees far enough apart. Oh, and wanting to double or triple deck the hammocks.

    If your trees are too far apart, you could always take a few 6ft poles, tie one end of the hammock to a tree, and put the other end on the pole. You have to have the pole at about 60 degrees and have a couple of guy lines on it. Hang on, I'll post again in a minute with a picture, if my tech skills don't fail me.
    Ian Wilkins
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    Here you go...

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    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    some kids love it, others hate it. Nobody is ambivalent with hammocks, it seems.


    the bible for this is "the ultimate hang" https://theultimatehang.com/

    he is a scout leader and hammock evangelist

    it's expensive but £16 is worth it, in my opinion

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimate-Ha...ber+20%2C+2017

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    We have plenty of trees but they in clumps with a fair bit of space between them, we can put 3 or 4 hammocks in each area using one tree as the pivot and stringing out from there. We like the hammocks as they let mixed sexes sleep in the same area, and work out cheaper in the long run than tents. They cost us £24 for a hammock and tarp shelter and seem to be standing up well after 5 camps so we will probably start to invest in more. Thanks all for your comments and advice.

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    Our explorers love hammocking. Any recommendations on the tarps? Fantastic bulk buy on dd hammocks for our explorers, but the tarps were still pricey and so we’re still on cheap blue ground sheets / tarps til we could save for proper stuff.

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    Senior Member roger-uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    some kids love it, others hate it. Nobody is ambivalent with hammocks, it seems.


    the bible for this is "the ultimate hang" https://theultimatehang.com/

    he is a scout leader and hammock evangelist

    it's expensive but £16 is worth it, in my opinion

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ultimate-Ha...ber+20%2C+2017
    Cheers Chris free on Kindle unlimited Looking forward to reading it
    Roger Woods
    Assistant Group Scout Leader,
    1st Sawley (All Saints) , Long Eaton

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    our scouts and explorers love the dd hammocks and tarps my only bad nights sleep was due to putting mine up perfectly aligned to the sunrise ? at last years cub camp

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atb View Post
    Our explorers love hammocking. Any recommendations on the tarps? Fantastic bulk buy on dd hammocks for our explorers, but the tarps were still pricey and so we’re still on cheap blue ground sheets / tarps til we could save for proper stuff.
    I picked up a 3x3 waterproof tarp with 8 guidlines and a silver underside to keep the shelter cool, waterproof to 2400 for £16.99

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Outdoor-W...72.m2749.l2649

    Tried out this weekend and was cetainly water and windproof and provided me with plenty of cover.

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    We've used hammocks as an "extra" at week-long summer camps for Scouts, where we're camping on a woodland site, and the odd weekend away in the past (before my time as a leader though). The Scouts mostly seem to enjoy it; some can't get enough, some, usually the younger ones, don't like the feel of being "on their own" in a hammock in the dark, and prefer a tent (because, you know, those canvas walls offer much greater protection against werewolves and boggets etc).

    I swing from the trees myself as often as possible on Scout camp, with my own gear, as I find I get a much better sleep suspended above ground. The kit we use for the Scouts is basic DD hammocks and tarps, and they bring their own bedroll to guard against the dreaded Cold Bum Syndrome.

    I would just suggest that, when hanging the hammocks with the Young People, someone checks for dead branches overhead (widow-makers), checks their knots and ensures that they are not suspended more than a few feet above the ground. They'll want to double or triple hang, but I'd discourage it as fidgety YP (or YP heading for the loo) don't want to be falling from a height greater than one that will only give them a bit of a shock in the night.
    Last edited by CliveS; 22-06-2018 at 10:08 AM.

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    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    We use Hammocks with our scouts and the majority preferred them to ground dwelling.

    Because of the absence of trees, we arranged for the site to put up a Hammock wheel, based around a single tree. Means we can put 12 of them into a single area, with enough trees near by for the YL/Girls to have their own space.

    We use DD hammocks and tarps.




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    Shaun

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    with enough trees near by for the YL/Girls to have their own space.
    Eh? Surely hammocks by definition give them each their own space? We just go free for all. Usually leaders camp a bit away from the Explorers, just because we snore/they're noisy.
    Ian Wilkins
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    Senior Member Shaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Eh? Surely hammocks by definition give them each their own space? We just go free for all. Usually leaders camp a bit away from the Explorers, just because we snore/they're noisy.
    I camp well away from the scouts. Partly because they are noisy, but also to give them semblance of independence and force self reliance on them.

    The area that we have the Hammock wheel in, also has flat areas for hike tents, so ground dwellers are near their friends.

    Our girls like to have their own cluster, the same with the YLs. 5e set up we have gives them the opportunity, with everyone close enough that they donít feel isolated. We didnít set it up that way, they chose it and continue to do so.

    The next camp will be interesting as we only have one girl going and she is a YL, I suspect the habit has been set and she will Hammock where she always has.



    You can see from the photo that there are trees around to hang from.


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