Hammock Wildcamping in UK

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Hammock Wildcamping in UK

Post by flipflopdog » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:43 am

Ok, got some time to spare and looking for a wild camping recommendations where we can use hammocks instead of tents. Anywhere in UK..?? Two small adv bikes and minimalist attitude …...

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Re: Hammock Wildcamping in UK

Post by frenchy3 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:24 am

My answer to that is very short.....anywhere where there are two trees bbout 12-14 feet apart :D Seriously we have hammock camped all over the UK and a lot of Europe and as long as you tread lightly ie no damage to the area,take your rubbish away and clear up if you have a fire etc. Most of our gear is camoflaged and just hide yourself away not too near a road or track and i don,t see a problem personally. We enter the woods just before dusk and set up the site before dark(can do it in the dark with a headtorch on but it makes it more of a challenge) I know in many areas it is not strictly legal but if you leave early and do no harm to the area,crops or livestock and nobody sees you whats the problem? Wild campers are a minority in this country and i get fed up seeing the aftermath of Raves,motocross bikes not using legal trails,joy ridden cars smashed up and burned,fly tipping of rubbish etc in the forests and then being told how it is illegal for me to spend a quiet night there. To me there is nothing better than a night in a hammock looking up at the stars ,listening to the wildlife, chatting rubbish to your mates and having a meal and a couple of drinks. Enjoy the experience.
Last edited by frenchy3 on Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hammock Wildcamping in UK

Post by Helicoptermanr22 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:32 pm

Exactly that!

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Re: Hammock Wildcamping in UK

Post by gbags » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:46 pm

Can you recommend some kit for to look at?

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Re: Hammock Wildcamping in UK

Post by qcnr » Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:05 am

DD Hammocks :D

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Re: Hammock Wildcamping in UK

Post by daveuprite » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:09 am

Agree with frenchy above. Harmless, impact-free wild camping is a good experience. I woke up in a wood in the South Downs once, many years ago, with a fallow deer actually looking into my tent. The sound of owls and squirrels going about their night's work while you take it all in under the stars is a real joy.

The constant danger, however, is not the wildlife. It's other people. Camo'd nutters with shotguns lamping and angry landowners furious that you've camped on 'their land'. There's 2 sides to this, I guess, and we live in a paranoid world. You do look a bit strange these days choosing to camp alone in the woods, and maybe a bit suspicious as a small group doing the same. It takes a bit of explaining that you are not squatting, not stealing anything, not damaging anything and that you will have left harmlessly, without any traces remaining, by mid-morning. One person's friendly, innocuous wild-camping enthusiast is another person's weirdo loner potential serial killer...

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Re: Hammock Wildcamping in UK

Post by frenchy3 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:20 am

We do often feel the need to explain our strange passtime to others as the public perception is you are either tramps,right wing survivalists etc. I don,t particularly like booked campsites as it limits where you ride and when you can stop for the night. I started off with a DD hammock and an ex army cammoflged Basha/tarp. A groundsheet is useful to put your stuff on under the hammock and to sit on whilst cooking/drinking etc. Start off with DD hammocks kit as it is cheap and well made then if you like it the skys your limit for "Gucci kit" My set up now is below.
1. ENO double hammock as it is very light and packs up small it is extremely strong and very wide allowing you to sleep on the diagonal which allows you to sleep flatter rather than bent like a banana. you can alter the sag of a hammock with a structural ridgeline although i have never bothered.I put Dyneema continuous loops through the ends and attach a 12kn carabiner from Henge hammocks each end.
2. Henge hammocks daisy chain hammock straps. These are great and loop around the trees back through a loop and then attach your carabiner to one of the loops. Easy to set up and so quick. These are the strongest woven rather than stitched straps i have ever seen. I have tried plain webbing knotted around the trees,whoopie slings etc but found these to be the most versatile suspension.
3. DD hammocks 3 x3 tarp. I hang this on the diagonal as it gives you a great length of coverage and only requires two guy lines to peg it down. I have the cammo version which blends into the trees wonderfully.
4. Strong Dyneema ridgeline with a carabiner one end and fitted with Nama claws which grip the ridgeline and attach to the loops on the ends of the tarp.
5. Standard tent pegs and wide screw in type pegs that are better for your average loamy soft soil you find in forests. Of course take some paracord and a few bungees for a versatile set.
6. After experimenting with several weight sleeping bags you find it is difficult to get in and out of them whilst swinging in a hammock even if you put your feet in half zip up and then swing into it from the seated position. In cold weather the insulation is compressed by your body weight and looses its effect and although the rest of you is toasty warm your back is freezing and you dont get a good nights sleep. I tried a thermal mat under the bag but this tends to move around and slip out. I considered an underquilt to trap the warm air but it is more complex rigging to do on setting it up. My ultimate solution was a Snugpak Hammock cocoon which attaches completely around the hammock and has a full double acting zip on the top. If you put this on correctly with sag under it traps the warm air inside and is so easy to get in and out of.
7. Groundsheet to do your cooking store your gear on etc.
8. Cheap Helinox copy lightweight camping chair. These pack up really small and are very light and it revolutionizes your camp experience as sitting on uneven uncomfortable ground makes you want to turn in and get in your hammock too early. They are so comfortable i have fallen asleep in my chair. Be aware the small feet often dig into the soft soil so make yourself up some wide pads similar to what you would do with your motorcycle sidestand .
8. Coleman featherlite dual fuel camping stove. You can either carry a Sigg or similar fuel bottle or a syphon tube and take fuel straight out of your bike so you are never on the hunt for or worry your gas is going to run out.
9. Lightweight folding saw. These are great for clearing the camp area,any dead or unwanted branches off the trees you are setting up on or cutting some firewood.
I won,t go into cups ,cutlery,plates etc as these are all personal choices although i have found the swedish army set in its own pouch which has a razor sharp knife a fine set to use.
10. Platypus water bladders. You can either get a 2 litre one or a couple of one litre containers depending on how you pack your gear. This is the minimum amount you need to carry for each person for brews,cooking emergency ration packs and washing your cookware. They roll up tiny when empty and are very strong.
11. Camping kettle and pans are down to personal preference. With all my gear like this i find the stuff sold to the fishing community is cheaper and well designed.
12. Headtorch goes without saying with a modern LED torch you can use both hands to do any task required and i even fixed one to my crash helmet so when riding into a forest at dusk you can look all around you rather than just where the headlight is pointing.(if possible i turn the lights off to avoid attracting attention when going in to set up camp and the head torches generally have a more covert single LED red diode. There is more stuff i carry but it is all common sense stuff like one person may take a small folding shovel whilst another takes the folding saw. It is a case of not duplicating the kit and bike spares/inner tubes/tyre levers etc so you can maximise or minimise the ammont of kit you take between you. I will probably remember later essential things i have forgotten to mention. I use Helly hansen base layer kit as it stays clean for ages,wicks sweat away from the body,dries quickly and doesn,t even smell bad after wearing it for several days.
Final piece of advice is that other than bike spares,tools,puncture repair kit if you don,t use equipment you have packed during a week or more in duration trip you probably don,t need to pack it for the next one. Sorry this post is long and dull but it took me years to get my perfect for me set up.
Last edited by frenchy3 on Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hammock Wildcamping in UK

Post by Snaf MKII » Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:43 pm

Just find a trail with trees on it and go for it. Heading off the legal networks can lead to issues as others have mentioned, we have some land holdings and the only time I notice there have been wild campers is when they are either there when I am or they leave rubbish.

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Re: Hammock Wildcamping in UK

Post by Peirre » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:30 pm

In recent months I`ve seriously gone down the Hammock camping route, investing in a 13ft custom made Warbonnet Superfly tarp and XLC Hammock shipped from the USA, I`ve also added a custom Warbonnet Wooki underquilt, and under quilt protector from 2QZQ. I`m now waiting delivery of a top quilt from Cumulus sleep systems in Poland and a couple of smaller items from 2QZQ are due delivery on Monday. Needless to say its cost me a fortune + a fortune in import taxes, but I have exactly what I wanted

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Re: Hammock Wildcamping in UK

Post by Peirre » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:18 am

Why not start out with a cheap hammock, you can get them on amazon etc for around £20 and see if you adapt to the idea, one of those would do as 1st hammock

If your anywhere near Sheffield/Doncaster I have a couple of basic Hammocks similar the amazon ones with/without bug nets, plus the straps, ridgelines and couple of DD tarps I could loan you to try out to see if hammock camping is for you. Be warned though once you get the hammock bug it starts to get expensive especially if you wanna go down the super lightweight route

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