Author Topic: Hammocking the Great Divide: bad idea?  (Read 3353 times)

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Offline RoadsideFiresBurning

Hammocking the Great Divide: bad idea?
« on: April 13, 2016, 10:35:13 pm »
I'm riding the Great Divide in July and am trying to figure out what gear to bring. There isn't any talk that I can find about hammocks along this trail. I have a junglenest hammock and a housefly, as well as a 2-person tent. I want to be able to store my bike under the tarp or in the tent in case it pours, but is the hammock a horrible idea? How much of the trail has zero trees? I can switch gear in NM (I live here and can have someone meet me to switch), so I'm largely thinking about before then. I've pitched my hammock like a tent in the past but it kind of sucks especially if it's for multiple days at a time.

Also, is it really buggy in July? I haven't been able to find any information about that, and a lighter, smaller hammock would be great if it isn't a deathwish against those mosquitoes and no-see-ums.

Thanks for any advice!

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Hammocking the Great Divide: bad idea?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2016, 12:37:55 pm »
I am committing to a hammock for this year.  Of course I only do week long tours, but I think you need to accept that you might have to deal with no tree situations.

I did part of the Great Divide in New Mexico about 15 years ago, and I think there were times when there were trees, and times when there were no trees.


  • Guest
Re: Hammocking the Great Divide: bad idea?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2016, 08:05:35 am »
Having spent some time riding and backpacking in the backcountry in Montana, I'd venture to guess that the mosquitoes in wooded areas will be noticeable. I have done a short, paved section of the route (Polaris to Wise River) twice. Once in mid-June and once in early July. Even on the road the mosquitoes were highly noticeable. The second time, I stopped at the 8,000' summit to put on rain gear and had to do some swatting even through it was raining a bit.

Offline DarrenBnYYC

Re: Hammocking the Great Divide: bad idea?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2016, 09:41:22 am »
Another thing to consider is that when you are in the mountains, you also need to bring an underquilt or undercover/insulation to stay warm. A sleeping pad works for this purpose also, but like many, I have found them too uncomfortable to use night after night.

Unfortunately, by the time you collect the hammock, fly, bugnet, and underquilt/pad, you end up being about the same bulk and weight of a good lightweight tent (or more). Not sure if you are hoping to save some size/weight by taking a hammock, but in my experience, my UL tent is better in this regard. Nothing beats the wonderful sleep you get in a hammock, however!  :)

Offline Timberhack

Re: Hammocking the Great Divide: bad idea?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2016, 05:28:17 pm »
 I did the western half of the Trans Am last summer with a hammock. Only found it necessary to go to the ground (using the hammock like a tent) two times. However, in the plains states where the wind always blows it was a problem when the tarp was needed(if it looked like rain). When the tarp is that high off the ground it really becomes a large sail and there is often no refuge from that wind. My suggestion would be to use the hammock in the mountain/forest areas that are more protected from wind and when you get down into the plains, consider shipping it home and having someone mail you a tent.