Gear Review After 7 Weeks Hammock Camping Across Japan
The Nubé Hammock Shelter - Tree Tent
Nubé: Was great keeping the bugs and rain off us, plus some leaves and branches when the trees became a little too friendly. We could not have been completely comfortable urban camping without this perfect shelter. Unlike tents, where if you touch the fabric it leaks, this Nubé hammock tent does not leak! We were dry at all times (except once and it was our fault, tie outs were not deployed correctly due to being surrounded by cement) There were some tweaks made to the tie downs, but they only made it simpler to hang up and take down. We used a no knots approach, by using prusik knots on zing-it line for the tie outs and along the ridgeline (later cut this ridgeline in two) to center the Nubé between the trees with Dutch flyz to secure the line around the trees. These changes were a personal choice, which made any adjustment much easier. We found that if we could find a stick to hang the Nubé high enough there was enough room to hang both hammocks and store a pack in the Gear Stash below. When this was not feasible due to no sticks, tree being too small or tree having low branches, we hung the pack with an "s" hook to the EZSling Suspension Strap inside the Nubé and then strapped the waist and chest down to the Pares Hammock at the foot end. The zipper pulls (the rope attached to plastic pulleys on the zippers) pulled off the zippers, we just knotted the ends together creating a better and lighter zipper pull. We also attached a small push light that we hung from the inside black triangle pocket of the Nubé for those late night searches of snacks, water, or a warm pair of socks.... this little light is a permanent fixture for our Nubé and rolls up with it perfectly.
The Pares and xPlor Hammock
Pares Hammock (Val’s): The Pares Hammock is a very nice sized hammock and allowed enough fabric to shield from the streetlights and vending machines when sleeping, when clipped into the Nubé as shown online (works best when laying in center of hammock) or, just fold the extra fabric over your head to protect your eyes (this method works best when laying diagonally) The Pares hammock is quite large, allowing enough room to lie diagonally. We both slept in this hammock twice when we did not have enough energy to hang both hammocks or knew that we would be sopping wet when climbing in to sleep; it was comfortable even with both of us sprawled across it.
xPlor Hammock (Ash’s): The xPlor Hammock was a perfect secondary hammock. At the beginning, I wished it was slightly wider, (so it would be possible to lay straight in the hammock and be somewhat protected from those pesky mosquitos, or sunlight when we opted not to hang the Nubé) but then was happy that it was more compactable and weighed a lot less than the Pares hammock. The color was perfect for blending into our surroundings. The xPlor hammock was also the perfect length for being able to hang hambunks. I was totally hidden at all times; they never expected a second person to be in this set-up. The only thing I had to watch out for is, if we tied the Nubé down in more of an A frame style for rain, I would need to place a part of my sleeping bag over an edge of my hammock to avoid condensation from forming in my airtight sleeping quarters.
EZSlings (Hammock Suspension Straps)
EZSlings: These were fantastic hammock suspension straps, since we just had to wrap them around some chosen trees and clip the hammocks on; they get high marks from us! The only thing we would change is to have more figure 8 knots closer together to provide more options, as we regularly had to use extenders (Amsteel blue rope made into a 6” circumference continuous loop) to make the xPlor hammock as flat as possible (sometimes taking the two of us to pull on the xPlor in order to clip the carabiner on) and have the Pares hammock the correct distance apart to allow sleeping in comfort for both Val and I. If the trees were 13' apart the extender was not needed, if 14, 15 or more... it was needed. Without the extender, Val was either, straddling me as I hung too low, or she was hanging too low, causing the netting to be too tight against her body. With this small adjustment, we could hang perfectly every time! Extra knots on the EZSllings would cure this issue for those wanting to hambunk and use the Gear Stash. Only had to use 1 set of EZSlings for the pair of us in our hammocks as well as any weight we put in the Gear Stash.
We LOVE this set up! We will be selling the tent we purchased prior to finding this perfect home away from home. We found it very hard to spend money on a hotel when we knew we would sleep horribly on a bed or ground (compared to our hammocks). Val is now looking for a way to hang her hammock up at home, unconventional....yes! But a convert! We highly recommend this Navigator hammock system. It was set up 42 of those 49 days we were in Japan! Using SMr's hammock system allowed us to see more of the country and its people, avoided looking for and booking hotels (more time for sightseeing), saved money and slept so much more soundly that each day we awoke we were refreshed and ready for a new adventure!
Follow this Adventure Story from the beginning! "Urban Camping Across Japan - Week 1"