Q. Dear Gear Guy, I have been looking for an affordable camping hammock that I can use in all seasons, preferably under $200. Any suggestions?
— Hammock Harry, Merrimack, N.H.
A. I love camping in a hammock, too. It’s tough to camp on hard ground after you’ve spent a night sleeping up off the roots and rocks. Check out the Scout Classic from Hennessy Hammocks. It’s priced right at $100 and is a good-quality basic camping hammock with built-in mosquito netting and a detachable rain fly. It’s lightweight too, at just 2 lbs., 10 oz., and fits inside a stuff sack about the size of a bag of potato chips. This might not be the best choice for winter camping, though. During the winter the ground itself provides much-needed insulation, while the thin nylon bottom of the hammock lets the cold air zap away your body heat much more quickly. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are definitely ways to do winter-hammock camping right (including layering a sleeping pad and down winter bag inside your hammock), but you really have to be well prepared.