View Full Version : Hennessy In The Rain

2005-07-14, 19:15
I just ordered the Hennessy Ultralight Asym for camping in rain country. We get about 180 inches a year. I ordered the standard rather than oversize fly, due to weight considerations.

Anyone with experience camping in these in the rain have any comments or suggestions?


2005-07-14, 21:38
I just ordered the Hennessy Ultralight Asym for camping in rain country. We get about 180 inches a year. I ordered the standard rather than oversize fly, due to weight considerations.

Anyone with experience camping in these in the rain have any comments or suggestions?

Dave180 inches! That sounds like a lot, you might be better off in a canoe with a rain cover. :biggrin:


2005-07-14, 21:40
Yeah, we all have webbed feet....

2005-07-14, 22:52
Wow, that is a lot of rain, where are you?

I've spent plenty of time in my Hennessey Expedition 2.5 (I upgraded to the Explorer Ultralight this year) and have endured many thuderstorms in it with the standard fly.
The trick is to tighten down the fly, leaving some ventilation, on the windward side. Also, try to have the storm come at you from the side rather than the head-end or foot-end. If the head is pointing a bit into the wind then pull the fly up toward the head and cinch it down near to the tie-line.
I have lived dry and comfortable during some really powerful storms. Water, a few snacks, and a good book are you'll I need to ride it out.

2005-07-14, 23:01
...The trick is to tighten down the fly, leaving some ventilation, on the windward side. ...I don't use that setup but I think you said that wrong... didn't you mean "leaving some ventilation, on the leeward side"?


Rage in a Cage
2005-07-17, 01:27
Dave, I set my fly and hammock up basically like Greg does, with the noted correction that Youngblood has pointed out. I generally store the rainfly separate from the hammock so I can set it up as a shelter if needed without having the hammock in the way. This also helps to keep the hammock dry during setup in the rain.
I just got home today from a trip to Augusta county and it was one of the rainiest and stormiest trips I have ever used my Hennesy hammock on. There was rain every day except today.
The worst storm was two days ago. I heard the thunder in the distance and it sounded like it was going to be a bad storm. I decided to stop and set up before the storm arrived. This proved to be a very smart move as it rained very hard for about 4 hours with the first couple hours being the worst. The lightning seemed to be striking every single tree as the storm moved over. There was almost no pause between the strikes.
When I returned home I checked the rainfall amounts for that storm. The National weather service said the storm dropped 6 inches of rain in the first three hours. All total there had been over 9 inches of rain for the four days that I was there with a total of 7.5 inches recorded for that one storm.
I had no problems staying dry in the hammock even though the wind was not always blowing in the same direction. My biggest concern was that the lightning might strike a nearby tree and send limbs or large portions of the tree flying onto the hammock. I was thankful that I put the extra time into searching for a sight that didn't have any widowmakers and was not near the run (upper Ramseys Draft)that I had been hiking along.
I have used my hammock in nurmerous rainstorms, including the above mentioned, and have yet to have a severe problem. I do reccomend that you experiment with it before you set out for the first overnight as setup at first can be a little trying until you get the hang of it. Good luck with your hammock and let us know how it works out.

2005-07-17, 19:17
I don't use that setup but I think you said that wrong... didn't you mean "leaving some ventilation, on the leeward side"?


Negative. I make sure the windward side has a bit of open space between the fly and bugnetting, say 1-2". The leeward side I have open by 12-24" since it's on the backside to the storm. This provides for more airflow and a bit of light.

2005-07-26, 16:56
As you can see this is my first post on the site, so if this question has already been answered and I missed it I apologize.

My question is that my buddy and I both purchased HH's and the first time out happened to be a rainy weekend. During that weekend my buddy's HH let a ton of water in during the night. Everything got soaked inside.

I feel that we had set the hammock setup correctly. What we thought happened was the water ran down the tree hit the cords and the water flowed down the cords into the foot of his hammock. My hammock was a little damp but nothing like his boat... I mean hammock.

Are the snake skins designed to put on the cords to hinder the h2o from getting inside?

Thanks in advance for your input.

2005-07-26, 18:40
I've been through some torrential thunderstorms in my Hennessy without it loading up with water. Was his head or foot-end pointing into the storm allowing for it to blow straight in? I don't believe enough water would run down the cords and jump the knot to flood the hammock.

2005-07-26, 20:17
Depending on the tree bark and your setup, a substantial amount of water can be re-directed from the tree to the bottom of your hammock. Tree Huggers largely correct this by creating a knot that sheds water. A very coarse bark like from a ponderosa pine shouldnt be a problem but aspen, with its smooth bark might be a problem.
"Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away", I slept in a GI hammock through the 3 month monsoon season in RVN. I never put my hanging line around a tree, prefering to tie a stake to the tree and then my hammock to the stake. Then, with my tarp over the end of the stakes, I stayed dry in downpours that literally floated my comrades air mattresses with them on them. (Well...Semi-dry, since it usually rained 3-4 times a day and about 4:00pm every afternoon and we didn't setup until 5-6:00pm, and everyone had to get up in the middle of the night to spend an hour or so next to a flooded guardhole for watch).
That's why I love camping so much now.
Your snakeskins will do nothing for keeping you dry while you're in your hammock.

2005-07-26, 21:12

First time huh... you sure your buddy had the tarp on correctly? There are a couple of things he could have done incorrectly. The long diagonal of the tarp goes along the ridgeline and the asymmetrical cut of the tarp has to match the asymmetrical cut of the hammock. Sometimes people don't notice all that and their tarp won't cover all of the hammock.


2005-07-27, 11:24

I am positive that we had the entire HH covered by the fly. The issue was the water ran down the cord into the foot of the hammock. It could have been that we had too much of the foot end exposed to the elements. We were under a pretty good canopy of trees and thought we'd be alright. When we went to bed the rain was falling straight down from the canopy of the trees. I don't know if the wind picked up during the night and drove it in at an angle. But our thought was that the water ran down the tree onto the cord and into the HH.

Thanks for the input thus far.

2005-07-27, 12:30

Okay, just checking. Most of the time we don't realize we're not doing it right because if we did we would change it.


2005-07-30, 12:06
Thanks for all the input...I managed to spend one night in my new HH last week, to try it out.

We didn't get any rain, so didn't get to test that aspect. I did freeze my backside at night, because I didn't use a pad.

In all, I guess I'd have to say it was a good test run, but I might need to experiment a bit with the setup. I didn't have all that comfortable of a night...



SGT Rock
2005-07-30, 12:34
Sweet! :D

2005-07-30, 21:32
Here are a couple more shots...





2005-07-31, 10:07

Nice photos....is it Kinsman area in the Green Mts?

Reference to the hammock photo...assuming the photo is shot level and that your up hill position is the approach to this camp, the visable tie out point indicates the left end is the foot end....If this is true it appears that the foot end is tied a little low...this can cause some sliding to the foot end, which often contributes to discomfort as well.

Also, the fly tieout corner really does not show....there appears to be a fine line above the fly going to the small branch on the left...i'm guessing that from the sag in the fly and that line, that it is tied to the branch. While the camera angle can be deceiving, if this is so, is it possible that the fly is reversed or up side down as some say?....The fly tieout and the hammock tieout must align for proper coverage.

Also With the fly secured to the hammock suspension line, I'm sure that you experienced some fly sag when you weighted or got into the hammock...Recommend tieing the fly direct to the trees that suspend the hammock. This is the easiest way to ensure a sag free fly/tarp....Alternatively, consider sling shot or shock cord line tensioners or hanging weights on the fly tieout corners to provide sag compensation and keep a taut cover....all the concern about sag is important, especially when the fly/tarp is tied out in a high position because pooling and then dumping will occur, which can cause problems especially if the wind picks up. Flapping will be an issue on otherwise dry nights if the wind picks up. Whichever fly/tarp angle you chose to pitch invariably it is best to make it a taut pitch.

All this said, I'm envious of such a great camp. And, as you said, no rain for your first test, so there may not have been any reason to optimize your fly/tarp.

Welcome to the hanging crowd....your photo is proof again of all the great sites availabe to those that chose to hang out.


2005-07-31, 13:06
Good post, thanks for your comments. I had halfway taken down the hammock and fly before I remembered to get a picture, so I hastily retied things just for the shot. For this reason, I won't go into much detail about what you can see in the picture, as far as troubleshooting.

Your points are helpful though, and I will definitely take them into consideration for next time.

I aligning the fly to the hammock is something I didn't spend enough time sorting out, so I'll focus on that a bit.

I'm going to re-read your post, as I didn't spend any time trying to figure out the setup. Going back to basics there is probably my best move. There's only so much instruction printed on the outside of the bag...

2005-07-31, 13:24

Glad you took the time to recapture the camp setting...It truely is a beautiful camp...We should all be so lucky.