View Full Version : snakeskins

2003-01-24, 12:28
hi all, here's a copy of a post i submitted on "lite gear talk" at backpacking.net yesterday. thought this might be a good place to post it also:

yesterday i received snakeskins for my hh ultalight a-sym. i set it up and tried them (over both the hammock and the fly) per sgt. rocks directions, but i was always left with a wad of hammok in the middle. it just seems that the skins were a little too short and narrow.

since i am usually more concerned with ease of packing than bulk, i sent them back to exchange for the larger ones.

anyone have any similar experience, and how did you deal with it?

ps. as always the hh people were very pleasant to deal with. peterock.

SGT Rock
2003-01-24, 12:55
I din't really have this problem, but what I did was collapse the hooks for the fly to the edge of the hammock material. The problem I initiall had was as I cloes it up, there was a huge "lump" of fabric. I had to work on making sure the hammock was wrapped as evenly as possible before pulling the snakeskins over, then I had enough overlap left to close the hammock in well.

2003-01-24, 21:50
I also have a problem with a lump in the middle. No matter how I try to fold the hammock I can't seem to get the whole thing in. I didn't coomplain though, I got the snakeskins for free as a deal. I just stuff the bunch in the middle into the stuff bag first, then coil the snakes in after it.

2003-02-12, 11:55
I used the shock-cord guy lines for the hammock to bundle everything up before pulling on the snake skins. This reall helped with the lum in the middle.

2003-02-12, 15:48
I have been using home-made hammock tubes similar to the snake skins. Regarding the lump in the middle, I just start stuffing the lump into the second snakeskin (The one I am intending to bring over the first) with my fingers... just like stuffing the last of a silnylon tarp in a small stuff sack. When all the extra is stuffed inside, the rest of the "snake skin" is easy to draw over the first skin.

2003-02-12, 18:52
Same as jumpngeorge - When I first tried the SnakeSkins, my comment was, "No bloody way!" Then, I gathered up the center of the hammock around the ridge-line, brought the shock-cord back to the center, and began spiraling it toward the tie-rope. sliding the bulk along, as I wrapped, cinching the shock-cord under itself, at the end. Then did the same thing with the other side. The Skins then slid easily to the center, and overlapped. Haven't had a problem, since.

Colonel Corn
2003-02-21, 16:28
Check out Shane's webpage on using the Snakeskins (in fact, wander around his whole site, it's got some useful tips). Here's the URL:

2003-03-21, 14:19
How long do snakeskins normally take to ship? I ordered my hammock and 'skins two weeks ago; I got the hammock in about 5-6 days but still (~14 days later) haven't gotten the skins. Still don't know what logic is behind shipping them separately from the hammock.

2003-03-21, 16:55
cldphoto - I had exactly the same problem. After about three weeks, I emailed Hennessy, and Ann priority mailed another set. Those came in a few days, and the first ones that had been sent, came a few days later. There were 6 postal marks, from six different places in the U.S., before they finally got to me in central Pennsylvania. It had taken 23 days from the day they mailed them from BC.

Colonel Corn
2003-03-21, 18:26
I ordered my hammock separately from the skins (before I knew what great things skins were). So I don't know if they're always shipped separately when ordered together. But, my skins came in a little less than 2 wks from when I ordered them. They came 1st class mail & I didn't notice a lot of postal routing on them. I have had a few things from Canada make funny delays. Things ordered from the same people on two different days taking a week or more difference in order to get to me in CT. Some of it has to do with customs I suspect.

I love my skins though.

The other mod I just made (will test this weekend) was to change the canopy's tie-outs. Someone on a Yahoo group suggested using slingshot rubber tubing to create a self-tensioning tarp. (I've attached a pic of this that I was sent to explain what he was talking about.)

What I did was take a Wrist Rocket's replacement rubber tubes ($5 Wal-Mart) and peeled them off the leather cup. Then I attached one to each of the tie-out rings on the canopy. I took the string that was tied to the rings, untied them and slipped them into a 1/4"x1" nylon spacer (65 cents for 2 @ Home Depot), knotted them and then slipped each spacer into one of the rubber tubes. Now I have two strings attached to the canopy that have a "spring" as part of their linkage. I'm told that when tied out these will keep the tarp tensioned as the wind blows, rain falls, and I roll around. I'm taking it out on a trip this weekend that has some rain and wind forecast so I'll see how well they work.


2003-03-29, 12:20
It shows how to use the snakeskins & tie the knot- it really helped me do it right the first time. Took my HH out onto the AT yesterday for a short day hike & used it for a lunch time nap. Its perfect.

2003-03-29, 15:37
Just a few notes after my first trip with my HH...The tighter the hammock is tied up, the easier it is to put on the snakeskins. They even overlap several inches in the middle...

I stored the rainfly in the stuff sack. I used it both as a pack cover and temporary shelter in the rain.

2003-03-29, 16:05
I made snakeskins for my expedition out of a scrap peice of ripstop nylon (coated), and it is a very tight fit to fit both the fly and hammock toghether. Maybe taking off the fly 1st, then slipping on the snakeskins would work alot better. Storing the fly somewhere else would increase your chances of fitting just the hammock in one of those little pockets in the side of ur pack for quick access;). And becuase the snakeskins are waterproof, they would still protect the hammock during setup. SO you would tie it up, put on the fly, guy out the fly, and take off the snakeskins. You would have to have the snakeskins bunched up between the fly attachment and the hammock itself, but that seems to be ok. Im going to go outside right now in the rain and try it.


And Colonel Corn, any luck with your fly?

2003-03-29, 23:53
Originally posted by brian
And becuase the snakeskins are waterproof, they would still protect the hammock during setup. SO you would tie it up, put on the fly, guy out the fly, and take off the snakeskins. You would have to have the snakeskins bunched up between the fly attachment and the hammock itself, but that seems to be ok. Im going to go outside right now in the rain and try it.


And Colonel Corn, any luck with your fly?

That totally works... I did it that way on my trip.

2003-03-30, 13:57
Yes, it worked quite well. Didnt get wet at all.


Colonel Corn
2003-03-31, 13:30
Well, I've used the HH in windy weather with the new rubber tubing (see post above) on the tie-outs and it really does keep the fly from flapping as it stretches out during the night/rain. I tied it off with some extension on the tubing so as it moved in the night the tubing took up the slack.

I've also switched from the black nylon line that was attached to the fly to bright flourescent yellow mason's twine (nylon). The black line is too hard to see at night so I (or my camp mates) would trip over the lines (or when I had the fly tied out high we'd run into the line with our faces). I've left the black shockcord line for the hammock alone although I've tied a few loops of the yellow line on each just to flag where they are.

Not sure why folks have a problem with snakeskins. I reach under the hammock to grab the rear fly pulling it toward me and start rolling it up towards the suspension line. This keeps the hammock dry and when I reach the line I slide the snakeskin down to where I am (I start rolling about 25% of the way down the hammock from the head so I'm doing 1/2 of a 1/2). Then I moved to the center and finished rolling the first half of it and slid the skin down to the mid-point of the hammock. Repeat on the other end and it's done. I don't end up with the big bulge that Shane shows in his pictures and I'm not having any problem getting the hammock & fly into the skins. (I'm using an Ultralight Asym.)

I also tie mine high (the tree straps about even with the top of my head) and tight. This is higher than most folks but it means I can tie the fly out horizontally for a nice overhang until I'm ready to hit the sack when I tie it down lower. I have to stand on tiptoes & kind of fall back into the hammock rather than sitting down into it but the convenience of having the tall fly is worth the stretch.


2003-03-31, 14:22
Finally (!) got my 'skins and was able to install them quite easily. I actually set up my hammock inside, one side tied to the coffee table leg, the other to one of the kitchen table chairs, and was able to install the skins pretty easily. No fuss, no muss, and no giant bulge in the middle. Looking foward to putting these into practice in the field.

2003-03-31, 14:29
I have an Explorer Ultralite A-Sym and don't have a problem with the snakeskins, I think people are afraid to roll the hammock tightly, don't be, it won't break and you don't wear it, so a few wrinkles won't matter.

Colonel Corn
2003-03-31, 14:43
Just a hint -- whip stich some kind of bright nylon/poly thread around the ring on the far end of one snakeskin or the other. I used bright yellow nylon thread and whipstiched the small end of the foot end skin. Now I know which end is which when I pull it out of my pack without needing to set it up first. Any kind of marking is good, I just figured stiching the far end doesn't hamper its waterproofness nor does it add any discernible weight and it's not likely to come off.