View Full Version : Hammock Camper's Unite!

SGT Rock
2003-01-14, 22:40
There are more and more of us out there. Hennessy, Clark, Speer, Crazy Crib, etc. Hammocks are either a fad, or the wave of the future, time will tell.

I figure since there is a newsletter out there, a book, a few web sites springing up, and other new hammock related stuff, might as well have out own forum.

2003-01-15, 13:52
Having a distinct hammock thread/group/sub-group is a great idea. There is a TREMENDOUS amount of hammock information out there on different web sites, groups, newsletters, manufacturer/vendor sites, etc.

Hopefully this will give us a place to share the information we dig up.

I just got my HH Expedition close-out last week. I've set it up in the back yard but haven't had it out in the field yet. I also need to come up with an insulator/reflector solution. I have a foam/foil windshiled reflector I'll probably try first along with my fleece bag and/or 40 degree bag (hey, I live in Florida!!).

If they still offer it the Hennessey folks were offering a great deal on the "old" Expedition model $89.00 close-out and this included a set of "snakeskins" -- I just called them up, ordered, payed via card, and it arrived about 5 days later.

I'm really looking forward to using my hammock and getting out this next season -- work currently sucks, we've all had colds over the last month, etc., etc., so I'm looking for some downtime out in the field!


2003-01-15, 21:20
Hammocks Rule !! Except in the Winter

2003-01-16, 23:56
The hammock is the most intrigueing artifact that I have found in 30 years of section hiking. I am so enamored by it (I have the Backpack A-sym Hennessy) that I will not accept a cold defeat and I am sure many other hammock users are pursuing solutions to cold weather. I have posted on this site and at Whiteblaze.net my angle of approach to this problem and when my 'underquilt' is completed and deployed I will report my results.

SGT Rock
2003-01-17, 09:18
I just got Ed Speer's book and started reading it. I can't wait to get to the cold weather stuff because in the front he talks about always being warm and dry even in the northern states on his thru-hike.

2003-01-17, 13:55
Next weekend a few co workers and myself are going to North GA. I haven't used my HH outside of FL before. I hadn't planned adding anything to my hammock for winterization. I am using a 0 deg bag with a Mtn Hardware bivy and I generally sleep in midweight GI polypro top and bottom. In your expereince do you think that the bag alone being theoretically overrated ( it was very warm in 25 deg last year in a tent without bivy)along with a VBL bivy will be sufficient ?

Btw your site is one of the most informative sites I have encountered.


2003-01-17, 14:06
Bret ..when I got my HH I was still living in Georgia so most of my early winter experience was in the North GA mountains. My bag rating was never the issue. I have a 10 degree DryLoft covered down bag that kept the top side of everything warm as toast. The problem is that the bag gets pressed against the hammock on the bottom side and the thermal transfer from outside to inside is very efficient (bad thing). I tried every combination of insulator mentioned on the various webites and list services and came to the conclusion (maybe prematurely) that hammocks and me were better suited to the warmer temps. About the only success (and semi-comfortable nights) I had in weather below 30 degrees was when I used an inflatable pad and a windshield reflector INSIDE my sleeping bag. If left outside the bag I would often wake up and find the mat laying on top of me and doing absolutely no good. I gave the hammock a good run for its money and still believe it is the most comfortable shelter I had ever tried ...but only in the warmer months. I continue to read with great interest the many experiments underway to make the hammock a suitable winter shelter but so far the effort that goes into those adapations hasn't convinced me to change my opinion.

2003-01-17, 14:16
That is what I figured was the case. I do have room in the bivy between the bag and sack to insert some form of insulation. I was going to use this as a contingency I was considering adding a fleece blanket cut to fit. Cutting a lightweight pad isn't out of the question either.


SGT Rock
2003-01-17, 15:46
I have a 15* F (based on their site) Nunatack Backcountry Blanket. I've taken it down to 26* F with some wind and 75%-100% humidity (freezing rain) it worked using a 24" wide, 1/2" thick Army surpluss closed cell foam pad and a truck windscreen sunshield. I think to go colder I would need another pad since at that temp I noticed a cool spot starting to form under my shoulders.

2003-01-17, 19:06
I have an ultra light 3/4 length thermarest here that I planned on using. The nice thing is I can secure it between the bag and bivy so it won't slide around. I hate to add another pound though.


2003-01-17, 19:10
That's what I used ...a 3/4 ultra-light thermarest. Nice because it doesn't cover too much of the velcro closure of the hammock. Makes getting in and out a lot easier.

2003-01-17, 19:13
I'll give it a shot and let everyone know how it went.


2003-01-23, 23:28
Sgt. Rock and all of you have convinced me to buy a hammock.

I just bought one from Tom Hennessy,
he was very nice on the phone.

Can't wait to try it out!

SGT Rock
2003-01-23, 23:47
Tom is great. Ed Speer is very nice too.

2003-01-30, 18:09
I just got the latest copy of Backpacker Magazine, the gear review & listing issue.
I opened it up and looked for the listing of hammocks and low and behold- NONE!
That's right, not a single hammock listed.
Then I noticed that all the pictures had no trees. I don't want to camp where there are no trees.

2003-01-30, 18:13
Personally I think it's all about "advertising". Thems that have the advertising bucks get the coverage. It's the same in all industries ...not just backpacking.

2003-01-30, 18:39
I fired off an email to Jonathan Dorn for leaving out hammock campers.
The photos were (I assume) were all western sites - no trees.

So they overlooked:
hammock campers,
tree lovers,
& low impact campers!

2003-02-02, 09:50
Humans aren't the only ones taking to Hammock campinghttp://www.nwhikers.net/forums/uploads/post-4-59928-polarbear.jpg

SGT Rock
2003-02-02, 11:24
Ed Speer has started a hammock Camping Newsletter, maybe it could morph into a hammock camping mag eventually.

2003-02-02, 22:08

2003-02-04, 10:36
Ah-h-h, the magnificent, un-sung, perks of owning a Hennessy Hammock!

I have this one horrible affliction! Have had, all my life. Perhaps others of you can relate.

Just as I reach the point of immense comfort, and am falling off to sleep - that "insanity-producing ITCH" begins. You know the one. The one right in the center of your back - just below your shoulder blades - in the "one" spot on your anatomy, that no normal human-being can reach - especially in a hammock - alone! One night, a few weeks ago, shortly after I got my Henneesy, I was entering my "bed-womb", when the hook-side of the entry-hatch Velcro, slid sensuously down my bare back, like ten-thousand tiny, passionate, finger-nails . Gawd!, it was good! I immediately grabbed the two ends of the 'cro strip - towel-after-a-shower-fashion - and began raking my entire back, vigerously. It was heavenly! This has now become a nightly ritual, prior to hitting the sack, and I'll swear - sometimes my leg starts pumping like a dog's, when you scratch his belly.

I think I'm in love!

There is one drawback, with the Velcro, though. The outside of my left thigh is nearly rubbed raw from lifting my legs into the mock. I'm gonna have to do something about that.

SGT Rock
2003-02-04, 10:39
My god, you really are a bear.

2003-02-04, 12:49
Bed Womb? I've also heard it called a "Womb with a view":D

2003-02-04, 13:50
My Hennessey is the place I can curl up into the fetal embryo position and feel right at home...I guess you could say its womberful.

2003-02-08, 20:35
Got my Hennessy Hammock in the mail yesterday. I can't wait to try it outside.
I set it up in work and they all had to see it & try it.
It packs even smaller than I thought.

2005-07-13, 12:23
I am working on a hybrid. Since the bottom half of my sleeping bag is practically useless, I am going to ditch it and replace it with a fleece/reflector combo. That way it will all be one unit and hard to slip off. Any feedback?

2005-07-13, 20:09

You are on the right track to cut your bag down to what effectively is a quilt...Recommend you consider insulating the outside of the hammock bottom. It is extremely efficient and way more comfortable and less hassle than than windshield reflectors, pads and/or fleece parts inside the hammock....but then I'm biased.


2005-07-14, 15:58
I understand where you're coming from, pp. But, I don't really have the $200+ to go that route, and I don't really do anything before May so I don't really need anything that extreme. Besides, we've gotten rained on a few times and I would lose more sleep worrying about the down underquilt than if a few bucks on an experiment got wasted.

2005-07-14, 21:54
I am working on a hybrid. Since the bottom half of my sleeping bag is practically useless, I am going to ditch it and replace it with a fleece/reflector combo. That way it will all be one unit and hard to slip off. Any feedback?
You might want to use your sleeping bag as a quilt, most hammockers do that unless it gets cold enough to want to be zipped up in a bag. If you use it as a quilt you will use most of the bag on top of you and I don't think you would want to do anything to the bottom half of the bag.

Some hammockers were using the fleece/reflector como a few years ago but the ones I new that were doing that went on to other arrangements. For the amount of warmth you get with fleece, it is heavy and bulky. The reflective stuff has not proven to be particularly effective for hammocks, I think you get more warmth for the weight with closed cell foam. Most of what I see folks doing these days are underquilts/peapods or two layer hammocks with insulation sandwiched between the layers or hammocks with insulation sewn-in or sleeping bags with pad sleeves (aka Big Agnes) or laying on pads that are wide enough (the new Speer Segmented Pad Extender greatly helps in this, but like Pan with his underquilts, I am biased).