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View Full Version : Re: Hennessey hammock, Clarke Jungle Hammock



Verlager
2004-08-16, 18:57
Having had a slight mishap [http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=911] in a Hennessey Hammock Explorer Deluxe Asym (HH), I decided to try a Clarke jungle hammock.

I have a love-hate relationship with both of these hammocks. Each was conceived and engineered as a somewhat unique and generally original product. Neither product is perfect. Tom Hennessey is an industrial designer, so his products are, as expected, more innovative, cutting edge, and not based on existing or old WWII hammock design. Probably, more sensible, correct, and original thinking went into the design and manufacture of the Hennessey Hammock than into the old school, low-tech Clarke jungle hammock.

The HH was fun at first, I really liked it, but, compared to the CJH, it is just too flimsy, unstable and temperamental for me, probably because I weigh 285 lbs. and am 55 years old. However, I look forward to trying the new insulating and weatherproofing enhancements to the Hennessey hammock. I will use it on hikes because it is light, and relatively fool proof.

The Clarke Jungle Hammock is more traditional design, impossible to tip, warmer, but a lot heavier, less rain resistant, and a more complex affair to rig. The rainfly is difficult (for me) to rig. Rig too loose and you lose the bug-net height and profile. Rig too tight and the cheap bungee cords break (designed that way, like the 50-cent fuse that blows to save the $100 TV) or the connection points tear. The design is 2nd rate and suspect. I don't really want to diddle with a marginal, finicky design of a hammock when I'm hiking miles from home in Hell's half acre or out where Jesus lost his sandals. I want reliability and a bomb-proof design.

Also, I don't use the supplied Clarke Jungle Hammock rainfly, which I regard as another kludge to the overall bad design. Instead I simply attach the toy bungee cords (which add an upper profile) to a 6' length of utility cord http://hikinghq.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=155&stc=1 to the main support ropes on either side. I use Canadian Robert Chisnall's (Canadian climber) adjustable loop on the hammock side, and Blake's Hitch (an arborist slide and grip ascending knot) on the outboard side.

Blake's Hitch Pic #1 http://www.iland.net/~jbritton/blakeshitch.htm Pic #2 http://storrick.cnchost.com/VerticalDevicesPage/Ascender/KnotPages/KnotBlakes.html

But, temperature permitting, I pitch my Clarke JH nightly in my back yard and sleep comfortably until it rains, then I go back into the house. :rolleyes: The Clarke JH lends itself to experimental rigging methods, if you like replacing bungee cords and support ropes, "tricking out" your hammock (similar to adding lights, beefier shocks/suspension and bed liners to your pickup trick). I wove a 2' length of cordage thru each gathered end of the hammock bed, tied the cord ends together (Zeppelin bend), and popped a carabiner on, pic: http://hikinghq.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=97&stc=1. Then I replaced the support ropes (three-strand poly) with longer, quality nautical cordage. More modularity is better, I think. And, of course, I added super-long (4') cords to the inboard zipper pulls to facillitate zipping the mosquito netting and weather shield 1/2 way up to reach of hand with my foot. (Too much major moving around in a hammock is unwise.)

When using the Clarke Jungle Hammock, I also incorporate the Hennessy Hammock Lashing Method, but, instead of tying to a tree wrap, I tied to a carabiner, which is must faster and takes only about 20 secs. http://hikinghq.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=99&stc=1

On the Hennessey Hammock, the original supplied tree wraps are fine, and available in various widths and lengths. I bought 25' of 1" black nylon webbing, cut it to desired length, and fuse burned the ends. I added a loop ( just a slip knot with a follow-thru) to each end, and clipped these runners to the anchor trees with a D carabiner, etc.

youngblood
2004-08-19, 11:05
Verlager,

There are several fine backpacking hammocks available and some are more suited to an individual's preferences than others. The designers typically make assumptions as to what kind of conditions the hammock will be used in and tailor the design accordingly. And there are folks who like to tinker with designing their own gear... even hammocks. I'm thinking that you may be one of those. Have fun with it and good luck.

Youngblood

SGT Rock
2004-08-19, 11:33
I'm interested to why you found the Hennessy more unstable. I found the Clark more unstable. Also, while I never tipped a Clark and didn't really try, they are not impossible to tip - there was a couple of posts by people on other boards that got into them too fast and ended up on the ground - one with his dinner all over him since he had planned to sit down and eat on his Clark. I tend to agree about the Clark tarp and ropes. I would probably change a few things on the Clark myself.

Pappyhighlife
2004-08-19, 15:04
Hey Verlager,

I'am about your age and weight, I Duc tape my poncho liner inside, then me and my bag go in. I like sleeping on my side, and found as long as I don't use a pad, I can sleep on my side and roll over with no problem at all. Sometimes the tape will give, but the poncho liner just falls on my bag. I have had the liner bunch up but not often. Normally when im taking that 3AM 50 sumthin
wizzzzzzzzzz break.

I really like the carabiner engineering. Seems the best PIC for set up always has big tree's and I have strained my wrap in the past. But your adaptation may well resolve that problem.

This summer in the Carolina's has been very very stormy and my fly has failed twice. After a long day of hiking in the rain, I returned to camp looking forward to jumping in the HH. Low and behold rain had been dripping into the HH and had puddled on my liner, however my bag was dry so all was not lost.
Closer inspection revealed the fly was slightly ajar, and I mean slightly.
So that was operator error.

The second time the wind and rain was so strong it just blew in, that was a tuff night! I winter camped once with the HH, and until we find a way to keep it toasty, I won't do it again.

Good luck, Pappy

Verlager
2004-08-20, 03:06
I'm interested to why you found the Hennessy more unstable. I found the Clark more unstable. Also, while I never tipped a Clark and didn't really try, they are not impossible to tip - there was a couple of posts by people on other boards that got into them too fast and ended up on the ground - one with his dinner all over him since he had planned to sit down and eat on his Clark. I tend to agree about the Clark tarp and ropes. I would probably change a few things on the Clark myself.
In a hammock, the camper is ahead of the game: off the deck, away from rocks and roots and bugs, etc., and supported nicely. Maybe a few inconveniences are worth all these advantages.

I found the Hennessy more unstable because the nylon bed is slipperier than the Clarke Jungle Hammock which has a different and heavier nylon weave. You can tip a Clarke Jungle Hammock, but it has a built-in "keel" :captain: that the HH lacks. You can spin forever in a HH, but not in a CJH.

Also, since my "accident" in the HH, when I lay in it, exit slit at bottom right, the right side of the hammock has a higher bed profile than the left side. On the left side, the point at which the bug net meets the bed is lower by a foot than on the right side. IMHO, they should be even. I suspect I screwed up the hammock, twisted the support ropes or something. But I can't fix it.

FWIW, in the HH, I would have preferred a zipper access point over the supplied velcro closure, which gets dirty. I would add a 4' cord to the zipper closure with a loop on it and it would be just fine.

Verlager
2004-08-20, 04:22
Hey Verlager,

I'am about your age and weight, I Duc tape my poncho liner inside, then me and my bag go in. I like sleeping on my side, and found as long as I don't use a pad, I can sleep on my side and roll over with no problem at all. Sometimes the tape will give, but the poncho liner just falls on my bag. I have had the liner bunch up but not often. Normally when im taking that 3AM 50 sumthin
wizzzzzzzzzz break.

...............

Good luck, Pappy
OK, I want to try it, sounds like a worthwhile idea. However, I have an ID sil-nylon $40 poncho that would tear if I did that. I'm guessing that you have a military poncho. Where can I get one of similar materials and construction? Also, I told myself that I would quit camping if it ever got too weird, like carrying around a roll of duct tape.

Although the Hennessey hammock camper enjoys many advantages (off the deck, away from rocks and roots and bugs, etc., and supported nicely) all of that becomes moot when you have two liters of water in the hammock or sleeping bag. It can even sour your pleasant disposition. To keep my senses sharp, I would prefer to be dry and warm and content, rather than wet and stinky and clammy and uncomfortable, because one never knows what emergency might pop up. :rolleyes:

I think the rainfly design is flawed. Sure, it looks good on paper: an asymetrical rainfly covering a similarly shaped hammock. But, in the real world, where wind blows, the design fails to keep the occupant dry. And yeah, I can sort of adjust to being wet, but this is a compromise that I don't want to make. BTW, Hennessey hammock offers a 10' x 12' hex fly for $129, a prototype of which I acquired.

The HH hammock design can be made more versatile by retrofitting an "UnderCover and UnderPad" to the original hammock, for $129, a bit pricey. A review might convince me that it has $130 of labor and materials in it. I would prefer an interesting $60 solution from an industrial designer, such as Tom Hennessey is. (he's a pro, expect good things from him)

Pappyhighlife
2004-08-20, 12:37
I found the Poncho liner at Brigade Quarter Master, about 30-40.00
My son did get the larger fly but have not used yet. We shall see.
As for the tape, it's great stuff. Million different uses. Great for late night repairs or in lieu of moleskin for those pesky sore feet. You can get clear tape as well.

Good hunting

Verlager
2004-08-22, 01:00
Pappyhighlife, is this the product: http://www.actiongear.com/cgi-bin/tame.exe/agcatalog/level4s.tam?xax=4521&M5COPY%2Ectx=8030&M5%2Ectx=3186&M2%5FDESC%2Ectx=Ponchos%2C%20Insulated%20Poncho%20 Liners&level3%2Ectx=results%2Etam&query%2Ectx=poncho%20liner&backto=%2Fagcatalog%2Fresults%2Etam

Pappyhighlife
2004-08-23, 10:11
Actually,this is better than mine. I just have the G.I. liner (PON103) 24.99
The one you are looking at is almost a pound lighter. Slightly larger as well.
If you buy it please let me know how you like or dislike it.

Pappy

SGT Rock
2004-08-23, 10:15
I have a GI issue poncho liner and the thinsulate liner. The GI liner weighs about 20 ounces, and my thinsulate liner is about 24 ounces. The dimensions are slightly differemt, but I can't remember them off the top of my head. The thinsulate liner is actually slightly thicker than my issue liner.

cldphoto
2004-08-24, 07:38
Hey Verlager,

I Duc tape my poncho liner inside, then me and my bag go in. I like sleeping on my side, and found as long as I don't use a pad, I can sleep on my side and roll over with no problem at all. Sometimes the tape will give, but the poncho liner just falls on my bag. I have had the liner bunch up but not often.


Pappy,

I'm having trouble visualizing what you're talking about here. Where do you tape your poncho liner? What does it do for you? Every time I've camped with my HH, I've just used a bag, or sometimes put a pad under my bag. A few times it was warm enough to use my poncho liner sack (sewed two togeher to make a really light bag), but other than that I haven't used a poncho liner in my HH.

Pappyhighlife
2004-08-24, 10:33
Well, I use it when it's chilly not cold or if it's very damp outside. It gives some insulation. Plus I turn better as the liner is slick and my nylon outer bag
has less drag. But mainly for that insulation.
I stand in the entrance fold and position the liner at the top and upper sides of the HH.The liner does cover the entrance so that is never taped.
Then I make "T" strips with the tape (holds better) at the top and just below the netting. It's just comfortable.........