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View Full Version : My Simple Hammock Hints...



hotelseven
2004-09-29, 15:30
Hello all...just thought Id post a couple things that I do with my Hennessy Hammock, to make life in a hammock a tad bit easier....

1. I have placed a wrap of silver duct tape on the "foot" end of the hammock main line. Since I have snakeskins for the hammock, this allows me to determine right away (without unravelling the snakeskins) which end of the hammock is which.

2. I use 2 small carabiners hung inside the hammock on the ridge line. This allows me to hang my flashlight(s), socks, etc and easilly unhook them, or slide them up and down the ridgeline. The hammock comes with 2 clasps but I find they are too small to work properly.

3. I purchased an oversized Hex shaped fly for the hammock. The fly is made by Hennessy and fits on any of the hammocks. It is considerably larger than the standard fly that comes with the hammock (Expedition Asym Model). It allows enough room underneath to sit, stand, cook, change, etc. It also fits inside the snakeskins so I dont have to take the tarp off to wrap up the hammock in the skins.

4. I replaced all of the guy-lines on the fly with reflective guy-lines (bought 50 feet for 5 bucks). I was always walking into the guy-lines and pulling them out of the ground, especially at night.

5. I bought 2 expandable poles (10 bucks each) that allow me to raise one side or the center of each side of the fly. It provides a better view out of the hammock and creates a sort of awning.

6. I measured the exact center of the hammock and marked it with a wrap of silver duct tape. I then placed a line level on that mark so I can determine right away if the hammock is level or not. I leave the level on the hammock, even when I wrap it up in the snakeskins.

7. I have tied a prusic knot on the end of each side of the hammock (main line). This allows me to hang a carabiner or two from each knot, and hang all my gear. I can slide the knot up or down the mainline, and either underneath or outside of the fly.

8. The Hex fly I purchased has a number of tie-out points on it. It makes it difficult to find which loop goes where. I colour coded the 2 main tie-outs with...you guessed it....silver duct tape. This allows me to quickly find the points of the fly that I need to attach to the fly-tensioners.

9. I have pre-tied several knots in the shock-corded anti-sway lines from the hammock. This allows me to quickly adjust the angle at which I stake out the lines (making the hammock fuller, or more swayish- if that is a word...)

10. I use a small piece of an old plastic tarp as a ground cover underneath the hammock. It is about 2 feet by 2 feet and provides just enough room to stand on and get in and out of the hammock.

These are all things that took no more than about 15 minutes total to put together. I personally find that they all make the hammock experience even more enjoyable and easy.

Just thought I'd share....

Enjoy!

SGT Rock
2004-09-29, 17:06
Cool ideas. It is all about making the gear work for you and customizing it. I put a prussic loop with a carabiner inside my larger hammock I use at work so I could clip my web gear in the space above my head and have it inside with me.

Verlager
2004-10-02, 02:05
http://home.rochester.rr.com/ksose/HH_prussik.jpgYeah, I dig your idea of extra loops on the main anchor ropes of the HH. This 4-wrap prussic pictured is a HH variant of the traditional ascending knot, with an extra tuck for security, and two bowlines tied into the ends for hanging things off of. BTW, a prussic loop is just a girth hitch with one or more extra inner wraps.

These little rope tricks don't work well with the HH internal ridge line, however. Better to use some form of plastic or metal cips on the ridgeline and let them slide along where they will, as hotelseven has done.

I do everything in the hammock by feel, without sight. I even pitch the hammock(s) in darkness and avoid using a flashlight. Using a flashlight seems unprofessional; it's use suggests that the hiker needs to be shown his/her gear continuously, like somebody else packed it. But, when you wake up in that hammock in the middle of the night, that flashlight will be completely useless; the object you seek will not be where you left it. Not trying to sound like a Special Forces wannabe, but use of a flashlight tells observers where you are, unless the light is not white. As a reserve, I have some cool LED (some 5 LED arrays) flashlights, but I rarely use them. Relax in the hammock and become aware of your environment; the sounds, smells, and breezes, are related and give you information. But not if you make a lot of noise or shine a flashlight all over!

Pappyhighlife
2004-10-04, 12:39
Hotelseven,

Great stuff. I will look into the bigger fly as well. BTW...think maybe you could, I mean if you have the time......to come by my house and help me
re-pack my gear. <<..>> Good job

bird dog
2004-10-04, 23:49
Im still a tent or "under the stars" camper (hiker trash to you guys I guess), but after reading all of the info about the Hennessy Hammock on here and the Hennessy website, Im almost a believer! Even with a relatively light weight tent (at least by tent standards), it looks like the Hennessy would shed around two pounds off my base pack weight. Thanks for all the info and suggestions on how to make the hammock better. You guys have pretty much sold me!

hotelseven
2004-10-05, 00:21
bird dog,

Trust me, you will not regret it. If you are like me and you get a sore, achy back after a couple nights on the hard ground, or even after a days paddling or hiking, you will love it. My back has never felt better since sleeping in the HH. With the asym model you can sleep on your side or back very comfortably. Probably my best gear purchase ever....

Pappyhighlife
2004-10-05, 12:44
Yo BD,

You gotta try the HH, A REAL SLEEPIN TREAT. It's a good three season system. Late fall it gets chilly, but they are working on that problem.

Need to come up with some off duty funding, and look at it.

The First Soldier should have stock in the company, as many sales they made from this site.
Well worth the money.

bird dog
2004-10-06, 02:54
Pappy and H7,
I slept in a cheap hammock when I was in the military and liked it. The only problem I encountered with it was always finding a spot to hang the thing. After a few times out, I traded it for a body bag with a ponch liner sewn inside. It was lighter than a sleeping bag (a bit chillier in cold weather) and much easier to compress in the limited space. I like the idea of setting the HH up as a tent in a pinch. Looks like I'm going to add it to my "Christmas List". Thanks for yall's input.

Curt
2004-10-06, 20:53
:smile:

What is the difference in wt. between the hex and the fly that comes with the ultralight backpacker hammock? What is the advantages and disavantages
of either fly? And last: I slept in my ultralight backpacker HH during my section hike last week but I did not experience any rain. Does the regular fly
keep you and the hammock dry when raining hard?

Thank you,

Corsican

Verlager
2004-10-06, 21:06
:smile:

What is the difference in wt. between the hex and the fly that comes with the ultralight backpacker hammock? What is the advantages and disavantages
of either fly? And last: I slept in my ultralight backpacker HH during my section hike last week but I did not experience any rain. Does the regular fly
keep you and the hammock dry when raining hard?

Thank you,

Corsican Our beloved Sgt. Rock swears that the standard HH rainfly is adequate and claims that he has kept dry in a tropical storm. My experience has been not so successful. I always got wet, if not drenched, if it rains. But, I always get wet, even in a Clarke Jungle Hammock, too. Seems that if the rain doesn't blow under the rainfly, then the condensation on the underside of the rainfly will get me anyway. That's why I use oversize rainflys.

Don't let my ineptitude dissuade anyone from enjoying hammock camping as the best and most secure sleep you'll ever have, though.

SGT Rock
2004-10-06, 21:47
If you are using the Hennessy Octagon fly, I think that thing is WAY too large unless you are hosting a jamboree under it. If you need some more protection with a more minimal weight gain, you could look at the MacCat Tarp that Brian makes. I tried one out and liked it. One Leg is using mine on the AT now.

brian
2004-10-06, 23:39
To reply to Sgt Rock's post, my current website is http://home.hvc.rr.com/outdoorequipment . This will VERY soon be replaced with www.outdoorequipmentsupplier.com, just have to get FrontPage extentions working with my host (Powweb, same host as Sarge, great service so far!)

Brian
OutdoorEquipmentSupplier

SGT Rock
2004-10-07, 09:04
Good luck with the business.

Curt
2004-10-07, 21:37
Sgt Rock,

Can you or any other hiker elaborate on how the 8'x8' hammock fly from Jacks R better compares with the MacCat fly from Brian?

Thank you,

Curt

SGT Rock
2004-10-08, 13:56
I haven't used the Jacks 'R Better tarp, but I saw one at Trail Days and it looks very similar to the original Hennessy tarp, just a little larger in total area and I think it was in a real square, not the Asym shape. If this is correct, then you will need another set of stakes to stake it out with the Asym since the hammock side stakes won't line up. I could be wrong on that though.

Brian's tarp uses a much beefier reinforced edge and tie out points than the original tarp and it has a nylon ridge line that won't stretch like a pure sil-nylon tarp will. With this arrangement, you may get some side sag, but not much. You will need 4 stakes for Brian's tarp since it is a cantilever 6 sided affair. I found I could still use two of the stakes as tie outs for the hammock sides when I used it. The benefit to this style of tarp is you get somewhat better side protection from blowing rain since the corners of this tarp extend below the bottom of the hammock when you lay in it.

I included some pictures.

Curt
2004-10-08, 16:31
:elefant:

Thank you for the information about the two type of tarps. It is greatly appreciated.

God bless,

Corsican

peter_pan
2004-10-08, 16:38
Curt and ALCON.

The Jacks R Better 8x8 tarp is different from the early model at last trail days. First the ridge or centerline is sewn on the daigonal, so it parallels the hammock ridge. Second it is a true square so it has all the flexibility of a traditional square when put to other uses. It also comes with 10 tyeouts, each corner,center each side and dead center on both sides. It can be staked with only two stakes and the hammocks side ties can go to the tarp corners or the same stakes quite nicely... When pitched in normal hammock use it is fairly taunt and the diagonal seam approximate a catenary under pitched conditions. This tarp can be pitched high and flat, ala a shed roof, for summer nights without flapping that a catenary cut will produce when not in or near the optimal pitch. Corners are a double roll design prior to sewing of the simple rolled hem edge seams, strong with out additional materiel. Its finished size of 7.5x7.5 provides 56 sq ft or 33% more than a stock backpacker asym fly. Both ends and both sides go out from the ridgeline at 45 degree angle and eliminate the shallow angle risks of the stock fly.

The weight and cost of Jacks R Better 8x8 Tarp is 10.2 oz, non seam sealed and $60 both of which are below the MacCat's 11.5 oz and $95 , deluxe is 16 oz and $115.

brian
2004-10-08, 18:00
Jack,

You have one very flawed fact about your tarp. Just becuase the tarp is 7.5'x7.5' does *not* mean it provides 56 square feet of coverage. Any tarp provides far less actual square footage than there is actual fabric. Although I have not put this directly on my website yet, the MacCat Standard provides about 12-15 square feet of protection, even in moderate wind driven rain that will stay dry. In non wind driven rain, that size increases to about 22 square feet. That data was compliments of the wonderful hurricanes that made their way through NY in a windy, rainy kind of way.

I designed the MacCat tarps realizing that the final foot of the HH stock tarp doesnt really do anything, and that adding more coverage on the heat and foot ends was what was needed.

Again, just like your website states, my MacCat tarps are "Special purpose tarps", which help to alliviate the lack of suficient coverage from the HH stock tarp.

Brian
www.outdoorequipmentsupplier.com

peter_pan
2004-10-08, 19:00
Brain,

I didn't claim 56 sqft of coverage. It is a statement of size relative to the stock fly. coverage is a user choice. An ultralighter who uses it in a low storm pitch with aheight of no more than 24 inches could achieve 40+ sqft of good coverage. For a hammock of normal pitch great coverage of the hammock is achieved that is the operable fact. Big key is the multifunctionality of the square.