I'm here to extoll the virtues of my new Hennessy Hammock.
A few months ago I bought the Explorer Deluxe hammock from Hennessy which is designed to hold a 7' 300lb man and I got all the toys with it including the Super Shelter insulation kit and Snake Skins packing system. There are two Explorer models, the normal one is rated at 250lbs and the Deluxe is rated at 300, both fit a 7 foot man. I myself am 6'3" and laid in it with my arms fully outstretched over my head and never touched either the foot or head end of the hammock, so, their height rating is rather understated.
A bit about me: I've hunted, hiked and camped in almost every corner of this country at one time or another from the frozen north to the sunken swamps to the burning deserts and have done so in everything from a trenchcoat to a full canopy canvas tent complete with furniture (SCA anyone? If you can really call that camping
) and I've done so in every season in just about every weather condition. I've torture tested quite a few pieces of gear and learned a long time ago that there really isn't much new under the sun (or so I thought!!!!)
Then I bought my Hennessy Hammock!
Best nights sleep I've had in the wild yet, and the best part? As long as you can find two objects to sling it between you have a comfy, warm and dry place to sleep!
No trees? Back your truck up to a light pole and you're set.
Here's my Hammock with the over tarp rolled up in the Snake Skins showing the added Super Shelter insulation package:
The dark hole is the fresh air inlet. Does a really good job of keeping you in fresh breathing air, letting moisture out but retaining the maximum amount of heat. I had no condensation in my hammock after a good nights sleep.
The part wrapping around the bottom is the undercover of the insulation system, inside that is this:
You can see between the undercover and the bottom of the tarp is a nice foam insulating pad. This keeps your back and your butt from getting cold while you lay in the hammock. For more extreme temperatures the manufacturer recommends adding a thermal space blanket, the kind you get for a buck at the Army surplus, on top of the foam pad to reflect more body heat back to you.
I have not tried that yet since I didn't have any opportunity for a last winter camping trip once I got the hammock
I did however use it this past weekend on the North Country Scenic Trail as it passes through the Allegheney National Forest which is where these pics are taken. At night it reached 38 degrees and the only thing between me and the outside was this hammock, my MSS intermediate bag and a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and I was perfectly comfy, didn't even zip up the sleeping bag! I could feel the cold air come in through the vent hole as I breathed, but not enough to even drop the temperature inside the hammock.
If you're not familiar with them, the hammock is designed so that you lay flat
inside of it, instead of on a huge curve like in a normal hammock. It's designed so that when you have the tension on the line correct, and the hammock fairly level (more on how to easily do that in a second) you lay diagonally across the center line of the hammock and you end up laying so flat that you can comfortably roll over on your side and sleep that way if you prefer. Although, rolling in a hammock is a special skill apparently
Here's a great tip I got from a guy who traveled the world in his Hennessy:
Buy a pair of good quality climbing carabiners and four descending rings, one 'biner and two rings per sling (the hammock comes with the nice tree slings). Wrap your sling around the tree, secure with your 'biner, add the two rings and wrap your line through both rings once, then split the rings and pass the line through only one ring. You can now adjust the tension of your line by just pulling the loose end of the line and it will hold when you let it go. Once you have the tension you like on both sides, simply pass the line around both rings again, then through the loop in the line and you are secure from any slippage during the night
All for about an additional $12.
Also, as an added bonus the Hennessy comes in natural, unobtrusive colors. I like to keep my camping and hiking gear low key, like my pack:
Not because I'm paranoid or feel any need to hide, but, I also don't like attracting unwanted attention. I hike and camp in the back country to get away from people, not attract them. Also, I really hate it when I come across a nice view in the wild, go to take a picture and it's dotted with sceaming blue, burning yellow and eye melting orange tents and shit everywhere, I really hate that. Also, as a bonus, if you ever really do need to make a low-key bugout, more natural colored gear helps
Also, I'd like to wrap up by saying that of all the pieces of gear I've every owned or borrowed, the Hennessy Hammock is by far the best designed and most well thought out. They guy who came up with this is one smart muthafucka.
Thanks for reading and I hope I didn't bore you too long.