Friday, August 15, 2008

Hennessy Hammock Trial PT 2

I went on an overnight outing with Joel on our LHTs to get another night of hammock camping in. Joel has had his hammock in use all of last year so he's a bit of a pro. We ended up setting up camp after dark again which meant less playing around and more focus on getting the darn thing up. Having setup my hammock once before under similar conditions I found it quite easy to get the shelter in place in a few minutes. I added a set of Snake Skins to my hammock [shown in photo above]. These are some sil-nylon covers that slide over the hammock and fly giving you a neat package that quickly goes from pannier to fully deployed. The covers protect the hammock from dirt and keep the material dry.

The main differences in how I setup up my hammock this time were that I guyed out the body of the hammock and fly to different points allowing for a nicer pitching of both elements. You can attach both guy lines on each side to a single peg, but you are limited as to how the fly hangs relative to the body of the hammock. I also used a full length thermarest rather than the 3/4 length pad I had with me last time.

All in all I had a better night's sleep. I was warmer and was able to lie flatter in the hammock. Although I'm just guessing I think the temps last night were warmer than my previous hammock trial. I wouldn't suggest using a hammock for cold weather camping unless you go out of your way to insulate the bottom of the hammock at which point I think you are better off with a tent.

The advantage I'm finding with this hammock isn't that it is uber light or super does fine on both counts, but doesn't knock the ball out of the park. Where it does really stand out is that it allows you to camp really close to the road anywhere there are trees without being easily seen. This means you can ride as far as you like and when you are ready to camp you can simply pull off the road and go to sleep. Not how I'd want to travel on every trip, but I can definitely see some occasions where stealth camping would be a nice option.

Given the cold weather on the horizon and the fact my next few trips involve my girlfriend I'll be shelving the solo Hennessy Hammock until next year in favour of a 2 person tent.

1 comment:

bmike said...

I'm a big fan of my Hennessy... so much so that when we get to the point of family camping I'll have to figure out how to hammock camp with the wife and little one...

(2 hammocks?)

Adding a full pad to the system can certainly keep you warm - I'm a fan of the ultralight pads from gossamer gear... i currently have a narrow pad that I use in the hammock (and it would make a good self supported 1200k sleep spot anywhere along the road) I'm going to get a wide pad for the Hennessy before the leaves change here.

With the narrow pad I've slept in the hammock down to below 30 deg. f. I've since refined my insulation strategies and I'm sure I'd be comfortable well below that.

Also - check out down quilts - JacksRBetter is one maker... and there are others. They attach around the hammock and keep you toasty warm (there is also the SuperShelter from Hennessy). They add bulk - but they are much easier to pack than a full Thermarest (and lighter too!)

Off to D2R2 next weekend. Going to hang the Hammock and use the Trangia for my morning tea. Hoping to get into the mountains when the colors change...