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Rob Mcrae
(emptyman) - F

Locale: the other, big Ontario
Hammocks on 08/13/2005 07:07:37 MDT Print View

I am very interested in buying a camping hammock- i mean, they just make so much sense for a solo hiker like me. But I can't figure out which is the best one to use. How many are there out there that are really good? So far, I can see the Hennessy and the Jungle Hammock as the top competitors. Are there any else to consider? And if you have had experience with these, which is better/worse and why? I would appreciate any feedback, as I cannot afford to make a mistake with this. OK, thanks.

john Tier
(Peter_pan) - M

Locale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Hammocks on 08/13/2005 07:56:10 MDT Print View

I have the Hennesy Backpacker UL and The Hennessy Extreme Light Racer...love them both...the light racer is sweeter laying for me 5-11 and 180 lbs, but it does not come with a warranty...I have about 30-40 nights in it now , no issues...

A lot of folks also like The Speer hammock....tons of traffic on hammocks at www.whiteblaze.net and www.hikinghq.net..

Don't forget to plan to solve the bottom side warmth issue...

Pan

John Garberson
(Montana) - F
Re: Hammocks on 08/13/2005 08:24:55 MDT Print View

Hennessy and Speer are the top sellers. The biggest difference, I think, is the Hennessy has an integrated bug net and therefore, bottom entry. I have the Hennessy and absolutely love it but I've not tried any others. One thing you'll hear over and over again, "The best night's sleep I've had on the trail,"...once you learn how to properly insulate the underneath :)

See also the Yahoo group, hammockcamping.

Patti Binder
(quiltbinder) - MLife

Locale: Southwestern Indiana
which hammock? on 08/13/2005 22:45:08 MDT Print View

Hi Rob,
There are a lot of hammocks out there.
On Speer's website,
http://www.speerhammocks.com/
look at the newsletter, and find a long list of other hammock suppliers, and many different kinds of hammocks to choose from. At home I sleep in Speer type homemade hammocks, made from cheep $1.00 a yard fabric from Walmart. I have a Hennessy which I like for backpacking, but to lighten up I now use a modified UltraLight Travel Hammock that I modified a little. I use it with the fly from my Hennessy.

Rob Mcrae
(emptyman) - F

Locale: the other, big Ontario
hammock on 08/15/2005 07:53:36 MDT Print View

thanks, guys. One thing i see being an issue is the fly: on the hennessy, can you set it up first? otherwise, it seems that in a good rain, you have to put up the hammock first and let it get wet while you do the fly after. The speer ( which is not available for sale right now) seems to solve this by being separate. Does anyone have the extra big hex fly for the hennessy? is it different? Ta

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
snake skins on 08/15/2005 08:50:37 MDT Print View

Snake skins solve the put it up in the rain problem. The hammock stays dry inside the snake skins until the fly is up. The snake skins can be used to keep the hammock out of the way while you cook under the fly.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Hammocks on 08/15/2005 09:18:21 MDT Print View

Hi, I use a custom made silk hanmmock made by Ed Speers. I sent him the silk and he made me the hammock. I have several tarps that I can use but mostly use a MAC Cat large. My hammock complete with silk bug net and straps weighs about 14oz. I use the silk hammock all year round but it is really nice in the summer.
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Patti Binder
(quiltbinder) - MLife

Locale: Southwestern Indiana
hammock wgt. on 08/15/2005 10:27:29 MDT Print View

Hey Bill,
On your "hammock complete" wgt are you including the fly and guylines or just the hammock, net, and straps? What does your lightest fly weigh? What is it?
Thanks

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Speer Hammock/MAC Cat Tarp on 08/15/2005 13:25:41 MDT Print View

My hammock alone (no fly/tarp) but complete and ready to use weighs 14oz. This weigh will be reduced soon as I will replace most of the webbing that attaches to the tree with a much lighter spectra cord. This cord will attach to a set of light tree huggers for damage control. I should save a few onces with the change. You can go here and see how to do this.

http://www.imrisk.com/thinline/thinline.htm

Risk has a lot of great hammock projects on his web site.

As for the MAC Cat Tarp. It was special made from my material by Brian and is 10.5' long on the ridgeline and 8' wide. It was made out of spinnaker material with a true weight of about 1oz per sq yard. A couple weeks ago I removed all my BMW - AirCore Pro cord used for the guylines and ridgeline to use on my Cuben Poncho/Tarp. The weight of just the MAC Cat Tarp is 12.85oz. You can add what ever you normally use for tie out line and 4 stakes if you tie the ridgeline to a tree.

When I can get enough Cuben material I will make a new Tarp the same size as the MAC Cat. At .47oz per sq yard and using 7 yards it should weigh 3.29oz and then plus what is necessary to put it together. Maybe a little less than 4oz complete for the tarp alone. Add Ti tent stakes at .20oz each times 4 and the BMW AirCore cord and I should have a really light and large Tarp.

MAC Cat Tarp during a rain test

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MAC Cat Tarp hanging next to a Moss Heptawing Tarp for a size check.

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Edited by bfornshell on 08/15/2005 13:28:20 MDT.

Patti Binder
(quiltbinder) - MLife

Locale: Southwestern Indiana
hammock wgt. on 08/15/2005 21:41:43 MDT Print View

Thanks Bill,

Wow, that tarp will be light. Do you get the cuben directly from the company? Is it hard to get?

I'm using Air Core Plus, plus Hennessy tree huggers on one of my hammocks. That thin little cord gives fantastic support; no give or stretch; solid stuff.

Instead of whipping the hammock ends like Rick does, I use cable ties. No they don't stetch or chafe the rope. I used them on my bedroom hammock all winter with no stretch or rope wear. An advantage of the whipping, besides saving the wgt of the fabric knot, is that it can be removed to launder the hammock and then be replaced. The cable ties can be carefully cut off and replaced with new ones, too.

Here's some food for thought: can you think of other uses for tree huggers? I've wondered if they could somehow be used for a waste belt or shoulder straps for a backpack; or maybe at least compression straps, although I don't usually use compression straps. One problem I can see is that if it rains during the night, they can get really dirty from the tree trunk; plus they're wet then.

What do you think?

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Hammocks on 08/15/2005 22:40:52 MDT Print View

I have been getting my Cuben Fiber direct from Cuben. It is a slow process but that might change in the next few weeks. If it does I will post it quick.

I will not use Ricks "whipping" method. The knot will do for me.

I try and find a way to use everything for more than one thing. But, I want my set-up and pack-up to be as simple and quick as possible. If it is wet or cold or wet and cold I want to get set-up or back on the trail in the morning as fast as I can to warm-up. I will carry a few extra ounces here and there to keep life simple. If I was only going out for a day or two that might be different. Did you see my new pack - it is 2.10oz. I am saving a lot of weight in my current gear list by making most of my gear.

My next silk hammock will be much lighter than my current one. I will go from 1.02oz per sq yard silk to .57oz per. My current hammock also has 17' of both Hook and Loop Velcro for the bug net (see black line on the side of the hammock picture) that I will leave off my new hammock. I will have a bug net but not the Velcro.

The silk for both the hammock body and bug net will total 4oz. Add the straps ?? = a really light hammock.

Hammock est - 8oz plus a new large tarp 4oz +line and stakes at maybe 4oz and you have both hammock and tarp for 16oz or less. I am sure less.

Edited by bfornshell on 08/15/2005 22:43:28 MDT.

Rob Mcrae
(emptyman) - F

Locale: the other, big Ontario
hammock fly on 08/16/2005 16:59:00 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tips. I am about to order the hennessy UL hammock, but I'm hung up about whether or not to get the regular fly or the larger hex fly (1 lb 3 oz for 12ft x 10ft 70D Polyurethane coated polyester). It seems the regular fly is silnylon, about 8' by 5.5. Don't know how much it weighs, but i'll ask. Comments?

Patti Binder
(quiltbinder) - MLife

Locale: Southwestern Indiana
Hennessy fly on 08/16/2005 21:11:48 MDT Print View

My reg HH fly that came with my explorer ultralight asym weighs 8.4 oz. with the wimpy tangley guylines replaced with heavier Kelty triptease. I've never been caught in a really heavy blowing rain with it, but have stayed dry in light to moderate nonblowing rains and stayed dry. It seems like one time the rain was heavy enough to come though the sylnylon as a light mist. It wasn't enough to hurt anything.