Pimp My Hennessy
I took advantage of the fall sale to get an Explorer Ultralight Asym. I plan to use it with my BA Horse Thief and Air Core pad, and mostly when it's reasonably warm. I went ahead and got Snake Skins for it, while I was at it.
I'm starting this thread because I'd like advice on how to modify the stock Explorer to really get the most out of it. I read that the default binding system can be improved on: how and why? Should I swap out my tarp, and if so, why? What works when it gets cold?
Ideally, I'd like for people to post modifications of the basic Hennesy that have worked for them, and why it's worthwhile to do so. I'm going to camp with it as it is at least once, as a gear test, before doing anything to it, but I want to get the most out of using it. Any small tips and tricks about using it properly would also be great. Thanks!
1. Tarp. I use a MacCat Deluxe (over the same hammock as you're getting). Space to have things sitting on the ground sheltered, space to sit and watch the rain fall.
Originally Posted by atman
2. Suspension. I've used dual rings, makes it very easy to adjust and tighten, cinch buckles are also very popular around here. I'm into less webbing and more rope now. I lleave the Explorer rope as is, clip a nanowire biner through the loops of the tree-huggers, run the rope up through the biner, lark's head an SMC descending ring (or another biner) to the rope a foot or so away from the biner, thread the cord between them 2-3 times. Pull to tighten, gives mechanical advantage that is useful more for having less force on the working end of the rope than for pulling things tight. The advantage here again is ease of adjustment, and (particularly) ease of take-down. Absolutely no issues with jammed rings or buckles.
3. [haven't done this yet, but will]. Adjustable ridgeline. Lots of folks report that they can "tune" the sag to hit their sweet spot, and the one length fits all approach of the HH line doesn't admit to that. Adjustable ridgeline means clipping the existing one, patching on some replacement cord and a device for making it adjustable. When I do this I'll do it with a figure-9 gizmo.
4. [haven't done this yet, but will]. I'd make more bags to hang from the ridgeline, or clip to the loop in the ridgeline at the back of the hammock. Once you're inside it is an effort to get in and out to fetch stuff. So make enough holding devices to bring what you need inside.
You'll like this Explorer UL. Especially when pimped :)
1. Tarp. Consider replacing your tarp with a poncho. This will save a lot of weight and bulk.
2. Suspension. I'd recommend a three ring suspension system.
3. You can also rig one or more lines from the ridgeline to raise your boots or pack from within your hammock.
Originally Posted by ZDP-189
This tarp/poncho replacement may not the best idea... first, you'll need an extended length ponco..... Second. it does not improve the coverage, the vast majority of folks opt for a larger tarp.... just easier and better assurance of staying dry..... Thrird, there are tarps of better size with symetrical coverage that are lighter than ponchos.... asuming that one does not want to go to cuban material with its significant cost.
I'm biased but these are facts.
Tarp: I agree with those saying to get a larger tarp. If you spend a significant amount of time (I was on the AT for 4 months this year in my HH and MacCat Deluxe Tarp in ALL kinds of weather) or even just one nite in a blowing rain storm, you won't have to worry about getting wet by rain blowing under the tarp. Trust me, you'll have peace of mind with a larger tarp.
Gear Storage: You can use a small stuff sack that you already carry gear in, one of the JRB mini-biners and attach everything you need to your ridgeline inside with you, and it's removable so you can carry stuff around in camp. I find the pocket that comes in the HH ridgeline to be sort of useless, it's not quite deep enough so stuff falls out easily when you move around.
Suspension: The ring/buckle system is all the rage right now, I've not tried it yet, but I still use the stock HH system only I add a Black Diamond Light D carabiner into it..basically hook the biner to the tree hugger loops then tie the HH spectra to the biner, it's much easier than threading the spectra through the tree hugger loops everytime. I see you're in CA, otherwise I'd recommend you try to get to one of the hangouts, because you can see all kinds of different modifications.
Modified Ridgeline: When you use the HH as a lounger (sitting on the outside of the hammock like a chair) the ridgeline is still rigid and going across the back of your head. I cut the ridgeline and then tied the ends to another carabiner, so if I want, I can unhook the ridgeline (which creates a totally saggy hammock) and you can lounge/lye down on the top/outside of the hammock.
i am in the middle of pimping my hh now. ive got the mctarp...gone to a cambuckle on one end, slapstrap/carabiner on the other...and yesterday i cut my ridgeline. i lost light before getting it all figured out but...im not sure im happy with that part. i noticed that the ridgeline now rubs hard against my bald head as i enter and egress. it didnt used to do that.
And I made a long pouch seperated into 6 sections for my ridgeline
Thanks for asking, Atman!
I just ordered the same HH, so I had the same question.
i retied my ridgeline to better suit me ..i needed a little more sag than stock..i also added gear loops at both ends of the ridge line inside..like michele i use my stuff sacks to put stuff from my pockes in before going to bed..i used to just hook them to the ridge but.. with all my wiggling they would end up slideing down into my way..so i tied a pruisk knot with a loop on each end..now my gear will stay put..i usually hang a loop of cord from my ridge with a cabiner that i clip my boots on..keeps every thing high dry and free of bugs..
I agree that a poncho does not make the best tarp, but I don't want to carry both and if I find I can't hang, and I have to camp, a HH Asym tarp makes the worst possible lean-to.