With another summer of motorcycle camping approaching, I've been accumulating hammock gear for my wife and I. In the past we've tented but this year we'll be off the ground. I ordered a Hennessy Explorer, and it arrived Friday, so I set it up and played around with it, and decided to try a night out in it. A low of 30 was forecast, and although I'm not a winter camper, even summer nights in the U.P. can get into the low 40s, so I figured it would be a good test of my insulation system.
Under me I had a cheap Thermarest knockoff that I got at Dunham's a couple years ago, and under that a short section of a WalMart blue pad. They were both slid into an SPE I made from bed sheet material, with blue pad extensions under my arms & shoulders. On top, a synthetic fill mummy bag, also from Dunhams', rated at 30 degrees, deployed quilt style. Wore fleece sweats, wool long john top, fleece sweater, tuque.
There was a slight breeze from the WSW. I rigged the tarp (stock HH diamond) low on the windward side, and high to leeward, since that was east and I wanted to see the sunrise. That is, if I didn't bail before then.
Well, I didn't bail. In fact, I was quite comfy most of the night, which wound up dropping to 33 degrees. Nature's call woke me at 0330, and I got a bit cool after that, but not so cold I couldn't sleep the rest of the night. The weak link was the sleeping bag- it was a cheapo when I bought it, and it seems to have lost some of its loft since then. But the pad combo kept my backside toasty. So I think it will do for camping in what we call summer up here. I'll likely ditch the WM blue pad and just use the inflatable and SPE.
So, a successful first night out in the HH. In fact, it was my first night OUT in any hammock, although I've slept inside in my DIYs quite a bit this winter.
A few first impressions, to add to the boatload of info already on here:
When I first set it up it seemed awfully small compared to my gathered end DIY hammock- and in fact it is a good foot shorter between the whipping. I was worried it was going to be too small, but I fit just fine. But I'm glad it's not any smaller. I'm 6', 190 lbs, BTW.
I had no problem with the pad/sleeping bag combo and the bottom entry. There is a bit of squirming involved, but no worse than in my top entry DIY. I was a little concerned about this, based on some of the posts I read here, but it turned out to be a non-issue.
I may experiment with a simple weather shield to go inside the bug netting. I'd like to be able to shut out the drafts, while still having the tarp pitched high. It would have to go inside, so I could open it and peek out, or pull it shut for privacy/warmth. Has anyone done such a thing?
Anyway, those are my first impressions of my new Explorer Deluxe. I'm looking forward to more nights in it.