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  1. #1
    Senior Member FreeTheWeasel's Avatar
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    Supershelter technique question

    Greetings,

    I got my clearance supershelter tonight consisting of the undercover and the underpad. I set it up in my basement to try it out, and, for the most part, it seems to work as advertised. The pad seems significantly warmer than the bare fabric of the hammock, at least in my house. I have not tried it in cold temperatures yet. That may come this weekend as I participate in the MS 150 two day bike ride and fundraiser.

    I do have a question about using this system properly. When the pad is placed in the undercover, I push the head section of the pad as far up the left side (when viewed from inside the hammock, lying on my back) as possible and the foot end as far to right as possible. When I get in the hammock, however, my weight pulls the underpad down, sliding the head end more towards the center. The added weight pulls the short loop on the pad's left side down, collapsing the tie out. The result is a baggy area in the hammock fabric near my face that tends to flop over my head if I am sleeping on my left side. I have not been able to keep the pad full left as I enter.

    What am I doing wrong? I've watched the videos on the Hennessy website and I've looped the elastic tie outs as suggested. I didn't put a ton of tension on the left tie out and I'm not sure it would help anyway. The pad is pulling down and the bungie is doing its job: stretching to keep the pad from ripping.

    Does my description make sense?

    Thanks for the help.

    FreeTheWeasel

  2. #2
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeTheWeasel View Post
    Greetings,

    I got my clearance supershelter tonight consisting of the undercover and the underpad. I set it up in my basement to try it out, and, for the most part, it seems to work as advertised. The pad seems significantly warmer than the bare fabric of the hammock, at least in my house. I have not tried it in cold temperatures yet. That may come this weekend as I participate in the MS 150 two day bike ride and fundraiser.

    I do have a question about using this system properly. When the pad is placed in the undercover, I push the head section of the pad as far up the left side (when viewed from inside the hammock, lying on my back) as possible and the foot end as far to right as possible. When I get in the hammock, however, my weight pulls the underpad down, sliding the head end more towards the center. The added weight pulls the short loop on the pad's left side down, collapsing the tie out. The result is a baggy area in the hammock fabric near my face that tends to flop over my head if I am sleeping on my left side. I have not been able to keep the pad full left as I enter.

    What am I doing wrong? I've watched the videos on the Hennessy website and I've looped the elastic tie outs as suggested. I didn't put a ton of tension on the left tie out and I'm not sure it would help anyway. The pad is pulling down and the bungie is doing its job: stretching to keep the pad from ripping.

    Does my description make sense?

    Thanks for the help.

    FreeTheWeasel
    play around with the length of the shock cord loops on the underpad - lengthen or shorten to adjust as necessary. If the loop pulls the hammock tie too much then lengthen the loop to adjust. It takes some testing, but it can work. Just patience and a lot of getting in and out and squirming around to see how things fit.

  3. #3
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    I have the same question. What you describe sounds a little like what I noticed. My pad did not slip down, but I had a lot of loose hammock in my face, and the entrance slit cut my left leg like a rope. The only solution I can think of is to stretch everything out a bit.

    Does the hammock need to be strung tighter when using the SS?

  4. #4
    Senior Member FreeTheWeasel's Avatar
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    I think you may have gotten your answer on another thread, but I found I had to do a few things.

    1) Don't follow the web video on how to install your supershelter. The web video shows the supershelter undercover and pad attached to the fly hooks which ride on prussic knots on the support rope. Instead, you are supposed to use the extra glove hooks which came with your supershelter. The hooks are to be installed at the point where the suspension rope enters the fabric knot. Use the included zip ties. I talked with Tom himself and he confirmed that the permanent hooks are the preferred attachment method. This will leave the undercover a bit looser under you than if you used the fly hooks.

    2) Do double or quadruple the elastic and give the sides a bit of tension when you stake it out. Lately I've been having troubles getting down in temperature and perhaps I've put too much side tension on the pad. Hopefully BillyBob will jump in here with what he does since he's had more success.

    3) Once in the hammock, I found that I could grab some of the loose fabric created by my body weight and push it under me to my right side, adding a bit more tension on the left where my face is. This helps keep the loose fabric from flopping over my mouth, but it doesn't eliminate it. Be warned, you can generate a lot of side to side rocking motion this way and if you are prone to nausea, you may wish to forgo this step

    4) Since I sleep on my side, I am able to jam my elbow or hand into the side to push it away from my face. Not a great solution but it does work.

    The last time I slept in cold weather, the side of the hammock was wet from my breath.

    And, finally, not to disparage the supershelter, but my underquilt (No Sniveller) doesn't seem to collapse the hammock as much.

    FreeTheWeasel

  5. #5
    Senior Member greggg3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeTheWeasel View Post
    Instead, you are supposed to use the extra glove hooks which came with your supershelter. The hooks are to be installed at the point where the suspension rope enters the fabric knot. Use the included zip ties. I talked with Tom himself and he confirmed that the permanent hooks are the preferred attachment method. FreeTheWeasel
    I don't know about the rest of you, but I didn't get any glove hooks or zip ties with my super shelter. (But I don't really have any issue with using the tarp hooks, since I can tie the tarp directly to the tree)

    Anyway, I was wondering if others shared my experience with the supershelter (Billy Bob?). I dont really have any issue with the pad location or with warmth - its actually surprising to me how warm it is looking at the thickness of the ocf ( I use a space blanket like Tom suggests). However it seems like the SS is little more narrow than my UL Explorer. So when the SS is installed there is loose or "extra" fabric from the hammock and it won't open up as wide as it does without the SS. Also the SS seems tighter in the middle, in other words its almost like it makes two mini hammocks with the high point or dividing line going to the entry slit. I can feel this when I'm inside and I have to get oriented at a fairly steep diagonal to prevent the SS from pushing up on me in the center at the top of the entry slit. If I loosen the SS, it has too much air gap and isn't as warm. So while it meets all my warmth requirements, because of the width restriction, fit, etc. I actually went back to pads (I use a homemade SPE, had it before getting the SS), because I don't find the HH Explorer as comfortable with the SS installed.

    I'm not complaining, even though it may sound like it . Hey I couldn't have made anything that is close to as warm as the SS is. And if its seriously cold, I can use the SS with ccf pads and be very warm, so I'm not going to get rid of it. I'm just wondering if others notice the same thing as me regarding the fit. Maybe theres a slight difference in size and I have a slightly oversized Exployer UL and a slightly undersized SS, or something like that. Or maybe I'm not hanging mine exactly right.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DougTheElder's Avatar
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    The instructions with the SS say that it will not work with CCF pads. I, being an obedient boy, haven't tried it. But it seems that it should work. If condensation is the concern, then wouldn't the 'space blanket', which is required according to the instructions, be just as prone to moisture accumulation? So...what's the deal????
    Sometimes even a Blind Hog finds an Acorn

  7. #7
    However it seems like the SS is little more narrow than my UL Explorer. So when the SS is installed there is loose or "extra" fabric from the hammock and it won't open up as wide as it does without the SS
    That has been my experience, too. I found the hammock to be less 'adaptive' with the SS installed. I didn't get that nice, diagonal flat sleeping angle that I did without it in place.

    IIRC, BillyBob said he got better results if he didn't tension the hammock as tight. (I'll have to go back and see if my memory is accurate)

    TWS

  8. #8
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Hi guys,
    I've been busy today or I would have commented already. In fact, got to leave again in just a minute.

    I have not been fooling much with my SS this winter due to spending all available hammock time testing the PeaPod.

    First, that loose fabric thing is a problem. The only thing I can think of from the last time I was fooling with it was that I figured out that if it was possible to pull the left side guy outs ( with the elastics quadrupled) really tight AND attached not to a ground stake, but something higher like a tree or a branch/shrub that was several fet off the ground, that seemed to really help a lot. But, often, that is not easy to do cause you need your top down lower or there is just nothing up higher to attach to. But if you are attached to the ground, when the hammock sags, I tend to loose a lot of tension in the guy line. But if you can do that, it will probably help, at least it seemed to with me. It also helped a lot with the net, which becomes more of a problem when I only tension the RL moderately tight, or even less than moderately tightl. Which I have found to give me a bit more comfort. Once, using the Hitchcraft devices for the first time, I was able to tighten so much that when I sat down it felt like that center bottom reinforced area ( bottom entry) and undercover were going to split my *** into two parts, which was not optimum. And when I laid back, I actually had a little shoulder squeeze, unheard of in my HH. So I have loosened things up a bit since then.

    I still love my SS, but let's face it, that left side thing is a pain in the ***( or face, actually). And being able to attach the elastics to something 5 feet off the ground is often just not practical.

    And keeping that underpad as far to the left as it should be is also a PIA. Which is why, once I get things set up with pads and space blanket in place, I usually leave them there. which means no snake skins, cause I just stuff it all, sometimes including sleeping bag, into a big stuff sack. But I usually start with everything loose, and attach the left pad loop to the elastics. Sometimes I wrap the elastics around and thru the pad loop and undercover exit hole a couple of times. When I have the left positioned where I think it should be, then I attach the rt side and head and foot ends. Most of the time these gymnastics will keep my 36" wide pad far enough to the left to get the job done. It still is never quite enough to the left as I think it should be, once I am in. But, still, I have never had a problem with cold shoulders, so I guess it is enough.

    I don't know anything about this new "glove hook" attachment system. Mine is the "old timey" super shelter. I need to call Tom and ask him about this. I wonder if the pads and their elastic cords are the same, and if my old pad can be used with the new system? It sounds like it is for the purpose of making sure there is just enough sag, but not too much, to avoid compression of the OCF pad.

    But if so, this will conflict with a discovery I thought I had made just before he pod arrived and I started using it. OK, with pods and UQs
    ( hold that thought- got to go. Back in a little while )
    Bill
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 02-01-2008 at 19:24.

  9. #9
    Senior Member greggg3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    ...when I sat down it felt like that center bottom reinforced area ( bottom entry) and undercover wer going to split my *** into two parts, which was not optimum.
    Bill
    BillyBob, you made me laugh out loud with that description - I could'nt think how to describe it, but you nailed it. Maybe I've got too much tension on my ridgeline, I always pull it pretty tight ( I like it that way without the supershelter, but with the SS on its, well, exactly as you describe).

  10. #10
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    ..................
    But if so, this will conflict with a discovery I thought I had made just before he pod arrived and I started using it. OK, with pods and UQs
    ( hold that thought- got to go. Back in a little while )
    Bill
    Continued: With PeaPods and most UQs, you are always trying to get the exact adjustment ( or at least close enough) so that you have little or no gap between the hammock and the UQ( or not too loose), but not too much tight so that you end up with compressed loft. Too much either way is colder than it should be, or even very cold.

    I always figured it was pretty much the same thing with the SS, but maybe a little more harmful to have too much gap. But I was always a little paranoid of compressing the open cell foam pad, and never really sure if I might have it too tight. But one day recently it occurred to me that it MIGHT be far more harmful to have even a small gap ( once you are in the hammock) than to have it too tight, at least if you had only the pad under your back. Though maybe not if you added a down vest on top of the pad. One day while trying to compress the foam by pushing down hard with my hands on the hammock bottom ( I have no volunteers to lay in there for me), I figured that I MIGHT not be able to compress the foam. IOW, though quite compressible, the foam might be just resistant enough to compression that the flimsy suspension elastics will give and stretch a good bit, allowing the pad to move downward with the hammock rather than compress and loose loft.( same applies to the Under cover) So I tightened the pad ( with space blanket) up more than usual, to the point where it was actually in solid contact with the hammock before I got in. It seemed the warmth on my back was noticeably and significantly greater than it ever had been before. I was looking forward to checking this theory out some more, but my PeaPod arrived for Christmas, and all experiments since have been with that.

    BUT, if this new hanging system from Tom H. is meant to supply a certain fixed amount of sag below the hammock, before weight is added, so that you sink into it and barely contact it, and assuming TH knows what he is doing, I might be way off on my new theory. I need to contact TH and find out. Unless one of you guys has already done so and can fill me in?

    I'm also wondering, with that "fixed glove hook" suspension, how does that work if you add extra stuff ( like a down vest )? Wouldn't you need to adjust the tension to allow for this extra insulation? Could you do that with this new set up?

    BTW, TeeDee used to be fond of putting a Gossamer Gear pad on top of the HH OCF pad. He said it worked real good. He just had to tighten up the elastics on the OCF pad a bit to make up for the sag the extra weight caused.

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