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  1. #1
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    Am I Doing Something Wrong?

    This past weekend, I spent a couple of nights in my HH Explorer UL. Honestly, I was miserable pretty much both nights. I could never get comfortable in the hammock, and I was eaten alive by some small flying insects (most likely biting flies and/or mosquitoes). Even though I am only 5'7", I seemed to never be able to keep from touching the mosquito netting which resulted in numerous bites on my arms and legs. I don't really know if I got bit as a result of the bites through the netting or through the bottom of the hammock. Based on location of bites, I believe I was getting bit through both. I tried to keep my underside covered with a small thin mat and sleeping back, but I had a tough time staying on top of both. I moved around quite a bit due to lack of comfort from the HH. I set the hammock up according to HH website, but it just wasn't as comfortable as my Claytor JH. The biggest problem was the access/entry location in the hammock. There seemed to be a lot of tension in the underside of the hammock at the stitching/velcro webbing point on the bottom of the hammock. When I layed asymmetrically, my left leg would lie across this portion of the hammock which put unwanted pressure on the outside of my left leg. I hope this makes sense. If I moved to the right, then my feet would end up touching the netting resulting in bites. I know a lot of people believe in HH so any suggestions for finding comfort in this hammock would be greatly appreciated. Also, any suggestions for dealing with insects would be appreciated too! Thanks, Rusty

  2. #2
    Mule's Avatar
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    Yes, I had some of the same issues with my HH. I like Claytor types myself, and now I am enjoying a Speer. I think your mosquito bites are coming from the bottom most likely. Your Claytor was water proof and may have given more protection and the mosquito net was held up better perhaps, not sure. That's why I use and underquilt all year long, for cold in the winter and mosquitoes in the summer. You can litterally saturate the hammock in Permethyrin insect repellant and let it dry, but don't use DEET. It eats nylon. Good luck. Mule
    SEMPER FIDELIS

  3. #3
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    Mule,

    Thanks for the feedback. With my Claytor, I never experienced the multitude of bites. I believe the double layer of protection along with a matress/pad helped alleviate this problem. Did you have any success with comfort in the HH?

  4. #4
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    I learned the hard way this weekend that unless you hang the head end "lower enough" than the foot end you have issues with the bug netting and the way the hammock sits. My first trip I had a lucky hang, I think - hung once, everything was great. This trip the asym wouldn't happen and the omni tape wanted to pop open without warning. The netting was low down - too low. Lucky there weren't a lot of skeeters about. This morning I lowered the strap on the head end about a foot and a half on the tree, snugged up the rope, and found my asym and my nice high ridgeline again. Guess I was too tired to figure that out last night? :/

    Anyway, permethrin on the hammock bottom works, as does an underquilt of some sort.

  5. #5
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    The learning curve in dealing with HH works for many but, for me ultimately, led successfully to other hammocks altogether. One really needs to do their research and separate the "fluff from the stuff."

  6. #6
    Mule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by commo View Post
    Mule,

    Thanks for the feedback. With my Claytor, I never experienced the multitude of bites. I believe the double layer of protection along with a matress/pad helped alleviate this problem. Did you have any success with comfort in the HH?
    I was somewhat comfortable, but felt enclosed and claustrophobic in mine. But I had never had the pleasure of using an underquilt with it. My pad gave me fits inside, and once I discovered that the exit slit was clear up above me. Real bummer.
    SEMPER FIDELIS

  7. #7
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skskinner View Post
    I was somewhat comfortable, but felt enclosed and claustrophobic in mine. But I had never had the pleasure of using an underquilt with it. My pad gave me fits inside, and once I discovered that the exit slit was clear up above me. Real bummer.
    That happened to me on my first night ever at 22*F! It's amazing I stuck with hammocking at all. But I have never had that kind of problem since then.

    That entry ridge can be a problem for sure for the old left leg, but somehow I have always gotten around it. I think having something under my knees usually takes care of the left leg pressure at the same time. Also, making sure the foot end is hung higher plus moving closer to the head end of the hammock seems to help. But I have also had some of that lt. leg pressure even in my Claytors and Speer. Though it is not as much of a problem, and varies with how I hang the hammock, amount of sag, etc.

    But either a pad or whatever I have under my knees also giving extra padding under my calf, and/or leg positioning ( frog leg or a figure "4 " ( rt. foot under left knee) always seems to solve the problem in any of these hammocks one way or another. But it can be a problem that needs dealing with, more so in some hammocks than others.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  8. #8
    Senior Member T-BACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by commo View Post
    Also, any suggestions for dealing with insects would be appreciated too! Thanks, Rusty
    Rusty,

    I started my hammocking days, many moons ago, in a HH Expedition Asym. Although it is rated for someone 6', I am 6'4" and was very comfortable in it. Try , as Lori suggested, lowering your head just a tad. This will keep you from migrating toward the foot of the hammock during the night and help relieve some swelling in you feet after the abuse they have taken during the day. I'm not sure why your net is not tight unless things stretched once you got inside. As for the bugs, I feel your pain. If there is a mosquito anywhere around it will find me. I have not found any single hammock layer that will protect me from bites. Maybe it's because I weigh 240 lbs and stretch the fabric weave out enough to allow them easy access. Whatever the reason, I must use a double layer under me. I have tried permethrin, even full strength from the insecticide isle. While it will kill them eventually it does not have the knockdown power to prevent a bite. I believe that they cannot insert their mouths through one fabrics' weave and then change direction and and get through the weave of a second layer. No proof of that, just thoery. Whatever the reason it works for me. I hiked through the Everglades and sugar cane areas on my Florida trail thru hike and never had a bite through the hammock. There were so many of the buggers around me at times I had to wear earplugs to get to sleep. On the flip side, others seem to do well with a single bottomed hammock. You have to find a solution that works for you. Mine came as a 1.1 oz nylon undercover that is just gathered at the ends and shockcorded to to the main hammock. Not one bite through, ever. If you can manage to swing by the hangout this coming weekend in Hot Springs there will be lots of friendly advice and differnt ideas that you can actually touch and see. It's like the World's Fair of hammocking (sometimes).
    Brian
    ...and there came to be a day, all too soon, that I became aware that I could travel no more on my long journey. Though I did not arrive where I had planned, I believe that here is exactly where I am supposed to be...

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the responses. The next time I use the hammock, I will lower the head of the hammock as suggested and use an inflatable mattress to see if it helps to hide the pressure I found at my left leg. I may also try spraying the bottom with Permethyrin. I don't like the idea that I need to spray my hammock down with something; oh well! Maybe the underquilt is the best option. Now, I have more things to try and compare; my wife will luv me.

    Honestly, I am dissapointed in this hammock. There are quite a few features with the HH that I like, but the most important features seem to be lacking with this hammock. As stated earlier, I have a Claytor JH, but my son quickly acquired it. I don't expect I will be able to get it back from him. He spent the weekend with me in his JH, and he didn't have any of the issues that I did. Before this is over, I may end up getting rid of my HH and buying another JH. Time will only tell. Thanks again for the feedback!

  10. #10
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    commo... I don't want to jinx any effort, but I quickly discarded any idea of using my self-inflating sleep pad in my HH Safari. It did not, would not stay put. It was constantly attacking me in the middle of the night trying to turn me into some spiral wrapped mummy. It may be different with the Safari because of it's size so I won't say you will have the same probelm. But It was nothing but frustration for me. YMMV.

    I am sticking to the HH system because the bottom entry makes my life much easier. The learning is steep. Start out by making sure you are hanging level. Then is level doesn't work, vary the hang on the head or foot end. Try hanging as close to the hammock as you can. I have found the farther away I go from the whipping the worse the hammock performs.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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