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  1. #1
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    Field report - HH overcover - it works

    I bought the Overcover when I purchased the rest of the HH supershelter for my Explorer UL this Spring. Since then I've probably carried it 200+ miles in my backpack, but never used it.

    Spent 4 days last week up on the Superior Hiking Trail in Northern Minnesota trying to catch the last of the Fall colors. The weatherman told me it was supposed to be warm and sunny...he lied.

    The first night on the trail I was setting up in one of the Gooseberry campsites and it looked like it was going to get pretty chilly, so I dug the overcover out of the bottom of my pack and hooked it up.

    Setup is pretty trivial if you are accustomed to the supershelter: throw it over the ridgeline, pass the elastics through the end of the undercover and hook to the prussics, then loop the hammock side elastics through the side holes in the overcover and tie them down as normal.

    After dinner it got dark pretty early so I crawled into my hammock and it hit me immediately -- it was warm inside!! I was wearing lightweight silk LJ tops and bottoms plus a Powerdry LS shirt, and sleeping in a +30F down bag. After a comfortable hour or so listening to my iPod I dozed off, but woke up at about 11:00PM overheated. Had to take the LS shirt off!

    Crawled out next morning and looked at my thermometer: 40F.

    The next night I stayed at one of the Split Rock campsites and it got even colder: it was 28F in the morning when I got up. This time I didn't bother with the LS shirt when going to bed, and was cozy warm all night.

    By night #3 I was starting to like this overcover thingy. A little warmer that night, about 38F.

    After the first night I left the overcover attached to my HH for the rest of the trip. It rolled up no problem in my snakeskins - it was a little more snug than normal, but not an issue to get my hammock, undercover and overcover all in the skins.

    My big worry with the overcover was condensation and that turned out to be a non-issue. There was a little dampness on top of my space blanket in the morning, but from what I could tell it was no more than normal. I had no condensation on the interior of the overcover.

    The overcover does not seem to seal tightly at the bottom along the edge of the hammock. This is not a Bad Thing, as I kinda liked a little bit of fresh air coming in through the crack at the bottom. The "breathing" hole in the overcover is pretty small, and supposed to act like a bellows when you move at night. This seems to work, but I did appreciate a little extra fresh air at my face level.

    Since the trip I used it last night in my backyard and noticed that the bottom openings seem to be caused by insufficient tension on my side elastics. The overcover seems to have some amount of designed vertical tension, and if the side elastics are not pulled fairly tight the overcover will pull them up and create the opening at the bottom.

    Anyway, I am a convert. It is pretty remarkable to be able to push my down bag several degrees below its rating with no extra clothes worn. I'd guess that it gave me at least an extra 10 degrees of warmth. I'll have to play a little bit with bringing a thermometer into the hammock and check the interior temps. If you consider that it weighs next to nothing, and takes up almost no space that is a huge win.

    Caveat: of course it does nothing for bottom temperatures. If you have insufficient insulation beneath you, you'll still freeze your butt off.

    Anyway, that's my report. I'd appreciate hearing from others who have tried or are still using their overcover to get any additional usage info.

    --Kurt

  2. #2
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwpapke View Post
    I bought the Overcover when I purchased the rest of the HH supershelter for my Explorer UL this Spring. Since then I've probably carried it 200+ miles in my backpack, but never used it.

    Spent 4 days last week up on the Superior Hiking Trail in Northern Minnesota trying to catch the last of the Fall colors. The weatherman told me it was supposed to be warm and sunny...he lied................................

    The next night I stayed at one of the Split Rock campsites and it got even colder: it was 28F in the morning when I got up. This time I didn't bother with the LS shirt when going to bed, and was cozy warm all night.

    By night #3 I was starting to like this overcover thingy. A little warmer that night, about 38F.................

    Anyway, I am a convert. It is pretty remarkable to be able to push my down bag several degrees below its rating with no extra clothes worn. I'd guess that it gave me at least an extra 10 degrees of warmth. I'll have to play a little bit with bringing a thermometer into the hammock and check the interior temps. If you consider that it weighs next to nothing, and takes up almost no space that is a huge win.

    Caveat: of course it does nothing for bottom temperatures. If you have insufficient insulation beneath you, you'll still freeze your butt off.

    Anyway, that's my report. I'd appreciate hearing from others who have tried or are still using their overcover to get any additional usage info.

    --Kurt
    Great report, Kurt. You are only the 2nd guy I can remember reporting on the OC, and he loved it also. In fact, it was his fav part of the SS, especially when it was real windy, if memory serves.

    So, one 28* night? Any wind to speak of? Did you use anything on the bottom besides the standard SS OCF pad/space blanket and under cover?

    Exactly how do you adjust your SS tension? Do you just adjust the tarp for correct coverage first, and then just use whatever prussick position that gives you? Or do you adjust in some other method?

    Mine( HHULEXP) is set up right now in my backyard, with the standard HH diamond tarp. Mainly for nostalgia, as I have been using other hammocks and under insulation and much larger tarps. These other products are great, but that SS still has it's place IMO. In fact, especially if you consider weight, I still think the stock tarp, attached to the ridge line and using the SS UC, gives the best rain/blowing snow and wind protection available. At least unless you got o a really big tarp, if even then. But of course, if attached to the RL, then you have to deal with a noisy flapping tarp, which can be tricky to overcome, plus you have minimal living space outside the hammock. But you can't beat the weight/rain protection ratio, IMO. And there would be even more total protection with that OC, it would seem to me.

    Pros and cons. I'm glad there are several good approaches that work. I'm also glad to see there are people besides me who think the SS works pretty good.

    I have meant to get one an OC and try it, but have never got around to it.
    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

  3. #3
    yes, good report i haven't heard an opinion on one yet either. sounds like it acts alot like a sock. i might have to try making one.

  4. #4
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    My DIY version works great and I love it in winter situations. The OC makes a great addition to any HH setup. Highly recommended.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    ...snip...So, one 28* night? Any wind to speak of? Did you use anything on the bottom besides the standard SS OCF pad/space blanket and under cover?
    Maybe 10mph winds. In addition to the std SS+SB, I am using an Exped Multimat. See my Initial Report on BGT here. I'm still doing a lot of testing of the Multimat.
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Exactly how do you adjust your SS tension? Do you just adjust the tarp for correct coverage first, and then just use whatever prussick position that gives you? Or do you adjust in some other method?
    I don't really adjust my SS tension. I optimized the location of my prussics months ago, and now I never touch them. I leave the UC on at all times. All I do is throw the UP in the UC and hook it up.
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    ...snip...But of course, if attached to the RL, then you have to deal with a noisy flapping tarp, which can be tricky to overcome, plus you have minimal living space outside the hammock. But you can't beat the weight/rain protection ratio, IMO. And there would be even more total protection with that OC, it would seem to me.
    I don't have a problem with a noisy flapping tarp. I've posted some of my pictures with the stock tarp tied to trekking poles. That really keeps the flapping down.

    I agree on the weight/space efficiency of the stock tarp/UC combo. Tough to beat, and typical of the Tom Hennessy designs the UC plays multiple roles: windbreak, keeps the UC in place, and rain protection.

    I haven't used the OC in rain yet, but I live in Minnesota so soon I'll be able to tell you how it works with snow spindrift

    --Kurt

  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwpapke View Post

    I haven't used the OC in rain yet, but I live in Minnesota so soon I'll be able to tell you how it works with snow spindrift

    --Kurt
    Yep, it won't be long until the white stuff! ( for you, anyway)
    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

  7. #7
    Senior Member elcolombianito's Avatar
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    yay! hennessy section of the forums is alive again... :P

    SS...
    thanks for the report kwpapke.

    i haven't ordered my SS yet (and this thread has once again hipped me up, i can't wait) but im sure that when i have it i will be another of the few who will also be happy with it just as i am one of the few who also have no problem with the diamond tarp attached to the hammock's support ropes: i don't carry treking poles but i always find something to raise the tie outs as kwpapke mentions to reduce flapping, but if i don't find, i have no problem with the flapping.
    Actually, I find it very exciting and relaxing (i know, sounds stupid to say its relaxing too) to wake up, look up and see and hear that small fly flapping around like crazy, hear heavy rains around me, and still find my self in perfect conditions, just some drizzles on the netting.
    If without the SS, or any exterior protection besides the tarp, i feel comfortable, dry, and protected, i really am anxious to see how the SS might make me feel knowing i will be warmer and more water-wind proof than i already am.

    Anyways, thanks again for these reports. Please, keep posting them.
    "This is what i love about backpacking... Just clean your stuff by licking it." - Shug

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Update from last night

    Slept out in the HH last night again (the wife is out of town...) and brought my thermometer in with me. The night was clear and very still - no wind.

    11:00PM - when I climbed into the hammock the interior temperature was 40*, but immediately shot up to 60*. After climbing into my bag, it settled down to about 50*

    1:30AM - external temp 35*, inside hammock 45*

    6:00AM - external temp 30*, inside hammock 40*. As soon as I crawled out of my bag, the temperature shot up to 50* in minutes.

    My conclusions from the experience:

    - How much heat your body is adding to the internal air greatly influences the temperature inside the OC. Don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out... I was just surprised how quickly the temperature rises when I'm outside my bag.

    - Steady state seems to be about a 10* differential between inside and outside temps when wind is not a factor. I need another night out there in windy conditions to gather data.

    One of the surprising outcomes of my use of the OC so far is how much more pleasant it makes getting ready for sleep and getting up in the morning. I normally agonize over getting out of my bag in the morning, but with the OC the interior of my hammock warms so quickly that I don't mind doing my morning organizational chores, getting my pullover on, etc. This is not one of the benefits I anticipated.

    Anyway, FWIW.

    --Kurt

  9. #9
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Excellent info!
    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

  10. #10
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    snakeskins with SS & OC?

    Did you say you are able to use the snakeskins with the undercover, foam pad, and overcover all still rigged?

    - MacEntyre
    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
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