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Thread: First Hang

  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Lansdowne, Ontario
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    2

    Talking First Hang

    After many years of trailer and car camping, my wife and I just started back-packing. We’ve been slowly getting our feet wet and picking up gear along the way. Then I read somewhere about hammock camping so I started to do some research. Last weekend we were travelling and stopped at an outdoors store - they had a Hennessy Expedition Zip on sale so we pulled the trigger and brought it home. The idea is, we’ll try it out and if things go well, we’ll pick up another. I set it up in the backyard a few times when we got home to experiment. Then last night, I ventured back into the yard for my first overnight adventure!

    The hammock is totally stock except I added some rings and carabineers. I used my cheapo Canadian Tire self-inflating sleeping pad and 0 degree synthetic sleeping bag. The low last night was +4C with a light wind. Here’s what I found…

    The Pros:
    - By far, the biggest pro so far has been ‘HammockForums.net’! I came into this a total newb. But after lurking around here for a few weeks, I learned enough to make an informed purchase, got great information on suspensions and set-ups, and got a lot of great tips to prepare me for my first outing. A big thank you to all the members here for sharing this wealth of information!

    - All-in-1 – the main reason I went with the Hennessy as our starter hammock was the all-in-1 approach. And so far – it has been great. In minutes I had everything set-up and functioning. And tearing down was also simple and fast. The entire rig is compact and although not the lightest available, should pack quite well.

    - The rings and carabineers – fantastic addition! These were cheap and super easy to add to the stock suspension without making any permanent changes. They totally eliminate any lashing and made adjustments very easy. I may eventually switch to longer straps and move the rings to the hammock end. But for now, this setup works very well.

    - Temperature – my cheapo pad and sleeping bag worked very well. At one point I was actually too warm. If we start thinking about colder temperatures, I know I’ll need to look at much better UQs and OQs. But for milder spring and fall trips, looks like I can go with what I already have.

    - Comfort – The hammock was very comfortable! I have never been that comfortable in any tent.

    The Cons:
    - The stock tarp – it worked as advertised and provided good coverage. But for heavy rain with some cross-wind, I can see some problems. I think I’ll eventually need to replace it with a larger tarp but then I lose some of the “all-in-1” advantage. For now, I’ll likely carry a cheapo poly tarp in my pack as a backup.

    - Tarp tension – I really like the simplicity of having the tarp attached directly to the suspension but I could not get it to stay tight. Even after adjusting, when I got into the hammock it would sag – especially on the zip side. The light breeze I had last night made it flap a bit and I could see real wind really blowing it around. Maybe replacing the stock tie-outs with shock cord would help? Has anyone tried this?

    - Size – I’m just under 6 feet. Although I was comfortable, there was not much extra room – especially with the sleeping pad and bag. I could see the Expedition becoming my wife’s hammock and me switching to an Explorer. A little more weight but I think the extra space would be well worth it.

    - Slippery pad – I did wake up early in the morning with cold shoulders. I thought my pad wasn’t holding up. But when it started to get light, I saw that the pad had shifted sideways and my shoulders and feet were right on the hammock bed. Lesson learned – pay more attention to make sure my pad is in place when changing positions ;>

    The Conclusion:
    - I think I’m hooked! So far, I feel very happy with my choice for our starter hammock. Like any of my other hobbies, I’m sure endless additions and upgrades will follow ;> I just hope my wife has the same positive experience with her first hang. I don’t think I could go back to sleeping on the ground after this!

    Thanks again for all the great info on this site. If it wasn’t for you folks, I never would have gotten this far.

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Wollongong, Australia
    Hammock
    Hennessey Explorer (on order)
    Posts
    33

    First Hang

    +1 to the great info on HF for us newbies!

  3. #3
    Senior Member huauqui's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Weeping Water, NE
    Hammock
    HH Explorer Deluxe classic
    Tarp
    HH Hex
    Insulation
    HHSS+OC, 20 UGQ
    Suspension
    rings and straps
    Posts
    165

    Cool Welcome to the addiction!

    Dewy,
    welcome to HF and the addiction. I too was hooked in a very similar way to you. Saw a hammock, did some research, found this site............. You will find this more then just an addition to your camping, you will find as I did that soon you will start looking for excuses to get the hammock out, then you will catch yourself looking at trees and thinking hmm my hammock would fit perfectly there and then .............. But it is okay we are all here to help out and feed that addiction for you since it makes us all feel better about our own addiction.

    "- Tarp tension – I really like the simplicity of having the tarp attached directly to the suspension but I could not get it to stay tight. Even after adjusting, when I got into the hammock it would sag – especially on the zip side. The light breeze I had last night made it flap a bit and I could see real wind really blowing it around. Maybe replacing the stock tie-outs with shock cord would help? Has anyone tried this?"

    I think You will find you will want to use a separate line for your tarp. The three most common reasons I have found around the forum are (in no real order) 1. It will remove the sag from the HH stock setup 2. you can get the tarp up quick then set up your hammock under it incase it is raining 3. If it is raining you can easily pack it up separately and keep your hammock dry. I also find that I can pull the tarp down tighter then stock then when I get in and the hammock sags a bit this gives me the room I need without being so far away that I am concerned about rain and wind. Here is a link to a great illustration by Dejoha that really helped me figure this one out. Most of those who do this use the snake skins to pack up the tarp so it can be deployed really rapidly. This also keep things dry in our pack should the tarp be wet when we pack up camp.


    "- Size – I’m just under 6 feet. Although I was comfortable, there was not much extra room – especially with the sleeping pad and bag. I could see the Expedition becoming my wife’s hammock and me switching to an Explorer. A little more weight but I think the extra space would be well worth it."

    I would definitely recommend the explorer for you, my wife finds the expedition more then comfortable for her but the explorer just fits me better. Just my opinion though!

    huauqui

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Hammock
    WBBB XLC 1.1 Dbl
    Tarp
    Mamajamba
    Insulation
    pad & sleeping bag
    Suspension
    WB Cinch buckles
    Posts
    122
    Images
    1
    - Size – I’m just under 6 feet. Although I was comfortable, there was not much extra room – especially with the sleeping pad and bag. I could see the Expedition becoming my wife’s hammock and me switching to an Explorer. A little more weight but I think the extra space would be well worth it.
    I'm 6'0" and that is exactly how I feel. I sleep great in the Expedition but I feel I am too scrunched up in the ends.

    Now, I am doing my research on my next one so the Expedition can go to my son. I love the Hennessy Hammock but am doing due diligence as others suggested to me to see what else is out there.

    BTW, I love the bottom entry.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for the responses.

    huauqui - I see what you mean about the separate tarp ridge line. Great illustration. I might have to try this. In the meantime, I did add some shock cord to the tarp tie-outs and it really seemed to help with the sag. I will keep experimenting.

    dchrismer - I'd be very interested to hear if you decide to go with another Hennessy or something else.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Redpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Indiana
    Hammock
    Lite Owl/GT SB
    Tarp
    WL Big Daddy
    Insulation
    Jarbidge, JRB
    Suspension
    Whoopies
    Posts
    360
    I would recommend pad extenders, a sleeve that goes over your pad with ccf wings that extend for shoulder coverage. I'm sure someone will chime in here on where to purchase one.
    You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows~Bob Dylan
    http://carnegies-restaurant.com

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