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  1. #1
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    "Vintage" HH UBLA torture test

    Hi everyone,

    I'm out in the boonies and I finally got a little 3G internet access so I thought I'd run a mini review of my HH ULBA.

    Mine was bought brand new in 2001. It's seen snow, desert and jungle and come through with flying colours. It has a couple of small mods and repairs: noseeum netting was holed by an inarticulately placed boot back in '01. I have not repaired this, just put a square of 100mph tape over each side of the hole. The original spectra rope was a crock. I ended up breaking it in three places until I ditched it in favour of some static climbing accessory cord. This has a little bit of stretch compared to the spectra rope, but it is not noticeable until a few days have passed while slung in the same spot. If you were backpacking and set up in a different place every night, you would not even notice the stretch. In fine weather I usually go without a tarp or just use the supplied one with only one side pegged out. When it's wet, I use an army tarp shelter slung asymmetrically. My snake skins got chewed on by big, nasty black ants which literally ate chunks out of the silnylon so these have been replaced with a new set. The velcro in the entry slit is a little tattered but still works. Not bad for eight years of hard use.

    At time of writing I have been sleeping in this hammock continuously for just on the three months.

    The climate is tropical and the first three weeks were torrential rain. This is the longest I have ever had the hammock slung in the rain. I am pleased to report that although some small mould spots have appeared on the outside of the hammock body, no water came inside the hammock unless it was on me when I got inside.

    Comfort after 3 months continuous usage? I sleep like a baby every night.

    Location? Iron Range national park, Far North Queensland, Australia. This is Australia's largest patch of tropical lowland rainforest. I've currently relocated to a very nice beach nearby complete with coconut palms and indigenous spear fishermen hunting traditionally.

    So rest assured that your HH CAN take 3 months in the jungle. Easy and very impressive. I was actually expecting it to fail on me at some stage, but it is as strong as the day I bought it.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    mclmm,
    That is great information. Bought in 2001, 8 years old? I'd say that is good to know that this has held up that well. Thanks for letting us know! Your ants sound pretty fierce!
    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
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    If a Backpacker UL is that durable how long would an Expedtion last? Quite a while, methinks.

  4. #4
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Great info. We tend to report on what's new, but the true test is time. Glad to see the HH ULBA has held up so well. My Explorer should last forever.
    Knotty
    "Don't speak unless it improves the silence." -proverb
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Albert Skye's Avatar
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    mclmm, thanks for your post. Please describe how the stock HH spectra lines failed; I imagine many readers would be interested to know how they failed and under what conditions.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Thanks for the replies folks.

    If a ULBA can stand this sort of punishment then an Explorer should be just about immortal.

    Albert, the spectra lines failed under load because I wasn't using the HH knot as per the instructions, but rather a truckie's hitch...



    ... because I foolishly knew better. Operator Fail.

    The "half sheepshank" part of the hitch caused the spectra line to literally scissor itself under load and snap on three separate occasions.

    Crashing to the deck three times has given me a morbid fear of spectra hammock lines.

    On the plus side though, I have proven that a double Figure-8 knot is a reliable field repair on HH main lines, as is a fisherman's knot.

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Howdy,

    Just wondering what you do to take you out into the bush for three months... (whatever it is, it sounds like a lifestyle option )

    Also, what is the 3G coverage like (I am a 'computer camper' and am thinking seriously about 3G - Here in Japan there are loads of mountains, so I thought the coverage would be sucky, so I'm keen to hear about your experience)

    Also, one would assume I will eventually make it back to OZ and continue hanging over there, so it's good info (I haven't been home for seven years...)

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Hey Sakura1998,

    I have been doing a heritage and UXO survey on a WWII USAAF bomber base and its associated infrastructure like, stores facilities, camp sites, AA gun sites, disposal burials, aircraft dump, etc. Got back home a couple of days ago.

    3G coverage is pretty good up in that area considering it is about 800km (500 miles) from the nearest major city, Cairns. In the jungle I had to drive up to the top of a nearby hill to check email but when I was camped on a beach, 3G reception was great - but only with Telstra Next G - Telstra (one of our main phone companies here in Oz) sucks, but it's the only game in town up there.

    Here are some pics of the various damage/mods to the hammock...


    8 year-old 100MPH tape bug net field repair


    Side tie-outs replaced with milspec shock cord - original black shock cord snapped a couple of years ago.


    Tatty velcro on entry slit - time to replace soon I think...


    Static climbing accessory cord which replaced the original spectra cord


    Bug damage. This is one of my old snakekins which was eaten by ants.
    Last edited by mclmm; 08-06-2009 at 07:37. Reason: unable to edit original post

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