Author Topic: Hennessy Hammock  (Read 4659 times)

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Hennessy Hammock
« on: 12 January, 2012, 02:43:44 pm »
Any one got one? If so what are they like? Seem popular with wild-camping cyclo-tourists and am wondering if it worth me buying one....
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #1 on: 12 January, 2012, 02:53:17 pm »

I've done a fair bit of it - I was on a part-time course that was one weekend a month, and camped whenever I could, using a hammock, for about 5 years.

I'd suggest trying some hammock-camping before shelling out.

You can make up your own hammock very very cheaply - I followed plans online using skirt lining and webbing from a habdashers. I never bothered adding mossie netting to mine, or a rain cover, because I was using a buffalo sleeping bag.

Advantages:

You can camp places that aren't usable with a tent. Slopes, bogs.
Home-made is very light and small.
Personally I find hammocks more comfortable than being on the ground in a tent.

Disadvantages:

You lose a lot of heat from under you. This is difficult to overcome and people spend much time (and money) tackling the problem. You can't just shove a thermarest under you.

The hammock is useless on normal campsites.

Getting dressed in a hammock is not easy.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #2 on: 14 January, 2012, 09:11:59 am »
The Hennessy ones are basically a tent and hammock in one, but I am now dithering.  Options are:

1) buy a 1/2 man tent (Go-Outdoors have a Vango Banshee for £80 right now: http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/vango-banshee-200-tent-p140006)
2) buy a Hennessy hammock (plus snake skins and webbing straps)
3) buy a "normal" hammock and tarp.

Pros
All weigh about the same (within a few 100's of grams)
In a hammock it doesn't matter how lumpy the ground is.
A Hennnessy hammock is expensive (~£170), whereas a tent is £80 and a hammock and tarp less.)

Cons
As mentioned by Mr C, you can't get dressed in a hammock
Need 2 trees (at least) to put up a hammock
A tent needs good ground/not rocky.
I have no experience of sleeping overnight in a hammock, but plenty in a tent.
Hammocks can be cold.

Oh decisions, decisions.....


I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #3 on: 14 January, 2012, 09:21:28 am »
This series might help shugemery, he also does a nice line in "cold" hammock hanging!

Chris N

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #4 on: 14 January, 2012, 09:24:11 am »
S/H DD hammock for sale here: http://bearbonesbikepacking.co.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=418
Combine with Alpkit Rig tarp?

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #5 on: 14 January, 2012, 12:01:46 pm »
Another option
Spend £10 on fabric, make your own and try it out.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #6 on: 14 January, 2012, 12:39:31 pm »
Another option
Spend £10 on fabric, make your own and try it out.

Cheaper than that, I have a netting one in the attic, it's just where to put it to try it.  I know I can fall asleep in a hammock as I used to have a HUGE frame one for the garden (which I made £40 on when B&Q did a recall, but that's another story).  It's more if I can sleep overnight in one and still be functional in the morning....
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #7 on: 14 January, 2012, 01:34:53 pm »
The netting ones just aren't the same feel at all.

The Hennessy||DD etc hammocks have a very different feel, almost like being cocooned. You sleep on a slight diagonal and the fabric stretches up on either side of you.

If I can dig out one of my old homemade ones, you should borrow it and have a sleep out a few times.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #8 on: 14 January, 2012, 01:42:03 pm »
It sounds like somewhere that an extremely upmarket tramp would sleep.
Through the angel rain, through the dust and the gasoline, through the cruelty of strangers, to the neon dream

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #9 on: 14 January, 2012, 01:45:52 pm »
Oh no. Think more 'penthouse suite' than 'vagabond'
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #10 on: 19 January, 2012, 12:18:32 am »
I  Have used a Hennessey Hammock Ultralite for years in all kinds of conditions, including snow, full-on storms, and across the Nullarbor  (no trees) in Australia. Extended walking treks and cycling. Simply the best, most comfortable, and lightest camping option available for my uses.

There are compromises with all equipment. With a Hennessey hammock, it's learning how to make yourself warm underneath, which on older models can be done with judiciously arranged pieces of foam.  The later models have a great insulating system that you can buy from Hennesey.

There is almost always somewhere you can pitch a hammock if you're observant and competent with basic knots. Even on a treeless plain. In a pinch, you can make it a basic tent. One drawback in Australia can be the various species of gum trees that drop branches at unexpected times; usually, these can be avoided. On the other hand, I've strung up my hammock across swamp water and on severe slopes, and watched a wall of water created by a severe storm that would have washed a tent away pass harmlessly under the hammock while I remained dry and comfortable inside. I've found the hammock reassuring, too, when camping near water in Arnhem Land because I  could sling it high and above any wandering nocturnal crocodile. Seriously.

The hammock can be difficult to dress in, but with experience and organisation it's easily done. Usually I dress under the hammock anyway. The hammock is easily slung up for quick naps, and on a long trip, I find having my weight suspended across my whole length much more restful and comfortable than lying on my hips and shoulders on a camping mat. If my partner would let me, I'd sleep in a Hennesey hammock inside all the time. They're probably not great for sex, tho', or at least not on an ongoing basis.

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #11 on: 19 January, 2012, 12:23:22 am »
The last bit was a joke. They are great for sex. No no no. Really, they're very practical, durable, and light. For a long time I kept mine in my car, so I cld take a kip easily on long trips. And they're light enough to chuck in a saddlebag when doing the same on a bike.

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #12 on: 19 January, 2012, 09:40:07 am »
. On the other hand, I've strung up my hammock across swamp water and on severe slopes, and watched a wall of water created by a severe storm that would have washed a tent away pass harmlessly under the hammock while I remained dry and comfortable inside.
+10 for this. It's interesting how little waterproofing you need when suspended above the wet ground. And I love pitching the hammock on really steep slopes - a bed with a view!
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #13 on: 19 January, 2012, 05:04:26 pm »
Welcome to yacf, Cecil  :)

I've been looking at some Hennessy Hammock vids on their site and on youtube. How much space is there under the fly for wet-weather cooking, dressing etc, I wonder?


Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #14 on: 20 January, 2012, 12:37:59 am »
How much space is there under the fly for wet-weather cooking, dressing etc, I wonder?

That's what's put me off.
If you are eating in cafes and pubs, cooking isn't a problem, but take the sort of day where it's bucketing down at first light and shows no sign of stopping, and in a tent you'd just write the day off, get your book out and brew up at regular intervals, what do you do in a hammock?

A hammock strikes me as being a bit of a contradiction - on the one hand you are more or less committed to wild camping, and on the other hand you are making it difficult to avoid civilisation for eating.
Plus a Hennesey Hammock isn't actually any lighter than a lightweight tent anyway.

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #15 on: 20 January, 2012, 09:15:23 am »
A hammock strikes me as being a bit of a contradiction - on the one hand you are more or less committed to wild camping, and on the other hand you are making it difficult to avoid civilisation for eating.
Plus a Hennesey Hammock isn't actually any lighter than a lightweight tent anyway.

Yes and no. You don't need a camping mat if hammock camping. Hennesey hammocks are well heavy! My home-made job was feather-light - half-size of loaf of bread when packed up and weighing about as much as a 3-layer goretex jacket.

But you are right about the wild camping bit.  It's ok when travelling solo in the UK, as it's nearly always possible to find a copse in some quiet spot - remember that you can camp on steep hillsides with a hammock.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #16 on: 20 January, 2012, 11:39:19 am »
Quote
Yes and no. You don't need a camping mat if hammock camping. Hennesey hammocks are well heavy!

Is this because their hammocks have insulation underneath?


Quote
My home-made job was feather-light - half-size of loaf of bread when packed up and weighing about as much as a 3-layer goretex jacket

Have you considered going into business, MrC?

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #17 on: 20 January, 2012, 11:41:37 am »
Hennessy use stronger fabrics, have sewn-in gubbins - so inevitably they are heavier.

I was a member of a hammock forum - people make the most incredible things, wonderful designs. I just followed the most basic one (ie, no sewing).
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #18 on: 20 January, 2012, 01:36:45 pm »
A hammock strikes me as being a bit of a contradiction - on the one hand you are more or less committed to wild camping, and on the other hand you are making it difficult to avoid civilisation for eating.
Plus a Hennesey Hammock isn't actually any lighter than a lightweight tent anyway.

Yes and no. You don't need a camping mat if hammock camping. Hennesey hammocks are well heavy! My home-made job was feather-light - half-size of loaf of bread when packed up and weighing about as much as a 3-layer goretex jacket.

But you are right about the wild camping bit.  It's ok when travelling solo in the UK, as it's nearly always possible to find a copse in some quiet spot - remember that you can camp on steep hillsides with a hammock.

Quote from: mrcharly
You lose a lot of heat from under you. This is difficult to overcome and people spend much time (and money) tackling the problem. You can't just shove a thermarest under you.

I was working on the basis that a camping mat was equivalent to whatever solution you come up with for losing heat below.
It's only extra in hot weather when you are only using the mat for comfort.

The point about the contradiction was that if you can't cook, your easy to find quiet spot has to be relatively close to a source of cooked meals (open at the time you want to eat). Otherwise, in a hammock on a steep slope, you are committed to possibly getting up in the rain and riding for an hour before your first mug of tea/coffee in the morning. Some people wouldn't get on with that.

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #19 on: 20 January, 2012, 01:41:31 pm »
Well, yes and no.

The insulation under you can be very light - I used something that weighed less than 100g.

Mats are heavy because they have to stand up to being crushed against the ground by the weight of a human being.

When I've camped on a steep slope I've either made a fire (because I was somewhere where I could) or used a meths stove.

It's gigglingly funny to be cooking in a wood fire (in a little trench, say 6" x 10") that is level with your hammock and arm's reach away, while on the downhill side there is a 3ft drop. Just make sure you tie your luggage to a tree . . .

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #20 on: 20 January, 2012, 06:12:40 pm »
I like to use a hammock, cooking is no problem, I can set my stove up on the ground to one side and can cook, eat and brew up without getting out so I can be nice and cosy. Don't have a Hennessy, I just use a net type with a tarp'.

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #21 on: 21 January, 2012, 11:40:13 am »
Sorry for delayed response:
There's as much room under a Hennessey hammock as you care to make. It's determined by the type of fly you take and the height you sling the hammock.

Staying inside one for a day, or more, is easy for me. There are way more comfortable ways to lie down, sit, stretch &c in supported positions than in a tent. At least for me. I cannot speak for others. Though I do wish to point out, ahem, that experience and experimentation with an actual hammock is a better basis for an opinion than speculation.

Cooking, as others have mentioned, is easy under or beside the hammock.

As too weight, I don't know how light tents can be now. I guess with modern materials and designs the answer might be "very", I haven't looked at buying a tent for years. When I was in the market for a new tent or hammock, nothing came close to a hammock for lightness, and a Hennessey hammock was *for me* a great combination of flexibility, durability, lightness, and comfort. With extra long supporting ropes and broader slings than the standard Hennessey, together with insulating foam, my hammock weighs about 2.5 lbs.  It's much better made than anything *I* could whip up with a machine, and more convenient, comfortable, and consistent in performance--not to mention insect-proof--than the improvised hammocks I previously made at each campsite with cord, nylon sheet, and found sticks, as much fun as that was. But they may not be for everyone: my son could never get used to sleeping in one, and prefers a tent. As I said: all shelters, like any designed object, involve some sort of compromise.

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #22 on: 21 January, 2012, 11:42:22 am »
"As too weight ..."!

Sigh.

My apologies.

Re: Hennessy Hammock
« Reply #23 on: 21 January, 2012, 11:58:01 am »
I forgot to mention the other great feature of light hammocks: as they do not require a flat(ish) area to pitch on, they can be much less conspicuous than a tent. They can be slung in bushes and out of the way areas. I've slung one between the edge of a building and a car park apparently completely invisible to drivers; and taken a nap on a 50degC day in Western Australia in the bushes in the middle of a large roundabout. It was the shadiest spot, and no one knew I was there.

Of course, if you're slung between the only two trees for miles, you're conspicuous. But a tent would be too.

I've also slept slung between the open front door and back end of a Toyota Landcruiser. Hammocks can be surprisingly versatile.