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  1. #1
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    Hennesy Hammock (again)

    I know there are a few enthousiastic Hennesy Hammock users on this forum and I have a simple question to ask about these hammock: When in a more populated place (let's say in a camping located in a National Park), how do you change clothes without offering your naked self to your neighboors and potentialy offending a few more conservative onlookers?

    This question might sound a bit weird since most Hennesy Hammock users tend to stay away from these type of camping sites but we like to spend a few days closer to 'civilization' when touring as much as we like spending a few other days in more remote areas.

    Related to this question, is it worthwhile to consider using these hammock when travelling in pairs as opposed to using a tent? I do find the idea of using a hammock quite attractive, especially since I always find it hard to sleep on a rocky and uneven ground.

  2. #2
    ort
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    I don't have a Hennesy Hammock, but if your in a more populated place such as a national park, they probably have enclosed outdoor toilets. If they're not too disgusting you could change in there.

  3. #3
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    If the bathrooms are too nasty (remember to bring sandals!), you can use the building itself as a screen and change around back. It's common practice to go around the back of shelters along the Appalacian Trail for a bit of privacy (changing, sponge bathes)-especially at crowded sites. You can also rig up a quick screen using some line and your sleeping bag liner rite in your campsite.

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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    I am also not a hammock user, but a guy needs privacy only to change his pants. I would expect that one could wriggle in and out of a pair of shorts without too much difficulty. Otherwise, a quick trip to a nearby restroom should work.

    Other ideas:

    1. A quick trip into the woods (if any).
    2. Don a poncho and change shorts underneath it.
    3. Wait until nightfall and change under cover of darkness.
    4. Wrap a towel around your waist and swap pants underneath.
    5. Wait until nobody is in sight and be quick about it!

  5. #5
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    A bigger issue is whether or not these parks will allow you to attach your hammock to the trees in the camp site at all? Usually they will allow to cruise aroud the camp area to pick out the site you want, so assuming you can find one that has trees the appropriate distance apart, which shouldn't be too hard, the next issue is their policy about attaching anything to the trees? What are peoples experiences with this?

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    Another in the long list of questions, What do you do with your gear? Do you leave it out side or is it all stored in the hammock?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw
    A bigger issue is whether or not these parks will allow you to attach your hammock to the trees in the camp site at all? Usually they will allow to cruise aroud the camp area to pick out the site you want, so assuming you can find one that has trees the appropriate distance apart, which shouldn't be too hard, the next issue is their policy about attaching anything to the trees? What are peoples experiences with this?
    You are right... this is also an important thing to consider... I bet you can transform the hammock into some kind of weird bivy using a few sticks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member jnoble123's Avatar
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    I don't generally find this a big deal but I am also a windsurfer who has had to change into a wet or dry suit outside while standing in howling wind. You get very fast at doing it!

    Changing like this can be really easy if you use a towel, jacket or even a blanket as an external cover as you change.

    My gear rides on the bike virtually non-stop. So far it's been this way for over 11 tours without a problem. I do cover the bike with a Silnylon tarp in areas where people might be more tempted. The tarp is the same colour as the hammock so the bike tends to be much less visible in that circumstance.

    ~Jamie N
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  9. #9
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    We just did a 4 night/5-day C&O Canal towpath trip where 2 of our group used hammocks (one Hennesey, one home-made from a kit). The hammocks can be rigged as biveys for on-ground use (they almost needed to do that the last night - trees were large, separated a good distance, and had poison ivy on the trunks).

    For privacy, the hammock users usually set up at one end of the camping area and set up the hammock's rainfly as a privacy screen. Weather was dry but for a brief shower one night, so they never had to choose between being dry and moedsty. Or they used a tent from someone else in our group for a few minutes.

    For comparison, I used a 1-person Sierra Designs Lightyear CD. The hammocks are probably 1/2 the weight of the tent, pack smaller, and let you dispense with a sleeping pad. OTOH, I had more room in the tent, and better privacy. On sale, my tent and pad cost about what the Hennesey Hammock costs. OTOOH, the other five teenage boys in our group though the teen with the hammock had the COOLEST shelter (and a really cool mom for sewing it up for him) and were discussing how long it would take them to save up enough money to buy one. They also liked the adult's hennesey.

  10. #10
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Change under a towel.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Sebach's Avatar
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    I have a Hennessy hammock and while I haven't used it at a campground site, I would say that you can change in it if you just let the tension on the rain cover go and let it rest on top of the mesh. Interesting that this came up, I actually had my hammock still set up 4 hours ago (weekend camping on a friend's land).

  12. #12
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw
    A bigger issue is whether or not these parks will allow you to attach your hammock to the trees in the camp site at all? Usually they will allow to cruise aroud the camp area to pick out the site you want, so assuming you can find one that has trees the appropriate distance apart, which shouldn't be too hard, the next issue is their policy about attaching anything to the trees? What are peoples experiences with this?
    The Hennessy hammock has tree huggers that protect the tree. I've only ever once camped in a campground, and I had no trouble.

    Also, on the issue of privacy for changing clothes, I do it inside the hammock when necessary and it is not that difficult to change your underwear and shorts while lying down.

    One other thing that has come up is site choices. I'd look for one away from the Winnebagos and as far in the bush as possible.

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    I saw Hammocks and I knew stokell would advise on this and sure enough there you are. Which means you have not started your tours yet, still comming down this way my man..

  14. #14
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Yo Joe:
    Yes, I'm on my way to south Wales and south west England. ETA is currently late September, as I like to travel on the shoulders to avoid the crowds. I promised a mate that I would help him deliver a yacht to the North Channel for the middle of July.
    http://www.rainbowcountry.com/region.../mnc_site.html
    Then I'm doing a fundraiser and heading to Chicago for some jazz in August.

    I'm planning to attend the Swindon CAMRA Beer Festival in the middle of October. I love real ale as much as bike touring.
    http://www.camra.org.uk/SHWebClass.A...Doc&DocID=8878
    You should drop by Swindon.
    Last edited by stokell; 07-05-05 at 05:44 PM.

  15. #15
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    Wow, quite an eventfull summer planned, the rainbow thing looks good, ideal chill out zone really. Yup penciled in the Beer fest, if I am not out on a tour, I might just tour out in that direction. Did I send you my contact details in case of emergency whilst in the UK, I know I sent them out to someone a few months ago, any how if you need them just let me know..

  16. #16
    Back after a long absence joelpalmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    Change under a towel.
    Ive experienced this as a copteative swimmer, not as a rider, and we called it deck changing. If swimmers can get in and out of racing suits (you know, the kind that are so tight you have groves in your body for half an hour after a 1 min race) it should be rel. easy to get in/out of bike shorts. If you lack a towell big enough anything that you can loop around your waist works.

    On the same note - many of the female swimmers did a similar trick by putting a shirt on without putting their arm into the sleeves and stripping down, but I've never personally tried that method.

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    I finally abdicated and bought a Hennessy hammock.

    I tried it for the first time last night in a wooded area near my home. It is still quite cold around here and the temperature dropped bellow freezing point. I was prepared however and had a couple of fleece blankets and a thermarest along with my (very) old sleeping bag.

    The problem was that I found it extremely difficult to stay on my thermarest all night long. I was glad to have my two blankets with me as they served as cushion each side to prevent me from slipping away from the mattress. My feet got slightly numb too from being stuck in the same position for long hours. It was certainly not the most pleasant night I ever spent but I attribute this to my very limited experience with the Hennessy.

    If you have any trick to share to make my nights more comfortable, I'd love to read about them.

  18. #18
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magictofu
    I finally abdicated and bought a Hennessy hammock.

    I tried it for the first time last night in a wooded area near my home. It is still quite cold around here and the temperature dropped bellow freezing point. I was prepared however and had a couple of fleece blankets and a thermarest along with my (very) old sleeping bag.

    The problem was that I found it extremely difficult to stay on my thermarest all night long. I was glad to have my two blankets with me as they served as cushion each side to prevent me from slipping away from the mattress. My feet got slightly numb too from being stuck in the same position for long hours. It was certainly not the most pleasant night I ever spent but I attribute this to my very limited experience with the Hennessy.

    If you have any trick to share to make my nights more comfortable, I'd love to read about them.
    The best tip is to wait until it warms up and you don't need the Thermarest.

  19. #19
    Senior Member jnoble123's Avatar
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    I actually use the thermarest all the time. Even in summer the hammock can become quite cold since the heat transfer through the bottom and sides is so great.

    The other benefit of taking the thermarest along is that if you need to use the hammock as a bivy then you have a bit more cushion between you and the ground.

    The hammock works better in warmer weather that's for sure. I have some of the additional pieces that extend the temperature range significantly and they work well. The biggest problem is the sliding off the therma rest when it's cold out. In the warmer months it doesn't really matter much.

    ~Jamie N
    Interested in Bicycle Touring? -- Bicycle Touring 101

  20. #20
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    I'm just now experiementing with my own cold weather cover. Hennessy sells one that you can stuff with dead leaves. Mine uses vapour barrier plastic and I use baffles to maintain some dead air under the hammock. This also seems to work great for windy days too when there is a lot of heat loss from under the hammock.

    I also use a silver windscreen reflector to lay on and wear only fleece. You don't really need a thermarest in a hammock.

  21. #21
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnoble123
    I actually use the thermarest all the time. Even in summer the hammock can become quite cold since the heat transfer through the bottom and sides is so great.

    The other benefit of taking the thermarest along is that if you need to use the hammock as a bivy then you have a bit more cushion between you and the ground.

    The hammock works better in warmer weather that's for sure. I have some of the additional pieces that extend the temperature range significantly and they work well. The biggest problem is the sliding off the therma rest when it's cold out. In the warmer months it doesn't really matter much.

    ~Jamie N
    I look at a hammock as a weight saving gear item. Although the hammock is heavier than an ultralight tarp, being able to leave the thermarest behind resuts in a net lower weight. If it's cold enough to require the thermarest, I'd rather use the tarp.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the replies. I know about the additional cover you can add to these hammocks for cold weather but since I had a thermarest, I thought I would be fine without it... and I was in some respect when I didn't move too much. My guess is that I should get those sleeping bags with straps to maintain the mattress underneat or those quilts with a bag for the mattress. But that would mean more $ to invest... i guess I could make my own straps too.

    As for supcom comments, I agree that a hammock is a weight saving gizmo but I also find that it is much more comfortable than a tent. A tarp was not an option last night since the ground was made of a mix of mud, ice and snow... and I can imagine other circumstances when a tarp would pose some problem (e.g. high wind).

    Maybe it was just a bit too early... maybe I just need more practice...

  23. #23
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    Right now the biggest problem with them is the price tripples given current distribution if you are over 6'. It's a joke as a bivy. If you are going ot sleep on the ground you need a tarp/tent.

    The fact that the manufacturer says they are easy on trees does not make it so. As a climber I have seen the damage webbing does to trees over a long enough time. And hammock loads are significantly higher than toprope loads. The impact of hammocks is probably zero in your average stealth situation, but it could be significant in a camping type area. There are some camping areas that require tents to go to specific platforms you couldn't mount a Henn. on. I feel we are in for a Snowboarding type reaction when the parks will at first not notice them, then restrict them, and finally maybe learn to live with them. Just a guess.

  24. #24
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    Right now the biggest problem with them is the price tripples given current distribution if you are over 6'. It's a joke as a bivy. If you are going ot sleep on the ground you need a tarp/tent.

    The fact that the manufacturer says they are easy on trees does not make it so. As a climber I have seen the damage webbing does to trees over a long enough time. And hammock loads are significantly higher than toprope loads. The impact of hammocks is probably zero in your average stealth situation, but it could be significant in a camping type area. There are some camping areas that require tents to go to specific platforms you couldn't mount a Henn. on. I feel we are in for a Snowboarding type reaction when the parks will at first not notice them, then restrict them, and finally maybe learn to live with them. Just a guess.
    The tent/hammock debate goes on. I just can't imagine that a hammock could do more damage to the environment than a tent. A tent puts a huge 'footprint' on the flora. I believe hammocks are approved by various groups such as Leave No Trace for a good reason.

    Finally, I can't imagine camping in a campground. Period. Cyclists simply do not belong between a Winnebago and an Airstream. We weren't meant to sleep on platforms and listen to the buzz of air conditioners all night while smelling the contents of a holding tank.

  25. #25
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnoble123
    I actually use the thermarest all the time. Even in summer the hammock can become quite cold since the heat transfer through the bottom and sides is so great.

    The other benefit of taking the thermarest along is that if you need to use the hammock as a bivy then you have a bit more cushion between you and the ground.

    The hammock works better in warmer weather that's for sure. I have some of the additional pieces that extend the temperature range significantly and they work well. The biggest problem is the sliding off the therma rest when it's cold out. In the warmer months it doesn't really matter much.

    ~Jamie N
    I forgot this thread found new life. I've actually got a thread running currently about cold weather camping in a hammock. You might check it out.

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