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  1. #1
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    hennesset hammocks......opinions?

    has anyone toured with one of these before?

    http://www.hennessyhammock.com/

    i like the idea and tying that thing anywhere and the fact that its much less to carry than a tent, but before i go about investing, has anyone used one? and if so how was it?
    there will come a time when there will not come a time.

  2. #2
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Big fan here. I'll never use a tent again.

    Do a search on crazyguyonabike.com for stealth camping. You'll see another dedicated Hennessy hammock bike tourer

  3. #3
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Everest's Avatar
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    A few people here have them, personally I have never used one but once I finish building my touring bike and have the funds a Hennesy will be the first "acessory" I buy.
    Road: Quattro Assi Scandium w/ SRAM Rival and Rolf Echelon's
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    Senior Member Ceiliazul's Avatar
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    I have slept over a creek, levitating over the side of a hill, hovering above 2 feet of snow, and in the spacious wooded corner of a group site that had no more room for traditional tents. I have never failed to find a suitable site for hanging.

    There is a learning curve, but it is so worth it!

    For solo camping, I haven't used a traditional tent in 3 years.
    Jesus Christ made me a man
    Ken Kifer made me a cyclist

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sebach's Avatar
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    I love the versatility of the hammock! Once I was riding, deep in my own thoughts, admiring the sunset until I realized I had about 3 minutes of usable light left, GAH! Unfortunately, I found myself in farm country and no trees around that wern't in someone's lawn right in front of their livingroom window. I burnt it forward and found a little bridge crossing a small valley. No flat ground, but it wasn't a problem, I just pitched the hammock on the slope. It was pretty steep, actually made it a little tough to get out of the hammock in the dark. In retrospect, I was lucky to find any trees at all, and that is probably its only weakness: it's need for something to hang from. A minor gripe of mine is that if it's really really hot and you don't want to lay on a thermarest or a sleeping bag in the hammock, mosquitoes can bite your back thorugh the material. Other than that, the hammock rules.

  7. #7
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    I'd link to my stealth camping journal, only I see someone already has.

    Just an add-on to Sebach's post; I have found that you can use the Hennessy as a bivey if you have no trees, but under Tips and Tricks in the journal someone has come up with some unusual ideas for alternatives to trees.

    As soon as spring sproings I'm going to try out 'the staff trick'. That's using a small pole as a tree substitute. More on that later.

  8. #8
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    I plan on testing my new Hennessy Friday night.

    If you are of average size (under 6ft tall) you can get the expedition model now for $89. These are demos and ones that are "off color." visit the site for more info. Oh, they still come with a warranty.

  9. #9
    Baz
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    I took one across Europe this summer. My two complaints about it are:

    1. The intense difficulty of changing clothes in it.
    2. Nowhere to stow your gear against thieves during the night.

    Neither of those are really issues if you're doing true stealth camping and can get naked outside your hammock with no cares, and you can just leave your gear on the ground underneath you or hung in a tree.

    In the end, I used it very little on this trip, instead opting for just a tarp. I still have much hope for it for touring in the Canadian Rockies, so we'll see how that goes.

    - Baz
    - Baz

  10. #10
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    I just ordered the military Asym (made in the USA, Brady amendment score!), the big ol' hex fly, and the snakeskins.


    I'm stoked. = )
    Villin custom touring | Raleigh XXIX | Medici Pro Pista | 1978 Schwinn Stingray

  11. #11
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    I've been intrigued with all the raves about the Hennessy, but it has one shortcoming I couldn't live with: It's a one-person shelter.

    Yeah, I know there's a model that says "even for a cozy couple", but that's pushing it for night-after-night camping. It would pain me to make my wife stand outside during my sleeping shift. Plus, a lot of camp spots we've been to have some pretty flimsy trees, not enough to hold our combined weight.

    I know the guys who swear by them are using them solo, and for that they're probably ideal. The two-person model weighs as much as our tent, and even Hennessy lists a bunch of reasons why most couples don't like 'em.

    But if I was going solo, I'd try it. Not gonna happen, though...

    -- Mark

  12. #12
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    The good:

    + Comfortable. Your body is supported pretty much evenly so you don't need to move around during the night. No need to carry a sleeping pad so you save weight there.

    + Easier to find a suitable campsite in rough or sloping terrain. So long as there are trees, you can put up the hammock.

    + Lightweight. With no need for a sleeping pad or poles, the ultralight model provides a lighter shelter than a tent and even many tarps.

    + No worries about rain puddling up in your tent.

    + Fast setup once you get the knack of tensioning the ropes correctly.

    The bad:

    - Not good in cold (or even cool) weather without using one of the insulated quilts suspended beneath the hammock. Too much heat loss through compressed sleeping bag insulation.

    - Hard to move around inside the hammock. I think it would be a real drag to be stuck in one on a rainy day.

    - Limited gear space. Best to hang things from the cord above you. Anything laying in the hammock ends up on top of you.

    - Use restrictions. I've seen reports of various parks (national and state) that do not permit hanging a hammock from a tree. Even if using Hennessey's wide straps, you may not be permitted to hang it. Not a problem when stealth camping, of course.

    - Good for one occupant only.

    I have a Hennessey Hammock I bought last fall and used once before winter. I'm looking forward to using it later this year. I don't worry about difficulty dressing in the hammock. Once you pull on a pair of shorts, you can hop out of the hammock and finish dressing.

  13. #13
    where2pedalto.com andrewh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmmCeeBee
    I've been intrigued with all the raves about the Hennessy, but it has one shortcoming I couldn't live with: It's a one-person shelter.

    Yeah, I know there's a model that says "even for a cozy couple", but that's pushing it for night-after-night camping. It would pain me to make my wife stand outside during my sleeping shift. Plus, a lot of camp spots we've been to have some pretty flimsy trees, not enough to hold our combined weight.

    I know the guys who swear by them are using them solo, and for that they're probably ideal. The two-person model weighs as much as our tent, and even Hennessy lists a bunch of reasons why most couples don't like 'em.

    But if I was going solo, I'd try it. Not gonna happen, though...

    -- Mark
    I agree with you re the two person bit. I love the idea of the Hennessy but wish there was a roomy two person one that my wife and I could use as an alternative to the tent when the situation presented itself.

    Regards
    Andrew
    http://www.where2pedalto.gr8m8s.net

  14. #14
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    The bad:

    - Not good in cold (or even cool) weather without using one of the insulated quilts suspended beneath the hammock. Too much heat loss through compressed sleeping bag insulation.
    This can be a major problem with the hammock. My sleeping bag is good down to +5C easily, with sleeping pad. Last summer I spent a couple of nights in the hammock in +10C or thereabouts, falling asleep feeling toasty and waking up shivering hours later. A pad inside the hammock helps, but it makes moving even more difficult. The quilt is probably the best way to add insulation.

    Other than that I think it's great. I particularly like to listen to mosqitos going crazy on the outside.

    --J
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    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    OK, I've got a question ... suppose you're touring in conditions like in the photo below ....

    What do you attach the hammock to?

    .
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #16
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    You use the bivy way of pitching it - but it isn't designed for that terrain, so you wouldn't be taking your hammock with you on that trip. Or you would ride to the next river where there are trees. (between two signposts/fenceposts)

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caspar_s
    You use the bivy way of pitching it - but it isn't designed for that terrain, so you wouldn't be taking your hammock with you on that trip. Or you would ride to the next river where there are trees. (between two signposts/fenceposts)

    That photo was taken on a cycling trip across eastern Colorado. Western Kansas was exactly the same. Up in Canada, eastern Alberta, Saskatchewan and parts of Manitoba look like that. So .... if someone is planning a cross country trip in either Canada or the US .... the hammock might not be the best idea??

  18. #18
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    From the trip reports I've read crossing Canada, there are plenty of stops where you can get a motel if it is too flat, and there was always campsites with trees and such. While there are stretches that look like that, I don't think they are completely barren of life - be it tree or human.

    I guess you could look for native Saskatchewans or Kansasians? to let you know more.

    Also, it might not - you'd have to decide for yourself if you want to stay in a hammock for the months you cross the continent. I don't know what the record for the crossing is. Depends on your riding style too - do you sit out bad weather? Might not be too comfortable in a hammock all day. Or are you ok with getting a motel in barren areas or when the weather is bad and you want a wash day/break.
    Last edited by Caspar_s; 03-11-06 at 10:19 PM.

  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caspar_s
    While there are stretches that look like that, I don't think they are completely barren of life - be it tree or human.
    You weren't on the Last Chance in eastern Colorado/western Kansas. Highway 36 (the one in the photo) is the most barren highway I've ever laid eyes on!!! I was completely astounded .... 600 kilometers (each way) of NOTHING! http://www.machka.net/usa/24h_lcride.htm

    In Canada, it does depend on the route you choose. While there are campsites in many small towns, not all of them have trees, or at least, not trees big enough to support any weight. Also, in some towns, the "motels" are a room above the local bar.

    Oh BTW - I currently live in Alberta, and I've lived in Saskatchewan, and Manitoba ... and I've travelled quite frequently across them all by car and by bicycle, so I am somewhat familiar with what's available.

    All I'm saying is that if you opt to use a hammock, you might want to keep your travel location in mind.

  20. #20
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    OK, I've got a question ... suppose you're touring in conditions like in the photo below ....

    What do you attach the hammock to?

    .
    There is always the ol'
    staff trick.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    I knew you were from Canada, but most of your writing I've read were Canadian Rockies. (oh, you seem to have quite a few broken pic links on that page)

    600km of nothing. That would be quite an interesting ride.

    That staff trick looks quite cool - telephone pole and a staff. Yup, you have to keep your destination in mind when planning your trip - but that is true for everything. 40 degree bag when going through the mountains? I guess you could buy a cheap self standing tent before entering that area, and sell it when you leave.

  22. #22
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    I was wondering, why wouldn't it be possible to use the hammock on the ground? Is the material too weak to be on the ground? A tent footprint might take care of that problem. This would add some versatility and get rid of some of the concerns of the hammock. Other people in this forum have mentioned sleeping under tarps. This may affect the degree in which the hammock tapr is waterproof. Also, water proofness in areas with no trees wouldn't be a major concern (still a slight concern) because if there aren't many trees, it is likely that the amount of rain received is not very high either (some of these areas get big storms though but are usually quick and intense rather than dragged out. It could also be possibly staked up using hiking poles or such if you are a tourer that also does a lot of hiking when on tour. Just some thoughts of mine.

    I am considering purchasing either a tent or a hammock and it seems as thought the hammock is more versatile and can be used on the ground if needed or put up into the trees if that is more suited to the area. Maybe it might be possible to alter one of these hammocks to be able to make a makeshift tent for non-tree areas or times when it is cold and are concerned about losing too much heat or just times when you just want a break from sleeping off the ground.
    All year baby! -40 to +40 riding weather.

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caspar_s
    I knew you were from Canada, but most of your writing I've read were Canadian Rockies. (oh, you seem to have quite a few broken pic links on that page)

    600km of nothing. That would be quite an interesting ride.

    That staff trick looks quite cool - telephone pole and a staff. Yup, you have to keep your destination in mind when planning your trip - but that is true for everything. 40 degree bag when going through the mountains? I guess you could buy a cheap self standing tent before entering that area, and sell it when you leave.
    I was born in Saskatchewan and have spent most of my life living in the prairies ... but I prefer the mountains.

    The only interesting part of 600 km of nothing was the fact that, for the first time on any ride I've done, I reached the point where I felt like my brain was going to crawl out of my skull and run screaming into the nothingness!!! I actually ran out of things to think about!!

    I checked the page on my computer and everything is coming up all right (although a little slow) ... I'll check on another computer later. Thanks.

  24. #24
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Hammocks attach to telephone poles, street signs, fences, buildings and many other things. Trees are not the only things to be used. Sometimes you just gotta be creative.

  25. #25
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riderfan_lee
    I was wondering, why wouldn't it be possible to use the hammock on the ground? Is the material too weak to be on the ground? A tent footprint might take care of that problem. This would add some versatility and get rid of some of the concerns of the hammock. Other people in this forum have mentioned sleeping under tarps. This may affect the degree in which the hammock tapr is waterproof. Also, water proofness in areas with no trees wouldn't be a major concern (still a slight concern) because if there aren't many trees, it is likely that the amount of rain received is not very high either (some of these areas get big storms though but are usually quick and intense rather than dragged out. It could also be possibly staked up using hiking poles or such if you are a tourer that also does a lot of hiking when on tour. Just some thoughts of mine.

    I am considering purchasing either a tent or a hammock and it seems as thought the hammock is more versatile and can be used on the ground if needed or put up into the trees if that is more suited to the area. Maybe it might be possible to alter one of these hammocks to be able to make a makeshift tent for non-tree areas or times when it is cold and are concerned about losing too much heat or just times when you just want a break from sleeping off the ground.

    The Hennessey Hammock web site has a discussion on how to pitch their hammock on the ground. In the event of rain or wet ground, a mylar emergency "space blanket" can be used as a waterproof ground cloth.

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