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16798Hennessy Hammock-Explorer Ultralite A-Sym

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  • Marge Prothman
    Aug 31, 2002
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      Date: 8/31/02

      Tester information:
      Name: Marge Prothman
      E-mail: marge@...
      Age: 70 +
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5'8"
      Weight: 152 lbs
      Location: Hailey/Sun Valley, Idaho

      Tester Biography:
      For the past forty years I have either worked or lived in the mountains and the past
      fifteen years have been in retirement. I was fortunate to trek and hike all over
      the world until the money ran out. Now, my long term goals are to complete the Pacific Crest Trail in my lifetime and to hike more areas in this country. There is a long list on my desk of places I want to hike and explore.

      I delight in lightweight backpacking and do not like my pack to weigh over 25 lbs., total.
      Silnylon, new pack materials, and counting the ounces, along with a different mindset on what
      I really need in my pack are making this all possible for me to stay out there and enjoy the mountains.

      During the summer months I take numerous backpacking trips and when not backpacking I day hike. I am an avid skier, both downhill and cross-country (skate ski) during the winter months.
      I have a marvelous life here in the Wood River Valley of Idaho.

      Product Information:

      Model: Explorer Ultralite A-Sym, New for 2002.
      Manufacturer Weight: Hammock: 2 lbs. 3 oz.
      Weight: at post office including the SnakeSkins: 2 lbs. 6 oz.

      The Hammock arrived just after I got home from a backpacking trip. It was in a non-descript
      olive green plastic type envelope. I immediately cut it open and went down to the Post Office
      and weighed the Hammock and the SnakeSkins. The weight was 2 lbs. 6 oz. total for both.

      The Hammock came in a black draw string bag and the instructions for setting up the Hammock
      are printed on this bag. It also had a hang tag which had further instructions. The SnakeSkins came wrapped in a plastic bag with a green top. The green top had the instructions printed on the inside on how to use the SnakeSkins. I found this out after the fact. A few days later I received a no-charge invoice in the mail for the Hammock.

      Back home from the Post Office I placed the Hammock in the Living room on the coffee table.
      For two days I circled the coffee table not quite able to undo it and take a look. I wondered
      what I had gotten myself into. I was really excited to receive the hammock and to try it out
      but I was apprehensive.

      I finally took it over to my neighbors house (I do not have trees) and we labored to set it up
      on her trees. We bent the trees. But at least I now have it out of the bag and am not afraid.
      I practiced tying the knots on the kitchen chairs and the next day full of confidence I went to a different friend and I was successful in getting the knots tied correctly and the Hammock set up. It even rained on us and I just sat in the Hammock under the fly until the rain finished.
      You need four stakes to complete the Hammock and they are not provided. You could always tie
      off the Hammock and Tarp to various other trees or rocks in the woods, I preferred the stakes.

      Now, the next step is to sleep in it. Except, this friend lived sixty miles down the road and I
      had not come prepared to stay the night. I took down the Hammock and installed the SnakeSkins.
      This was very easy, you slide them over each end of the rope and draw them up over the Hammock.
      This leaves you with a long skinny coil type Hammock which easily fits into the Hammock bag.
      The next time you use the Hammock, all you do is push the SnakeSkins to each end, leaving them on the ridgeline in position to pull them on again.

      This INITIAL report does not have some of the required details, I will leave that for the next report. This report is about a person of my tender age (and I will now admit to 75 years) "stepping out of the box" being able to put the Hammock up by myself and tying the knots correctly and then getting inside and sleeping in it.

      Well, I CAN DO IT and it was a HOOT.

      I have slept in the Hammock three nights now, not in the mountains but in our town of Hailey, Idaho, which is located at 5800 ft. Our night time temperatures have been 38 degrees F. up to 42 degrees F. I am not sleeping far from my car and I am making sure I will be warm enough with the use of a heavy down quilt and my sleeping bag. I put my Mt. Washington Pad in first and then put the down quilt in on the diagonal so there would be insulation under me and around my arms and shoulders.

      The entry to the Hammock is through the bottom, there is a large slit which when closed is secured with Velcro. I stood on the ground with the top half of me inside the Hammock. I folded the pad and the Quilt over onto itself. Then I turned around and sat on this, pulled up my legs and tucked them into the Hammock. Amazingly, the Hammock immediately closed itself with the Velcro. I then raised my legs and bottom and straightened out the pad and quilt. Next, I pulled my sleeping bag, which I had previously put in at the head end of the hammock, and used it like a quilt with a foot pocket. My Capilene long underwear completed my bed and I was toasty warm. It was a marvelous sleep, I was under the Aspen trees and the rustling leaves lulled me to sleep. I was up the next morning at seven a.m.

      The setup I have described to sleep in the Hammock, would be too heavy to pack. I will now work on a reflective pad using wind block fleece and foam. I will see if this combination will give me enough warmth to backpack with the Hammock, using just my sleeping bag during the cooler weather.

      I hope to utilize the Hammock as much as possible while backpacking during September, especially when I go to Washington State. I am hoping to do some hikes in Washington and normally the night temperatures are warmer than Idaho.

      Marge (the old gal)
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