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Hammock in a Winter Wonderland...

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  • Brian Dodez
    Hi Jerry I would like to throw my hat in the fire ring for the Hennessy Hammock tester. I am a 30-year-old male, about 5 11 and currently 170#. I say
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 3, 2000
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      Hi Jerry

      I would like to throw my hat in the fire ring for the Hennessy Hammock
      tester.

      I am a 30-year-old male, about 5' 11" and currently 170#. I say currently
      because I just completed a thruhike of the Appalachian Trail (April 29th to
      September 17th), and I'm still working on getting back the 35 pounds I lost
      out there. Otherwise my experiences backpacking are in Western and Central
      PA and I'm planning on hitting the Shawnee Backpack Trail in Southern Ohio
      around Thanksgiving. I keep my pack weight as low as I possibly can.

      While on the AT, my biggest problem shelter-wise was water coming in through
      the floor (we got pounded with rain), stability in wind, and condensation.
      I have recently been toying with the idea of using a lightweight hammock
      instead of a tent, as all of my hiking is in areas with lots of trees.

      My winter strategy is to get out in typical Midwest weather: snow, sleet and
      up and down temperature fluctuations. Here's what I am looking for:

      1. How does the hammock do condensation-wise, and how much of that is a
      function of current weather conditions?

      2. How does it do with snow, especially wet snow?

      3. Does it keep out driving rain?

      4. How stable is it in the wind?

      5. How well does the entry system work? Does it create unforeseen problems
      in winter or rainy conditions?

      6. How spacious is it? Does stowing extra winter gear in the hammock
      create space problems?

      7. Does the lightweight material necessitate special care considerations or
      a shortened expected product life?

      8. Does the reflector described on the website work in winter conditions,
      or is a lightweight foam pad necessary?

      9. How is the overall workmanship?

      10. How does it compare to a lightweight tent?

      Reports are no problem (you can see I have no problem writing too much).
      Pictures are also not a problem.

      Thanks for your consideration.

      Brian Dodez

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    • Gear Tester
      ... From: Brian Dodez To: BackpackGearTest@egroups.com Sent: Friday, November 03, 2000 9:15 AM Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Hammock in a Winter Wonderland... 1.
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 3, 2000
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        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Friday, November 03, 2000 9:15 AM
        Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Hammock in a Winter Wonderland...

        1.  How does the hammock do condensation-wise, and how much of that is a
        function of current weather conditions?
        Condensation is pretty much a non-issure with hammocks

        2.  How does it do with snow, especially wet snow?
        Well. When the rainfly touches your nose and wakes you up just hit it and the snow will fall off....=o)

        3.  Does it keep out driving rain?
        Yes, especially with the new fly that will be coming with the test hammocks.

        4.  How stable is it in the wind?
        VERY. I pitched mine on a ledge at the head of a LONG, narrow canyon just to fine out. The fly buzzing all night drove me nuts but the hammock just did a gently swaying. The things I do for my hobby.

        5.  How well does the entry system work?  Does it create unforeseen problems
        in winter or rainy conditions?
        You just rise up through the slit, set back and down, pull your legs in and it seals. Adjusting the velco on the entrance slit does make for a more secure closure but I frequently don't bother. All of the unforseen problems I know of are....well...unforseen yet....  ;o)

        6.  How spacious is it?  Does stowing extra winter gear in the hammock
        create space problems?
        I don't think it is really too practical to store much gear inside the hammock. It comes with a slider net pouch on the ridge line for small items from your pockets. I also hang my glasses over the line. If I am going to be out in long term bad weather I leave the factory fly at home and take a 10' x 12' silnylon tarp instead. There are 2 or 3 ways to pitch it. If the wind/snow isn't too bad I like a 3' on oneside, 9' on the other drap over the ridge line. That gives you TONS of protected space and you can enter the hammock out of the weather. If it is heavy snow I pitch it 6' foot on each side with a pretty mean pitch. Snow doesn't stick to sharply pitched silnylon very well.

        7.  Does the lightweight material necessitate special care considerations or
        a shortened expected product life?
        Not that I've seen. The thing appears to be toughern' a boot. I don't abuse my gear but I damn sure don't baby it either.

        8.  Does the reflector described on the website work in winter conditions,
        or is a lightweight foam pad necessary?
        Good question. That's one of the things Tom wants to find out. I think you will need the same thickness pad as you'd need in a tent/tarp. I believe a synthetic bag will work better than a down one. The sides of the hammock tend to compress down. But each tester is supposed to work out a system for themselves. I was in one last night at 25 degrees. I had no space blanket, a 2" thick Therma-rest (the same one I use for all snow/ice packing)and a Big Agnes 20 degree synthetic bag. No problem.

        9.  How is the overall workmanship?
        Outstanding. Tom is a perfectionist.

        10.  How does it compare to a lightweight tent?
        In what way? It's lighter, more comfortable, much easier and faster to set up, can be set up in places that a tent would just be impossible, and has no poles so it packs smaller. But then I'm a convert. You may hate it. But I'd be surprised. It does take a different style of camp set up. Not bad, just different. And it is MUCH less picky about the terrain. Two trees are a lot easier to find in the mountains than a level, flat, clear, open space big enough to set up a tent.

        Reports are no problem (you can see I have no problem writing too much). 
        Pictures are also not a problem.

        Thanks for your consideration.

        Brian Dodez

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