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Farewell report

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  • George Cole
    Your impression is incorrect. The testers are generally chosen with an eye toward satisfying the manufacturers requirements for that specific test. In
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 8, 2000
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      <SNIP>Your impression is incorrect. The testers are generally chosen with an
      eye toward satisfying the manufacturers requirements for that specific test.
      In the case of a completely new product by a new manufacturer, the very lack
      of experience of a tester may be a plus as this would show the manufacturer
      possible weaknesses in their instructions for use or in the product itself
      when used by the inexperienced. Some of the testers applying for the
      Hennessy test didn't live in areas nor were they going to areas, within the
      time frame of the test, that would provide the conditions required by the
      manufacturer for this test. This particular test could require some simple
      construction or minor engineering abilities. All of that was taken into
      consideration. In the Seychelle test the requirements weren't very
      restrictive and the selection was random. I suppose a case could be made
      that no human action is ever truly random. A truly random selection wouldn't
      be in the best interests of the people on this list or the manufacturers.
      Gerry was chosen for the stated reasons. I hope the stated reasons will
      prove to be unnecessary in the future. If you feel this is unreasonable then
      please do not apply in the future. This list is not a drawing for gear give
      away or a popularity contest. It is a serious list for the testing of gear
      for the benefit of both manufacturers and the people on this list. I hope
      this clarifies this issue.
      Thanks for your interest.<SNIP>

      Thank you. Issue clarified. But since it appears that there will be no
      free gear or enhanced popularity eventuating from my participation on this
      list, I guess I should withdraw. (How did you spot me? We've never even
      met.) However, before I go I guess I will begrudgingly share with you and
      Tom and the listers my impressions on testing and modifying the Hennessy, a
      piece of gear I've used extensively and grown quite fond of. I was kind of
      hoping you would pick up on that in my application, and take advantage of my
      experience. Oh well.

      I bought an original Hennessy on impulse (I had just seen a climber sleeping
      in one suspended over a chasm, and I thought it looked like really extreme,
      you know). I'd never used a hammock for camping before, and quite frankly I
      was skeptical. However, it quickly became my favorite piece of lightweight
      gear. It's really simple, fast and easy to set up, you can set it up
      anywhere there are trees, and it has provided me with a more comfortable
      rest than I've ever gotten on the ground. And, because I didn't take my
      Therm-a-rest anymore, overall it was not much heavier than a tarp. I was so
      pleased with it I had Tom send me one of the new Ultralight hammock bodies
      (slings?) as soon as they were available. As with the original hammock,
      construction and materials are first rate, and the Ultralight incorporates a
      hanging mesh gear pocket on the ridge line that is quite functional. The
      new Dyneema cord used as the main suspension is remarkably light and thin,
      and the included tree saver straps are a nice touch. Not bad for a little
      over $100.00. As I understand it, an Ultralight with a silnylon fly will go
      for less than $150.00.

      By sleeping in the hammock at an angle (across the center line), I can get
      nearly horizontal on my back, with just enough elevation of my head not to
      need a pillow. I vary this by turning on my side in a fetal position, which
      is also very comfortable.

      The hammock body is constructed out of uncoated fabric, and is closed over
      the top with noseum netting, so there is no condensation problem at all and
      venting is superior. The problem is that air is circulating around and under
      me, and the insulation in my sleeping bag is compressed against the bottom
      of the hammock, so it can get quite chilly even during summer. Therein is
      the hammock's biggest shortcoming, especially for winter use. After trying
      and rejecting several other alternatives (including the funky space blanket
      one), I'm having Dave Olsen sew a pad pocket on the bottom of my RAB Top
      Bag. Depending on temperature, I will put a 1/4" or 3/8" closed cell pad in
      the pocket (Thanks to Scott Henderson, I'm also going to experiment with
      industrial strength metallized bubble wrap). The pocket, especially when the
      hammock contact side is treated with several lines of diluted silicone
      adhesive, will keep me from sliding off the pad and ending up in a ball in
      the bottom of the hammock (another slight shortcoming - most sleeping bag
      shell fabric is quite slippery and the hammock kind of channels you toward
      the bottom). When it's really cold I will use my 40 degree WM Highlight or
      15 degree FF Hummingbird as a liner bag. However, one needn't go to all this
      trouble, as MacPac, Feathered Friends and Big Agnes market bags that come
      with pad pockets.

      The only other shortcoming I've found is that the stock 10' by 6'
      diamond-shaped fly is not quite wide enough to provide sufficient rain
      coverage when I'm sleeping crosswise. I'm only 5'9", but water dripped off
      the standard fly onto my feet (I'm sure Tom dimensioned the fly as a cost
      saving measure - it uses only a single width of fabric). The simple and
      elegant solution would be to sleep at less of an angle to the centerline,
      but then I can't get as horizontal as I like. Also, the 10' by 6' fly is
      not quite big enough to cook under. So, after dusting off my high school
      geometry I had Integral Designs sew me up a 10' by 8' diamond-shaped fly out
      of silnylon. I've figured out how to use my hiking poles to hold it's
      lateral points up in good weather, and in bad weather or when its cold I can
      tether the lateral points down at an acute angle to give excellent
      protection. When in the "up" position it's just wide enough to cook under,
      and it weighs only 1.25 ounces more than the silnylon fly Tom supplies with
      the stock Ultralight version. My whole customized Ultralight shebang goes
      just over 25 ounces. Cool, huh?.
      BTW, is anyone interested in a pre-owned standard Hennessy?

      George


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    • Gear Tester
      ... From: George Cole To: BackpackGearTest@egroups.com Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 6:38 AM Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Farewell report The only other
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 8, 2000
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        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 6:38 AM
        Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Farewell report


        The only other shortcoming I've found is that the stock 10' by 6'
        diamond-shaped fly is not quite wide enough to provide sufficient rain
        coverage when I'm sleeping crosswise.  I'm only 5'9", but water dripped off
        the standard fly onto my feet (I'm sure Tom dimensioned the fly as a cost
        saving measure - it uses only a single width of fabric).
         
        No, actually it was done that way so the fly would have no seam to seal or possible leak point.Tom has found a wider silnylon roll so the tarps on the shipping models (you and I have pre-production units) have a wider fly.
         
         
        So, after dusting off my high school
        geometry I had Integral Designs sew me up a 10' by 8' diamond-shaped fly out
        of silnylon.
         
        I couldn't afford that solution so I just used a 10' x 12' silnylon tarp from Campmor. Pitched as a short on one side 'A" frame over the hammock it also provides me with a cook/lounge area during snow and storms. That lack is the only short coming I've found so far.
         
         
        I've figured out how to use my hiking poles to hold it's
        lateral points up in good weather,
         
        I just carry 2 extra guylines to run from the ground to the poles then attach the supplied elastic guy to the pole. It works.
         
        and in bad weather or when its cold I can
        tether the lateral points down at an acute angle to give excellent
        protection.
         
        I then go to a straight "A" frame with 6' on each side. 
         
         
        When in the "up" position it's just wide enough to cook under,
        and it weighs only 1.25 ounces more than the silnylon fly Tom supplies with
        the stock Ultralight version. 
         
        Well, I carry a light weight lounger for my pad, I like a little room to spread out, so the 9' side going to the ground provides lots of room out of the weather. It's a bit heavier than just an additional oz but the whole thing is much lighter than any other shelter I've tried. I'm just getting lazy in my old age. Gotta have my comforts....lol.
         
         
        My whole customized Ultralight shebang goes
        just over 25 ounces.  Cool, huh?.
        BTW, is anyone interested in a pre-owned standard Hennessy?
         
        lol....do what I did, let your girlfriend carry that one.

        George

        Sorry to see you go, George. I hope it is just for this test. You might want to stick around, who knows what they will come up with. If not, maybe on another test or maybe not. Thanks for the imput. Take care, enjoy.
        Jerry
      • Robert Stanley
        ... in ... George, I also was contemplating adding (with my trusty sewing machine) a pocket to the bottom of my Woods NorthernLite Bag to accommodate a pad
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 8, 2000
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          >I'm having Dave Olsen sew a pad pocket on the bottom of my RAB Top
          > Bag. Depending on temperature, I will put a 1/4" or 3/8" closed cell pad
          in
          > the pocket (Thanks to Scott Henderson, I'm also going to experiment with
          > industrial strength metallized bubble wrap).

          George, I also was contemplating adding (with my trusty sewing machine) a
          pocket to the bottom of my Woods NorthernLite Bag to accommodate a pad
          (either a mylar/foam car sunshade, or a 1/4" closed cell foam pad) if I
          couldn't come up with a satisfactory method of altering/adding to the
          hammock.

          One other idea that I have which may enhance the bag pad-pocket idea was to
          laminate (using 3M spay adhesive or any other workable adhesive) a mylar
          space blanket onto a 1/4" closed cell pad and using that in the bag pocket.
          Possibly being able to alternate the degree of added warmth by inserting the
          pad - mylar side to the bag (for more warmth) or mylar side away from the
          bag (for less warmth)?

          Also your idea of using diluted silicone as a friction coating for the
          hammock is very good.
          If I remember, years ago when I bought my Thermorest, I found it to be very
          slippery between the nylon floor of my tent and my nylon bag, so I bought a
          spray coating called "Slip Fix" sold by Thermorest just for this problem and
          it worked well. I also used it on the handle of my graphite pool cue and it
          really worked well there too.
          This was quite a few years ago, so I'm not sure if that product is still on
          the market, but if it is, it may be an easier alternative to diluting and
          applying silicone.

          Great report, and info. I too am sorry to see you leave the group.

          Rob Stanley
        • George Cole
          Hi, Rob: One other idea that I have which may enhance the bag pad-pocket idea was to laminate (using 3M spay adhesive or any other workable adhesive) a
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 8, 2000
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            Hi, Rob:

            <SNIP>One other idea that I have which may enhance the bag pad-pocket idea
            was to laminate (using 3M spay adhesive or any other workable adhesive) a
            mylar space blanket onto a 1/4" closed cell pad and using that in the bag
            pocket. Possibly being able to alternate the degree of added warmth by
            inserting the pad - mylar side to the bag (for more warmth) or mylar side
            away from the
            bag (for less warmth)?<SNIP>

            Actually, the fabric that I'm having Dave Olsen use to construct the RAB
            pocket is a unique silver 1.1 silnylon that is quite reflective. I also
            used it for the custom fly I had ID make for me, with the shiny side down,
            in order to reflect heat back into the hammock from above. I didn't mention
            it in the report because Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics has run out of it and
            may not be able to get more. However, Dave stocks a 1.1 black silnylon that
            he has had laminated to the gold mylar space blanket material (probably runs
            about 1.5 to 1.7 ounces a square yd.) You could get some from him and maybe
            save yourself from what sounds like an onerous chore.

            <SNIP>Great report, and info. I too am sorry to see you leave the
            group.<SNIP>

            Thanks, but my job is so demanding right now that I have trouble even
            reading all the BPL posts. I only reported on the Hennessy because I really
            like it and had already done a lot of informal testing and experimentation
            with it.

            George


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          • Gear Tester
            ... From: George Cole To: BackpackGearTest@egroups.com Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 4:14 PM Subject: Re: [BackpackGearTest] Farewell report Actually, the
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 8, 2000
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              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2000 4:14 PM
              Subject: Re: [BackpackGearTest] Farewell report

              Actually, the fabric that I'm having Dave Olsen use to construct the RAB
              pocket is a unique silver 1.1 silnylon that is quite reflective.  I also
              used it for the custom fly I had ID make for me, with the shiny side down,
              in order to reflect heat back into the hammock from above.
               
              One of the flys that Tom sent me was made out of that material. I tried it the same way (upper reflector) and it didn't seem to make all that much difference.
              Jerry
            • George Cole
              One of the flys that Tom sent me was made out of that material. I tried it the same way (upper reflector) and it didn t seem to make all that much
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 9, 2000
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                <SNIP>One of the flys that Tom sent me was made out of that material. I
                tried it the same way (upper reflector) and it didn't seem to make all that
                much difference.<SNIP>

                Hi, Jerry:

                I tested the fabric for heat reflectivity using a Rube Goldberg lightbulb
                setup and it did fairly well when compared to space blanket material.
                Regular silnylon in a grey color didn't reflect much at all. I figured what
                the heck, when the lateral points of the 10' by 8' fly are tethered down at
                an acute angle it might give me several degrees of extra insulating value,
                although it hasn't been cold enough around here yet for me to give it a real
                test. The stuff does seem to work pretty well vis-a-vis metallized fabric
                when close to the skin, which is why I decided it wouldn't hurt to use it as
                the RAB pad pocket material, especially since it's a good bit lighter than
                metalized fabric.

                George


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              • Jerry Goller
                I agree it ought to work. I suspect what happened to me was that it just wasn t cold enough for me to notice the difference. Just the fly itself, cinched down
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 9, 2000
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                  I agree it ought to work. I suspect what happened to me was that it just wasn't cold enough for me to notice the difference. Just the fly itself, cinched down close, should help and the aluminum impregnated fly should have that little extra. I am beginning to believe that the whole space blanket thing is great for 50 - 60 degree "take the edge of the frozen butt" problem but is of limited benefit in cold below 40 degrees. I can't think of a reason in the world this would be true other than the  help provided by the reflector is so small it gets lost in the greater cold at those temps. I've been working in 20 - 30 degrees lately and it doesn't help enough to be noticed.....I'm either cold or I'm not. It will now be in the single digits in the mountains here and I'll have to go to the serious gear, no matter what. But it did snow it's ass off last night....=o). I'm like a big kid around snow. I use a gear sled so it won't make any difference.....I'll bring the metallized fly too next time and try it.
                  Jerry
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 6:25 AM
                  Subject: Re: [BackpackGearTest] Farewell report

                  Hi, Jerry:

                  The stuff does seem to work pretty well vis-a-vis metallized fabric
                  when close to the skin, which is why I decided it wouldn't hurt to use it as
                  the RAB pad pocket material, especially since it's a good bit lighter than
                  metalized fabric.

                  George

                • Rob Stanley
                  However, Dave stocks a 1.1 black silnylon that ... (probably runs ... Thanks for the tip George, Would you have contact info for Dave handy? The material you
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 9, 2000
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                    However, Dave stocks a 1.1 black silnylon that
                    > he has had laminated to the gold mylar space blanket material
                    (probably runs
                    > about 1.5 to 1.7 ounces a square yd.)



                    Thanks for the tip George,

                    Would you have contact info for Dave handy?

                    The material you mentioned sounds like a good idea, if I order a few
                    yrds now, hopefully I can have it time for the cooler weather that is
                    said to be heading my way.

                    Gee I never imagined that Id be hoping for bitter cold weather.....
                    LOL

                    Again THANKS,

                    Rob Stanley
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