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Re: [BackpackGearTest] REVISED: Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym Initial Report-Stephanie Swaim

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  • Michael Wheiler
    ... pads, ... ago, ... ***This is a real nit pick but technically I think it should either be $17.00 or seventeen dollar but it is not a big deal to me. ...
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 1, 2003
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      Good report Stephanie. Here are my comments:

      > Background specific to this test:
      >
      > I am a dedicated hammock user. Despite trying many different sleeping
      pads,
      > I was unable to sleep comfortably on the ground. For the past 8 months
      ago,

      ***take out the ago or the past.

      > I have been using a 17 dollar nylon hammock combined with a silnylon

      ***This is a real nit pick but technically I think it should either be
      $17.00 or seventeen dollar but it is not a big deal to me.

      > tarp. This is a "Mayan" style hammock
      > which is wide and allows one to sleep in a flat position. The first time I
      > used the hammock on a camping trip I was in heaven. It was more
      comfortable
      > than my own bed. I didn't toss and turn and was able to sleep on my back
      in
      > total comfort (I can't do that in a bed). I was so very happy to have
      > gotten rid of the one major "negative" part of my backpacking experience.
      I
      > have not slept on the ground once since buying my hammock. I also love the
      > fact that one can hang a
      > hammock just about anywhere in the areas that I hike, making campsite
      > selection very simple. I don't have to spend much time finding the
      > "perfect" spot in regards to rain run-off, lack of rocks or other debris,
      > etc. As I like to hike without any particular destination in mind, this
      > ease of site selection really pleases me. I can hike until dark (or later)
      > without worrying that I will have trouble finding a suitable site to set
      up
      > camp. I have used my hammock comfortably down to 25 F (-4 C) using a
      > combination of foam pads.
      >
      > Having read many many positive comments and reviews about the Hennessy
      line

      ***many, many

      > of hammocks, I was delighted to be chosen to test the Hennessy Expedition
      Asym.
      >
      > Product Information:
      >
      > Hennessy Hammock Expedition Asym
      > www.hennessyhammock.com
      > Date of manufacture: 2003
      > Weight according to manufacturer: 2 lb 10 oz (1.19 kg)
      > Measured weight: 2 lb 11.5 oz (1.23 kg)
      >
      > Weight breakdown:
      >
      > Hammock body: 1 lb 13.7 oz (.84 kg)
      > Canopy: 12.7 oz (.36 kg)
      > Stuff Sack: 1.1 oz (31 gm)
      >
      > The Expedition Asym is one of Hennessy's many hammock designs. It provides
      > a shelter for one person, with a canopy for protection from the elements
      > and no-see-um mesh for bug protection. Though not the lightest model in
      the
      > Hennessy line, it is less expensive than those "ultralight" models, while
      > still being pretty darn lightweight in my opinion. The Expedition Asym has
      > a weight limit of 225 lb (102 kg) and is for people up to 6 ft (1.83 m)
      > tall. NOTE: The Expeditions that we at BGT received for testing have
      > support ropes that are heavier than those on the "stock" Expeditions. Ours
      > are rated to 250 lb (113 kg). The Hennessy website indicates that one may
      > custom order a hammock with "upgraded" support ropes and/or other options.
      >
      > Report:
      >
      > Receipt of the Expedition:
      >
      > I received the hammock on 5/19/2003. Opening the big envelope that it
      > arrived in, I found a green Hennessy stuff sack which contained the
      hammock
      > and the canopy, both neatly rolled up. There was room to spare in the
      stuff
      > sack as it came from the factory, but when I tried repacking, I had just
      > enough room in the sack to stuff everything in. On the stuff sack are
      > printed instructions for hanging the hammock and some information
      > concerning its care. There is a mysterious looking picture on the sack
      > showing how to tie the knot for hanging the hammock. There is also a small
      > information card listing some of the specifications and giving contact
      > information. I was somewhat surprised not to find a bigger sheet of
      > information on how to set up the hammock. I inspected the hammock and it
      > appears to be very well made. No defects were found.
      >
      > Description of Expedition:
      >
      > Hammock body:
      >
      > The main body of the Expedition measures approximately 9 ft by 4 ft (2.7 m
      > by 1.2 m). The "bed" of the hammock is made of 210D grey oxford nylon
      which
      > appears very durable. The no-se-um bug mesh is black, is permanently

      ***no-see-um

      > attached to the hammock, and provides complete enclosure. So how does one
      > get into the hammock? Here is a really unique feature of the Hennessy. In
      > the middle of the foot end of the bed is a 4 ft (1.2 m) slit that is used
      > for entering and exiting the hammock from the bottom. This slit is held
      > closed by Velcro. To enter the hammock, one simply sticks one's upper body
      > through the slit. Then one sits down, lays back, and pulls ones feet
      > through the slit, which then closes of its own accord. Exiting the hammock
      > is just as easy; push one's feet through the slit, sit up, and step out.

      ***Suggestion only: Because of the change of topic (entry to tie-outs) I
      would make a ne paragraph here. It was a little confusing.

      On each side of the hammock bed is a plastic tie-out ring with a length of
      > very stretchy cord attached. These tie-outs are asymmetrically placed. On
      > one side, the tie-out is near one's head, and on the other it is near
      one's
      > knee. These tie-outs allow the hammock bed to be spread apart for more
      > room, and the shock cord allows the hammock to still swing or "give" while
      > one is tossing and turning. They probably also help in finding the proper
      > sleeping position, i.e. "on a diagonal" for flat sleeping.
      >
      > Inside the hammock is a very thin, but very strong looking ridgeline,
      which
      > attaches to the main support ropes on each end. This keeps the bug mesh
      off
      > of one's face for one thing. It also provides a great place to hang items.
      > On the ridgeline is a mesh pocket with three compartments. There are also
      > two hooks for hanging items. One can position the pocket and the hooks
      > anywhere along the ridgeline.

      ***Again, suggestion only: Could this be a new topic, e.g., Support Ropes,
      rather than under the body of the hammock? Clearly your call on this one.

      > The support ropes on the Expedition I received are approximately 8 ft (2.4
      > m) long. On the stock model these ropes are rated as 1500 lb (680 kg)
      test.
      > As I mentioned before, the ropes on the models we received for testing are
      > stronger, being 1600 lb (726 kg) test. They are of a black polyester
      > material and are about 1/4 in (6 mm) in diameter. During normal set-up of
      > the hammock, these ropes do not touch the trees. Included with the hammock
      > are two 40 in (1 m) long "tree hugger" web straps. These web straps are
      1.5
      > in (4 cm) wide. One wraps these web straps around the trees being used to
      > support the hammock once, twice or three times. It depends, of course, on
      > the size of the trees being used. On each end of the web straps are loops
      > through which the main support ropes are threaded and then tied. This
      > protects the tree from damage. It also, in my experience so far, makes it
      > easier to adjust the height of the hammock once hung because the webbing
      > straps can be slid up and down the tree trunks without needing to retie
      any
      > knots. Hennessy recommends using trees that are 12 to 20 ft (3.6 to 6 m)
      > apart. The length of the support ropes and tree huggers are long enough
      for
      > this. On each support rope is a sliding knot which has a plastic hook
      > attached. These are used for attaching and tensioning the canopy.
      >
      > Canopy:
      >
      > The canopy is green with blue trim and is made of 1.9 oz (54 gm)
      > polyurethane coated nylon. I took a few rough measurements and found them
      > to be close to those listed on the Hennessy website. I could not find my
      > measuring tape and using a small ruler proved difficult on the slippery
      > fabric of the canopy. So the following numbers are from Hennessy's
      > specifications for the canopy of the Expedition. "Canopy dimensions: width
      > - 58 in (1.5 m) , length 87 in (2.2 m) , diagonals 85 in x 127 in (2.2 m x
      > 3.2 m)".
      >
      > The canopy is an asymmetrical "skewed diamond-like" shape. It is one
      piece,
      > having no seams. One side is "shinier" than the other. I suppose that is
      > the coated side. On each corner is a plastic tie-out loop and a plastic
      > clip. On the long diagonal, one attaches the rings to the hooks on the
      > sliding knots that are on the main support ropes. On the other two corners
      > the rings have a length of very small diameter nylon tie-out cord
      attached.
      > These side tie-outs align with the tie outs on the hammock bed when the
      > canopy is positioned properly.
      >
      > Initial Set-up Experience:
      >
      > I tried hanging the Expedition for the first time in my backyard. I used
      a
      > beam that supports my patio roof for one support and a tree for the other.
      > The tree is about 9 in (23 cm) in diameter. The post is 6 in by 6 in (15
      by
      > 15 cm). One thing that quickly became clear is that to wrap the tree
      hugger
      > straps 3 times around a tree, one is going to have to be using an awfully
      > small tree. Probably one that I'd be afraid to trust my weight to. I
      ended
      > up wrapping twice around the post and once around the tree. I then
      > threaded the support rope through the ends of the webbing straps and tied
      > them with a invented temporary knot so that I could adjust the hammock's
      > centering and set it to hang with the bottom of the bed at about the
      level
      > of the top of my thigh. I then went back and attempted to tie the ropes
      > with the proper knot. The drawing of the recommended knot on the stuff
      sack
      > is pretty hard to decipher. It is just hard to have any static drawing of
      a
      > knot be clear unless several colors are used. I got the knot tied in what
      I
      > "thought" was the correct manner, but I wasn't at all sure. Then I came
      > inside and looked at the Hennessy website. They have a Quicktime video of
      > the procedure for tying the knot. I found that I had gotten it right. It
      is
      > very easy to tie. In fact it is not really a knot at all; Hennessy refers
      > to it as a lashing. I was mildly surprised and very happy that it was so
      > easy to tie, and also to subsequently untie. Because the area I hung the
      > Expedition over was concrete, I had no place to attach the side tie-outs.
      >
      > I tried sitting on the outside of the hammock. The Expedition can be used
      > in this way for lounging without getting inside. One just pulls the
      hammock
      > bottom up to fold it in half and sits down on it. The no-see-um mesh is
      > still there, raised up as a sort of "backstop". It makes a nice chair and
      > one can even lay down in it like this for a quick nap. I was really
      > pleased with how non-stretchy the material of the support ropes is. The
      > hammock did not stretch and sag as much as my other hammock does. This
      > should minimize the amount of "tweaking" required after hanging the
      > hammock. The support ropes seem small in diameter, and I'm no lightweight,
      > but I did not have the sense of having to "be super gentle" when adjusting
      > my position in the hammock. I do feel that way with my other
      (non-Hennessy)
      > hammock.
      >
      > I entered the hammock using the bottom slit. I love this feature! It makes
      > getting in and out of the hammock a matter of just sitting down and
      > standing up. There is no tendency to tip whatsoever. The entrance slit
      > closes itself once you are inside. Once inside, the hammock bed seemed
      > smaller than I expected. The no-see-um mesh is about 18 in (46 cm) above
      > one's face. That is just a guess, I did not measure it. I had a mild
      > feeling of claustrophobia, but attribute that to the fact that I am used
      to
      > sleeping in an open hammock. Also, I found out later that when the
      side-tie
      > outs are used, the hammock bed does spread out some, giving a sense of
      > more room. I was very comfortable laying in the hammock and knew right
      away
      > that I would have no trouble getting a sound sleep in it. Exiting the
      > hammock was a simple matter of probing around with my foot to find the
      > Velcroed slit, pushing my feet through it, and standing up.
      >
      > I then tried setting up the canopy. Unfortunately the supports that I had
      > available were too close together to allow me to really get the canopy
      > tight, but I was able to determine that it is very easy to attach. First I
      > seemed to want to have the shiny side of the canopy up. I don't know why,
      > this just seemed right. But with it this way, the side tie-outs do not
      line
      > up with the side tie outs of the hammock bed. So I set it up with the
      shiny
      > side down, which I suppose must be correct. The plastic rings on the long
      > diagonal of the canopy are just clipped to the sliding tensioner knot's
      > hooks, and then the side tie outs drawn out to the side at whatever angle
      > seems right for the conditions. At this point the instructions somewhat
      > confused me. I will try to explain. Each corner of the canopy has a ring
      > and a clip. Where the canopy attaches to the main support rope, the ring
      > attaches to a hook that is on the sliding knot which slides along the main
      > support rope. Now, the instructions seem to indicated that then you are
      > then to attach the smaller hook which is attached to the canopy ring to
      the
      > main support rope. I do not know why one would do this, or if I am
      > misreading the instructions. I do not know the purpose for the small clips
      > on each tie-out ring of the canopy. I thought this question might be
      > resolved when I was able to try erecting the hammock in an area with trees
      > that were more suitable. It appears that once you get the canopy attached
      > you really don't need to remove it from the hammock body to pack and
      unpack
      > it. Unless you are like me and like to sleep without a canopy at all when
      > the weather is cooperative.
      >
      > Based on my initial tries, I feel confident that with a little experience
      > the set-up time will easily be the 3 minutes claimed by Hennessy.
      >
      > More Initial Testing:
      >
      > At the last minute my friend and I decided to go on a camping trip over
      > Memorial Day weekend. We went to the Tahoe National Forest, in the Sierra.
      > The elevation was 5300 ft (1600 m) and the nighttime temperatures were
      > approximately 40 F (4 C). I spent 3 nights sleeping in the Expedition and
      > was able to spend a lot of time playing with setting up the hammock and
      > canopy.
      >
      > During this time I found that using the side tie-outs of the hammock bed
      > did result in a roomier interior. As I had forgotten my tent stakes, I
      used
      > screwdrivers instead. It is too bad they are so heavy, because they made
      > great stakes. One can also tie the side tie-outs to tree branches etc, but
      > there were none in the proper position for me to do so. I learned how
      > adjusting the tension and angle of the side tie-outs of the canopy
      affects
      > its coverage. It also affects the distance that the canopy hangs above
      the
      > mesh of the hammock bed. It hangs close to the mesh, but I would imagine
      > one would want to make sure it wasn't touching if it were going to be
      > raining. It also became clear that to get a taut set-up one needs to
      adjust
      > the side canopy tie-outs before using the sliding knot tensioners to
      > tighten up the long diagonal of the canopy. This is stated in the
      > directions. I tied the side tie-outs of the canopy to the same stakes I
      was
      > using for the hammock bed, and this brought the canopy down close around
      > the sides of the hammock body. I am not sure if this is the way it is
      > meant to be done. In bad weather it would seem to be the way to do it. To
      > use the canopy in a more raised position in mild weather, there would need
      > to be some higher branches etc to tie the side tie outs to.
      >
      > One concern I had about the bottom entry method of the Hennessy was the
      > effect it would have on getting my sleeping pad and bag properly arranged
      > underneath me. Due to the spontaneous nature of this trip, (or possibly
      > just due to being scatterbrained...your choice), I accidentally took the
      > wrong sleeping pad with me on this trip. It is 1/2 in (13 mm) thick foam
      > pad. It is sort of spongy and sticky. I have had trouble with this pad in
      > my other hammock because it sticks to me and I find it impossible to
      adjust
      > my position on it without the pad moving with me. So if I turn on my
      side,
      > the pad ends up not being underneath me anymore. I meant to take my 3/8 in
      > (10 mm) thick normal blue foam pad (from REI) instead.
      >
      > When it was time to go to bed, I took into the hammock with me my Walkman,
      > a water bladder, a flashlight, a crossword puzzle book, and pencil. When
      > backpacking, as opposed to car-camping, I would not have the Walkman. I
      > would normally have gloves and a balaclava (which I also forgot to take
      > with me), and they would easily be hung from the ridgeline. I was able to
      > hang the flashlight, the pencil, and the crossword puzzle book directly on
      > the ridgeline..

      ***take out the extra period.

      I had no way to hang the water bladder or the Walkman and
      > they were too big to fit inside the internal mesh pocket. So I laid them
      to
      > one side inside the hammock bed. I did have a slight amount of trouble
      with
      > them sliding down to the middle of the bed while I struggled to get my
      > sleeping pad arranged; I ended up laying on top of them and having to dig
      > them out from under me. Once inside the hammock, I missed being able to
      > reach out and grab things off the ground. What I think would really be
      nice
      > is a slit in the no-see-um mesh so that an arm could be stuck out to grab
      > things off the ground.
      >
      > Due mostly to my ill chosen sleeping pad, I had one devil of a time
      getting
      > and staying properly positioned on the pad. During my increasingly violent
      > and frustrated maneuvers trying to readjust the pad, I feel that I gave
      > the support ropes a very good workout. They never felt as if they were
      > feeling any undue strain and I never felt like they were going to dump me
      > on the ground in protest.

      ***I'm not sure about this part of your last sentence: "They never felt as
      if they were feeling any undue strain." As a suggestion only, consider
      making a change such as "To me, the support ropes never felt as if they were
      under any undue strain...."

      >
      > I slept like a log once I was able to get positioned. The sleeping
      position
      > is very comfortable to me. I used a 15 F (-9 C) rated sleeping bag as a
      > quilt. I slept both on my back and on my side. When I would wake up
      > needing to use the restroom, I would usually find parts of myself off the
      > sleeping pad and those parts would be a bit chilled. On the last night,
      > before going to bed, I spilled a cup of tea which had a ridiculous amount
      > of honey in it on the foot of my sleeping bag. I then found out how much
      > being wet affects a sleeping bag's warmth. I woke up in the night with my
      > feet off the sleeping pad and hurting with cold. I solved the sleeping pad
      > problem once and for all by tearing my sleeping pad in half. I put one
      half
      > in the hammock and sat down on it, and then drew my feet up and was able
      to
      > move the other piece of the sleeping pad so that it would be under my legs
      > and feet. Why didn't I think of that before?
      >
      > I have little doubt that all this trouble I had would not have happened if
      > I'd taken my regular blue foam pad with me instead of this spongy one. I
      > look forward to seeing if using my preferred pad will solve this problem.
      >
      > I slept on all three nights without the canopy overhead, as I like to see

      ***I slept all three nights without...

      > the stars. The black no-see-um mesh does not obstruct the view at all. I
      > also did not feel claustrophobic at all once I got used to it. Mosquitoes
      > and other little critters came out each night around dusk and it was quite
      > nice to watch them walking around on the outside of the netting. I've
      never
      > had a screened shelter before, having always used a headnet when
      necessary.
      >
      > Thoughts after initial testing:
      >
      > I am really looking forward to getting more familiar with the Hennessy
      > Expedition. I think that its light weight, low bulk, ease of set-up,and

      ***This might just by Yahoo but it appears that you need a space between
      "set-up, and"

      You caught all the other typos that I found in your earlier report. Nice
      job. I'm interested in purchasing a Hennessy and will be very interested in
      your (and the other testers') comments during this test series. Thanks for
      making my assignment easy!

      Mike
    • stephanie
      ... Thank you Mike, I have made the edits and now am trying to upload. For some reason the upload button is not where I am used to seeing it when I navigate
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 4, 2003
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        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Wheiler"
        <jmwlaw@i...> wrote:
        > Good report Stephanie. Here are my comments:
        >

        Thank you Mike,

        I have made the edits and now am trying to upload. For some reason
        the "upload" button is not where I am used to seeing it when I
        navigate to the folder where my report is supposed to go. I can't
        find the upload button, maybe it is staring me in the face.

        stephanie
      • jetriple@rockwellcollins.com
        Stephanie - You didn t see it because it wasn t there. It is there now. Please try again. -James T. stephanie 06/04/2003 02:31 AM
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 4, 2003
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          Stephanie - You didn't see it because it wasn't there. It is there now.
          Please try again.

          -James T.



          "stephanie" <sswaim63@...>

          06/04/2003 02:31 AM
          Please respond to BackpackGearTest

          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Wheiler"
          <jmwlaw@i...> wrote:
          > Good report Stephanie. Here are my comments:
          >

          Thank you Mike,

          I have made the edits and now am trying to upload. For some reason
          the "upload" button is not where I am used to seeing it when I
          navigate to the folder where my report is supposed to go. I can't
          find the upload button, maybe it is staring me in the face.

          stephanie



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        • stephanie
          ... there now. ... Thanks James, got it! stephanie
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 4, 2003
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            --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, <jetriple@r...> wrote:
            >
            > Stephanie - You didn't see it because it wasn't there. It is
            there now.
            > Please try again.

            Thanks James, got it!

            stephanie
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