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19630Re: [Hammock Camping] Re: Introduction

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  • Hollis Easter
    Dec 28, 2008
      Hi there!

      It is odd how many Hollises are popping up. There's you, there's me...
      I'm an editor for BackpackGearTest, and we just got some reviews from a
      new tester named Hollis, too. I guess there aren't many of us, but we
      all like doing things outdoors.

      I'm a guy Hollis, named for my grandfather, who invented the machine
      that could build those Pyrex glass measuring cups that everyone has.

      > I have to try setting up this contraption this spring, and I'm really
      > hoping that I can figure it out. The figure-8 hookup on the ends is no
      > problem, but things like "how high" and "how far apart" and "how do I
      > make sure it's level" and "how do I get my tarp centered over
      > it"....Those are the little techie problems I gotta work out so it
      > becomes as easy as it looks in the videos.

      I'm glad to help, as I said. But in case you're enjoying this
      ridiculously warm weather and want to lie in your hammock before then:

      "How far apart" is somewhat easy: the trees need to be far enough apart
      that the whole hammock body can hang between them with enough room to
      not touch the trees, and then you need enough more room that you can tie
      things up. The best way to learn this, in my experience, is to measure a
      pair of trees (for distance) with paces or trekking poles or whatever,
      then try setting up the hammock. See how it works. That'll tell you
      whether your distance is good, too large, or too small.

      As for how high: depends on how far apart your trees are, or whether
      you're trying to hang above an obstruction. I'm big and tall, so I tend
      to hang 'em about as high as I can reach.

      A related thought: resist the temptation to string up the hammock as
      tight as can be. It'll stretch like mad when you sit in it, and you may
      end up brushing the ground anyway. Instead, put it up so it doesn't
      flop too much, but leave some slack: the force angles will be much
      nicer, the ropes won't stretch as much, and you'll have an easier time.

      Fly positioning is pretty easy if you use the built-in Hennessy Prusiks
      on the support ropes. Try it in the backyard a few times; if you get
      wet, figure out why. Seems like if you consider wind direction in
      choosing your site, the tarp does a fantastic job of keeping you dry.

      I have a Hennessy Explorer UL, camp and backpack primarily in the
      Adirondacks, although I did a section of the AT/LT in Vermont last
      summer. I'm hoping to get out as much as possible. I keep hoping to find
      congenial sorts for a Northville-Placid Trail thruhike, but haven't
      gotten there yet. I'm working on the winter 46, enjoy rock climbing, and
      am learning to ice climb.

      Jeff's a great resource for everything, basically. As far as insulation
      goes: I've only recently upgraded from a closed-cell foam pad (the
      ubiquitous blue foam pad) and a pair of very light windshield reflectors
      from the dollar store. I used the windshield reflector(s) because I have
      broad shoulders.

      I'm now using a Hennessy SuperShelter, but the pad/reflector option is
      easy, very effective, and extremely economical.

      Good luck!
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