I got an e-mail from ConnieLou a few weeks back in which she told me that her friend and co-worker, Tom, after reading my blog and doing a bit of reading on HammockForums, had gone out and bought himself a hammock and tarp. Tom loves to camp, but like me, has decided that sleeping on the ground is better suited for younger folks…not that either of us are old geezers, but we’re old enough to realize that the ground is hard and a hammock is not.
Anyway, Tom had gone to the local REI store and picked up a Hennessy Deluxe Explorer hammock and a Hennessy tarp. Allow me to take a little detour here. I’ve read a few threads on HammockForums recently where someone referred to Hennessy hammocks as a ‘beginner hammock’ or someone asked why Hennessy hammocks were considered by some to be beginner hammocks. I don’t remember what the general consensus was but from what I could see and feel today, Hennessy hammocks are nice, well-made pieces of gear. Personally, I think my ENO and even my DIY tablecloth hammock, are much more ‘beginnerish’ than Tom’s Hennessy.
OK, back on track… Tom has had this hammock for a few weeks but he has one problem…no trees in his back yard. He has a privacy fence with 4”x4” posts but, as he quickly found out, 4”x4” posts are a little sketchy to try to hang from. We’ve been planning to try to get together to go set up his gear and figure out what tweaks he’s going to need to make to make it his own. Life has managed to get in the way the past few weekends but we finally found an opportunity late this afternoon to head over to the Line Creek Nature Area that I mentioned in a previous blog post.
We found a couple of suitable trees near the picnic pavilion and went about our business. While I said that Hennessy hammocks are nice, well made pieces of gear, I quickly found one thing that I didn’t care for – the suspension. The Hennessy comes equipped with a long rope at each end and a pair short tree straps with loops in each end. I suppose its intended that the user will be quite good at tying knots. Personally, I like simpler methods. Tom had also bought a pair of ENO Atlas straps, a couple of climbing-rated carabiners and some SMC descending rings…we had options. First we tried the carabiners and Atlas straps. Great in theory but we discovered that in order to use the Atlas straps we’d have to look for trees a bit further apart and set the straps a bit higher up. We decided not to go that route today. Instead we lark’s headed a pair descender rings to the rope at each end of the hammock and I grabbed my pair of tree straps that I had brought with my hammock and tarp for ‘show and tell’. Problem solved.
We got Tom’s hammock and tarp set up and he climbed in for a test drive…
He got all stretched out and comfy and I kept him talking so he didn’t get a little too comfy. It didn’t take long for him to decide he was a pretty happy camper. Now he has a few tweaks he wants to make and needs to get his insulation figured out but I think another ground dweller has seen the light. Hey, ya gotta start somewhere.