Tents vs. Tarps and such

A forum to discuss camping equipment- tents, pads, water purification, etc.

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mje
Site Admin
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Post by mje »

You're right, Alm; I though you were talking about the Hennessy!
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

acrosome

HH supporter

Post by acrosome »

I recently used the Expedition Asym on my Alaska paddle. If you have read my report on the trip you already know that I am now a Hennessey Hammock zealot. I was INCREDIBLY impressed with its speed and ease of use and storm-proofness in very rainy Southeast Alaska. Also, I have never slept so comfortably in the wilderness before. Contrary to what others have said, I thought that it was very easy to get into and out of.

I think the greatest advantage for the Hennessey Hammock compared to a tent for kayaking is the SMALLER VOLUME. My Expedition Asym compresses to the size of a box of Kleenex. My tent and sleeping pad in combination are MUCH larger (and heavier). This is a terrific boon to those packing for longer trips in a small kayak (e.g. Wisper)- more room for food. Suddenly your day-tripper is expedition-capable.

Hennessey sells cold-weather kits with fitted insulation (similar to what others described above) as well as a second tarp to cover the mesh for better heat-retention. There is a testimonial on their website by a guy who used the kit during a winter trip in Scandinavia (or was it Canada?)

Now the drawbakcs...

One is that you can't keep much of your gear in the hammock with you for protection from the elements, as you can in a tent. For kayaking I don't see this as a great problem since you can keep your gear piled underneath you in the drybags, anyway.

Another negative is the whole concept of pitching it like a tent if no trees, rocks, automobiles, or other suitable setup sites are around. The pictures I've seen simply do not look very convincing, and you loose all the benefits of the Hammock. On the other hand, unless you are deep in Glacier Bay or in Baja you will likely have suitable trees readily available.

I'm just getting into the Ultralight thing for my hiking (when I'm not paddling), and I'm probably going to buy another hammock- the Ultralight Backpacker- to save almost a pound. Heavier than a similarly-priced tarp, one of which I will also buy for treeless hikes, but WORLDS more comfortable.

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chrstjrn
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1715
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)

Post by chrstjrn »

I don't know your physical size, but I have noticed that a lot of the HHs have low weight limits. Be sure to check the limit and make sure that you aren't too heavy for the lighter ones you are looking at.

I had a very bad experience, once, when a hammock (not a HH) collapsed and dropped me on concrete-- I think I cracked or broke my coccyx. Not something I ever want to repeat.
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

mje
Site Admin
Posts: 1846
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Post by mje »

My Hennessy is one of the longer ones- it'll fit someone up to 6'6", I think (I'm 6'2") and it's rated at around 350lbs. I can get in there with my kayak ;-)

The nicest thing about the Hennessy in rainy weather is that you enter it by going UP. I spread a small tarp under the hammock with my gear, leave my shoes on the tarp, and the mud with them.
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

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chrstjrn
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1715
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:47 pm
Location: Arlington, VA (i.e. Wash DC)

Post by chrstjrn »

I'll second that. One great advantage of the entry is what you mention-- none of us had remembered to include that. It still makes me feel a bit trapped, though.
Chris T.
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig.
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind and T12 restoration projects.
Non-folding: Early '90s Old Town Canoe.
Previously owned '04 Pakboat Puffin II and '05 Swift (prototype), as well as an '84 Hobie 16.

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