SHANE STEINKAMP'S BACKPACKING BASE CAMP
HENNESSY HAMMOCK - HOW TO VIDEO 1Hennessey Hammocks are integrated sleeping systems. While their use is easy, their use is not always intuitive. This is especially true of some features, like the bottom entrance slit. This page is intended as a resource to show new and prospective users of Hennessy Hammocks some of their features.
You can view the video by clicking the link below. Alternatively, you can right click on the link and select, "SAVE TARGET AS", and save the video to your local hard drive and run it from there. It will run faster, and you will not have to download it again to view it a second time. While waiting for the download (it's 758.31 KB), go ahead and read the discussion below.
DISCUSSING THE VIDEO
The video opens with me standing next to a Hennessy Explorer Deluxe A-sym. I have removed the rain fly, and disconnected the left-side hammock bed tie-out so that those things don't get in the way while I'm shooting the video. Under normal conditions, the rain fly would be in place tied out to provide shelter, like this. (Note that you can see the Snakeskins properly deployed to cover the suspension rope and protect it from wet weather. The black mass is actually the black piping of the Snakeskin all bunched up.)
...or draped to one side of the hammock like this:
I show that the hammock is hung high - up to the top of my thigh. This is contrary to Hennessy's instructions to hang the hammock at "chair height". I think that a lot of people have problems getting into and out of hammocks of all kinds because they hang their hammocks too low. Hanging the hammock high gives a few benefits. One, the hammock will sag and the ropes and straps will settle a little, so even though it starts off high, it will come down a few inches once you sit in it the first time. Second, hanging it high makes it easier to get into, and more importantly out of, the bottom entrance slit.
When I sit down in the hammock, you can see that the hammock sags, and the ropes and tree hugger straps stretch a little. Because I've hung it so high, it's still easy to get out of the Hennessy. I don't have to climb out of it; all I have to do is put my feet down and stand up.
Once I sit down in the hammock, it becomes a comfortable camp chair. From there, I lay down and show how the hammock can be used as a lounger. (It was during an initial filming of this section that I realized I needed to switch out of the sarong and into a pair of shorts...) When I stand up, you can see how easy it is to simply roll right out of the hammock and stand up. This is because I have hung it high enough not to have to climb out of it.
I then proceed to open the entrance slit and enter the hammock. This is accomplished by sitting down, laying back, and pulling your legs and feet into the hammock. The entrance slit closes automatically, and is held closed by your weight. This seems counter-intuitive, but from the video, you can see how well it works.
At this point in the video, I actually missed the 'sweet spot' a little and I'm not laying as flat as I could be. Especially note that my head is a little tilted. Some people like this because it's like a built in pillow. I like it, so I often lay like this. Some people want to lay more flat, and if I had simply aligned myself a little more with the longitudinal axis of the hammock, I would have been much flatter. In any case, my body is in an orthopedically correct position, and I could literally lay like that for hours. The video is only 60 seconds, though, so I was in a hurry...
From there, I show the standard exit by putting my feet through the entrance slit and standing up. You'll note that because the hammock is hung high enough, I don't have to 'climb' out of it. It is very easy to step out of the hammock when it is hung properly.
HOW TO HH