No More Fear: 3 Reasons Why the Henessey Hammock is Perfect for Backpackers

Me after “testing night” back in Texas

We all face the question at some point in our lives as travelling campers. Perhaps it’s when we wake up to a flooded tent, or find it physically difficult to rise from the bed of rocks we unwittingly staked down on the night before. Maybe its when we see an ad online or a hammock in the window of an outdoors shop that we begin to wonder: Should I switch? Would it be more comfortable, easier to set up…would the sleep be better?

If you spend enough time on the road, as I have, eventually you may make the switch out of necessity.

For me it was in Surinam, a little country in the northeast of South America consisting mainly of jungle. I was to make the trip to Colombia by land, a daunting task in the thick Amazon jungle in the middle of a rainy season which turns the ground to a muddy pond. Being lacking in funds for hotel accomodations I decided the best way to spend these fine, wet days on the road ahead of me would be in a hammock. But which one?

I knew I needed something durable. Something waterproof. I was hoping for something gargantuan, big enough to fit two just in case tarzan popped by for a visit (here’s hoping!) yet light enough to carry in my backpack along with all the other 2,567 items which I desperately needed. And I didnt want it to weigh more than 5 kilos, which brings me to the first reason why the Hennessey Hammock is the best choice for backpackers:

1. Specs

The Hammock I decided on was the Safari Deluxe Asym Zip, ( a hammock indeed built for two. It was large enough to house me, my guitar and my backpack. If I had wanted to adopt any jungle creatures for the night, it would have been big enough for them as well. But the thing about this Hammock was, it didnt weigh five kilos. It didnt even weigh two kilos. At 1.9 kilos not only was it light, it was small — an incredibly important feature when travelling with a backpack. I could roll it up and cram it in there with all the other years of accumulated junk (I’m a bit of a hoarder) and it fit right in at 5" x 8" x 12". No other Hammock I found was this large while folding up this tiny and being this light.

I am picky. I realized this sifting through the information on various brands of camping hammocks, all which I subsequently rejected. They were all too big, too small, or priced like they had been woven from the tears of rare pink unicorns. I didnt need unicorns, I needed something strong. I wanted a hammock I could trust not to melt in the rain, not to fold under pressure or break in the middle of the night.

Wherever we go, as campers we are always at the mercy of the elements. We need to be able to rely on whatever structure we’re sleeping in to provide us with shelter. Ideally we would be able to slip softly into sleep at the sound of rain pattering on the tent, but more often than not it sends us into panic.

2. Durability

On the road, a tent or a hammock is a house. It needs to be secure, which is why durability is second on the list of reasons why the Henessey Hammock is the hammock to get. The body is made of 210 D Oxford Nylon which is a rough materiel used to make many tents. While this might throw some people off it, when you’re battling the elements rough is usually better.

The first night I spent in my hammock, it stormed. I curled up in the center as I listened to the thunder, hugging my pack close and waited to get soaked. Eventually I realized I wasnt going to! As long as you set the rainfly up, you’re good to go. Besides being big enough to completely protect you, it is made of ripstop fabric, which means if you tear it the rip won’t continue down the stitching. Great for backpackers, because eventually everything we own breaks.

The whole body of the Hammock is thick including the straps which are made of polyester ropes and capable of holding 2,700 pounds. This is one hammock that wont fall down in the night! Unless of course you use the wrong knot to hold it up (I recommend a bowline, it has always worked great for me).

Although size, weight and strength are important, what we really need on the road is a good night’s sleep. Whether you too are hiking the jungles of Surinam or you’re setting up in a Kenyan Safari, this one will rock your slumber party.

3. Comfort

Not enough can be said of the aches and pains one experiences sleeping on rocky ground. All of this can be avoided by sleeping above the ground! I was dubious at first, being a dedicated side-sleeper, but once I experienced the comfort of hammock-sleep I was an instant convert.

Back sleeping is one of the best sleeping styles, allowing you to fall asleep faster and deeper. In a hammock you also get a slight stretch in your back — helpful for those days when you’re hunched over with the pack. I woke up refreshed and ready for the road. It was much better than waking up on the ground — no pain at all (at least not from the hammock)!

Another reason for comfort is the flexibility of this hammock. You can mold it any way you like, stretching it further for a flatter back or hanging it with the edges closer together. You get in from the bottom which is infinitely easier than a side-entry, especially in the night. If you’re like me, you never make camp until the dead of night anyway (poor planning, but thats just me) and it’s quite easy to set up and get in.

The Henessey Hammock is also much cooler than a regular tent. It was hot in Surinam, and my tent was like an oven — the rainfly was just too close to the body to allow any airflow, making for a stifling morning. With this hammock setup, you get to place the rainfly above the hammock in the heat, and closer to it in the cold. There is also a pouch below allowing you to place an insulator neatly in the bottom if hiking in the snow is your thing.

Any way you toss it, the Henessey Hammock is the best — the strongest, the lightest, the most comfortable on the market. It seems to be made specifically for us. Whether you’re just starting to think of making the switch or you’ve been weighing different brand options in your head, consider that the Henessey Hammock will make you one happy camper!

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