One feature of my Hennessy that I really like is that it’s pre-hung. What I mean by that is that each end is fixed to a specific length of line. This automatically creates a ridgeline for the fly without all the fuss and muss of hanging an additional line and makes setting up the hammock a lot quicker and simpler. I recently purchased a Grand Trunk Ultralight hammock. Not that there is anything wrong with the Hennessy. After ten plus years of use it’s still in great shape and my favorite piece of camping equipment. But in my ever present obsession to trim weight from my kit, I’ve decided to put together an even lighter hammock system than my pound and a half Hennessy.
My new setup has three ingredients. The Grand Trunk (10.5 oz.), 550 paracord (approx. 2 oz.), Kelty Trip Tease line (well under 1 oz.) and my Equinox UL poncho (6 oz.). I trimmed some weight off the hammock by removing the steel S-hooks from each end. I’d say this off-sets the weight of the paracord, so my estimate is that this system comes in at a pound or just under. I’m saving half a pound, but sacrificing bug netting and the ultra-cool bottom entry of the Hennessy.
I’ve pre-hung the hammock on a single strand of paracord using Prusik knots at either end. The hanging straps are 550 parcord with a series of knots every few inches for adjusting the tension. Additional Prusiks for the rainfly/poncho finish off the assembly. At a complete disregard for safety, I’m using sticks I pick up off the ground to keep the hammock line from slipping out of the hanging straps instead of using the steel hooks. Danger is my middle name.
I already owned the poncho, so I’ve spent about 30 dollars putting the system together. I may buy a rain fly from Hennessy later; we’ll see how the poncho works out. I believe I paid about forty buck for the poncho years ago and used it hiking as a shelter/poncho many times. If you like to build small fires in your hammock the poncho’s hood acts like a chimney to vent the smoke. Kelty Trip Tease is used to guy out the poncho’s corners.
I still intend to use my Hennessy; I think I can get another decade of service out of this well-built hammock. I’ll use my new setup when I’m camping at higher altitudes and spending the day climbing and when I’m touring with my wife or a friend who wants to borrow a hammock.
A note about hanging straps: I understand the hammock industry need to over build hammock equipment for liability reasons. But if you’re making your own stuff, ask yourself if you really need to use one inch webbing strong enough to do a cargo drop out of the back of a moving airplane. I weigh less than 170 pounds so I think the 550 paracord is over-kill, but then again, Danger is my middle name.
Here’s a video tour of the hammock: (sorry for the wonky “smart” phone video. The next one will be much better, ’cause it can’t get much worse.)
Here’s my first ham-fisted attempt at making a video using a collection of photos from tours and S24O’s of years gone by. The melodious instrument you hear is not an angelic harp, as you may have thought, but a banjo played in the traditional Appalachian claw-hammer style. The artist is completely unknown, as are most banjo virtuosos.