Jun 13, 2006 at 11:49 am #1218794
Is it possible to use the fly that comes with the Hennessy hammocks as a rain poncho? It sounds like an odd fit, but I think I remember hearing or reading about it being done somehow…. I have no firsthand experience with hammock camping, but the newly introduced ‘Hyperlight Backpacker Asym’ has me intrigued, especially if it will allow me to stick to my ‘poncho-tarp’ tradition. Thanks everyone, and if anyone has any additional info on the new model (anyone who attended Trail Days in Damascus), I’d appreciate your firsthand impressions.
-Dave:)Jun 13, 2006 at 1:00 pm #1357935
Inasmuch as any remotely rectangular piece of silnylon can be made into a poncho, I guess so. I wouldn’t want to try it, though.
However, HH will sell you the hammock with no fly at a reduced cost, and you can use any other poncho (that’s large enough) as your fly. I have some pics of an ID and an Equinox poncho over hammocks here:
If you get the snakeskins, setting up in a rainstorm probably wouldn’t be much different than a standard poncho-tarp ground setup. Still not fun and certainly not worth the 10 oz saved over a DropStoppers suit, IMO, but it can be done.
Edit – I have the BP UL Asym, which is supposedly the Hyperlight but with heavier materials. I don’t have any experience with the Hyperlight, though.Jun 13, 2006 at 4:01 pm #1357947
Steven NelsonBPL Member
@slnsfLocale: Northern California
I’ve done it the other way around – used my ID Sil Poncho as a fly for the Hennessy, in addition to its normal use as a poncho. Works great.
I assume the Equinox UL Extension poncho (which I own but haven’t tried this way), and most other poncho tarps with corner tie-outs and sufficient diagonal size, would work fine too.Jun 13, 2006 at 5:12 pm #1357955
Thanks for the feedback guys. I guess it does make more sense to substitute a poncho-tarp for the stock fly rather than trying to do it the other way around.
I did recently purchase a Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape, and am wondering how it would fair as a fly for the Hyperlight A Sym. It is a bit oddly shaped, and am worried it would only adequately cover one side of the hammock. I guess I’ll have to try to do a bit of experimenting in the back yard to find out….
Dave:)Jun 13, 2006 at 6:33 pm #1357959
Douglas FrickBPL Member
> I did recently purchase a Six Moon Designs Gatewood Cape, and am wondering how it would fair as a fly for the Hyperlight A Sym.
I kind of assumed it wouldn’t, but now I’m not so sure. I’m going to hang my hammock with cape and try it. Please let us know what you find, too.Jun 13, 2006 at 7:03 pm #1357960
Doug – Thanks a lot. In knowing that you are a hammock and cape user, I was hoping you might pick up on this post. The combination does seem awkward, but hopefully we’ll both come to a different conclusion. I appreciate your help,
-Dave:)Jun 14, 2006 at 12:03 am #1357973
Here’s a pic of the ID Silshelter over a Hennessy Hammock. You might be able to do something similar with the Gatewood Cape.Jun 14, 2006 at 6:44 am #1357977
@peter_panLocale: Co-Owner Jacks 'R' Better, LLC, VA
Jeff…nice rig…looks a little close on the left end….but hey, let’s assume we are smart enough to rig the generous end to the windward…Thx for the pic.
PanJun 14, 2006 at 7:21 am #1357980
Thanks for posting the picture Jeff. That does look like a nice setup, although I’m still a bit concerned about how the Cape might fair. It’s really more pyramid shaped than anything I think, and its hard for me to imagine how it might provide even coverage. When sleeping in the cape, you lie perpendicular to the zippered entrance, rather than parallel, which makes it different from most tarps and thus more difficult for using as a fly.
I’m going to do some testing in a couple of hours, and I appreciate your help.
-Dave:)Jun 14, 2006 at 8:06 am #1357982
That’s not my setup, btw – I use either the JRB 8×8 or the MacCat.
Someone sent the me pic to put on the webpage and I haven’t gotten around to it yet, so I can’t really comment on how well it works.Jun 14, 2006 at 9:27 am #1357985
Well, I just finished setting up the cape in my living room to simulate fly coverage for a Hennessy hammock.
As an A frame, it seems as if it would work fine in theory, although the hood is forced to lie on either side of the fly. 6 guylines were used – two on either side of the fly, and one on either side of the ‘ridgeline.’ Although I don’t have a hammock to determine whether coverage would be adequate, the Cape seems to be large enough that I would’nt have to worry about wind driven rain or spray.
My only concern, and a major concern at that….is that the arm slit on the opposite side of the cape is exposed (the arm slit on the side visible to you is being covered by the hood), and there is an excellent chance leakage would occur. I’m not sure this is a problem thats capable of being solved…..I guess we’ll have to see what Doug comes up with. Thanks everyone,
-Dave:)Jun 15, 2006 at 5:11 pm #1358070
Douglas FrickBPL Member
>I’m going to hang my hammock with cape and try it.
I tried the Gatewood Cape in several orientations above a Hennessy Hammock Explorer (about a foot longer than the Backpacker models). I want a taut pitch because it’s likely to be windy, and I don’t sleep well with a tarp flapping all over the top of my hammock.
With the vestibule at one end of the hammock and the back at the other, the cape was too short to cover the hammock completely. The cape measures about 7 feet from vestibule to back, and it covers even less when the hood is pulled up. Bummer, because this would be the easiest pitch. (It might work on a Byer of Maine Moskito Traveller hammock because that has a truncated hammock body.)
I pitched the cape over the hammock with the two side guys on either side of the hammock ridgeline. Unlike the Silshelter in the previously posted picture, the edges of the cape are supposed to be pitched flat. If you hang the sides of the cape below the hammock’s ridgeline it distorts the pitch; if you suspend it entirely above the hammock it won’t protect from wind-driven rain, and it jumps like crazy in the wind.
I pitched the cape asymmetrically, with a front-side guy on one end of the hammock and a back-side guy on the other, and it didn’t make a taut pitch. The back and vestibule don’t stretch out nicely.
I found the best fit was to hook the 6″ front-side guylines to the hammock’s tarp hooks. (The normal tarp hook position is just about right, so it doesn’t interfere with the Hennessy SuperShelter under-pad/under-cover system.) I could then guy out the back and back-side guys in a taut pitch. Unfortunately, doing so makes it almost impossible to stake out the vestibule nicely–when you stake it taut, it doesn’t pull out the vestibule.
I tried running a ridgeline through the cape’s side pull-out guys and the hood. If you just tie the ridgeline at the level of the ‘tree-huggers’, the cape lays on the hammock’s mesh top. If you have convenient branches and can tie the ridgeline 3-4 feet higher it will work if it isn’t windy; it gives sufficient clearance above the hammock and the rain can run off.
In order to complete a taut pitch, I had to pull the hood cord tight and tie it up to a convenient, higher ‘branch’. If you don’t have a handy branch, tough luck. In order to complete a taut pitch of the vestibule, I had to unzip it and guy out the two sides. Doing so left a triangle where rain could come in, but it wouldn’t be a problem if the back was pitched into the wind.
Guying the side pull-outs up to a branch or branches definitely improves the pitch. If they aren’t, a good breeze will push the cape against the hammock.
Now that I’ve written a thousand words, here are two pictures, taken with the hood guyed lower and the vestibule closed. Good coverage on the back side, fair coverage on the vestibule side. Sorry about the dark pix; I have better but the hood was guyed higher and the vestibule unzipped, which probably isn’t how it would be used in the rain.Jun 15, 2006 at 6:29 pm #1358076
Doug – Much thanks for your experimentation. You tried out a few more variations than I did, but we both seem to have come to the same conclusion: it just doesnt seem like a reasonable fit overall, or at least not a conveinent one, which is crucial for the fly to double as a poncho. For now, I think I’m going to give up on the idea of using a hammock, simply because I can’t afford to buy a new poncho-tarp, and I would rather not carry the extra weight for seperate raingear :) Thanks to everyone for your feedback,
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