About 25 years ago in my backpacking days,  I purchased a strange looking hammock called the Hennessy Hammock.  I was intrigued by it’s all-in-one design with a bug screen and fly, not to mention the unorthodox bottom entry.

I quit backpacking shortly after that purchase and while I didn’t get to use it much for hiking  back then,  it has been put into service several times in parks during out of town training classes since.

The last time it saw the light of day was at a two day Carbine class with Dave Harrington in 2010.  From there it went into my BOB and was been all but forgotten about.

Fast forward to today…


Today I decided to add the hammock to my GHB while re-working it for Winter weather.

It’s very compact and light for the amount of shelter it provides and as you can see in the video, it is up and running in less than 5 minutes.  The difference in comfort between it and a therma-rest on rocks is well worth the 2lb weight penalty IMO as my back is not what it use to be.

Remembering that my GHB has to take me 50 miles to get home, it doesn’t make sense to travel so light that I can’t sleep each night during the trek.  Sleeping on the ground even with insulation for the cold is no-bueno at my age and making a “needle bed” for comfort each night is too time taxing.

Realize that once the fly is up (~2min), you and/or your gear is not getting wet if you want to wait for a lull in a downpour to finish hanging the hammock itself.

For this reason, I keep the fly separated from the hammock, allowing for it to be used as  a quick shade or rain shelter.

At two minutes for setup it’s pretty fast, but with the optional “snake skins” it’s even faster and easier.  I plan to purchase these and the HH2O water catchers in the near future.  The HH2O caps are an easy way to collect water during the rainy season and one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” items.

In the video I did not re-adjust it, but if you were staying overnight, you want the hammock higher up and the fly closer to it for max protection.


  • Using different colored 550 cord for ties and ridgeline helps ID them quickly.
  • Some #36 bank-line prusiks work great for tensioning and positioning the fly.
  • Small locking carbiners save tying the fly rings to the prusiks.
  • Adding carbiners on the “tree savers” makes for no knot setups that are very fast.
  • One end has a taught-line knot for positioning and the other a trucker’s hitch with figure eight knot to prevent slip-though.
  • One end of the side ties is a taught-line, the other a bowline that has a loop pulled through to work as a slip knot on the rock or tree branch.

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