Gear

The Hennessy Hammock: A Must-Have for the Adventurous Literary Traveler

By Wes Newbury

The rain came down like lead pellets sprayed from an Uzi. I could hear the river raging just below the bank and the dull thump of our wooden raft against some fallen trees. The wind blew violently but my hammock did not pitch. It had been peaceful a few minutes ago. The only offense of nature was the onslaught of carnivorous insects. But the fine bug netting sewn over the top of my hammock had made them obsolete. I held my book light up to the net and watched as the hungry mass swarmed towards its glow.

When the rain came, the bloodthirsty insects left me to fend for myself. I unzipped my sleeping bag and examined the tension of my rain fly. The chords that staked the fly to the ground whistled like finely tuned instruments, tight as guitar strings. Two more elastic cords fastened at my left and right steadied my sway as the fierce wind tried to throw me into the river. I huddled back into my sleeping bag, closed my book, and lay on my side. The storm was raging, yet here I lay cozy, dry, and half asleep. I grinned with the victory of having overcome the discomforts of a jungle with just a few sheets of hanging canvas.

With a sewn-in net and detachable rain fly, the Hennessy Hammock is the only hammock to create a self-contained environment protected from bugs, rain and wind. Weighing in at just about two pounds, the Hennessy Hammock is also the lightest shelter on the market. Its asymmetrical design allows for sleeping on your side, rolling around, and sitting up without balancing. It is the most comfortable sleep I have ever had outdoors and it breaks down into a bag that can sit in the palm of my hand. As my friend and I ventured into the Amazon, my Hennessy Hammock proved to be of great necessity.

It was not the ferocity of the rain that scared me so much as its endurance. After an hour of deluge, I was no longer so smug. The river was loud and sounded like it wasn’t more than an inch beneath me. We had hung our hammocks high above the river, on an embankment. The night was black as coal and I could not see where the river lay, though I sensed it all around me. I was considering whether the water could rise to the height of our hammocks when it came upon me like a powerful, cool wind. I emerged from my shelter waist deep into the river that was once ten feet below me.

We had brought the Hennessy “snakeskin” accessory, but neither of us could have imagined how useful it would be until now. The skins resemble two long tube socks that hang on either side of the hammock, like two snakes waiting to ingest what lies between them.  In our moment of great urgency the snakeskins allowed us to pack up our camp in two swift tugs. In minutes we relocated deeper into the forest, to higher ground. In those same minutes, the river rose above where our hammocks had been tethered and littered our camp with debris.

The Hennessy Hammock has enabled me to camp anywhere and everywhere. From flooded jungles to icy mountains to hot and windy beaches, I have used my hammock with great success in every environment where I can find two upright structures. The Hennessy Hammock has changed the way I camp and, to a large extent, travel. My hammock is my home away from home, my vessel when I decide to be taken by the breeze.

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