While I’ve known for years that hammocks are popular with a subset of backpackers and adventure racers, I’d never had the opportunity to try one out until today when I happened to walk by the Hennessy Hammock booth here at OR. When I was offered the chance to see how it works I eagerly climbed right in.
For any of you who’ve never been in a hammock before because you think it will be awkward to get inside or uncomfortable, fear not! It was simple: just duck under the suspended hammock, stand up inside, sit down, and lie down a bit diagonally with your feet inside. The hammock does all the work, even closing the bottom opening for you once you’re lying down. Once inside, I didn’t want to get out. It was fun and comfortable! I felt like a kid in my own tree house. I started wondering if I could be a hammock person too, or at least an occasional hammock person.
“I don’t worry about people trying them,” designer and founder Tom Hennessy told me. “When people try it, I know I’ve already sold it. Maybe not today, but next time they lay on the ground they’ll be thinking of me.”
Hennessy says he does no advertising because the “people on the trail are my salespeople.” He’s even received cell phone calls from other backpackers wanting to order a hammock while out on the trail.
Having finally tried a hammock, I now understand why people are drawn to this low impact shelter, especialy lightweight enthusiasts. With the new Hennessy Hyperlite they’ve got the weight down to 24 ounces, “but we can get down further,” said Hennessy.
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