Sunday, 28 August 2005

Hammock – any fool can be uncomfortable.

What could possibly go wrong? Thought I when I purchased the Hammock. All I could think of was the risk of rolling out of the thing and ending up on the floor, and there is no chance of that with a Hennessey Hammock as they have a built in mosquito net across the top that would, I reasoned, prevent the spoilage of the inhabitant. The Hennessey Hammock is the space age of Hammock design; you can lie flat, stay dry in rain, not get bitten my insects and even (so they say) stay dry in a storm. Indeed I did stay dry, though it did not rain, and I didn't roll out of it. So all is well. Best of all it comes with a special devices they call 'Tree Huggers' that prevent the ropes from damaging the bark of trees. I had been a little worried that putting it up would be complicated having read a couple of reviews on the internet from people complaining that they had an awful lot of problems in putting the thing up. Ultimately though it turns out that what you have to do is tie each end to a tree - simple?

One problem with hammocks is the fact that they are bad for your back, the Hennessey Hamock though claims to allow the sleeper to lie flat and I am happy to say that it is indeed possible to lie flat and not bowed; I know, I discovered how about five minutes before my alarm went off in the morning. I headed off to work feeling incredibly good, there is a lot to be said for not sleeping on rocks, roots, nettles and lumps. However, should you miss all these ground borne impediments to sleep it is still possible to experience them from the comfort of the hammock - space age or not! All that is required is to tie the hammock not so very far from the ground then once you are in and the knots have slipped a little you will soon find yourself on the ground once again, but this time completely cocooned. A Hennessey Hammock is entered from underneath and cleverly seals itself once the trusting inhabitant reclines, it is rather tricky to exit when standing is prohibited by the mosquito net and one is comfortable reclined upon the exit. Should you venture off into the happy world of Hammocking and you too find yourself and Hammock recumbent together on the floor I can recommend a solution to the problem; raise both ends of the Hammock. If you were to only raise one end you would discover, to your immense discomfort, in the middle of the night that you were rolled up like a hedgehog in toffee at the lower end of the hammock with a sleeping bag wrapped around you like an angry octopus. Whilst toffee covered hedgehogs may not be the natural prey of the octopus (it isn't I checked on Google) I'm sure you get the idea that doing an impression of a hedgehog in such a scenario is an activity probably best left to occasions when you are not trying to get to sleep because you have to get up early to get to the airport.

Another thing that I discovered is that hammocks are the perfect way of keeping cool in hot weather as the cool air surrounds you on all sides, well this is more of a presumption based on the fact that a hammock on a chilly night is a great way of ensuring a prolonged and uncomfortable bout of shivering.

All in all it was the best nights sleep I have had in ages, and I am a big big fan of the Hennessey. I walked to the bus stop in the morning feeling refreshed, alert and better than I had for months. It is indeed a top purchase I just need a new sleeping bag now.

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