Bear Burritos

-- Last Updated: Oct-30-12 2:52 PM EST --

I am thinking adding a camping hammock to my gear. I am looking at three brands. Any one with used any of these before. Leaning toward the Hennessy Explorer,Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7 & Speer 1.9.The Clarke Tropical also looks nice but is a little more $$$. Thanks.




Clarks Jungle:

I’ve got
I’ve got a Hennessy Expedition and I like it. Easy to set up, so far quite dry and very comfortable once you get used to the sleeping position. Just be sure you get a fly that is big enough for it (default on the Hennessy is a square shape but it’s a free upgrade to their larger hexagonal fly).

Which one

– Last Updated: Oct-30-12 10:33 PM EST –

Can't say which one is best, but I have been using a Hennessy Explorer Deluxe for at least 10 years, and I wouldn't be without it. Far superior to a solo tent for comfort and site location, especially for primitive camp sites. No worries about finding a flat dry level spot, as virtually any kind of terrain with trees will suffice nicely.

I agree about getting a larger tarp. Though the standard tarp has not failed me even in windy rain storms when properly tied low, a larger tarp, when coupled with snake skins to store the hammock, allows plenty of working and dry living space underneath when you don't feel like spending all day inside in the rain.

I always thought that a hammock with someone sleeping inside looks much like a giant version of those wrapped candies with a soft chewy center.

I got a Rockhopper for a decent price
on ebay. It’s nice for the vented fly and the ability to use it on the ground as a tent when there are no trees. Kind of hard to get out from under the fly when on the ground but it’s nice to have the ability to use either way. It also packs down small enough to take along when flying.

Good Luck


I’ve got a Hennessey
and I love it. Much more comfortable than a tent. I also like the slit in the bottom. Easy in and out. Some day I do want to put a zipper in the mosquito netting, there have been nights when there were no bugs and I would have liked more of the wind. Like these:

I’ve got a Hennessy
Ultralight Backpacker and love it.Have got three other people into hammocking after they tried it. The Explorers work well and are well made. I did change to two different tarps…a Kelty 9 for good weather and the Hennessy Hex for a large amount of coverage. The Kelty 12 works great for winter camping. Check out for all the data you’d ever want.

makes one …looks like a copy of the Clark

Best Wishes


Technically, a hammock is a

– Last Updated: Oct-31-12 7:52 PM EST –

"Bear Pinata". A bear burrito is one who is rolled up on the ground.........

That said, I am a lover of piñatas. I started out with a Hennessey, added a Clark NX-250, and then a WarBonnet BlackBird. All are fine, each has unique qualities. My HH Explorer is one of the slit entry models. Best entry for excluding insects ever designed! Good for side-sleeping. The CJH with its integrated weather cover is great for fall/winter/early spring temps. And the WBBB allows the netting to be unzipped and retracted when conditions allow. Also a good side-sleeper. I sleep at about 45 deg from side-sleeping in the CJH.

I get far better sleep in hammocks than I ever did in tents. I suggest you do some research on before buying.


I am going to go with a Hennessy. Trying to decide between the smaller Expedition and Explorer. I am somewhat vertically challenged at 5’4". Will the extra length in the Explorer make a lot of differnce in comfort and body positioning. Thought the extra length might be used for lite storage. Any thoughts.

Also any preferences of side zip vs velcro bottom. Thinking the velcro bottom maybe easier to get in/out at my height

Thanks for those who have chimed in.

The longer length is great if you bring a pillow and other stuff inside. Go on Hennessy’s site and sign up for email notices on the deals of leftovers and missing parts (ie bug nets)

Biten’ Bastards

– Last Updated: Nov-01-12 7:44 AM EST –

Many years ago I used a Vietnam era military hammock. The netting opened large for a side entry, once in, it took a bit of fiddling to seal off. You would always have to spend several minutes squashing the mosquitoes and black flies that came in with you. When I graduated to the bottom entry of the Hennessy I experienced far fewer unwanted occupants in my sleeping chamber. Think of one of those magnetic self sealing slits on a patio screen door.

I second the insect excluding merits of the birth canal entry. One day I will modify my Hennessy to have both it and the zippered caesarean option.

Extra room

– Last Updated: Nov-01-12 8:41 AM EST –

In a larger version the extra room is handy for a few things, but don't think you are going to bring a pack inside. Remember that your body is at the lowest level resting relatively flat, and anything else in the sloping ends of the hammock will find its way to be on top of you. I do like to snuggle up with extra clothing and the like beside me especially when it is chilly outside, but anything large or hard is annoying and will be placed outside on the ground beneath me. I usually hang my pack a convenient and accessible few feet off the ground with a simple strap around a nearby tree or branch, just to keep the slugs and other chewing ground critters away.

I recommend TRYING them out.
Go to and you’ll find someone in your area who will let you try one. Hennessey has a big sale in early October for closeouts, but there is a For Sale forum on hammockforums and you may find a slightly used Explorer for $120 or so. I recommend getting a set of snakeskins, and then check out alternate ways of suspending the hammock. There are a lot of You Tube videos showing fast ways to set up the hammock using carabiners/rings, or “whoopieslings”, etc. Hammockers are pretty creative in ways to save weight, and setting up without wasting any time.

A year ago, I was in the same boat comparing hammocks. I went with a Warbonnet Blackbird, in the double layer 1.1 oz fabric. I later picked up a Hennessey Scout for my kid. The stock Warbonnet is way ahead of the Hennessey, IMO. I like the straps and carabiners. Very simple, very quick to set up and adjust. The ropes on the Hennessey are a pain, because you never get the setup just right on the first tie-off…meaning you have to undo the knots, try again, etc. I also really like the footbox on the Warbonnet. Very roomy and comfortable to lay diagonally. The materials and quality seem better, too. I also think the stock Hennessey tarps are bit, small, meaning you’ll probably want to spend more on an upgrade. I also like the double layer of fabric that I chose on the Warbonnet. I can stick a sleeping pad between the layers in cooler weather. (In temps much below 70 degrees, you’ll want some insulation underneath you, actually.) The only thing I “don’t” like about the Warbonnet is the sides come up high, which limits visibility while laying in the hammock. But that’s not an issue when actually sleeping, of course, or when you have a tarp pitched over it anyway. Eventually, I’d like to get an underquilt and topquilt to go with it, but for now, I’m doing quite well with a sleeping pad and mummy bag. You can hunt and go ultralight, too, with whoopie slings and the like, but that’s not much of a priority with kayak camping.

A hennessey you might borrow
Rufus, you might ask Dawn about hers. I saw it on a Lumber River trip a few years ago.


mil spec hammocks
Hey Paul for a few trips would it be better/cost effective to pick up a mil spec hammock at $39.oo versus a henessy at $170. ? at my age I only for see a few more nights out camping.

Hennessy Explorer Zip
Thanks to all. I went with the Hennessy Explorer Zip. Got it today. The stock staps are lacking. Ordered Eno Atlas Straps to replace the supplied straps. Hope to do a backyard trial run this weekend. Then camp with it next week. Will give feedback.


– Last Updated: Nov-05-12 10:53 PM EST –

On your Hennessy purchase. In case you haven't read elsewhere, there are a couple of tips to know so your first night is a positive one.

You MUST have an insulating pad of some kind underneath you. And it must be somehow prevented from "squirting" up and ending up on top of you. It will do that if you simply throw a sleeping bag on top of a free floating pad. It is always humorous to watch a first timer struggle for a very long time when first entering a hammock, trying to get bag and pad to stay in place.

An easy solution is to use or make some sort of an overbag. I first used an old bed sheet folded in half and sewn together to make a lightweight bag that works really well. Put your pad and sleeping bag both inside and it will keep the pad underneath. More advanced solutions are to use a sleeping bag with a built in pad sleeve (such as a Big Agnes bag), or to get creative with velcro strips.

I like to tie the hammock fairly high on the trees. It will stretch after you get in, and may sag quite a lot toward the ground. Reach high to keep your butt from hitting the ground. If you use snake skins to stow the hammock under an external tarp, you will appreciate the extra clearance as living space underneath the hammock in rainy weather.

The hammock does not have to be tied taught between trees. It is actually better to have a little slack, which due to the shape of the hammock will better allow you to lay flat in the bottom on a semi-diagonal. You will be more comfortable that way. Learn to tie the Hennessy hitch. It is quick, easy and secure, and unties just as easily as it ties. Learn to measure by paces between trees to figure how far to tie each end so you don't have to tie and untie and retie to get the hammock centered. In case of rain, use short drip lines tied to the support lines near the hammock ends.

Accept that the hammock determines where you end up inside. Don't try to fight it. Counter-intuitively, it is better to tie the foot end a couple of inches higher than the head end. Otherwise your main mass will tend to slide too far toward the narrow foot end of the hammock, rather than let your main mass to lay flat in the widest part of the hammock. Tying the foot just slightly higher than the head does NOT make your feet higher than your head.

I don’t understand hammocks
How can it be comfortable to sleep with your back in a curve? Thank you for enlightening me.

Try it

– Last Updated: Nov-08-12 7:50 AM EST –

Remove from your mind the image of a sagging U-shaped backyard hammock that has the only option of laying on your back in a curve.

In a modern camping style hammock, due to the design and the way it is shaped, your back is not curved. You don't even have to lay on your back. Properly hung, you lay nearly flat on a diagonal to the hang, and every part of your body is gently supported with equal pressure. You don't get that on the ground. You will hear over and over again that the best outdoor sleep folks have ever had is in a hammock. Most become converts and do not return to tents and uncomfortable ground sleeping. You don't have to sleep on your back at all, side sleepers like me would much rather be in a hammock than on the ground.