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Extreme Adventurers Choose Hennessy Hammocks

Ed Stafford Wading
PHOTO: KEITH DUCATEL

Hennessy Hammock's five patented features have made it a legendary piece of adventure gear. It has been the shelter of choice for epic expeditions exploring the full length of the Amazon, Nile and Congo Rivers, up to the Arctic and down into the deepest caves on Earth.

When serious adventurers are planning expeditions into unexplored areas of the world, when months-long medical expeditions trek into the deep jungles of Borneo on missions of mercy, when adventure racers traverse mountains, rivers and jungles surrounded by all kinds of poisonous insects and reptiles, when families send a hammock to their soldier sons or daughters in areas of conflict, they all know that they are getting the adventure gear with a proven reputation for quality and comfort.


Ed Stafford Walked the Amazon in 860 Days

stafford hammock set up

In April 2008 Ed Stafford set off to become the first man ever to walk the entire 4000 mile length of the Amazon River. Ed was a retired member of the British Special Forces, He was looking for a challenge. He started on the Pacific coast of Peru, put one foot in the waters of the Pacific, hiked up over the Andes Mountains to find the source of the river and followed it down the other side of the Andes mountains to the jungle floor. Ed outwitted dangerous animals, machete wielding indigenous people and survived injuries, weather, his own fears and emerged from the Amazon Jungle at the mouth of the Amazon river and put his other foot in the Atlantic ocean 860 days later, a Guinness World Record.

Ed talks about his experience getting the hammock he wanted from Tom:

“I’m now using a hammock sleeping system rather than a tent. Hennessy Hammock is a Canadian company that makes an ingenious all-in-one hammock and mosquito net that you enter through a flap in the bottom. Having used the old military hammocks in the past, I love the Hennessy concept. Its hammocks are lighter, quicker to erect and pack up in seconds. You can sprawl around and turn over as much as you like…... Tom has made me a bespoke double-skin version…... All of Hennessy’s hammocks come with the option of the superb Hex Fly, which is an enormous hexagonal waterproof flysheet. It covers the hammock with room to spare, allowing you to cook, administrate and even have meetings with four or five people out of the rain.”


Flying for Nature Conservation

le martin piloting helicopter
Job Description: Anti-poaching pilot.
Aircraft : B407
Location: Chinko, Central African Republic.

A report from the field by Gaël Le Martin

There is an African saying which goes something like: “if you believe that you are too small to make a difference in this world, you obviously haven’t spent a night with a mosquito!”. For very long I’ve been trying to get into the nature conservation scene, it’s a very tight world, not many jobs available, with usually a lot of volunteers or meagre salaries.

Why would I want to do that? Well…

If we came down as aliens today, from a different planet our judgement upon the human behaviour regarding the way we treat this earth would probably be pretty harsh… we’re hiding ourselves from the obvious truth: we’re abusing this planet and all living creatures beyond the point of sustainability.

I work for an NGO called African Parks Network, focusing its efforts on making conservation a sustainable thing, employing locals and when not possible some foreign personnel to bring their expertise, such as pilots for example.

But every day we witness the beauty of nature when we take the time to look up, stop and listen. It’s a simple rhythm, up at sunrise, and in bed shortly after sunset.

It’s team work, a group effort to keep this vast area protected from poachers and cattle herders from South Sudan.

My job is mostly dropping off and picking up the ranger teams from the inaccessible places.

Every landing is a new spot, sometimes in the open fields, sometimes on river banks or in a meadow in the forest. The novelty keeps it’s interesting.
I get to camp out sometimes, if the area is deemed safe for the helicopter, certainly one of my favourite part of the job. It’s always such a privilege to be present in areas totally remote and empty of humans!!!

le martin with his hammock

…and a perfect excuse to go hang my hammock in a new superb spot!
One time I had to come and support a scientific survey team busy drifting down the river system for more than a month.

They were discovering with awe the diversity and incredible creatures living in what was previously known as an empty river.

They even renamed it “water world meets Jurassic park!”

- Gaël Le Martin, 2020

You can read the full letter here.

Huaulta Cave Diving Expedition 2018 using Hennessy Hammock Leaf at Cueva de la Pena Colorada

Photo by Chris Jewell of Connor Roe, Gareth Davies and Josh Bratchley

In 1984, a team of cave divers led by Dr. Bill Stone of the U.S. Deep Caving Team explored a remote resurgence in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. This world-renowned cave is known as Cueva de la Peña Colorada.

The team successfully explored roughly 5km into the mountain, requiring them to tackle several water-filled cave passages which can only be explored by cave divers until they were stopped in Sump VII. This sump quickly reached a depth of over 50m, due to the diving equipment available at the time they quickly hit the logistical limits and were forced to return.

On their return in 2018, sudden flooding led to 6 of the team members fleeing the rising water levels to a known dry area in the cave, the Whacking Great Chamber. They were forced to wait for 69 hours in their wetsuits, cut off from their camp without food, sleeping gear and with no communications to the surface. Finally, the water levels dropped enough to allow their retreat, happily all cavers escaped without injury. The same could not be said for the camping gear, including the Hennessy Hammocks, as most of it was never to be seen again.

For more info about their expedition: https://www.beyondthesump.org/return-to-the-pena-colorada-2018/


Probably the Only Hammock Test North of the Arctic Circle

Independent review by Ben Reynolds, Royal Marine Commando

cold weather hammocking

It’s indisputable.

Hennessy Hammocks could well be the best in the world. Light, durable, comfortable and excellently engineered… perfect for warmer areas of the world, right? Well, you will have seen from the website that ever evolving design solutions are attempting to expand the boundaries of the hammock inhabitable world, from calm low lying areas and comfortable lower latitudes, to where the silent killer reigns supreme…. cold. So, it was with Hennessy Hammock’s Explorer Ultralite Asym, along with elements of the insulated SuperShelter system that I found myself in Northern Norway in order to test whether the cold can be defeated by this intruder from the tropics.

cold weather hammocking

The Test Conditions

The system was tested in the area of 68º 33’ 37.12’’N by 16º 58’.54’’E, east of Harstad, Norway. Initially mild temperatures prevailed, fluctuating around freezing, which resulted in freezing rain, sleet and snow. Though this is not the extreme cold that was later encountered, it was far more testing due to the freeze-thaw effect and moisture content of the air which accentuated the cold. Minimum temperature encountered was - 18ºC (0ºF) still air and estimated at -30ºC (-54ºF) with wind chill. Maximum precipitation encountered was 7.5cm (3 inches) of snow in 6 hrs.

...Conclusion

The Hennessy Hammock insulation system is capable of supporting a lone traveller in extreme cold weather environments down to -12ºC (10ºF) in the format tested. This was dependent on the sleeping bag used and a bag with a lower comfort zone than that used in the test will similarly reduce the -12ºC figure. This figure will also be reduced by: (1) adding insulation to the Under Cover e.g. spare clothing/suitable vegetation, (2) use of the Over Cover, and (3) a solution to cooking which would also heat the living space... However, for those comfortable operating in extreme cold the system works in all respects other than the method in which one can cook, but there must be solutions out there.

2008: abridged. You can read the full review here.

Gordon Brown: The First Descent of the World’s Deadliest River.

Gordon Brown was the first man to kayak the Nile from source to sea, over 3000 miles with one Hennessy Hammock Expedition model in 114 days.

In 2004, Tom met Gordon Brown at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City. Gordon said he needed a Hennessy Hammock to be the first man to kayak the full length of the Nile River. Tom said “No problem, I'd be honored to give you a hammock, especially if he would show one shot of the Hennessy Hammock in the new IMAX movie. He said “No promises, but I’ll see what I can do. His partner Pasquale Scaturro would support him with an inflatable Raft and heavy Imax camera equipment.

Two years later, the Outdoor Retailer exhibitors were all invited to attend the first test screening of the new National Geographic film entitled “Mystery of the Nile, The First Descent of the World’s Deadliest River” at a nearby theater. It was a fascinating documentary about Gordon’s close calls with deadly hippos, man eating crocodiles, a 14 foot anaconda, AK47 toting rebels and killer rapids. Somewhere near the end of the film, my friend Zeuss stands up in the dark audience of the theater and yells as loud as he could to a packed theater of outdoor enthusiasts, “Hey, that’s a Hennessy Hammock”.


Walk the Congo: An expedition in partnership with UN Women: the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

Hennessy Hammock is a sponsor of “Walk the Congo”. Toby Storie-Pugh has chosen the Hennessy Hammock Deep Jungle XL to be their only lightweight shelter system for the trek. In 2020, Toby Storie-Pugh, Aline Mugisho, Simone Bazos and Boston Ndoole will set out to walk the complete length of the Congo River, from its source in northeastern Zambia to its triumphal exit into the Atlantic Ocean—a world-first. Crossing through swamps, savannahs, jungles and conflict zones, the team will traverse over 3,000 miles of tough terrain, where they will be challenged by soaring temperatures, severe humidity, life-threatening wildlife and deadly diseases.

The Congo is the most dangerous place on earth to be a woman. Through TV, traditional and social media, the expedition will strive to raise awareness of the hopes and dreams of Congolese women and girls, as well as their vital role in their country’s future. Walk The Congo aims to organize a global community supporting Congolese peace and development and help shift the narrative from death and despair, to strength and solutions.

A Special Message to Our Customers
We know this is a tough time for everyone out there. So many plans have been disrupted, there is so much uncertainty and there is a lot of news to cope with every day. We just want you to know that we are here if you have any questions or concerns about your new order or a Hennessy Hammock you've had for a while. Our team has always all worked from home (Vancouver, New Zealand, Galiano Island, Kauai) so everything is normal in the office.

Our shippers in the US, Canada, UK, and EU have been in touch and all have plans for making sure orders go out on time. That said, there may be a few disruptions because of local situations. We hope you'll contact us if you need any information about your shipment.

Let's hope that things get back to normal soon, and in the meantime, that there'll be some chances to get outside in our hammocks for some quiet time. -- The Hennessy Team

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