My summer vacation from busy-ness

I’ve had a couple of friends and blog readers ask how the frame is coming along.

Right now it’s on hold. This has been an extraoridinarily nice summer for Seattle (it’s hardly rained since the first week of May) and I haven’t felt inclined to spend time in the basement. Christine also lost her job, so when I’m home I like to spend time with her (where before I had a lot of workshop time when she was off at work).

I’m not a very good relaxer (you know, where you sit around doing nothing and not working with your hands), but I’m trying to get better. Maybe by the end of the summer I’ll even be capable of napping!

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I really can’t get down to 0 projects, and some minor things have been going on. In particular I’ve been fixing up our kayak (new seats, rudder lines, rudder control pedals, hatch gaskets). I’ve also been experimenting with stuff related to the Hennessey Hammock, which I’ll report back on once I’ve had some camping time in it. My goal is to make the Hennessey Hammock as fast to deploy as a tent, eliminating my only real complaint with it. I’m not inventing anything new here, I’m just copying ideas from

The photo above is from last week’s point83 ride where around 60 of us dressed up like revelers from the Running of the Bulls, and 2 people dressed up as bulls. We also had a Lego Minifig,a Ronald McDonald,and a few other characters for good fun.

Check back in September or October for some more bike and metal projects. In the meantime it might be quiet around here, with just an occasional trip report.


  1. mike says:

    curious to see what you do with the hammock… i”ve got mine down to deploy very quickly, using the snakeskins, some rings, and carabiners. need to make some new tree straps though, and the skins don”t work as well as i”d like here in the NE (wet)… hammock forums is a fun place – don”t get sucked in!!!!

  2. AlexWetmore says:

    Mike –

    I made snakeskins (not sure how I like them yet, we”ll see in real world use). Mostly I”ve changed the binding to the tree. I”m using tree huggers (longer ones that I made) along with a marlin spike hitch, two climbing rings, and a garda hitch for tension. I can tension the hammock very easily and it all sets up much faster than the normal Hennessey knot.

    I also got the Supershelter two years ago and really feel like I figured it out this year. I can sleep very comfortably through the night in normal PNW summer temps (40s).

  3. Moz says:

    Surely you mean “as slow to pitch as a tent”?

    My experience is that even a good alpine two-hoop dome takes longer than the hammock. A lot longer. Usually I”m in bed relaxing while the tent pitching couple are still putting the fly on, let alone inflating mattresses and getting sleeping bags organised.

    I have a HH with treesavers, underblanket and hex fly, and that comes out of the bag and onto the tree faster than any tent I”ve seen. I use an old sleeping bag bag for it (a four season alpin bag, so it takes the whole hammock with no dismantling), and I”m thinking the only speedup would be a slightly bigger bag with compression straps so I don”t have to remove my sleeping bag and pillow before bagging it. I use my own hitch for it that’’s fast and easy to do/undo (pics on link), but even without that… just how fast can you pitch your tent?

  4. AlexWetmore says:

    Moz — I normally use a single wall tent (TarpTent) with a total of two poles. It takes me about 5 minutes to setup solo (less with help), and there is no rain fly to deal with.

    The Hennessey Hammock usually takes time for me to get the line tension right (untying and retying the knot). With my old packing method I was also removing the insulation for the under padding, but with the new one it gets packed along with the hammock.

    The basic change is to use a different way of tying up the hammock to make getting the line tension right a snap.

  5. Moz says:

    Yeah, experience with the hammock is the key, and packing the hammock with everything inside it. Once you have that five minutes to set up is ages. I only take that long if I have to spend a while finding the right trees.