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Camping in Taman Negara; putting outdoor gear to the test

Lee setting up his Hex Fly (upper piece). Compare that with the standard flysheet (draped on the hammock)

Lee setting up his Hex Fly (upper piece). Compare that with the standard flysheet (draped on the hammock)

One of the perks I get these days is getting to test out some of the outdoor gear and camping equipment supplied under Outdoor Gear Malaysia. After all, what’s the use of promoting something that has not been tested out in the jungles of Malaysia? I enjoy bringing the gear out for an actual field test, so that I can better understand the pros & cons of each product. In a way, this sets the shop from the rest in the market.

A Hennessy Hammock neatly tucked inside a snakeskin, ready to be deployed

A Hennessy Hammock neatly tucked inside a snakeskin, ready to be deployed

The two pieces of outdoor gear I tested well during this trek in Taman Negara are the Fire Maple stove FMS105 and the Hennessy Explorer (Classic) model. The Hennessy Hammock is a well established brand from Canada. It needs no introduction really. There have been countless reviews and videos made on them. 6 out of 8 of us on this trip use a Hennessy. They keep you off the ground, the tight mossie mesh net keeps them bugs out and the all in one complete system gives you a piece of mind, that you have a reliable shelter system in the jungle. I wasn’t the only one using the Explorer model. Lee from Australia was also using the same one.

Lee’s small little ‘home’ in the jungle

Lee’s small little ‘home’ in the jungle

While it may seem too elaborate for some, I think Lee’s shelter system demonstrates the benefits of using a hammock for jungle trip. At the uppermost, he is using the Hennessy Hex Fly which is a 3m X 4m in size, providing both a generous sleeping and working area underneath. This is important in the jungle, because if it rains, it pours and a shelter like this will give him space to be comfortable.

Underneath his hammock, Lee gets to hang things up to air, dry without fear that rain will get everything wet and horrific again

Underneath his hammock, Lee gets to hang things up to air, dry without fear that rain will get everything wet and horrific again

The Hennessy Explorer hammock by all accounts is a comfortable hammock. Built for users with height limit of 213cm at 135kg, this hammock is huge. Compared to the typical parachute hammock I have been using, this is like living in a bungalow. It is spacious and even with my arms stretched out, I am steel at least a feet away from either ends of the hammock. Sleeping is also relatively flat and that gives great relief to my back. Downside? Well, to be honest, I have a feeling the zipper side entry is probably the better option known(as compared to my Velcro bottom entry). With a side zipper, one can get into the hammock without having the mossie net zipped up. Some might find this rather ‘suffocating’ really. Other than that, the hammock system itself (comes with ropes, standard flysheet, tree huggers and the hammock) weighs around 1.4kg. Now that is quite a weight but this is probably due to the fact that it is designed with more and heavier material to hold a heavier and taller occupant.

See Tho’s Hennessy Scout inside the deep jungle of Taman Negara at around 6pm

See Tho’s Hennessy Scout inside the deep jungle of Taman Negara at around 6pm

Fire Maple is a China brand and their products have definitely improved over the years. They have a wide variety of models but the FMS105 stove seems to be one of the most popular hammock here in Malaysia. With a Lyndal adapter, it can be used with the very common butane gas canisters. Found easily in supermarkets, hardware shops and sometimes even in sport shops.

The fire maple FMS105 worked like a charm during the few days in Taman Negara

The fire maple FMS105 worked like a charm during the few days in Taman Negara

I carried 2 butane gas canisters on this trip. One was half full. I was gambling with it a bit actually. I have at least 6 full meals I need to prepare. My meals when I go on a jungle trip like this is very simple really, most of the time all that is needed is boiling water. The stove served me perfectly throughout the trip.

The good thing about this Fire Maple stove is that it is very sturdy and it gives out a very hot powerful flame. Am not sure if that is a design factor on the stove itself or it has more to do with the quality of butane gas. It took me mere minutes to boil water, faster than I imagined really.

A sturdy stove with a solid, powerful flame.

A sturdy stove with a solid, powerful flame.

The stove comes pack in a compact, sturdy plastic box. A Lyndal adapter attached can fit in just ok (barely). Compared to the other stoves I have used like the Camping Gaz, this is much lighter definitely.

Now the bad…nothing except the piezo ignition I suppose. On the second day, as I was boiling water, it spilled onto the piezo component and the thing stop working. Only after a couple hours later did the piezo worked again. Anyway, I never depend on a contraption like that for fire, I carry my fire kit with me all the time. So, the piezo not working is not really an issue for me.

There were a lot of outdoor gear being used and tested on this trip. The Hennessy Hammock and the Fire Maple stove really lived up to their reputation. For now, the Hennessy will be my constant hammock shelter system for the jungle while the Fire Maple stove will be my go to stove for short trips

2 comments to Camping in Taman Negara; putting outdoor gear to the test

  • forestgump

    i see signs of palm leaves on the floor – you guys cut them? Thought youre camping in Taman Negara and the usual & designated camping sites are usually cleared area – you created your own campsite ke?

  • Keong

    Some places need clearing. Its quite normal right?

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