School Me on Hammocks

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School Me on Hammocks

Postby gp_frk » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:36 am

Ok I've watched pretty much all of Sean Emry's videos and that's great and all. I bought an Equip Travel hammock from Wal-mart because I don't want to drop a lot of coin on a hammock and realize it ain't my thing.
I made up some whoopie slings out of Amsteel off of Bears tutorial. And I plan to fly this thing for the first time tomorrow in the back yard just to try it out.
Someone mentioned a ridgeline that is structural. What is this about? I'm assuming this is tied between the whoopie slings to limit the amount the hammock can spread out?
Any advice for a noob? I'm planning on using my BCUSA 10x10 as a tarp at least for now.
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Re: School Me on Hammocks

Postby jeffro » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:43 pm

A structural ridgeline runs between the eyes at each end of the hammock and is shorter than the hammock thus producing a sag in the hammock. The shorter the ridgeline the more the sag.Sag in the hammock allows for diagonal sleeping which gives you the sensation of laying flat. A taught ridgeline is necessary to the hammock to keep one's butt from rubbing the ground so the structural ridgeline allows for sag while maintaining the lift up off the ground. If the hammock is stretched tight and is incorporated into the ridgeline the hammock will try to roll radially around the ridgeline upon entry and exit thus dumping you on the ground. The structural ridgeline also acts as a handy trapeze to help you enter and exit the hammock. These are a few of the lessons I have learned in hammocking and I give them to you freely but don't ask about the cost I have already paid it.I forgot to mention that when the hammock is incorporated into the ridgeline and is stretched tight it tends to pinch together at the ends thus squeezing together your shoulders and feet making for a bad nights sleep.
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Re: School Me on Hammocks

Postby BigJesse » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:16 pm

Here are a few tips that I wish I would have known when I first started hammocking. These are all just my personal opinion and may vary from person to person.

My first hammock was a Hammock Bliss Ultralite that I bought from Amazon. It was cheap. I used it for about 2 years and it did me fine. I never used a ridge line, but I should have. On the other hand I don't think it would have helped. It was almost 8' feet long. Now, I'm 6'3" that leaves just under 1' on each end of me. NOT ENOUGH. The closer you get to the ends the more you'll be wrapped up. Which isn't comfortable for long periods and it makes it much harder to sleep on the diagonal. It doesn't matter how wide your hammock is if it isn't long enough. I suggest at least 2' on each side of you. In other words, take your height and add 4. Minimum IMO. Like I said before I'm 6'3"... add 4... lets just round up to 11'. So if I want a comfortable night sleep where I'm not scrunched up I'd go with 11' minimum. BUT... bigger is better ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE A SIDE SLEEPER. Bigger in length AND width. The hammock I have now was 90"x156" (7.5'x13') when I bought it, I hemmed a channel in the ends which knocked off about a foot leaving it 12'. Twelve feet is perfect for my height. Of course with sag that my ridge line gives me the length shortens to about another 2 feet. But that extra two feet helps with the feel and doesn't shorten your diagonal.

Now lets move on to width. My hammock is 7.5' wide. That is WAY bigger than the ones you'll see sold commercially. Most commercial double wide hammocks are around 60" (5') wide with a 72" (6') diagonal, I'm working with another 2.5 feet. That essentially making my hammock around 8 foot on the diagonal which give me plenty of room to move around which is what us side sleepers need. Some would say that my hammock is a bit overkill and I would agree it is. BUT, its also overkill when it comes to comfort.

Lets talk about some of the precautions of having a long hammock. One, the longer the hammock the more sag you'll want, making the ridge line further and further away from you. Which means you'll have to set your tarp up higher leaving the opportunity for rain to make its way in if your not set up perfect (especially if there is a strong side wind). The longer your hammock the less options you'll have when trying to find spots to hang. Because my hammock is about 10 feet + the 4 feet of "unused" whoopie sling (mainly the burys) my minimum distance between trees is 14-15 feet. Not optimal, especially when most of the trees in my area are Juniper and bunched up.

One thing to think about with a short hammock is your ridge line will be right next to your face and will make it awkward getting in and out, at least with the experience I've had with one.

Hopefully this post will give you some insight into the things I wish I would have known before hand. The more you get out and mess with your hammock the more you'll find what is best for you. First is first, get yourself a ridge line and experiment.

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Re: School Me on Hammocks

Postby saustin1967 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:54 pm

Anything and Everything you ever need to know about Hammocks if on

https://hammockforums.net/forum/content.php
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Re: School Me on Hammocks

Postby YoungBlacksmith » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:43 am

At the last meet-up, Scott handed me a hammock to try out. I used the hammock forums and www.theultimatehang.com to research how to even start with this thing. I'm happy to report that yesterday I was able to hang it up between two trees and lay in it for about half an hour! I think it took 2 minutes to set up.

I got some tree straps from Walmart for $10, straps with loops built in, 9'7" long, with S hooks. I just used the S hooks and attached it to the strap and the loop gathering the fabric of the hammock. I would like to grab some carabiners to replace the S hook for security, but the S hooks are fine for day use.

I would like to hang it a few more times this weekend, and would love to be napping in it by Father's Day.

Thanks Scott!
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Re: School Me on Hammocks

Postby saustin1967 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:54 pm

YoungBlacksmith wrote:At the last meet-up, Scott handed me a hammock to try out. I used the hammock forums and http://www.theultimatehang.com to research how to even start with this thing. I'm happy to report that yesterday I was able to hang it up between two trees and lay in it for about half an hour! I think it took 2 minutes to set up.

I got some tree straps from Walmart for $10, straps with loops built in, 9'7" long, with S hooks. I just used the S hooks and attached it to the strap and the loop gathering the fabric of the hammock. I would like to grab some carabiners to replace the S hook for security, but the S hooks are fine for day use.

I would like to hang it a few more times this weekend, and would love to be napping in it by Father's Day.

Thanks Scott!


Was that Eno not setup with woopies and amsteel loops in the channels? Pretty sure it had the loops, not sure about the woopies.

Make sure your straps are polyester, not nylon. Nylon stretches. Polyester lashing straps from Harbor Freight, work well.
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Re: School Me on Hammocks

Postby YoungBlacksmith » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:16 am

It has lots of cord coming from both ends, I just didn't know how to use it.... ;) I may need to watch some videos about this stuff to really get what the different things are called.
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Re: School Me on Hammocks

Postby saustin1967 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:08 am

YoungBlacksmith wrote:It has lots of cord coming from both ends, I just didn't know how to use it.... ;) I may need to watch some videos about this stuff to really get what the different things are called.


Yeah those are a steel woopie slings, used with a marlin spike hitch to attach to the tree strap.


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Re: School Me on Hammocks

Postby YoungBlacksmith » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:27 am

It's like learning a new language! The only reference I had to whoopie is whoopie pies and making whoopie.... A quick search pulled up a good video about atlas straps vs whoopie slings vs adjustable straps, and he set up his hammock with all three showing the differences and similarities. I feel much more at ease about the whole thing. I mean, I'm supposed to relax in this thing, but I have no clue if what I'm doing will support me.... now I do.

I have some straps in the workshop to play with, and some locking chain link replacement type carabiners as well, so I'm set, just need to get out there and do it.
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