Struggling

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ADVStrom14
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Struggling

#1

Post by ADVStrom14 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:50 am

I'm in the woods listening to the rain at 350am and once again I'm not sleeping.

I have been hanging since March of 2016. Outside of a time or 2, sleep is illusive. Even then out was only for a few hours. I hear of people going out and having these excellent nights right out the gate. Or even of not immediately, they eventually slept do much better. I'm even listening to my mother a few trees over (1st night out) snoring like a train. I've tried different hammocks, suspensions, insulation systems. Am I just one of those that can't hang of what?

How long did it take you to dial in your system and get a good night sleep? Are there times you still struggle? Any advice?

Jes


I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. -E. B. White

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Re: Struggling

#2

Post by KINGLONESTAR » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:12 am

Howdy from another noob over here in TEXAS. Since I'm new to this, I'll standby for the 'experts' to weigh in with their $.02. They will all probably start out by asking a lot of questions. Here are a couple I'd start with...Which hammock are you driving; what length/width? What kind of suspension? Are you hanging at the recommended 30 degree hangle? Are you using a structural ridgeline? What is it that is preventing sleep? Is it general comfort, such as body position (maybe you are a side sleeper at home and your body isn't used to sleeping on your back...that is my personal challenge)? Is it temperature related? Are you sleeping on the diagonal? What types of insulation are you using? Do you use a pillow?

To answer YOUR big and frustrating question...NO! You are NOT "just one of those that can't hang..." Keep at it and don't give up. I am a relatively light sleeper, I normally sleep on my side, and I have to answer mother nature's phone call at least once a night/early morning (sorry for the TMI but it's kinda pertinent to the discussion) so all of those things would logically go against me getting a full night's slumber in the hammock. Some (including my former self) might throw their hands up and just say $&@! It, I'm going back to bed/ground. I'm still fiddling with everything like it sounds like you are. I'm "embracing the suck" as they say, until I get it down pat. It sounds like I'm maybe not having the difficulty you are (which shall pass) but it is different than what I'm used to and it's fun so that's what keeps me motivated. Not that you need a pep talk or anything. LOL!

Best of luck, Jes.


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Re: Struggling

#3

Post by rhjanes » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:22 am

All of the questions above. Are there some hammock issues you are facing?
Otherwise, it might just be the "different" factor.
I don't "travel" all that well. By that I mean a different bed every night, means I wake up a few times and have trouble falling asleep. When we go on a vacation, we might go to a resort. The first night, I don't fall asleep till 1 AM, then wake up at 2, 4, 5..... The next night I sleep somewhat better. The third night I sleep almost as well as at home and then it is time to leave!
Out in the woods, my first night, I probably don't sleep that well. But I'm usually backpacking so by the next night, I'm physically tired and fall asleep pretty well. But I still wake up once or twice. An owl. A coyote. a DANG WHIPOOR-WILL! (gawd they keep the entire forest awake....all night). The need to water a tree. The cold on my face.

Others....My brother in law for example. Is a professional pilot and can literally "sleep anywhere". Lights on? No problem. Noise in the hallway of the hotel? What noise. One of my orienteering buddies (we also take canoe trips) falls asleep much faster than I do. We sometimes share a hotel room when we are out of town on events. He will have the TV on, the lights on, and be reading a book. Then, he's snoring!
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Re: Struggling

#4

Post by tennistime99 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:48 pm

How much tent camping have you done? I know when I first started camping many years ago my brain wouldn't stop listening to all the unseen noises around me and I'd have a REALLY had time sleeping. As i got more used to strange noises, especially when alone, it's gotten easier to sleep and ignore most noises. If it's Bigfoot creeping up on me my brain will tell me it's just a floppy eared bunny wabbit... No problemo!

It can also be just the novelty of knowing you're exposed like a pinata underneath. Getting comfortable with your surroundings and noises can take a few trips. A hammock was the first time in many years I slept until well after sunrise with out spinning like a rotisserie chicken for several hours trying to be comfortable.

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Re: Struggling

#5

Post by sarge » Sat Nov 26, 2016 4:20 pm

I typically don't sleep all that well the first night out. I still have city brain and its no yet calibrated for woods function. I sleep lots better the second and subsequent nights.

Humans don't actually sleep deeply the whole night thru. We tend to drift from deep sleep to near wakefulness. At home, we don't really notice being in the near wakefulness state. That's because almost all of the sounds and surroundings are familiar to us, so our brain doesn't wake us further. When we're in unfamiliar surroundings, our brain will turn that near wakefulness setting up to dang near awake as a defense mechanism---which is likely why I do better on the second night than I do the first.
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Re: Struggling

#6

Post by ADVStrom14 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:17 pm

Thanks everyone for pitching in. I'll answer some of the questions:

Which hammock are you driving; what length/width?
I started out in an Eno doublenest and did pretty decent. Of course that was before I learned about the diagonal. I slept like a banana and actually didn't sleep too bad. Even though my first trip was totally solo at a busy campsite in the spring. I slept for a few hours and wasn't too cold. Then I moved to a Hennessy Hammock Backpack classic entry. Didn't like it - I think it was too short and it's hexagonal so it forces me to lay a certain way. I like to wiggle. I just finished my first DIY hammock and it's 10.5' long and I think about 65" wide (I'm learning that is slightly too wide but only by a couple inches for my preference. But I can get a good diagonal with it.

What kind of suspension? My new DIY has 1" webbing straps with dutch clips by the trees and dutchware cinch buckles hooked on continuous loops which thread through the gathered ends of the hammock.

Are you hanging at the recommended 30 degree hangle? Yes, or at least I do my best.

Are you using a structural ridgeline? My HH did have a structural ridgeline and I put one on this new DIY hammock. It is not fixed though. It is a zing-it whoopi sling that I keep adjusting to get the right length on.

What is it that is preventing sleep? I have no idea. White noise maybe? I sleep with a fan at home and I hear ev-ery-thing in the woods. I don't freak out about the sound I just hear it all. I tried to use ear plugs last night and it helped a little but not really a lot. I do not sleep well the first night anywhere as rhjanes mentioned. But even on multinight trips, my hammock camping is not getting better.

Is it general comfort, such as body position (maybe you are a side sleeper at home and your body isn't used to sleeping on your back...that is my personal challenge)? I have had this thought because I am a hard core left side sleeper. Even in my bed, I cannot sleep on my right side at all and even when I roll onto my back at night I wake up and have to roll back to my left side. When I had the HH it was hexagonal and set up to be head left, feet right and I just could not do that. So my DIY hammock is just regular rectangle and I can sleep head right, feet left which lets me lean more to my left side and it's big enough that I can actually roll to my left side almost completely. Hasn't helped yet, lol! I don't think that I am having any real body discomfort. I mean I don't wake up hurting or anything. In the HH I did get the sore leg thing where my leg would lay across the velcro strip in the classic entry because it didn't flex as much as the hammock fabric so it would sometimes lay weird against my leg.

Is it temperature related? No, my insulation is pretty good and last night I was snug as a bug in a rug. :)

Are you sleeping on the diagonal? Yes, see above.

What types of insulation are you using? Depending on the weather/temp I use either a cosco down throw converted to a UQ and another for a TQ. If colder, I made a microfleece TQ liner and I use that under the down throw for some snuggly goodness. I ust a Jarbridge UQ from Arrowhead Equipment when it's much colder and I have a new inflatable pad (used the first time last night) - the Klymit Hammock V - and I liked it pretty good. I could tell that I was warmer and felt more insulated.

Do you use a pillow? No. I wanted to start using a neck pillow just to support my neck. A friend let me try his and it worked pretty good. I wanted to get an inflatable one so that I could adjust it as needed but with that pad that I used last night, I don't think I need one anymore. I avoided a true pillow because I have issues with my neck and I am afraid that it would put my head at an odd angle.

How long have you been tent camping? I tent camped growing up and I hated it - enough to swear off camping for life. I mentioned earlier that I am a hard core left side sleeper and my hips just cannot do that sleeping on the ground thing. Well unless I have one of those obscenely thick inflatable or foam pads that will give my hips enough cushion not to dig into the ground. But because I want to backpack, those big set ups like that are not an option. The only reason I am even camping is because I can do it in a hammock. Which is why I so desperately want this to work.

Someone mentioned, "embrace the suck." I am trying. I am just discouraged because I know that trying to go on a long backpacking trip is going to seriously suck (for at least the first few days, until I either pass out from exhaustion or...die) unless I can get this worked out. I slept for a total of 2.5 hours last night. :(
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. -E. B. White

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Re: Struggling

#7

Post by Flatliner » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:21 pm

I would almost bet the white noise is the issue. However, as a fellow side sleeper, I can tell you that I always wake up at least a couple times a night. Like you, I have embraced camping again due to the hammock and the hope of being comfy (which I am.) I just purchased a couple of small ridgeline fans that recharge on usb power. I think before trying a bridge (which will solve the comfy all night thing from what I am told, I would find some kind of white noise generator.

Maybe something like this http://berrymama.com/Portable-Flexible-USB-Mini-Fan coupled with one of those lipstick size extra phone batteries.
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Re: Struggling

#8

Post by rhjanes » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:00 pm

Pillow. I have used the Cub Pillow from Arrowhead Equipment. Love it. Might leave it at home and try without it.
http://www.arrowhead-equipment.com/stor ... illow.html
It fits just under your next and is down. Compresses well and also adds warmth!

I am also a left side sleeper like you! I am looking at getting a Simply Light model to try out. I have Warbonnets but they are all "Head Left, feet right"(of the RL). So when I attempt to roll partially to my left, I get the fabric in my face. the Simply Light lay is either way....so I'm thinking about it.

The White noise is an issue. We sleep with a noisy floor fan on HIGH.
Could Light also be an issue? I use some silicone moldable earplugs but also have some cheap ultra light eye darkness things in with that cub pillow or in with my sleep clothes (sleep clothes, plus ear plugs, plus two Tylenol PM, plus eye shades.....). More than once, the moon has come up and woken me. Or I went to sleep in the rain, but awoke at 3 AM because the rain stopped, the clouds cleared and now the forest was lit up with a full moon!

Sarge also had a great point about the sleep cycles. And as I've aged, I often awake between 3:30 and 4:30....it is upsetting as I WISH I'd stayed asleep until the 6 AM go-to-work alarm! That has only been happening as I am sliding downhill to 60. I'm getting better about NOT letting it tick me off so I stay awake!
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Re: Struggling

#9

Post by sarge » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:46 pm

You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me. ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Re: Struggling

#10

Post by brianb2 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:21 am

Definitely try a pillow. Maybe two. One for your neck, the other under your knee(s). Good luck.


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Re: Struggling

#11

Post by johnspenn » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:51 am

ADVStrom14 wrote:Thanks everyone for pitching in. I'll answer some of the questions:

Which hammock are you driving; what length/width?
I started out in an Eno doublenest and did pretty decent. Of course that was before I learned about the diagonal. I slept like a banana and actually didn't sleep too bad. Even though my first trip was totally solo at a busy campsite in the spring. I slept for a few hours and wasn't too cold. ...



Have you tried going back to your ENO, and sleeping with a banana lay? I love my ENO, have camped out in it, and personally I don't mind laying straight down the middle of my hammock. Even when I get a good diagonal before I go to sleep. often I wake up laying down the middle because I've shifted in my sleep, and it's not uncomfortable so I don't move. You can always trade out the bulky ENO suspension for something more light-weight (although their Atlas Straps are hard to beat for simplicity).

There are "white noise" apps you can get for your phone, you might try.

Aside from that, a bridge hammock might allow you to side-sleep more consitently than a gathered-end, from what I hear (I've never tried one).

Good luck!

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Re: Struggling

#12

Post by ADVStrom14 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:14 am

I agree with you all that white noise is likely an issue. I haven not looked into the ridgeline fans but I am going to now. Thanks Sarge for the video! I also have a white noise app on my phone and I have one of those under pillow speakers that I use when I travel that runs off the phone battery. I am not sure that it will work in the hammock though but I can just put my phone in the RL organizer and most likely hear it from there. I have some extra ripstop so I may make a pillow.

johnspenn, I have thought about going back to my Eno. I changed out the suspension early on to whoopie slings. I guess "stick with what works" applies in this case. :)
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. -E. B. White

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Re: Struggling

#13

Post by sarge » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:12 am

ADVStrom14 wrote:I agree with you all that white noise is likely an issue. I haven not looked into the ridgeline fans but I am going to now. Thanks Sarge for the video! I also have a white noise app on my phone and I have one of those under pillow speakers that I use when I travel that runs off the phone battery. I am not sure that it will work in the hammock though but I can just put my phone in the RL organizer and most likely hear it from there. I have some extra ripstop so I may make a pillow.

johnspenn, I have thought about going back to my Eno. I changed out the suspension early on to whoopie slings. I guess "stick with what works" applies in this case. :)
I'd shy away from using the phone. Its the best safety device you have in your pack, but just about every hiker rescue I've read about in the past 10 years says somewhere "He was able to contact 911, but his battery died before the could fix his position."

You're better off running out of AAA batteries for your white noise device than you would be if it happens to your phone while you lay next to a trail with a broken ankle.
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Re: Struggling

#14

Post by rhjanes » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:24 am

On the phone, yeah, not sure I'd use that. I also carry a 10,000 mHz battery back up, so I can recharge the phone around 4 times. Go to airplane mode when you are out of any cell range. Switch back and forth if you need to check for a signal.
Consider also a Personal Locator (PLB). Like a SPOT of the Delorme Inreach (I have that one. Wife loves it when I'm in the boonies and send her two text a day, letting her know I'm moving or stopping to camp AND she gets a position on me.....Hm...he REALLY is in the mountains and not in Reno).
With the PLB, you'd be assured that even with a phone with no signal or is DOA from running a white noise app, you still have a way to get located.
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Re: Struggling

#15

Post by rhjanes » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:26 am

Also note...I think everyone who has replied so far, has stated "I woke up because of the moon, noise, need to water a tree, woke up in Bannana mode...woke up...." You are NOT alone!
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Hammock hangs are where you go into the woods to meet men you've only known on the internet so you can sit around a campfire to swap sewing tips and recipes sargevining

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