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Why is my hammock suspension too tight/too loose?

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:19 pm
by Scuba
The following is an excerpt of a blog article.  Read Full Article

When you first start hammock camping getting your suspension set right seems impossible. Once you start to understand some of the “physics” of hammock suspensions, it will become easier, and hopefully start to make more sense. Below are some terms you need to know   Sag is how your hammock hangs from your suspension. Looked at simply, it is the curve in your hammock. A structural ridgeline is a cordage line on your hammock that allows you a consistent starting point to set your hammock's sag. They come in both adjustable and non-adjustable. The consensus rule of thumb for a ridgeline is 83% of your hammock's ...

Why is my hammock suspension too tight/too loose?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:09 am
by gmcpcs
Good information! Trivial knowledge: "Rule of thumb" has a medieval reference to the size of the rod that can be used to beat your wife. It can't be thicker than the man's thumb, or it becomes too abusive.

Perhaps hammock hangers need a "Rule of the Gun Hand".

On a more serious note, I haven't personally had the experience of hanging in a bridge hammock; does this change the hanging factors?

Thanks Scuba,

Take it easy,
GMCPCS

Re: Why is my hammock suspension too tight/too loose?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:29 am
by Scuba
gmcpcs wrote:
Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:09 am
Good information! Trivial knowledge: "Rule of thumb" has a medieval reference to the size of the rod that can be used to beat your wife. It can't be thicker than the man's thumb, or it becomes too abusive.

Perhaps hammock hangers need a "Rule of the Gun Hand".

On a more serious note, I haven't personally had the experience of hanging in a bridge hammock; does this change the hanging factors?

Thanks Scuba,

Take it easy,
GMCPCS
Bridge hammock is a totally different animal. Trees spaced further apart are GOOD, and a flatter suspension is often used.

Re: Why is my hammock suspension too tight/too loose?

Posted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:52 pm
by BillyBob66
I must have picked up some skills related to hanging a hammock over the years, as just today I pulled off something that I gave up on way back in 2006-07. What I gave up on is hanging a hammock from any trees in my yard. The only time I have really done this in the past is when I used two 2X4s in an X formation, but crossing very near the top, and then running the straps or rope over the X and down to attach to the tree down near the bottom. But that must have been too much hassle since I ended up with a a home built hammock stand and later a purchased portable stand. And that last is mostly what I have have used over these last 6 or 7 years. (I got tired of hearing my wife's complaints about the appearance of my big old home built stand, gave in and tok it down after a couple of years. But I did some of my best cold weather testing using that stand! )

So anyway, out of the blue an urge struck today and I took my WB bridge out to those way far apart trees. I attached the straps way up high and hung with comfort and the greatest of ease! Previously, I never could stay off the ground. Maybe it is not all just skill: I vaguely remember back then that when I would be trying to attach way up high, I was worried about the size of the branches I was attaching to. But maybe the tree has grown a lot in thickness as well as height since 2006, and I am now able to find branches up high that look thick enough? Maybe that is the difference more than skills. I still remember being on the phone with Tom Hennessy, with him trying to talk me through it. And I remember him saying that, if I could not stay off the ground, I was just going to get those tree huggers up higher, rather than trying to pull tighter.

But for whatever reason, today was no problem. When I took my WBRR down and tried to hang my Claytor No Net, the original thin nylon cordage that came on it(which I still have on the foot end) was not quite long enough, though I had plenty of length on the head end where I have a Harbor Freight yellow strap and a cinch buckle. Because of the relatively short cordage on the foot end, and hooking up high, I was no where near centered between the trees. It mattered not, I just made a few adjustments, and the foot end on this hammock needs to be higher anyway, so still worked good. I was only about a foot off the ground, since I could not get that foot end as high in the tree as i needed to do- not enough cord- but did not matter. I felt about as comfy as I always have in that hammock, and between shade, a breeze and a 10+ cooler(maybe 12 or 13 cooler) August day than back in late August 2006, I could easily have passed out and almost did.

I'll never forget that scorching(easily 100F + heat index) late August day 11 years ago, with a Rocky Mountain trip coming up 1st week of September(turned out 1st night had 22F lows), and me, my wife and grand-kids in the backyard, trying to figure out how to hang that Hennessy Hammock UL Explorer and how it's Super Shelter worked, having been convinced to try a hammock by my buddy from NC who was meeting me in the Rockies. Sweat pouring off of me, and I could not even keep my butt from hitting the ground, using my only two not all that thick trees about 21 feet apart. I gave up and just hoped my more experienced at hanging buddy could help me figure it out on the trail! LOL! I'm still amazed that I actually tried it, but I was prepared- and experienced- to go to ground with a tarp if needed(and had to on one other night than the 1st above timberline about 11,000ft)- thankfully I took my pads. It led to a truly miserable 1st night, ending with me abandoning the hammock for the ground under the stars. But by the 2nd night I had it figured out more or less, and was warm and uber comfy on all of the following nights. And I was converted from dog cussing hammocks and my buddy who convinced me to try them, to the only guy who was way comfy and warm on the last windy, cold night of the trip. Never looked back after that. But I would have had a much better 1st night- and been more confident on all of the following nights- if I could have practiced in my back yard. Using these same trees like I did today with no problems. I just hanged them high. The hammock straps that is. Even with far apart trees, worked good! Hang em high, Bros and Sis!(when needed)