Based on the great ideas you have all given me, I have managed to make a few hammocks. They are working out well, except for a few problems I found last night while attempting an overnight.
The first problem was the wind. I was toasty warm with my sleeping bag hood up and a water-proof picnic blanket under my bag to block the wind. The wind, however, was blowing so hard that it made the side edges of the hammock rustle. I switched my head to the side that was rustling the most and it helped, but when a big gusts came by, the rustling came back. After two hours of hoping the wind would die down, I gave up and came inside <yawn>.
I also noticed that my feet ended up my closer to one end of the hammock than I wanted. It must have been the two slippery materials, because when I tried it with no bag, I stayed where I started. It was not obvious that the hammock was at a slant until the slipping problem. I did not bother to address that problem, but gave up because of the wind noise which kept me from falling asleep. How conscious are you all about getting your hang really even?
If I had a tarp up to block the wind, this may not have happened, although the tarp noise may have been almost as bad. It was a beautiful, clear night, so I did not want a tarp. I wondered if I should guy out the sides of the hammock (like Hennessy does) with shock cord. Does anyone know if this would help?
If it had not been for the noise, I'm sure my first overnight in the backyard would have been pretty good. I'll try again soon.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
You will tend to slide towards your center of gravity (your waist). If you put the foot end higher it should help a bit. Also, you could put tie out on the edges to help with the wind issue. If you use a MacCat style tarp you should not have any problems with the tarp flapping in the wind. At least, I don't have that problem with the one I made. You can also set the tarp up on so that it is one sided. That is, have but panels of the tarp staked to one side. This will block the wind but allow you to look at the sky.
Hello Nancy! I would suggest that you consider using a tarp even on those nights when you want to sleep under the stars. My reasoning is this. Pitch the tarp and then fold it over to one side or the other. Preferably the side which seems the windiest. That way shouold you get a rude awaking in the night from sprinkles you only have to pull the tarp over the hammock and secure it down on the loose side. In this way you block the wind and still have a sevurity blank against unexpected showers. I do this religiously and did this during my thru attempt a few weeks ago. Another option I use is that when I get to camp if there is no wind, I can use my shoelaces to wrap around the tarp so it is hanging there but mostly out of the way just in case.
Other than that as has been mentioned in other threads and posts, make sure that you pitch your hammock on the lee side (windless side of bushes, brambles, pine trees) that will block the wind for you naturally. It's not a foolproof method as the wind and mother nature always do want they want anyway but taking care to position your hammock as best you can will alleviate the majority of issues.
I slept outside last night too, it was 50°F or so but the wind was wicked. I had my storm guard off but a small tarp on. I didn't even use a bag, just bare undies and a bug net, it was great. The tarp did rustle a lot, but in 20MPH winds it is going to. I think there is some element of just getting used to the sounds of nature and toughening up. I had to deal with coyotes knocking boots in my backyard and stumpy the screaming headache all night. At first when I started in my yard I couldn't sleep, now I hardly notice them. **** frogs are irritating though when they drop to the top of your cam tarp and start chirping 4 feet from your head. I wish stumpy would scream less and eat more frogs.
Re feet too close to one end: To prevent (reduce) this hang your foot end higher than your head end. The reasoning for this is most of your weight is in your torso, as said above the center of your weight will go to the lowest point on your hammock, but raising the foot ent you move the low part of the hammock further "Up" the hammock. My foot end hangs about 1" above my head end, but then I'm about 60 Lbs overweight (Realization as I wrote that: Oh **** that sounds like alot of weight :eek: ) so YMMV. But as a rule, you don't hang "really even". Yes, you must pay attention to your hang, last night I forgot to or just didn't pay attention to my hang & woke up around midnight with my fee AT the end of the hammock pressing on the knot & had to re-hang.
You don't say if you used a tarp. If not, as suggested above, try one even on a clear night. Hang ACROSS the wind, or you will be sleeping in a wind tunnel. I hang my tarp every night, on clear still nights I then unhook it so I can see the stars, but it is ready to go for a 30 second hang if it starts to rain or gets windy.
for the wind flapping, try the tie outs. I personally didn't like them cause (I feel) it takes away the swing of the hammock that I like. And, for me, I'm asleep in 5 minutes after I hit the hammock anyway, so don't hear anything. AM today, the wife told me we had a T-storm last night, I did not hear it. Did notice that my tarp & suspension cord were wet.
Bear in mind that hammock hanging has a fairly large learning curve, but be patient & soon it will be second nature.
Wind Problem Suggestions
Thank you all for your suggestions. I will rig a tarp next time, and fold it over to the windy side. I will try tie outs as a last resort and I will raise my foot end.
I also made a hammock out of wool-blend suit material (it is very light, soft and strong) because I got it for $1 a yard! It is not as slippery as the nylon and I may not slide around as much, although I still understand the need to raise the foot end.
Everyone who sees my hammocks wants one. I have made a few for neighbors and think I will give some for birthday presents. I have been finding ripstop at Walmart for $1/yd. I do not know what the weight is, but it seems durable enough. Unfortunately, my Walmart is discontinuing fabric, so I will have to find another cheap source.
How do you know when you have too many hammocks?
Post up a picture of your wool hammock if you can.
Originally Posted by nchill
I would think that adding side tie outs to the hammock body would help to stop the flapping of the fabric.
Dunno, I've got 6 or 7 and have figured it out yet.
Originally Posted by nchill
Is there such a thing as to many hammocks? Mine:
1.1oz DWR rip stop hammock
1.9oz DWR hammock