I know I'm violating some "man-law" here, but I think the question should be asked.
How many of you received an instruction sheet or directions of any kind when you made a 'camping' hammock purchase? I say camping hammocks because most (if not all) of the Brazilian, Mayan, etc. hammocks I've ordered have had at least a basic direction sheet.
I have purchased (new - camping style) a Warbonnet, ENO Single & Double, and a Traveler UL; I got my HH used. Not a one of them came with any kind of directions; well, the HH came with a 20 minute lesson from Hammock Engineer, but otherwise none.
I'm asking this because of the TrekLight Double I received earlier this week. I'm really trying to think like a newb (more so than I already do ;) ) while checking it out because I suspect this (and its cousins) would be a hammock that a new hanger would buy. It is inexpensive, looks good, and is widely available. One of the first things that occurred to me is how does a new hanger learn to hang; pictures!?
I know Hennessy has some pretty decent directions on their site, but suppose the hammock was a gift. Then what do you do? I guess I'm just curious if the manufacturers are even aware that the average person may not understand what seems really obvious to most of us here. Is it possible that they assume that as 'outdoorsy' folks we would just be more likely to get it? I know a lot of the manufacturers either participate in the forum or lurk in the shadows shaking their heads at some of our ideas. I'm curious as to why you wouldn't provide instructions or a note saying: "In order to learn to use your new hammock, you should visit: www.hammockforums.net". That would be fine too. :D
Am I way out in left field and just the unlucky consumer who didn't get the complete package on 5 separate occasions or is this a common experience? Just kind of thinking out loud on this one.
HH comes with directions on the stuff sack. Not very good directions though.
I only own one hammock, an HH (at this time!) and there are printed hang directions on the stuff sack. Now, that said, I had to find another hanger to decipher the crayon-like drawing that describes the HH lashing. Lastly, I used the photos here on HF for tying the HH lashing (thanks whomever posted that, it was perfect!)
So, to answer you... yes, I think clearly written directions and photos should be included with purchase!
I haven't seen that stuff sack for about 4 months thanks to the blackbishop sacks. :o
OK, so Hennessy provides instructions on the stuff sack and online; that's one manufacturer. What about the others?
I just got a Clark NA - it had two sheets with basic instructions and a more detailed booklet - which is available online at Clark. But before I got the hammock I had read a lot at this forum and other places so I can't say if the information in the instructions and booklet alone would have been sufficient.
As stated in another post, I also just ordered a Claytor Jungle hammock (my son wants the Clark) so I'll know in a week whether or not it comes with instructions.
Just wanted to let you all know that you're definitely right on about this being a fault on behalf of a number of the hammock manufacturers. You're absolutely right - there are plenty of people out there who don't know the first thing about the proper use of a hammock, and that includes the basics of just setting it up or how to lay in it.
When we (Trek Light) setup a booth at shows and events and get a chance to talk to people one on one, we use the opportunity to educate them as much as possible so they walk out of our booth with at least a good introduction to the world of portable hammocking. For the rest of our sales (which come through our website), we end up making an assumption in a lot of ways that folks are reading our FAQ, checking out the pictures on how to set up using the rope kit (or similar webbing), and that they'll drop us a line if they have any questions that aren't answered. Definitely room for improvement there and I'm glad to see this dialogue started.
Currently we're working on a number of things to remedy the situation (if you're interested) -
1) Including a small booklet with every hammock
2) Revamping our website so it's easier to navigate and find info and also provide many more resources for those interested in everything from basic to advanced knowledge.
And rest assured Cannibal, our new and improved website will certainly have a link to Hammock Forums!
I have a hammock (my first) that was given to me. It looks a lot like the trek light hammocks...The attached stuff bag says "Nomads Hammock Land" on it.
It came with a one page line drawing instruction sheet that wasn't useful. I just assumed how to hang it and being a person used to ropes and such got it OK after a couple tries. The first few I didn't account for enough sag once I put my weight in it.
Then I started coming here and learned about webbing to protect trees and how to hang and making my own and, and, and... and so I rushed oyut amd made my own ...Tree straps, and hammock. Before I'm finished I'm sure I'll have made one for my girlfriend, along with trees straps, custom quick hang/adjust suspension, tarp(s) and underquilts for each.
Good directions will shorten the learning curve and reduce the number of people who give up and leave before they really start.
But if your buying a car don't you know how to drive. Same with a hammock. How many people buy hammocks with out ever seeing one or talking to someone who has one. They had to hear about it from somewhere before deciding to buy or else how would they have known to buy it.
The "real" answer is yes. HOWEVER! When I was buying my real, own, very first, I paid for it myself car... It was a manual... it was years since drivers ed, and I had no idea how to drive it. I had a car-kinda-guy test drive it for me, he drove it home after the sale, and I proceeded to drive up and down the block, stalling all the way, until I finally got the hang of it. I drove that car to work the next morning (yes, stalled it several times enroute.)
Originally Posted by Jazilla
So, sometimes directions are needed...
To be honest Jazilla, we see it all the time when we have our booth setup at a show. It's amazing how many people have never really thought twice about a hammock because all they've seen are the traditional rope or woven hammocks. We talk to people who haven't sat in a hammock in 20 years or even never at all, but they find themselves walking out of our booth excited about a hammock for possibly the first time ever.
It's certainly what makes our job great, but it also says something about the new design of hammocks. Making a hammock smaller, lighter and more comfortable doesn't pigeonhole your market into just the gear obsessed backpacker crowd - it actually makes them more accessible and opens the door to people who are giving hammocks a shot for the first time, even if they'll never leave their backyard with it.