More Hammock sag and the original HH fly directions reconsidered
RR asked this in a different thread, and it got me once again wondering about a certain problem. I have also seen this question asked about different types of tarps when tied to trees, and the hammock sags but the tarp, by design, doesn't.
Originally Posted by rock_rat
Now, it's well known that the wonderfully convenient HH asym fly set up has a problem. It is already connected to the suspension rope for fast set up, it can be wrapped in the skins for extra speed and simplicity, etc. But of course, when you get in the hammock, no matter how tight the original pitch, you end up with a very loose tarp.
BUT, when I was hanging in the wet Olympics under my tree attached Mac Cat Deluxe ( great tarp) and despite my best repeated efforts, I noticed this hammock sagging far below the tarp problem, but no loose tarp. I start with my hammock hung on the trees ( fairly far apart) attached on the trees well above the tarp ropes, and the hammock pulled tight so that it's ridgeline is about snug up against the tarp ridgeline. Even with the hammock pulled pretty tight, when I get in I get a good bit of sag. And now, though the tarp remains tight, I have lost a good bit of side/head coverage, especially if I don't have the tarp in a "storm pitch" as close to the hammock sides as possible. And when I look out from the hammock, it appears that with wind driven rain coming from either head or foot end, I might get wet. Not likely, but in just the right big windy storm, quite possible. And this is with the MacCat DELUXE! Forget about it with the stock Asym tarp.
Sense I got off work about 2pm today and it was a beautiful day, I headed to the woods for some extensive testing and experimenting with the original stock HH tarp. For some sick reason, I have a perverse desire to make this thing work as designed, which ain't easy. But, I did confirm something I have been wondering about.
I hung the HH and stock tarp attached to the HH UL Explorer suspension as designed. And for a change, I concentrated on following the original directions, which don't seem intuitive to me-, and which I had seen confirmed over at Sgt.Rock's site.
I hung the hammock pretty high, per Shawn Steinkemp (SP?). I put the fly on, and did not tighten on the ridge line lengthwise per my norm, but left it loose. I centered it length and width wise and then started pulling down one side at a time as I tightened the side guy outs. I noticed something interesting. As I did this, this relatively small amount of downward force made the hammock ridgeline SAG significantly, much as when I get in it. Then, after really tightening the fly down, I tighten up the tarp ridge line lengthwise as much as possible on the HH spectra suspension. There was now a steep curve in both the hammock and tarp ridgeline, unlike the usual sharp, straight ridgeline I usually shhot for.
When I got in and laid down, because the tarp now sags along with the hammock, there was only a small amount of additional sag and the tarp ridge line appeared to be only 8 or 10 inches above my face, and only an inch or 2 above the hammock ridgeline, if even that much. Even though this was not a full storm pitch, I could tell that there was plenty of coverage from all angles! I had little doubt that this was enough coverage to keep me dry in the worst storms. Particularly when used with the SuperShelter. Hence Sgt. Rocks hurricane survival staying dry, I guess! But, though there was not near as much sag as with my normal set up, there was still a couple of inches more sag, so the tarp was a little loose. But not near as loose as normal. Some bungees or weighted stuff sacks hung from the tarp sides would probably help a good bit with this. But, it really had good rain protection, and I'm talking about the STOCK Explorer HH tarp. It actually clearly had more rain coverage than I was used to with my MC Deluxe and a normal tree hang. Of course, I could also hang my MC Deluxe in the same fashion and get the same benefits and then some. Or with my HH Hex tarp. Because this still does not help the problem of not much room under the stock tarp when not in the hammock. I guess this is called going back to the basics and following the instructions, which have their benefits.
So the bottom line is that there may actually ( wait! don't shoot me! ) be at least one advantage to attaching to the HH suspension rather than the tree. I got out and repeated the procedure but tied to the tree. The results, while better than the original, were not quite as good. I seemed to have about an extra several inches or more distance above my face to the tarp.( But, at least the tarp stayed tight!). I'll keep experimenting with it. But the critical point seems to be causing some sag in the hammock by pulling down on the tarp as you attach to the stakes BEFORE tightening the ridge line. And if attached to the HH suspension instead of trees, there will still be some looseness of tarp to deal with, but not near as much as the way I had normally pitched things. Which was just tightening the ridgeline first, which pulled a nice straight line above the hammock ridgeline, preventing forcing any sag into the hammock before getting in. Which meant A LOT of sag when I did get in, which meant less than optimal side coverage for any given tarp. Just something to consider.
Of course, if your tarp is big enough, it doesn't really matter how much your hammock sags I guess, as long as you are off the ground.