# Thread: Illustration - Hammock Camping: The Basics

1. Originally Posted by THEFATGERMAN
Thank you.
Very good info for us new guys.

Even better and well worth the cost is the Full Book. Takes all of Dejohas illustrations a huge step further. The Ultimate Hang

2. I have seen hammocking images like the one posted here and I still don't understand how a ridgeline makes the "perfect pitch". Am I suppose to test the line to see how taught it is?

3. Originally Posted by shuag
I have seen hammocking images like the one posted here and I still don't understand how a ridgeline makes the "perfect pitch". Am I suppose to test the line to see how taught it is?
A "perfect pitch" is when your hammock is set up/hung with the right sag that allows the most comfort for the user. This usually means minimizing any calf pressure coming from the hammock, a low center of gravity to minimize tipping, a good sit height off the ground so you can get in and out easily, etc.

The sag in a hammock changes once a person occupies the hammock. The sag can also change depending on the hang angle off the tree or the distance between the anchor points. A ridge line can help minimize or eliminate both of these undesirable outcomes.

In a theoretical example, imagine a line running exactly horizontally across two anchor points that are a hundred feet across and six feet off the ground. Imagine clipping a hammock to this line. If you attach the hammock with the two ends only a foot apart, the hammock would sag down like a limp parachute, possibly dragging on the ground. This "limp" hammock provides an interesting chair, but it would be difficult to lay down in it.

As you spread the hammock ends apart on this horizontal line you can achieve different "lays" for that hammock. The perfect pitch is dependent on the hammock size, the amount of sag (e.g. how far apart the two end points are from each other), and user preference. I've found that smaller hammocks benefit from a shallow sag (ends pulled further apart on the line), whereas larger hammocks benefit from a deeper sag. By "benefit," I mean where the best, most comfortable "sweat spot" is achieved.

A ridge line that is set between the hammock's end points mimics this theoretical horizontal line example. It prohibits the hammock from being pulled apart any further and therefor "sets" the perfect pitch where you prefer it.

The user determines what this "perfect" sag/pitch is, as I mentioned previously, based on the hammock size and personal preference.

Hennessy was one of the first to commercialize the use of a structural ridge line. It's genius, really, because no matter how tight a person strings up the hammock, the body of the hammock will always maintain the right sag that was designed for that hammock.

In contrast, most commercial gathered-end hammocks like ENO or Grand Trunk lack a ridge line, so users buying these hammocks off the shelf have no reference for how to best pitch these hammocks. Some string them too tight, others are too loose, and both are probably experiencing discomfort because of that.

The ridge line helps users achieve that "perfect pitch" on every trip. No matter how far apart the anchor points are (within reason), the user can pull the suspension lines without fear of pulling the hammock too far apart, thus ruining the users preferred lay.

In some ways, a ridge line can also be looked at as "training wheels" for hammocks. They aren't a requirement or absolutely necessary, but they can guide users on how to pitch their hammock consistently until they can do it on their own. Folks who've used hammocks for generations in South American never use ridge lines and yet have no problem hanging a hammock perfectly. Ridge lines are just helpful, much like a railing on a staircase. Some people can't imagine stairs without a railing, and others probably never notice if it was missing.

I used a ridge line for some time after transitioning from my Hennessy to a gathered-end hammock, but now I find them distracting and I'm often clipping my head on them. I find I can hang a hammock now without a ridge line and still get a "perfect pitch" for the hammock I'm using.

What about tautness? Some ridge lines are not rated to support much weight, so if they are pulled with too much strain, they will fail. A good rule of thumb is to allow the ridge line to be turned with your fingers about an inch when you're laying in the hammock.

4. My Daily hammock uses a 7/64th Amsteel ridgeline.

Gonna have a hard time getting that sucker so tight that it snaps.

5. that raccoon is up to something...

Great advice about the ridgeline, I think I'll give it a try tonight.

6. Must say that illustration was very helpful

7. Originally Posted by dejoha
I drew this simple illustration to help my friends and family understand the basics of hammock camping. I've used similar illustrations on BackpackGearTest.org for hammocks I've tested, but I've updated and created this new version for Hammock Forums in the hopes that it might help others quickly understand how this all works.

Hopefully this illustration is worth a thousand words.

very nice
hobopat

Mark Twain’s observation: “Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”

8. Thank you so much for sharing...Love HF !

9. Get the Ultimate Hang Kindle version, read it on your iphone, on your web browser. Make sure and get Grogs Knot application on the phone too.

Soon as hungry hammocker gets his book out and on the same apps you won't need much else info accesable as long as your near a cell tower.

10. Excellent visual and advice. Much appreciated by a newbie.

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