Okay, until a few days ago I had just been using a piece of cloth fabric, indoor or winter outdoor use only that was initially 15 feet long. I tied a knot in both ends and boom...there was my hammock ready to be hung.
I saw, if I remember right, on Just Jeff's page that Ed and most everyone else says start with the fabric 2 feet longer than you are tall. Tie the ends and your ready to go.
I had purchased a 15 foot piece of nylon and had already tied it off the old fashioned way and used it last Friday night outside and once or twice inside.
After seeing Just Jeff's piece I went out and retied my cotton hammock and redid the setup for it in the house. The first thing I was noticing was that it seemed like it harder to get to feet to stay in the bottom of the hammock. The old way the feet had no trouble whatsoever staying in the hammock.
Yesterday in preps for heading back out for a near zero degree night last night I retied the nylon hammock and did some other farting around trying to get it set up so hopefully I would stay very nice and comfortable all night long with nothing getting cold.
I headed out and after doing a little fighting trying to get the padding where I wanted it I finally fell asleep. After waking up and using the peanut bar jar a few times overnight I noticed my toes were getting cold. Since I didn't have to open the hammock for any reason, thanks to the peanut bar jar I didn't get a chance to see what was actually going on down at the feet.
I managed to get the feet warmed back up/tired once again and feel back asleep for another 45-60 minutes. I woke up about 7:45, later than when I planned on getting up. As I started to get out of the sleeping bag the first thing I noticed was the feet were completely on top of the hammock. The feet weren't even inside the hammock at all. I think that helped to answer why my feet were cold.
After getting out of the sleeping bag I walked to the top of the hammock where I had the thermometer hanging and I figured it was 5 above zero. NOT!!! The forecast had been for 3 above for the low. OOPS, take away that weatherman's license to practice. Try more like -3 and just a couple of miles from Hanover, about a 35 minute drive from me...-11.
So what do you guys for your cut length? While 2 feet longer than your height does make for a nice tight fit, it also makes for a nice tight fit. Having the feet dangling on top of the hammock isn't what is suppose to happen but it is a problem I have more or less seen each of the past three nights I've slept in a shorter hammock. I've never had the problem until now.
Now if I could just figure out how to wrap that padding all the way around the body versus having it just under the body only...oops talking outloud. I got to learn to keep my mouth shut. I guess I know the forecast is for 10-15 below this weekend and I'm not staying inside. It's amazing the difference between having padding up around your shoulders and just having padding under your shoulders. I want the padding totally wrapped around the body for this weekend. I think I can take this zero degree Wal-Mart special mummy bag down to -15, very comfortably.