More clueless than I thought! Please help.
So, I've been soaking up the knowledge on here for a while now. I eventually took the plunge and bought myself a DD Travel hammock, their extra large tarp and a mesh hammock for gear plus some 'snakeskins' and whoopie slings to make things easier.
After asking a few questions on here and learning a few knots etc etc, I went out at 2pm yesterday for my first hang feeling pretty confident.
By 7pm I still didn't have it sorted and it was too dark so I had to pack it away and come home. While trying to pack it away I managed to snap a titanium V-peg in half! So I'm much more clueless than I thought :confused:
I have some questions and I hope they're not too easy for you to bother answering or too difficult to answer :rolleyes:
1. I saw dejoha's beautifully illustrated advice about finding the perfect trees: Three Paces apart (about 3.5m); Reach overhead (to hang straps at around 6ft) and Hang (at about 30degrees).
Well, if I do that, the hammock hangs well but the trees are too close together to get the tarp taut! I'm not sure why because the tarp is 4.5m x 3m, so the side that runs between the trees (3m), should be about the same length as the recommended distance between trees.
Am I doing something wrong? I found I need to walk four(and a half) paces to get a taut tarp but then I can't reach high enough to get the hammock suspension at 30degrees (I'm only 5'8" tall)... (I'm using a continuous ridgeline in the 'V' configuration as illustrated by dejoha, if that helps).
2. The instructions on DDHammocks website regarding outfitting their hammock with the optional whoopie slings are pretty simple: remove the standard webbing, run the whoopie slings through the webbing channels, clip into a 'biner, clip the 'biner to the tree straps.
However, when I do this, the whoopie slings are always in reverse! By which I mean, every demo or video I've seen, the hammocker releases tension on the sling by raising the hammock and holding in place (usually with their underarm) and then they pull the free end of the whoopie sling in towards their chest in order to raise the suspension.
With the setup I have, I have to pull the free end away, toward the tree in order to raise it, which is a bit awkward. Again, what am I doing wrong?
I tried making a small continuous loop with a section of the stock webbing in each channel end, then running the whoopie from the loop directly to the carabiner or to a Marlin Spike Hitch on the tree hugger but in both instances, I had to tighten the sling all the way to the very end in order to raise the hammock to the right height off the ground (sitting height as recommended by most - and I'm 5'8" btw).
3. I can't get the hammock to hang level. I don't mean that I want it flat with no sag, or that I want it so the head and feet end are at the same height, I mean I want it so that my left and right shoulder are at the same height. I hung and rehung it a few times while messing with the suspension setup and every time, it ended up tilted over one way or the other. Because it was not level, the gear hammock -which I've attached to the underside - would shimmy off to the left or the right when I got into the travel hammock, rather than staying directly beneath me. Am I missing a trick here, or do you just have to spend ages fiddling with the way the channel rouches up at the ends every time you hang?
4. I want to attach a structural ridgeline to make the sag static regardless of the distance between trees etc but the DD's built in bugnet means that it's not possible to attach a line to each gathered end. A picture may help here (not one of mine, it's taken from DD's website):
As you can see, the bug net is raised too high to allow a cord between hammock ends and I don't want to compromise the net (or the room inside) by making holes and running a line through it.
I can't imagine I'd be able to fix a cord to any point on the whoopie sling because that needs to be adjustable, so the next viable option is to run a cord between the 'biners at each end. I'm not sure if that would work though?
The way my suspension is currently set up is: Tree straps loop around the tree (obviously), The 'biner clips onto the loop at the end of the tree strap, the fixed loop of the whoopie sling clips into the 'biner, the rest of the whoopie runs through the channel at the gathered end of the hammock and back up to the 'biner.
So, if the trees are a different distance apart (or have a different circumference) from one camp site to the next, then the distance between the two 'biners will be different, right? If so, then a structural ridgeline is out of the question, no? Or, does the action of the whoopie slings serve to equalise the distance, meaning I can always get the right hang if I adjust the slings to bring the cord between the two carabiners to the right tension?
5. Bonus question for those of you who have made it this far ha ha! Because I'm using 'snakeskins' to pack the hammock in, I want to attach the mesh gear hammock semi-permanently to the underside of the camping hammock. That way it gets gathered up in the skins and doesn't need to be hung seperately.
If I can't install a structural ridgeline on the main hammock, and therefore can't guarantee the same hang at every site, what is the best way to do attach the gear hammock? The mesh hammock has a big, thick, continuous loop at either end, and I've left the small loops I created on the ends of the main hammock (in case I have to revert to using them as part of the suspension - although currently they're not being used). Is there a simple(ish) way to attach these two loops together with some webbing in such a way as to make adjustments straightforward if needed?
Thanks all for reading this and especially to anyone who can help! Sorry about the length of the post and I'm not even sure I'm in the right section of the forum, due to the number of questions I have (sorry mods if I messed up!).
Kind regards to you all and I look forward to reading your responses before my next attempt at hanging!
Well I'll say that don't too caught up on exact tree spacing. Never find it in the woodlands. I have done short and too long hangs and was well ensconced in my hammy at night.
In my opinion not an exact science but folks seem to need some sort of template to start.
Be patient and you'll figure out a bit at a time.
Are you sleeping on a diagonal?
Have fun and breathe.......
haven't read all your post cause i got hung up on the 3.5 meter statement. Sounded too close to me, i never hang that close. I went and dug out Dejoha's book and he recommends 4-4.5m not 3.5 but as shug said you have to sort out what works with the gear you have to get it to work. I tend to use tree;s about 15-16' apart . When we buy a hammock its always one size but we are all different sizes and weights so you have to vary the general idea to get YOUR comfortable hang. Good luck,,you'll get there.
PS you don't find allot of folks using DD hammocks on this side of the pond. I would put a post on BCUK because there are allot of hangers there and many use DD stuff,,,they may be able to answer some of the small details about that specific hammock.
Your first hang sounds a lot like mine. Just keep at it and you will find what works for you. I will try to address some of your questions but am not familiar with the DD hammocks since I use DIY or Warbonnet ones myself.
1. As others ave mentioned the distance between trees is not written in stone. For me I need to take 4 paces, aka 8 steps, to get the absolute best hang. Like Shug I have hung closer and farther and things can be a little screwy. My last hang the trees were so close I had to wrap the corners of my tarp almost around the tree which messed up the tarp coverage. dejoah's book really does give great advice so just keep making adjustments till you find what works.
2.Sounds like you slipped the fixed end through the adjustable end of the whoopiesling. You want to run the sling through the channel and then run the adjustable end through the fixed end and tighten up. This allows you to use your clip on the adjustable end and raise the hammock by pulling down on the adjustment. The best video I found for doing this is the suspension swap video on warbonnet.com It shows it with the blackbird hammocks but should give you a good idea how to approach it. My piece of advice is to be sure you check the whoopie connections before getting in the hammock every time. I forgot recently and the whoopie had slipped and I ended up tearing my hammock :(
3. I am having a hard time imagining what is happening here since I do not use a gear hammock and don't know the DD hammocks. Are you lying on a diagonal? That is the only thing I can think of. Have you tried removing the gear hammock to see if that helps? I never have had to mess with my suspension much while hanging once I found what worked for my setup so don't worry, you will get it all figured out. Even with my brand new hammock I can get both the tarp and hammock setup in under 10 minutes and I am using end only tie outs for the tarp.
4. Not sure I can help you here. My advice is to by some material and DIY one the way you want. A pretty simple project and it is easy to put a ridge line on, used one of whoopieslings adjustable on my first hammock to find the length I liked and then put in a static one at that length. Not sure of the weight on the DD but this might even save you some grams. Sorry I can not be of more help.
5. Never had a gear hammock so sorry I can not be of more help. Hopefully I have said something of value to you. Good luck and HYOH (Hang Your Own Hang)
You can always carry a shovel and move the trees around :lol:
A said before the spacing is rarely perfect so learn to adapt.
Recommend attending a group hang. I learn more at group hangs than by reading as you can see the different setups and ask folks why they did what they did.
quick question: how long are your straps/rope for the tarp? Sounds like your tarp should fit between those trees- as long as the lines weren't fully extended.
How high are you hanging (and I mean the bottom of the hammock) - I find that at my 5'4 height I have to hang low to the ground- lower than my 6'6 bretheren.
Other advice: keep it simple. ditch the gear hammock/tarp until you have the system sorted. (obviously this means you have to do lots of non-camping daytime practice. :) )
At the 4.5 meter distance between trees, the hang height for your suspension works out to 70" for the 30 degree suspension angle so at 5'8" you should easily be able to hang your hammock tree straps that high.
Hope this helps.
just thought of something else- the tarp suspension usually goes below the hammock suspension.
Goto your local park and hang your setup from everything! Even thing that won't hold your weight, use kids play areas, swing sets and anything else you can find. After a few hours you'll find you can just look at a space and know if its good or not, plus you will master your setup. I find now I see two object and think I could hang there as I travel though my day. Good luck with everything.
Thanks for all the great replies.
I see now I was getting too hung up on an abstract idea of the perfect ree distance.
And now I know what i was doing wrong with the whoopie slings!
This is all daytime public park practice, so I haven't slept in t yet, just doing dry runs (but I do intend to sleep on the diagonal.
I think correctly attaching the whoopie slings will solve more than one of my problems.
I like the advice about starting with just the hammock rather than the whole shebang, and the advice hanging from everywhere untill i get a proper feel for what works is genius.
I don't see any UK group hangs being mentioned on here, which is a shame. I'm on BCUK but I can't seem to find a hammock sub-forum; i just have to search the entire forum using 'hammock' as the keyword and hope I get lucky - which is why I prefer this place!
Thanks muchly, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
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