Originally Posted by mountaindreamer
I spent my first night in a hammock last night in a Ultralight Explorer with side zip. I could never get comfortable. I'm 5-11 weigh 165lbs. I have some questions, please.
1. I could never get "level". My butt was always sunk lower than my head and feet. I did lay diagonally. The bottom center was always pulled "taught" which created a sort of ridge under my butt.
2. I had the sides staked out but they still crept in on me. How and taught should they be staked.
3. I kept sliding down from my head.
4. There is a little velco tab on the outside seam of the hammock. What are these for?
5. Any suggestions please.
I have the same model. Here's what I did to address the issues you have above:
1.) Your behind is always going to be lower than your feet and head in the hammock. However, it shouldn't be too much of an angle. If your behind is a little to the right of centerline as you lay in the hammock, it will help prevent that bunching you mentioned.
2.) They're going to. As long as the bug netting is not actually touching your face (i.e.: your head is below the level of the zipper--or the net/body interface if you're laying with your feet towards the zipper) you should be okay. The tie outs should have spring left in them; don't make 'em piano wire tight. As long as they're helping to keep the netting off of your face, they're doing their job.
3.) Raise the foot end six to twelve inches higher than the head end. I know that's not what the Hennessy instructions say, but I've found that this helps to avoid slipping to the foot end. My legs are significantly more dense than the rest of me, so it was necessary for me to do this for a good night's sleep.
4.) They're for wrapping the hammock up to go into the snakeskins. Pull the tab open and press the opposite side of the hammock to it (where the other tab is), and it'll make it easier to slide into the snakeskins.
5.) I find that my most comfortable lie in the hammock is when I can turn the ridgeline ninety degrees off of true with a thumb and forefinger. If I can turn it one hundred and eighty degrees, it's too loose. If I can't turn it at least forty-five degrees, it's too tight. That's with me in the hammock, mind you. I've also found a knee pillow helpful when I'm willing to carry the weight of it or extra clothes to place in a stuff sack. When not, I find a figure-four (where one foot is underneath the other knee) the most comfortable way to sleep.
Hope it helps!