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  1. #1
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    hammock tie-outs - what a difference

    I continue to learn almost every week about this wonderful addiction. I have owned several hammocks from the vendors on this forum, both gathered end and bridge. My 2 BIAS Camper XLs (11' and 12') continue to be the most comfortable of all of them, and compared to some of them, by a large margin of comfort. I've been using one of them for over a year now, the other for a couple of months while ordering others, both gathered and bridge-type, to see if they could eclipse the BIAS in comfort. None have. (For one...Do your feet and/or shoulder rest up against the mosquito net? Mine do not, so the mosquitoes can't bite me through the netting.)It is a world-class hammock straight out of the box, but it just got even better:

    My wonderful daughter recently sewed side tie-outs on my 12-foot BIAS Camper XL. Tying it out only increased the comfort and body position options. GREATLY increased the comfort. It eliminated the small amount of side-fabric squeeze imparted to my outboard foot and allows my feet to rest apart and more relaxed. It pulled the "sidewalls" of material away from me on both sides the full length of my body and affords me the opportunity of a greater asym angle should I choose to utilize it. GREATLY increased side-sleep comfort and side positions that I can get into comfortably. The "wide-plane" nature of the spread hammock makes the hammock experience almost like a bed as I view the flattened material from my back while lying in the hammock, and the flattened sides open up opportunities to rest my arms and legs in places that did not exist when the side material only bloused above and to the sides of me. The lay is almost completely flat now, as flat as a bridge hammock, but without the close-in taught side seams of the bridge hammock. I am no longer "funneled" into an area that the hammock wants me to be in. I can now lounge widely.

    All of these benefits are great, but the best change is the elimination of the center knee/calf ridge! Yeah, it is GONE! The knee/calf ridge is nothing more than a bunching of fabric along the centerline, bunching that is almost completely eliminated by the spreading of the side fabric. With the wider foot area your legs are no longer pressed into it by the inherent tendency of the side material of the hammock holding your feet/calfs to pendulum inward toward the centerline of the hammock due to gravity. The foot tie-out stops the side material from falling inward, which eliminates the pushing of your feet/legs against the ridge.

    What an absolute accidental epiphany for me. (I can hear snickering at my naivete from those who precede me, you having ventured farther down this common road of discovery we all are traveling. That's okay though ...I tell you...I sure am having fun figuring this hammocking thing out!) I think this calf-ridge comfort lesson is the best hard-learned discovery I have had while hanging. I think it even transcends my switch to underquilts from pads.

    I tried it on a lark, just to vet what side tie-outs are all about. I didn't want to sew on tie-outs just yet until I found out what they accomplished, so I took the ball out of an old computer mouse and tied it into the fabric about two inches below the hammock edge in the foot area as an anchor point for the tie out line, about even with the sole of my foot. I then tied on some paracord and pulled out the footbox. I liked that so much that I did the same to the other side in the outboard shoulder area. Like that too. Now have four on there. And I am going to put a fifth on, this last one to be about ten inches below my feet, so that will be two tie-outs in the foot area. That fifth tie-out REALLY adds to the foot area and comfort zone.

    If you decide to try this please know there is one drawback. How you gonna' get that mosquito net on there now? Well, tell you what I did initially. I got in the hammock with the net on but without the side pull-outs tied out. I pushed out the tie-out attachment points with my finger to about where they would be if tied out. Then I burned a hole right there in the mosquito net with a cigarette to put the tie-out lines through. That worked. What works even better is an integrated mosquito net zipped around the perimeter of the hammock, like a Dream Hammock. And that is what my sweet daughter is putting the finishing touches on for me as I write this. Anyone need a Nanobuginator with four holes burnt in it?
    Last edited by Tonykarter; 04-09-2015 at 15:07.
    Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong. ~George Carlin

  2. #2
    Senior Member mrh_on's Avatar
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    Hmm interesting. I have a new WB Blackbird and I've not tried the side tie-outs yet (ground is still too frozen for pegs). We're starting to see some warming up here so soon enough I think I'll be able to get those tie-outs a going and see how different it is. I guess I could have just tied out to a branch or rock but I just hadn't thought it would additional comfort (it's already pretty comfy).

    Supposed to be 15 degrees C this weekend...gotta give that a try! Thanks for the great thread...always something else to think about.

  3. #3
    New Member
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    May 2012
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    East Bay, San Francisco, CA
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    Awesome, I'll have to try this on my BIAS. Would love to see some pics.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    San Diego, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrh_on View Post
    Hmm interesting. I have a new WB Blackbird and I've not tried the side tie-outs yet (ground is still too frozen for pegs). We're starting to see some warming up here so soon enough I think I'll be able to get those tie-outs a going and see how different it is. I guess I could have just tied out to a branch or rock but I just hadn't thought it would additional comfort (it's already pretty comfy).

    Supposed to be 15 degrees C this weekend...gotta give that a try! Thanks for the great thread...always something else to think about.
    The shelf on the Blackbird becomes a lot more useful and shelf-like (less kangaroo pouch-like) once that side is tied out.

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