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  1. #11
    OneClick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlTrailDog View Post
    My personal opinion is that if you have to put something under your knees to make a hammock comfortable or mitigate CR there is either something not quite right with the way you have hung the hammock, the hammock simply isn't right for your body type, or the hammock design is somewhat lacking. I can't see the point in owning a hammock that isn't comfortable without using a mitigating device. Just my own personal philosophy. For me that means either figuring out if it is how I am hanging the hammock, modifying the hammock so that it is comfortable, or passing the hammock along for someone else to enjoy.
    My exact same thoughts!!! Couldn't agree more. I hate "add-ons", "tweaks", etc. Especially when you know stuff usually works but sometimes it doesn't. Don't use a band-aid...figure it out for good (me and underquilts had a big go at this)

    I once had a calf ridge put my leg to sleep so bad I was wondering if it would ever come back! Another time or two I got a bad charlie horse, but that may have been from sleeping too straight instead of at an angle, or just an odd position in general. Can't say for sure. Other times I'll get a numb right heel. ALL can be solved by adjusting the hammock.

  2. #12
    Senior Member ShroominDave's Avatar
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    Calf ridge is one thing but the dreaded calf cramp - ouch. Funny I just got back from a week in the woods of the Upper Peninsula Michigan. Great trip but thunderstormed a couple nights. Well, to get back on topic, I am 315 lbs and 6'1". I was using a new DH Sparrow wide as possible and had no calf ridge. However one night I woke to a foot locking torture inducing calf cramp in my leg closest to the hammock edge. Pure evil torture. I could neither get out of the hammock or grab my foot to straighten it out. Worst cramp I have ever experienced in my life. I chalked mine up to the amount of hiking especially up a few steep hills which stressed my calves as I climbed. Did not give it second thought until the cramp happened. The next morning I spent 15 minutes stretching out my whole body as I do not hike on a regular basis. I swim on a regular basis for exercise but when out on a trip you use muscles in ways you never will in a gym, with all the hiking, carrying, paddling and what not. I also ate a banana(potassium) and did not have a re-occurrence.
    Dave
    __________
    Life is way too short to fill it with drama

  3. #13
    OlTrailDog's Avatar
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    I had a couple of thoughts about this last night as I lay in my hammock. Although it doesn't happen all the time, it seems the most likely event just prior to a leg cramp is when I start stretching my legs out just for the sake of stretching. Sometimes I will get these little muscle twinges that tell I'd better be real careful with what I'm about to to, OR ELSE. Other times it is just WHAMO, YIKES, and bail ASAP. I have also wonder if the prolonged laying in one position on your back in a hammock tends toward making leg cramps more likely to happen?

    Some times I am able to hook my non-cramping foot over the toes of the cramping leg (either foot or calf cramp) and push against the non-cramping leg. This is sort of like simulating getting up and putting pressure on the cramping leg while you are actually lying in the hammock, if that makes any sense?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlTrailDog View Post
    I had a couple of thoughts about this last night as I lay in my hammock. Although it doesn't happen all the time, it seems the most likely event just prior to a leg cramp is when I start stretching my legs out just for the sake of stretching. Sometimes I will get these little muscle twinges that tell I'd better be real careful with what I'm about to to, OR ELSE. Other times it is just WHAMO, YIKES, and bail ASAP. I have also wonder if the prolonged laying in one position on your back in a hammock tends toward making leg cramps more likely to happen?

    Some times I am able to hook my non-cramping foot over the toes of the cramping leg (either foot or calf cramp) and push against the non-cramping leg. This is sort of like simulating getting up and putting pressure on the cramping leg while you are actually lying in the hammock, if that makes any sense?
    Excatly!! Couldn't have decribed it better. They happen only when I am adjusting my position. I think it's mostly the hiking and such that I do when we off road as I don't really get much exercise otherwise. That, with laying in one position. I'll take some banans with me from now on, as well as hydrate. Might try the pillow thing. But that's just one more item to pack when camping. Been trying to widdle that lost down to the min.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  5. #15
    Senior Member
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    One thing I learned helps with leg cramps is mustard. Yep, I keep a few packets handy and if I think due to strenuous hiking that I might get a cramp, I eat a packet of mustard with dinner and it works

  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavyhiker View Post
    One thing I learned helps with leg cramps is mustard. Yep, I keep a few packets handy and if I think due to strenuous hiking that I might get a cramp, I eat a packet of mustard with dinner and it works
    I was afraid you were going to say that you spread it on your leg!

  7. #17
    OlTrailDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TominMN View Post
    I was afraid you were going to say that you spread it on your leg!
    Now that was funny.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Heavyhiker View Post
    One thing I learned helps with leg cramps is mustard. Yep, I keep a few packets handy and if I think due to strenuous hiking that I might get a cramp, I eat a packet of mustard with dinner and it works
    A shot or two of pickle juice will take away your charley horse. Sounds weird, but it works.

  9. #19
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GadgetUK437 View Post
    Pillow under the knees... nuff said!
    (or stuffsack, jacket, spare clothes, etc)
    Ditto that. The bigger the pillow the better, makes all hammocks the same for me when it comes to calf ridge or knee extension, and is just generally more comfy. If the pillow is really big, you might run into issues with your TQ and drafts.

    But, you are getting cramps in BOTH calfs, right? So I'm not sure if the pillow would make any dif for that, as I don't know the cause. Especially since you don't get them at home. Muscle cramps are sometimes caused by an electrolyte deficiency, I have had them while hiking, and have been able to cure them with some salt intake. I'm not at all sure what is going on with you, but I would try a nice, big leg pillow anyway, just for fun, and see what happens. Even if it does not solve your cramp issue, you might find it over all much more comfy.

    EDIT: calf ridge or Charlie horse/cramps? When I have calf ridge problems, I can usually feel it IMMEDIATELY when I lay down on the diagonal, and it can be solved by moving the painful leg towards the center(IOW, less diagonal and more midline, which lessens the angle of the ridge across my calf, but won't last as my leg slips out of position), or going to a figure 4, or turning on my side, or adding the knee pillow. So I bet what you are suffering has nothing to do with calf ridge caused by the hammock's center ridge.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 03-28-2020 at 14:40.

  10. #20
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    >cramps are sometimes caused by an electrolyte deficiency
    +1 there - especially if it occurs in both legs.

    A friend I hike with has that problem occasionally and it took a long time to get her to finally take “real” (not some phony “energy" drink) electrolytes WHILE hiking. I started with a product called Gookin-Aide (Aid?) back in the 70’s. A quart a day while thru-hiking across Oregon. Bill Gookin was a track coach and formulated the powered additive for his team. The product has been rebranded Vitalyte. One characteristic I find amusing is when I drink it, it feels completely absorbed. That is, it goes down my throat, then disappears! When I drink the same amount of water, I can feel it slosh around in my stomach. Not Vitalyle. I drink it and it’s gone.

    I’m not saying you cramping is not because of calf ridge. But if it’s both calves and happens after a day of hiking and you weren’t drinking electrolytes along the way - then you might consider the supplement.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

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