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  1. #11
    sidneyhornblower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shug View Post
    Straps higher up the tree should loosen your ridgeline.
    What Shug says.

    When I used my Expedition, the ridgeline was always pretty tight. I think Tom's videos show him setting up almost straight out with his suspension, but then when he puts weight in the hammock, it takes up the slack in the suspension and you get a lot closer to a 30 degree angle. Having said that, though, I'll echo what Shug said and tell you to ignore the angle, or at least don't get too bothered by it.

    Play around with the thing. Set up like Tom's videos and let your weight pull the hammock down into a good sag. Then try setting up so that you've got more angle by shoving the straps higher up the trees (or finding trees closer together). The ridgeline won't be tight without you in the hammock, but I've never been in mine when it wasn't tight with weight in it. Put the foot end higher than the head too and then try sleeping in the thing.

    If you're comfortable in it, then it's right. If you're not comfortable, change something and keep trying. I wouldn't ditch the hammock until you've spent at least 20-30 nights in it. If it doesn't work for you by then, you've given it a good try and it's time to try a different hammock, but wring this one out first. And finally, Johnny Gunz is right; JustBill makes a dandy bridge hammock.

  2. #12
    TrailSlug's Avatar
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    If you get tired of trying to get it "right" I would recommend giving a bridge hammock a try. You basically hang'em and climb in.

  3. #13
    Senior Member P-Dub's Avatar
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    Straps higher up the tree should loosen your ridgeline.
    To be more clear, lengthened straps higher up the tree should loosen your ridgeline.

  4. #14
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adaekor View Post
    So we have tried setting everything up while standing in the woods with our phones reading the websites and forums as we try to adjust. Is the ridge line being tight not an issue? Is it just for comfort levels? I'm afraid that I am overthinking a lot, but at the same time under thinking if that makes sense. I have tried using the figure 8 lashing that HH says to use, and I also have set up the descender rings while trying to master it all to make it easier. My friend has a Warbonnet something and he can get his perfect so quickly that I'm jealous, increasing my frustration ().
    Try to keep it simple. ( I know, you would love to do just that, right, so why am I telling you the obvious? ) But seriously, it should not be difficult, assuming you have a couple of trees that are not too far apart( say 12 -15 ft should be about right) and are thick enough to support your weight but not so thick as to make it difficult to get your straps around the tree. Even that is solved by longer straps or an extension. And assuming you have mastered the knot or have some other usable knot. Your weight might be a problem for that hammock, and optimal comfort in it, but it should not really cause the problem you are describing.

    1: Attache the foot end to a tree, preferably with the tree hugger/saver strap just looped once around the tree, or twice at most, so that you can later adjust it up or down easily. Or, you can leave the head end adjustable( via a loose strap going just once around the tree). If this is the foot end, it works better for me to have it anywhere from a few inches to 18" higher on the tree than the other end. I will probably start with this end above my head. The further the trees are apart, the higher the strap needs to be.

    2: With a tree strap around the other tree, walk the head end of your hammock towards that tree, and tension it so that the HH ridgeline is just barely snug, then maybe back off enough so that you can observe a slight sag in the RL.

    3: If at this point the height of the hammock when you sit in it appears too high or low, adjust one or both tree straps so as to raise or lower the hammock.

    4: Get in and lay down. If the RL appears too tight or too loose, get out and tighten up(or loosen up) a little bit. If you are starting out with the RL just barely straight, or even with just a hint of a sag in it before you get in, it should be pretty close. Actually, close enough.

    5: Pro( ) tip: start out obviously too loose! Then once you get in, if the RL and net are sagging down at an amount that you think is too much, then get out and tighten up a bit until it is what seems just right, something short of guitar string. Then once you figure out what is just right- not loose enough for the net to sag, but not guitar string tight once occupied, remember what that looks like. And pull it about that tight from now on.


    If you have already been following those 5 steps and the RL still seems far too tight, on the verge of breaking, all I can say is loosen it up a bit more. Loosening or tightening on one end is all that is needed, then readjust the height as needed. Often, adjusting the height on just one end is all that is needed. Again, just start too loose and tighten up as needed, if needed.

    Once you tighten enough to get the RL straight- or almost straight, on an unoccupied hammock, you then are still able to- if desired- tighten up a whole bunch more beyond that. But much beyond a little sag or just barely straight often proves to be a bit too tight once I add my weight, with more than one of my hammocks.

    Here is another way to look at it, to see how simple it all is: Some of my hammocks have no RL. And I don't find that any is ever needed. If a gathered end (HH style) hammock, I just tighten the hammock so that there is some sag to it. I just eyeball it, and make sure it is nowhere near straight. It ends up looking - from the side view- more or less like a banana. A little more sag than a banana is usually just fine also.

    1:Here is my HH with a comfy (for me) pitch. See the slight sag in the unoccupied hammock's RL? That tightens up some, but not too much, once I get in.

    2:Here is a Claytor with no RL. Hard to see because there is a Speer Pea Pod quilt wrapped around the hammock, and also the hammock is occupied, but see that sag or curve? Most likely I tightened this up some more before sleeping, but truth is this hammock works either way once I go on the diagonal. You can also see some curve in the hammock behind me. The main thing is to make sure it is not TOO straight or too tight. Other than that, if you are in th ball ark and comfy, good enough.

    3:Speer hammock with a Non- structural RL( the only purpose of this RL is to hold the net off of my face. A little tighter is also fine. Does not have to be precise:

    Now look at this Claytor (same one with all the curve in pic #2). Look how much less sag than in pic #2, but still some sag, still some banana, and perfectly comfortable. There really is a range for many hammocks, as long as you are not too tight, tight enough to possibly damage a RL or so that your tree ropes don't have at least some sag to them. Don't have your tree straps any where near horizontal or 0 degrees, and you should be OK. If your RL is a guitar string, probably need to loosen up some. https://www.hammockforums.net/galler...&imageuser=229
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 04-07-2019 at 19:38.

  5. #15
    hutzelbein's Avatar
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    The beauty is, if you have a hammock with a fixed ridgeline, you don't need to pay any attention to the hang angle. Just hang the hammock so that the ridgeline has the right amount of tightness. The angle will automatically be right, although not necessarily 30, since the hammock designer might have set the ridgeline for a different angle. For example, Warbonnet hammocks hang with an angle closer to 20 than 30 when the ridgeline has the recommended tightness.

    You only need to watch the angle when you are hanging a hammock without a (structural) ridgeline.

    With regards to adjusting the suspension so that the ridgeline is tighter or looser you have already been given all the info you need. But in a nutshell:

    - Ridgeline too tight? Lengthen suspension.
    - Ridgeline too loose? Shorten suspension.
    - Ridgeline just right but hammock hangs to high? Move tree straps down the tree.
    - Ridgeline just right but hammock hangs to low? Move tree straps up the tree.

  6. #16
    I was obsessed with getting that 30 degree angle like you are in my HH, as all the sites tell you to, so I was always perplexed that hanging it nearly straight like Tom does in on the HH seemed to be much more comfortable.

    So I'd say just forget about the angle for the Hennessy, hang it straight with the foot end a bit higher, sleep with your head on the left side away from from the zip, and you should be good

  7. #17
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    What I do:

    Trees about 15-18' (5-6 steps) apart.

    Head end, tie strap to tree at top of head height, Foot end, tie strap to tree with arms fully stretched overhead.

    Attach head end strap to CL about shoulder + 3/4 arm length from tree, Foot end (now here's the trick... key point from Shug early in my hammock education).... attach foot end strap to CL such that the connection ends up about chin high. This seems too high, but when I sit down on the hammock and load it with full body weight and all the knots cinch down and all the system stretch is taken out of the hammock and straps, well dang if it doesn't come out darn near perfect every time! OK, maybe a little tweakatation or 2, but really close!!
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier."

  8. #18
    @hutzelbein & boothbot

    Thank you ever so much for this information. I've yet to hang for the first time (winter is back here), but I've thought so much about this angle thing and how Tom Hennessy does it differently. I'll just do as Tom says.

    But shouldn't this be true for all hammocks with a SR? Or is it just Hennessy? I thought most hammocks of this type had a SR, so why is this never mentioned when the 30 is discussed?

  9. #19
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    cmulder - "tweakatation: added to my dictionary - but maybe tweakanation rolls better off the tongue

    ThreeTracks - Hennessy hammocks have a line suspension and advocate a particular knot for tying it to the "seatbelt" tree straps. I think very few people do it that way because there is usually some adjustment to be made after the initial setup and knots are not "tweaking" friendly. A common solution is to use two rings (like climber repel rings) attached to the tree webbing with a carabiner. You can find YouTube instructions on how the two rings pinch the hammock line to hold it but also allow for easy adjustment. If you stick with the Hennessy hammock, it is possible to swap out the line suspension for something else - or just tie a loop (figure 8 knot) in the line close to the hammock and attach something else - like webbing or whoopie sling - to that.

    When your setup results in a hang angle of 30 degrees - and remember, that is a "zone", not an absolute target - the ends of your hammock will be X distance apart. If you have a structural ridge line that keeps the ends that X distance apart, then 30 degrees is a much wider zone because the ridge line holds the ends at the right distance and absorbs some of the stress that would be put on the hammock. But still - just because you don't need to be at 30 degrees-ish, you should still seek that and you can tell your suspension is happy by the tension on the ridge line.

    With question about "...why is this never mentioned..." I think you are asking why you don't see something like, "the 30 degree zone is not important if you have a SR?" The reason is, there are lots of dynamics at play. You have the best sag for your comfort goal and you also have the stress placed on all parts of the suspension system. It's better to think of a SR as something to help you know the right distances/angles for a comfortable sag than it is to think you can ignore angles because you have a SR.

    Not that you will also see recommendations that the distance between end points of a hammock be 83% of the physical hammock length. But other places, and with some "hammock calculators", a distance of 86% is used. So you see, you are finding a zone of comfort, not an absolute number.

    When you say, "most hammocks of this type" I think you mean hammocks with built in bug nets. Because there are many, many, many gathered end hammocks that do not come with a SR. The SR keeps the bug net off your face. And it keeps the ends of the hammock at a distance designated by the manufacturer. So in that case the suspension angle off the tree isn't AS important but it still shouldn't be ignored because as it gets less than 30 degrees it starts to put much more stress on everything else.

    Make sense?
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by cougarmeat View Post
    cmulder - "tweakatation: added to my dictionary - but maybe tweakanation rolls better off the tongue
    With question about "...why is this never mentioned..." I think you are asking why you don't see something like, "the 30 degree zone is not important if you have a SR?"
    Yup, that's what I meant.

    The reason is, there are lots of dynamics at play. You have the best sag for your comfort goal and you also have the stress placed on all parts of the suspension system. It's better to think of a SR as something to help you know the right distances/angles for a comfortable sag than it is to think you can ignore angles because you have a SR.
    So now I'm confused again. hutzelbein said if you have a hammock with a fixed ridgeline, you don't need to pay any attention to the hang angle.

    When you say, "most hammocks of this type" I think you mean hammocks with built in bug nets. Because there are many, many, many gathered end hammocks that do not come with a SR. The SR keeps the bug net off your face. And it keeps the ends of the hammock at a distance designated by the manufacturer. So in that case the suspension angle off the tree isn't AS important but it still shouldn't be ignored because as it gets less than 30 degrees it starts to put much more stress on everything else.
    No, I actually meant gathered end hammocks in general. I was under the impression a SR was the most common setup. I was wrong.

    I hope it will all become obvious when I try things out, which shouldn't be too long now. I guess the best for us newbies would be if we could see a lot of different hammocks at the same time, to learn the differences. But that won't happen, not where I live.

    At least I've learnt now general advice doesn't necessarily apply straight off to MY hammock. Good thing to know.

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