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  1. #1
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    Ridgeline tension

    I am new to all of this so I have not perfected my setup. I have had the oft prescribed “no slack but able to flex the RL almost 90 degrees” hang before. However if I get in my hammock and it is taut like a guitar string (maybe, technically looser than a guitar string) but I am comfortable . . . am I risking anything? RL is 7/64.

  2. #2
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    Probably not, UNLESS your hammock has a built in bug net and the tight RL is putting a lot of pull on that netting.

    Ideally, the hammock/net combo is designed/sized so even with a taut RL, the netting is happy. But I've been in some where a tight RL means a tight net (HH Expedition) and that put too much stress on the net stitching. The other issue is the rest of your suspension system - everything from the hammock to the trees and the trees themselves. Too loose to twang like a guitar string setting also assures there will be less shear pull on what ever supports you are using.

    If you are hanging between two healthy Ponderosa Pines, you are probably fine.

    It might be interesting for you to put the lengths/distances in the Hammock Calculator

    http://theultimatehang.com/hammock-hang-calculator/

    And see the resulting forces. The hammock itself should be fine as it will have a reasonable sag. It's the other components absorbing the forces that you want to keep an eye on.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  3. #3
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I like my ridgeline (1.75 mm Zing-It) to be slightly tauter than “no slack but able to flex the RL almost 90 degrees." However, I've been hanging a long time (10 years) and I feel I understand when my ridgeline is too taut or not taut enough. If my ridgeline is saggy, I'll readjust, just as I will if it's too taut. Hopefully, you'll figure it out without damaging a hammock or bugnet!
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  4. #4
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    Just to expand on what cougarmeat stated:

    If the SRL is extremely tight, you may put undue stress on your suspension by hanging at too shallow of an angle. If it's much too shallow, the stresses can be enormous. Lastly, there could be an issue depending on how the SRL is attached at the hammock ends. If, under your tight SRL scenario, the load doesn't transfer completely from the suspension to the SRL, you could possibly do more damage to your hammock than just the bug net.

    SilvrSurfr knows his personal gear intimately. He knows what the SRL tension needs to be for his system to work for him. I could speculate that, if his SRL was a tad shorter, he'd be hanging with it slightly tighter and have the same feel.

    Theoretically, if the suspension sag is just right, the SRL would become superfluous (other than holding up a bug net) because it essentially has no load on it. Several here feel that having it in place affects their lay, even with the "proper" tension.

  5. #5
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    Thanks fellas. Follow me here: it was taut but I had a great lay but I got out raised the huggers but let a couple inches of slack out on the straps. When I got back in, the RL was about the same tautness (pretty darn) but The hammock had developed some ridging down the center.

    Reading the post above, I imagine that the stress was transferred to the ridgeline and then transferred to the hammock but along the center line. I need to check how my RL is attached. - any videos on proper attachments to continuous loop?

  6. #6

  7. #7
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LearnedHat View Post
    Ridgeline looks fine (though I prefer it a bit tighter). However, you might want to raise the foot end a bit higher (6 to 12 inches).
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  8. #8
    Phantom Grappler's Avatar
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    My hammock ridgeline has a fixed spliced eye at both ends. It is attached to continuous loop by larkshead. First the continuous loop is larkshead to hammock and then ridgeline is larkshead around continuous loop. There are other ways, that probably work just as well.
    I use 1/8 amsteel on everything except tarp corner tie outs. As others have posted, a super tight hammock ridgeline can result in busted suspension and even worse a busted tree falling on yo haid!

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