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  1. #1
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    New at hammocking, LOVE it, few Q's

    So a month or two ago I posted a few questions about getting a hammock setup and got so many valuable replies and I'm so grateful for that. I purchased a Dream Hammock Darien (11', 1.3, 64" wide) and a Hammock Gear DCF tarp with doors.

    I have 4 nights so far. The first 3 I used my sleeping pad with not so great results. The 4th I slept on a Costco down throw (came in a pack of 2, the other one is being converted into an underquilt). Even with sleeping on that I stayed warmer than I did with the sleeping pad. So far I'm LOVING it.

    Okay a few questions...probably pretty basic and perhaps unimportant.

    1. I get a bit uneasy sitting down in my hammock with my feet dangling over the edge and my back and head resting on the bug net. I feel like the pressure against the bug net could cause premature wear and tear. Also, the back of my knee rests on the zipper which, a) feels a bit uncomfortable as that part of the fabric is higher and thus pressing into my leg and b) I'm nervous this could somehow damage the zipper? Is any of that true?

    2. So far most of my hangs have resulted in the ridge line being quite taught, whereas most of the videos I watched state that the line should still have a bit of give to it (pinching it and being able to make a small bend). I've experimented a bit with raising and lowering the tree straps and adjusting how high or low the continuous loop is on those straps but I can't seem to figure out how to fix that. How should I fix that and in the event I ever can't figure it out is it a big deal to sleep a night with the ridge line so tight.

    3. I only have one night with the DCF tarp. I bought 4 tarp worms with shock cord and attached that to each corner. At first I put so much tension on each corner that stretched out the shock cord quite a bit (without realising that). I suppose I was used to tensioning out a tent. So after a bit I realised how stretched out the shock cord was and released some of the tension on each corner. Okay so my question is how much tension should I be putting on each corner? Should I be stretching out that shock cord? Not at all? After releasing some of the tension the tarp was a bit floppy and I'm not sure how that would handle a windy and rainy night (in my case it was dry with no wind).

    4. For "porch mode" I put my trekking poles upside down so the tip went through the small hole on my d ring. Is this okay? I guess I felt a little nervous with a sharp point so close to that expensive fabric. I may try putting a small loop of cord near the shock cord like I saw in a Shug video and having the handle side up.

    5. Longish term storage for Dyneema...is it okay just to keep rolled up in a snake skin? Could that create creases and weakened areas?

    Thanks all, I greatly appreciate all the help I've received.

  2. #2
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by red05 View Post
    So a month or two ago I posted a few questions about getting a hammock setup and got so many valuable replies and I'm so grateful for that. I purchased a Dream Hammock Darien (11', 1.3, 64" wide) and a Hammock Gear DCF tarp with doors.

    I have 4 nights so far. The first 3 I used my sleeping pad with not so great results. The 4th I slept on a Costco down throw (came in a pack of 2, the other one is being converted into an underquilt). Even with sleeping on that I stayed warmer than I did with the sleeping pad. So far I'm LOVING it.

    Okay a few questions...probably pretty basic and perhaps unimportant.

    1. I get a bit uneasy sitting down in my hammock with my feet dangling over the edge and my back and head resting on the bug net. I feel like the pressure against the bug net could cause premature wear and tear. Also, the back of my knee rests on the zipper which, a) feels a bit uncomfortable as that part of the fabric is higher and thus pressing into my leg and b) I'm nervous this could somehow damage the zipper? Is any of that true?
    Try hanging the hammock so your feet are touching the ground when sitting. That gives you more control to not lean on the bugnet so much. I've never torn one of my bugnets leaning on it but I always schootch my buttocks back and try to sit up pretty straight as in my mind that seems like less pressure.

    2. So far most of my hangs have resulted in the ridge line being quite taught, whereas most of the videos I watched state that the line should still have a bit of give to it (pinching it and being able to make a small bend). I've experimented a bit with raising and lowering the tree straps and adjusting how high or low the continuous loop is on those straps but I can't seem to figure out how to fix that. How should I fix that and in the event I ever can't figure it out is it a big deal to sleep a night with the ridge line so tight.
    You will need to try and slide your suspension up the tree more. Helps in most cases. Tree spacing and all that. Not an exact science. I often have a tight ridgeline and live with it.

    3. I only have one night with the DCF tarp. I bought 4 tarp worms with shock cord and attached that to each corner. At first I put so much tension on each corner that stretched out the shock cord quite a bit (without realising that). I suppose I was used to tensioning out a tent. So after a bit I realised how stretched out the shock cord was and released some of the tension on each corner. Okay so my question is how much tension should I be putting on each corner? Should I be stretching out that shock cord? Not at all? After releasing some of the tension the tarp was a bit floppy and I'm not sure how that would handle a windy and rainy night (in my case it was dry with no wind).
    You want the tarp tight enough not to flap in the wind. Pull your guylines tight and then give in an inch or two before staking.

    4. For "porch mode" I put my trekking poles upside down so the tip went through the small hole on my d ring. Is this okay? I guess I felt a little nervous with a sharp point so close to that expensive fabric. I may try putting a small loop of cord near the shock cord like I saw in a Shug video and having the handle side up.
    Mainly I do that so I don't get water running into my hiking poles. My thinking it is OK either way but if really windy there is a very slight chance the wind could lift your tarp and come down on the tip. At least your tarp ridgeline would be safe.

    5. Longish term storage for Dyneema...is it okay just to keep rolled up in a snake skin? Could that create creases and weakened areas?
    Have always kept mine rolled and in snakeskins in a stuffsack stored. Never had any problem. Just make sure it is dry when you pack it away.

    Thanks all, I greatly appreciate all the help I've received.
    Whooooo Buddy)))))
    Shug
    ShugArt Hammock Paintings....https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShugArtStu...platform-mcnav

    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Secure in Sector Seven

  3. #3
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    1. pressure under knees: Lower the hammock so when you set in it, your feet are on the ground. I like mine at a height that allows me to swing my feet to the ground and just stand up - about 18 inches high. Depending upon the rest of the suspension restrictions, I may go lower but usually not higher. Also note that some hammocks - the SLD streamliner for example - have a catenary or curved cut along the side. The feature is it makes for a lighter, less bulky hammock with theoretically more visibility. The bug is it creates this “hard edge” under your knees - mine anyway. Not saying that’s the case with your hammock; just that such designed are out there.

    Also, I don’t understand this “sitting on the bug net”. If you are using the hammock as a chair, wouldn’t you have the bugnet unzipped and tied back somehow. In another recent post suggested folding the body of the hammock in half when using it as a chair. That puts a soft edge (the middle of the hammock) under your knees.

    2. One of the “question of the ages” - should the tightness of the ridgeline be measured when you are in the hammock or out of it? The good news is, “It doesn’t matter” as long as you are consistent and determine the right tension for you. In my experience, I’ve noticed that when I initially setup the hammock, I am not in it. As the ridgeline is a “measuring stick” to indicate the best distance between the ends of the hammock. I’d connect one end, then pull set the other end so the line is slightly snug. That leaves me a little bend (but not 90 degrees) when I’m in the hammock. The structural ridgeline is not only a measuring stick, it’s also there to prevent damage to the hammock and bugnet that might be caused by too much strain. As a general rule, a little looser is better than guitar string tight. Just give yourself a longer length on your suspension to the trees. That will drop the height of the hammock so as your lengthen the straps, you’ll have to hang them higher on the tree to keep the same height above ground.

    3. You don’t need bungee with a DCF tarp, but they don’t hurt. It’s handy the know the “why” of things. That can take some sense of history - gray hair (or lack of) on your head. Once upon a time there were nylon A-frame tents. Also nylon tarps. When staked out and the wind blew, the edges of the tent/tarp would flap, flap, flap, flap, flap, … flap. Part of the reason was, even though the camper carefully staked out a tarp so it was taut, the nylon fabric stretched, so it was loose, so it would flap, flap, flap, … flap.

    One solution was to but a catenary - curve - cut on the edge of the tarp. That curve is sort of the line of tension in the fabric. It reduced excess material that might flap but still relied upon a taut pitch. Some bungee cord in the guy lines kept that tautness when the tarp material stretched a little.

    But DCF doesn’t stretch! When you pitch it taut, it will stay taut. BUT - what if you trip over a guy line. It’s known to happen. Without the “give” of a bungee cord, the extra stress is transferred to the DCF tarp. So your tarp worms give you some springiness. I don’t have any so can’t say for sure about them, but when I use bungee on a tarp, I have a fixed cord back up that limits their stretch. For example, I might attach both the bungee cord and fixed guy line cord to the tarp then put some slack in the non-stretch guy line and attach the bungee cord to it such that the solid guy line limits the pull on the bungee to about 80% of it’s max distance. So I can never put too much stress on the bungee because it never gets pulled more than 80% of its maximum.

    Because you don’t need the bungee to keep the DCF tarp taut (because of stretching), you just need a little tautness to make it look nice. Any springiness is just protection in case something should bump into the tarp.

    4. The only problem with handles down is there might be something yucky on the ground. Your only reason for handles down is to put the tips in a hole in the D-ring. You don’t have to do that. It’s easy enough to come off the D-ring with your guy line, then connect to the hiking pole handle with a clove hitch or many other knots, then continue to the ground. Long ago, from some vendor, I purchased little triangle shaped “hats” that go over the handle of the hiking pole. The hats have a loop on each side to aid in connecting to the tarp and to ground. Note: If I were to use them, I’d put a short fixed line between the loops so the stitching didn’t take all the pull force.

    I don’t use hiking poles for porch mode, but if I did, I’d put the points in the ground and just wrap the guy line around the handle and then to the ground stake.

    5. The Dyneema should last a long time. Remember, it came from the sailing community and those sails can be wrapped up, stored a long time. That said, everything eventually wears out. T’er it me, I’d be delighted that I used a tarp so much that it showed signs of wear. I don’t store anything “folded tight”. You could find some plastic container small enough to be out of the way but large enough to hold the DCF tarp loosely.

    6. After all this, I finally noticed that Shug actually answered your questions in the copied/quoted part of your post. Sheeesh.
    Last edited by cougarmeat; 09-17-2020 at 12:20.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  4. #4

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    I love that this community is so helpful! Thanks for being y'all!

    Charlotte

  5. #5
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    Thank you both so much for your answers. Sorry it took me sooo long to get back. I really appreciate the info.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Baka Dasai's Avatar
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    To add to the already excellent answers of others:

    1. Prior to sitting in my hammock I often fold it in half, and sit on the doubled-up layers. This removes the harsh ridge cutting under your knees. It's really comfy! Try it. Having the top quilt inside the folded hammock is no problem, and actually makes it even comfier.

    2. To get more slack in your hammock ridge line you need to lengthen your hammock suspension. However this will also lower your hammock closer to the ground, so you'll also need to raise your straps on the tree to counteract that. Tight ridgelines put more stress on your suspension, straps, and trees. But sometimes it can be hard to avoid a "too-tight" ridgeline, especially when the trees are far apart and you can't raise the straps any higher without a ladder. Don't stress too much over this. Just make sure you don't have it VERY tight.

    3, 4, and 5. Nothing to add

  7. #7
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    In another thread it was mentioned that porch mode with hiking poles handles down makes them susceptible to small animals going after the salt on them.
    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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