1. Thanks, Lori / Boris!! I will get the structural ridge line as suggested; I'm thinking 8' slings, right now...

2. Keep us informed and post pictures.

Here are some links for inexpensive tarps.
Chinook 9.5' x 9.5'
Chinook 9.5'x12'
Chinook 12'x14' monster

Boris

3. OK, Boris, exactly what is a structural ridgeline and how does it make it easier to hang?

4. Originally Posted by ChiefBob
OK, Boris, exactly what is a structural ridgeline and how does it make it easier to hang?
Shug provides a partial answer HERE relative to a ridgeline for tarps.

5. A structural ridgeline takes some of the tension off the hammock and transfers it across the hammock to the other end; (mostly it keeps the two endpoints of the hammock at a set distance from each other, called 'setting your sag' ie a repeatable configuration). this allows you to set the hammock up in trees that are farther apart than would be optimal for a ridge-less hammock by allowing the suspension sag to be pulled much tighter; i.e. flatter than 30 degrees, or higher off the ground in a situation that would normally produce a 30* sag angle, but would place your back too close to some plant or object under your hanging area.
this sort of setup is also why you like a good deal of safety margin in how much weight/tension your suspension can support. there is a good thread on the math and vectors involved, suffice it to say that you need -much- more strength in your lines than twice your weight.
hope that helps, KM

6. Right. What they said. A structural ridgeline is a line (rope) running from one end of the hammock to the other end. How tightly you hang the hammock changes the curve (how much sag you have) which changes the way it feels. If you have a structural ridgeline, then you'll always have the same curve even if you hang it tighter or looser than last time.

The conventional wisdom is that the length of your ridgeline should be 10' for ever 12" of hammock length. It's a personal comfort issue, so if anybody tries to force-feed that number to you as a hard and fast rule, feel free to giggle at them. It does give you a logical starting point though. If you get an adjustable structural ridgeline, which is basically just another whoopie sling, then you can play with the length. Try it longer, try it shorter, figure out what feels good to you.

Boris