First-use report on my whoopie sling conversion on my Byer Moskito Traveler hammock. Prior to modification, I had used this hammock about a dozen times with tree huggers connected by knotted ropes leading to the factory-attached suspension lines on the hammock, and I have liked this hammock quite a bit. 16 ounces. Cost about $20. Very back-packable and kayak-campable. Very comfortable. Built-in bug net is nice. No intention of buying any other hammock. Never had difficulty hanging it with tree huggers and ropes. Span between trees didn’t matter too much. Have hung it between trees anywhere from about 11 feet to about 20 feet. Variations in amount of sag in the hammock don’t seem all that important to me. It’s comfortable no matter how I’ve hung it. I sleep like a baby in a 20 degree down bag on top of a blue closed cell foam pad, and was very comfortable on a recent multi-night hike in the mountains at 42 to 48 degrees. Anyway, I’ve been seduced by the ultralight backpacking fundamentalists and have been shaving grams of weight wherever I can. So I bought 1” tree huggers of a shorter length to replace my longer, wider huggers. I also replaced the ropes I had been using and converted to whoopie slings. I did this more for weight savings than for adjustability and convenience.
Special note – the Byer Moskito Traveler hammock comes with a factory suspension that consists of about 20 very thin cords that attach to the sewn channels at each end of the hammock. These 20 thin cords terminate in a cord-woven ring. To hang it factory style, you attach a rope with a knot or carabiner to the cord-woven ring at the end of the 20 thin cords that attach to the hammock. This little spider web of thin cords allow each end of the hammock to expand somewhat. It's not a bridge design, but it's not tightly gathered either. I knew that removing these many little cords and the cord-woven ring and replacing them with whoopie slings would save some weight and that was my goal. So I cut off the little web of cords attached to each end of the hammock and threaded the whoopies through each end as shown in all the various online instructions. Easy.
I hung the hammock last night on an island about a mile upstream from my riverfront condo on the mighty Susquehanna River, in Harrisburg, after kayaking from my front door to this secret camping island of mine. I used a Marlin Spike Hitch and hung the whoopies on the thick, dead wood sticks I scrounged on the island just for that purpose. Adjustment was easy and quick. Nice conversion.
Except for one thing. By removing all the little tiny cords that attached to the sewn channel at each end of the hammock and replacing them with whoopies pulled through the sewn channel ends, by default, I narrowed both ends of the hammock and made my sleeping and gear storage space smaller. With the factory-installed thin cords attached at both ends, the ends were able to spread out a little bit. But with the whoopies through the channels, each end was gathered and drawn up very tightly. This Byer measures 78” x 54” which is just fine for my 5ft 10 inch 145 pound body, but losing some of that already-narrow 54” width is a definite drawback of the whoopie conversion.
Now, for the structural ridgeline that I installed. It seems to me that the structural ridgeline I bought from whoopieslings.com is too long for this 78” long hammock. When pulled to its shortest possible length, the structural ridgeline was still too long to function as a structural ridge line. I was willing to add the weight of the structural ridge line, since I wanted to experiment with dialing in the perfect amount of sag, to find out if my already-very-comfortable hammock would be even better if I found the ideal sag amount. I think the structural ridgelines on whoopieslings.com come only in one length. Is my Byer unusually short at 78” long?
OK. That’s it for my lengthy post. Please comment on my observation that gathering the ends of a Byer Moskito with a Whoopie makes for a more cramped sleeping space. Did I do something wrong? And also, the structural ridgeline length. Why couldn’t I draw it down short enough?