# Thread: Please explain???Ridgeline???

1. ## Please explain???Ridgeline???

Trying to understand what you guys mean by ridgeline and hang. Read glossary, still need futher assistance.

Still new to hangin'.

Thanks, BABO

2. Originally Posted by BABO
Trying to understand what you guys mean by ridgeline and hang.
You should go and read through Just Jeff's Hammock Overview pages, specifically the one about ridgelines.

3. I second angrysparrow's recommendation! Just Jeff does a really good job of explaining it. It was one of my most favorite sites when I was learning the basics.

4. I made a few comments about structural ridgelines a few days ago in another thread. I think those comments are appropriate for this discussion so I'll repost them here.

I have noticed that adding a structural ridgeline is a popular thing on this forum and have often wondered if people realize what the fundamental tradeoffs are. The way I see it is that a structural ridgeline allows you to achieve a consistent sag angle for the hammock as long as the angle of the hammock suspension lines is less than the hammock sag angle (without a structural ridgeline the hammock sag angle and the angle of the suspension lines are the same) and it therefore allows, or even encourages you to tie lower on the trees.

The tradeoff with that is that the forces on the hammock suspension line increase when the angle on the hammock suspension lines is made smaller. By lowering how high you attach your hammock on the supports with a structural ridgeline you are decreasing the angle of the hammock suspension lines and applying more force on the suspension lines. You need stronger suspension lines and should use more care for attaching to trees when you use a structural ridgeline.

But even with that you are still applying more force than you would without a structural ridgeline and more force is not a good thing. The question as to how much force we are talking about is not one that can be answered without putting boundary's on things because the math involved allows a solution without bounds and in practice there will be some boundary's because something will stretch or fail or you would never try to hang the hammock that low.

For what it is worth, my rough guess as to how much extra force you are talking about would be that the enlightened hanger that makes a reasonable attempt to hang high would put less than 2x as much force on the suspension lines by using a structural ridgeline. Those that don't might put as much as 3x or more force on the suspension lines.

Of course if you wanted to be ultra enlightened you could hang it as high as you would if it didn't have a structural ridgeline.

5. I must have missed those comments you posted earlier, Youndblood. You make a really interesting argument and valid points that I have not heard before.

6. Originally Posted by Youngblood
I made a few comments about structural ridgelines a few days ago in another thread. I think those comments are appropriate for this discussion so I'll repost them here.

I have noticed that adding a structural ridgeline is a popular thing on this forum and have often wondered if people realize what the fundamental tradeoffs are. The way I see it is that a structural ridgeline allows you to achieve a consistent sag angle for the hammock as long as the angle of the hammock suspension lines is less than the hammock sag angle (without a structural ridgeline the hammock sag angle and the angle of the suspension lines are the same) and it therefore allows, or even encourages you to tie lower on the trees.

The tradeoff with that is that the forces on the hammock suspension line increase when the angle on the hammock suspension lines is made smaller. By lowering how high you attach your hammock on the supports with a structural ridgeline you are decreasing the angle of the hammock suspension lines and applying more force on the suspension lines. You need stronger suspension lines and should use more care for attaching to trees when you use a structural ridgeline.

But even with that you are still applying more force than you would without a structural ridgeline and more force is not a good thing. The question as to how much force we are talking about is not one that can be answered without putting boundary's on things because the math involved allows a solution without bounds and in practice there will be some boundary's because something will stretch or fail or you would never try to hang the hammock that low.

For what it is worth, my rough guess as to how much extra force you are talking about would be that the enlightened hanger that makes a reasonable attempt to hang high would put less than 2x as much force on the suspension lines by using a structural ridgeline. Those that don't might put as much as 3x or more force on the suspension lines.

Of course if you wanted to be ultra enlightened you could hang it as high as you would if it didn't have a structural ridgeline.
You engineer types and your technicalities. Actually, thanks Youngblood, excellent advice.

7. Good post, I like when people question the status quo (otherwise we'd still be in tents, right?) . From reading your post however, the only drawback I saw was that using a structural ridgeline may be putting additional forces on your suspension. If your suspension is adequate to handle the (possible) additional strain are there really any other drawbacks? The pros still seem to outweigh the cons.

8. Originally Posted by Redtail
Good post, I like when people question the status quo (otherwise we'd still be in tents, right?) . From reading your post however, the only drawback I saw was that using a structural ridgeline may be putting additional forces on your suspension. If your suspension is adequate to handle the (possible) additional strain are there really any other drawbacks? The pros still seem to outweigh the cons.
Those forces are also applied to whatever the hammock is attached to. And while more force may not cause any problems, more force is not a good thing and in general it is something to avoid as much as practical. To keep the forces as low as practical I would suggest attaching a hammock with a structural ridgeline at a height that is proportional to the span between the supports and is on the high side of what will work versus attaching them on the low side of what will work. The lower the forces on your hammock's suspension the less it will stretch and the more reliable it will be, so hang 'em high.

9. Wow, that is awesome math!

I just like to keep warm, pack light, remember that the entire reason that I hike/hang is to unplug. If it takes me about 10 minutes to setup my camp.... that is 10 minutes well spent....

Just my \$.02

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