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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Hammock
    Nano 7 w/BugSock
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    OES MacCat Std
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    IX UQ, XP TQ.
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    Whoopie Slings
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    35

    First Setup Impressions - Need Feedback

    First off - big thanks to everyone here on the forums with the help switching from a ground dweller to a completely addicted hanger. I have been pretty obsessed with backpacking and ultralight principles the past few years, and have been making that transition into the hammock scene.

    So after lots and lots of reading here on the forums, and researching across the internet I finally have my first complete hanging setup. I have setup the hammock in the backyard numerous times, but finally had the opportunity yesterday to head out and setup everything in the woods. Dropped my Son off at camp yesterday midday and headed out to SNP to take a short hike up the AT and find somewhere to put everything up and see how it will perform. I have a 5 day trip in SNP planned the first week in Sept, so I need to get everything dialed in before then.

    The gear...

    Hammock: Nano 7
    Hammock Suspension: Tree straps, Whoopie slings and Dynaglide ASR from Arrowhead. x2 Camp USA Nano 23 Carabiners.
    Hammock Accessories: PapaSmurf BugSock, DIY gear loft on ridgeline.
    Tarp: OES MadCat Standard
    Tarp Suspension: 30ft 1.5mm Z-Line Ridgeline, Dutch Hook and Dutch Fly on ridgeline. Prussic Soft Shackles connecting tarp to ridgeline. DIY x4 shockcord/reflective line guylines and x2 shockcord guylines. x6 Ti shephards hook stakes.

    So here is the hammock setup without the tarp:


    Closeup of BugSock:


    Hammock Suspension Closeup:


    MadCat Tarp:


    Soft Shackle on ridgeline:


    View to inside:


    BugSock clearance issues (More about this below):


    DIY Guylines:


    So overall impressions are that it is comfortable, and that I like the idea of the setup but it did not go as smoothly as I thought it might. I have a few concerns that I want to clear up before I am relying on this out in the wild.

    1) Does my slack on my hammock suspension, distance between trees, and slack in the hammock ridgeline all look good? I am short, 5'6" - and I felt like I was having to put the tree straps as far up on the tree as I could to keep the hammock from touching ground. Is that just how its gonna be for me?

    2) The Bugsock is all up in my grill. When I am laying in the hammock the sides of the bugsock fall into my face and I can't have that. My short term idea is to use some clips I have to clip onto the outside of the bugnet and then run shockcord to the tieouts on the tarp to pull it out away from me. If this works (have not tested yet), I am thinking a simple mod to add a D-Ring patch to the sides of the bugnet will be a great longterm fix. I will test this soon and see how it goes. If anyone has any other good ideas, please let me know. I HAVE to have the bugsock, I hate bugs - but I need some space inside it to feel comfortable.

    3) The prussic soft shackles were a pain to use. They were hard to milk and get open when I needed to, and I was having a real hard time getting them to snag tight on the Z-Line. Is the Z-Line too slick? I had to triple prussic them. I am thinking a regular prussic loop (or something else entirely) with an S-Biner might just be overall easier. I am all about being as light as I can, but I can't screw with these little things too much and I can only see it being more frustrating when cold, wet, dark, etc. Any tips or ideas?

    4) The Ti stakes are great and all, but I was in somewhat rocky ground and had a really hard time getting them more then 1/3rd into the ground. I felt like they were going to bend if I tried any harder. This made tieing out my guylines rough, atleast on this terrain.

    5) It took me a good 20 minutes to get everything setup. How long should I expect it to take me in reality as I get more comfortable with it? Sub 10 minutes?

    I am debating between a te-wa UQ or a DIY insultex UQ - that will be the last piece of the puzzle.

    Any and all guidance, advice, criticism welcome!

    Thanks!
    Last edited by inabag; 08-06-2011 at 19:16.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Deadphans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bordentown, NJ
    Hammock
    WBBB 1.1, DIY tablecloth, WWM
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    WL Big Daddy
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    diy, tewa, speer
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    whooooopie
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    I can answer a few of these for ya. But I am still new and learning....

    1. Yes. I am 5' 6" too, and I have to raise my arms very high up to get the suspension to the correct height. If the span between trees is far, I just put the suspension as high up as I can comfortably reach. What you did looks good to me. I am sure a more trained eye will point out something I fail to notice. I do know, however, you want the foot end higher than the head end about 6" or so.

    2. I think that sounds like a great idea. That is what I would suggest......

    3. I have never used soft shackle prussics. But I definitely agree with using the simplest set up, and one with little fiddle factor. This way, like you said, set up during inclement weather or night time set up its just one two three bang boom sleeping. But I do know quite a bit of people use them on here and so far I have only heard good things. Maybe its a practice thing?

    4. I have ti stakes also, and rocky ground...I have never had any bend. I sometimes dig around if there are some big rocks...or just move it over a bit ya know. Never had a bend though....

    5. It takes me about 1 minute to set up my hammock and the more and more I do it the quicker it gets. About 3 - 4 minutes including my new tarp which rests on its own ridgeline - which is a new process to me so as I get used to it I know it will go down. I beat the ground dwellers setting up for sure. You can definitely expect a quicker than 10 minute set up. Some people do everything, tarp, hammock/bug net under 2 minutes.
    "In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy." -D'Signore's, Tide Mill Farm, Edmunds, Maine.

  3. #3
    Member SticksBlog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Corinth, MS
    Hammock
    Grand Trunk Ultralight
    Tarp
    OES 8 x 10 Sil
    Insulation
    HG CF 20F Phoenix
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    Whoopie Slings
    Posts
    58
    I am a total newbie... but...

    As far as the Bug Sock, I just made one of my own a few days ago. I have found that if I throw something with a little weight to it in the bottom of the Bug Sock, then it will somewhat pull the sides a little taut. If it is resting on a ridge line, this will help to create a little bit of an A-frame. At home I just throw my flip flops in the bottom. Although, this doesn't totally alleviate the draping down, but I usually put my hands behind my head, pull one of my knees up slightly, you know, just chill... anyway, bu doing this too it will also push the netting away slightly.

    The only dealings I have with soft shackles are on my single line tarp ridge line. I do know what you are talking about by milking the shackles open. However, I use them to connect my tarp to the ridge line and I just leave it attached so fooling with them in the field is not an issue.

    I have not timed myself setting up my set-up, but I would say it is easily less than 10 minutes, and I am a brand new newbie...

    I leave all of my lines on my tarp, and it is a lot of line, but it is the "no-tangle" and I gotta admit, if I take half a moment to pack my tarp away, the line is no problem at all. Like I said, the tarp already has the single line tarp ridge line attached, so I tie one end of using a very simple Knot Bone. Then string out the other end and cinch it tight with a figure 9.

    For a while now I have been using Lawson Kline's 7" Ti shepard hook or Ti-Eye stakes. They can be tough to get in to really rocky ground, so no tips on that. I usually get it as far as I can with my hands and then place my foot over it and apply slow even pressure. if I feel any bend, I immediately stop and reposition my foot and go again. If you can't get them all the way in, obviously try a different spot, however, if this still don't work, just try to find some rocks or logs to arrange around it. Or better yet, tie it off to a large rock or log.

    One thing I want to do that I believe will speed up hanging my tarp a little is to make some snake skins. These seem to offer easy deployment, and and look to be pretty easy to pack it back up.

    On my hammock, I use 6 ft tree straps. I wrap them around the tree and my toggles are already in place using a marlin spike hitch knot. I made a bishop bag for my hammock, so it is super easy to hang. The whoopie sling on the foot end of the hammock is already hanging out the bottom of the bishop bag. Simply loop it over the toggle, undo the other end of the bishop bag, grab the other whoopie and attach to the other toggle. Done. If I want to add my bug net, I just slide the whoopie at the foot end through the foot end of the bug sock before looping it over the toggle.

    Hope this helps some.
    Jus' Sayin'

  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    Nano 7 w/BugSock
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    Yah I am using Lawson Kline's 7" Ti shepard hooks - and I was experiencing the slight bend when applying pressure into rocky ground.

    Snakeskins for the tarp is something I am also interested in.

    Thanks for the idea of putting some weight in the bottom of the bugnet, I will play with that idea too.

  5. #5
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Minnesota
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    DIY GreenBeanHammock
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    DIY Tarps/HG Cuben
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    1) Does my slack on my hammock suspension, distance between trees, and slack in the hammock ridgeline all look good? I am short, 5'6" - and I felt like I was having to put the tree straps as far up on the tree as I could to keep the hammock from touching ground. Is that just how its gonna be for me?

    2) The Bugsock is all up in my grill. When I am laying in the hammock the sides of the bugsock fall into my face and I can't have that. My short term idea is to use some clips I have to clip onto the outside of the bugnet and then run shockcord to the tieouts on the tarp to pull it out away from me. If this works (have not tested yet), I am thinking a simple mod to add a D-Ring patch to the sides of the bugnet will be a great longterm fix. I will test this soon and see how it goes. If anyone has any other good ideas, please let me know. I HAVE to have the bugsock, I hate bugs - but I need some space inside it to feel comfortable.

    3) The prussic soft shackles were a pain to use. They were hard to milk and get open when I needed to, and I was having a real hard time getting them to snag tight on the Z-Line. Is the Z-Line too slick? I had to triple prussic them. I am thinking a regular prussic loop (or something else entirely) with an S-Biner might just be overall easier. I am all about being as light as I can, but I can't screw with these little things too much and I can only see it being more frustrating when cold, wet, dark, etc. Any tips or ideas?

    4) The Ti stakes are great and all, but I was in somewhat rocky ground and had a really hard time getting them more then 1/3rd into the ground. I felt like they were going to bend if I tried any harder. This made tieing out my guylines rough, atleast on this terrain.

    5) It took me a good 20 minutes to get everything setup. How long should I expect it to take me in reality as I get more comfortable with it? Sub 10 minutes?
    Hey and Whooooo Buddy!
    Good job on all that........ here is my take....
    1) Looks to me your trees are pretty far apart and your right....you may have to go up the tree a bit higher. It will come to you after you log some more hammock time. Real woods experience is the best.
    2) Add on bugnets will do that . Your solution will work. Some add a couple of small loops and run a stick across the top in face area to spread it.
    3) I have found for me the #1 s-biner is a no brainer....although I have gone back to just running mu tarp ridgelines right odd the tarp d-ring....two separate lines. Use knots, fig 9's or Dutch Flyz to adjust. I have been using Dutch Flyz
    4) Use rocks or limbs....
    5) Not bad....it will get quicker in the perfect scenario. It ain't a race....enjoy the piney woods.
    It will all fall in place.....

    Shug.......Hammock How To for Noobs
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  6. #6
    Senior Member timabababaluka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Clovis, CA
    Hammock
    DIY gathered end
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    9x10 tyvek
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    ww blue ccf pad
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    whoopies & toggles
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    Actually, that is an awesome first time experience. The way I see it, very few people have the optimal setup for them when they first go out--no matter how expensive their gear is. You hang, take mental notes on what isn't working for you, fix it, rinse and repeat as necessary. It appears to me that you are doing just that--kudos for making your stuff fit you instead of the other way around

    As for setting up: I was always able to get the hammock set up pretty quickly (even before making a set of whoopies--now it's crazy quick). But the TARP! A 20 minute setup would have been blazing fast for me. I think my first couple of times took at least 30 minutes. A few times after that, and I got it down to 10 minutes. I was feeling pretty good about myself until I tried to set everything up in my backyard during a thunder/hail storm (back up to 20 minutes). I've got a routine now, and I am easily under ten minutes even in the dark. Just takes some dry runs is all.

    You've got great gear (way better than my DIY/harbor freight/Sanford and Son setup), and I'm sure you'll get into your groove quickly. I couldn't tell if you have a snakeskin for you tarp or not--if not, getting one will dramatically cut down on your setup and tear down times. One way or the other, you are well on your way
    You're gonna need a bigger hammock

  7. #7
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Rockledge, FL
    Hammock
    HH Explorer UL 2Q zip
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    MacCat Deluxe Sil
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    a few ideas

    1) Looks like you had lots of options but went with your suspension almost maxed out. Look for trees a little closer together.

    3) I had a similar problem trying to get anything to "bite" on 2.2mm zing-it. I gave up on the prussics and instead went with a klemheist knot instead. Right now I'm connecting the tarp with s-biners but may ditch them and go with some small plastic toggles instead.

    5) Unless I'm trying to get out of some kind of pouring rain or other weather related headache I don't worry about the time. You can always multi-task if it really bothers you. Pull out your cookware and get a pot of water on the boil while you set up. By the time your tarp is guyed out you'll have dinner ready. Just like anything though you'll get faster with practice.

    I really like my Te-wa UQ I picked up secondhand here. It's a 3-season model and so far I've been toasty well below freezing. Money well spent.

  8. #8
    Dutch's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Reinholds, PA
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    If you send me your address I will replace that z-line with 30" zing it for free. The Flyz will cut your z-line and you won't make it through a 5 day hike. You will still need 3 wraps on your prussic.

    Like Shug I just have 2 Flyz and pullout from the ridgeline. The flyz are so easy that centering your tarp is just as easy and having a CRL.
    Peace Dutch
    GA>ME 2003


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  9. #9
    New Member
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    May 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
    If you send me your address I will replace that z-line with 30" zing it for free. The Flyz will cut your z-line and you won't make it through a 5 day hike. You will still need 3 wraps on your prussic.

    Like Shug I just have 2 Flyz and pullout from the ridgeline. The flyz are so easy that centering your tarp is just as easy and having a CRL.
    Awesome! I was a little worried about that after I pulled the Z-Line out of the Flyz, because it did seem a bit worn after just one use. I will PM you now - your the best!

    Thanks for all the replies so far - I appreciate all the feedback, I can't wait to truly enjoy this setup.

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