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  1. #11
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SC_Dave View Post
    When you say change my position a little are you talking about my phisical position in the hammock or changing the position of the hammock? IE; suspension length, distance from the tree and height of the suspension on the tree?
    I meant changing your physical position in the hammock. Sometimes, the calf pressure can be alleviated by sliding towards the head end just a bit, or changing the angle of diagonal you're laying on. That assumes that you've got the hammock hung how you want it with regards to either being level or having the foot end slightly higher though.

    The reason that people initially started hanging their foot end a tiny bit higher was so that their center of gravity wouldn't naturally slide to the lowest part of the hammock over the course of a night. By raising the foot end, it puts the lowest part of the hammock where your center of mass already is, and you don't slide. Still others prefer to go a bit further than that offset, so that their feet are higher. You'll just have to experiment with a few nights sleep to see which way suits you best.

    Think of the adjustments on the tree vs length of suspension as working in concert. Raising one tree strap will have about the same effect on the height of the hammock as shortening the suspension on that same end. But, while raising the strap doesn't tighten the ridgeline, shortening the suspension does. So, if your hammock is at a comfortable height but the ridgeline isn't tight...try tightening the suspension a little. If you can't get it right, then try lowering the straps a bit, and tighten the suspension again. Chances are that this will take the slack out.

    It takes a little practice to be able to judge how high on the tree your straps should be for any given span between trees. You should get the hang of this first, along with adjusting the tautness of the suspension to match. Then, once you are comfortable with that, if you find that you chronically still have a calf ridge then you'll know whether you want to shorten the ridgeline a bit to accommodate your preference.

    Hope that's clearer than mud.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  2. #12
    Senior Member SC_Dave's Avatar
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    You know, the knowledge and willingness to help on this forum never ceases to amaze me. Thanks very much for all of the information, it's a lot to digest and it will mean a lot of in-and-out of the hammock before I figure it out but at least I now have a direction to go in.

    Thanks to all of you for helping me out.
    David
    All my morning aches and pains went away when I discovered hammock camping!

  3. #13

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    I had the same problem with my WBBBs. I ended up just sticking some clothes under my knees & that took care of it.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmike65 View Post
    You might try using an adjustable ridgeline until you get a good balance of sag with taut ridgeline. I guess it all depends on what you want to use your ridgeline for. ...
    +1 on that! I marked my adjustable ridge line with a permanent marker. Set at the dot, the ridge line is just taut when I hang the hammock to the correct sag (and empty). Once I'm in the hammock, I pull the ridge line taut so it's not in the way and I can hang stuff from it. When I'm breaking down, I set the ridge line back to its mark, so I can use it as a measuring tool the next time I set up.

    P.S. I don't think your issue is unique to Black Birds!
    "Pips"
    Mountains have a dreamy way
    Of folding up a noisy day
    In quiet covers, cool and gray.

    ---Leigh Buckner Hanes

    Surely, God could have made a better way to sleep.

    Surely, God never did.

  5. #15
    Senior Member SC_Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pipsissewa View Post
    +1 on that! I marked my adjustable ridge line with a permanent marker. Set at the dot, the ridge line is just taut when I hang the hammock to the correct sag (and empty). Once I'm in the hammock, I pull the ridge line taut so it's not in the way and I can hang stuff from it. When I'm breaking down, I set the ridge line back to its mark, so I can use it as a measuring tool the next time I set up.

    P.S. I don't think your issue is unique to Black Birds!
    Thanks for the advise. I like the idea of marking the RL and returning to that mark on breakdown.

    I thought about posting in the General forum. I don't think it's unique to BB's either but on the off chance that a BB user had come up with something special I thought I would post it here.
    David
    All my morning aches and pains went away when I discovered hammock camping!

  6. #16
    Z0rst's Avatar
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    The foot-box complicates the interaction of the angle of the suspension, the tightness of the ridge line, the length of the ridge-line, and sag. Specifically, I found that the calf ridge appears when the foot end of the fabric is loaded too much. Basically, the foot-box creates a hammock within a hammock. In a traditional gathered end hammock, both edges of the hammock will tighten as the hammock gets loaded. In the BB, the grosgrain line under the shelf tightens and acts as a traditional hammock side, but the load on the opposite edge of the hammock acts differently because of the foot-box. The centerline of the hammock starts to take the load and the calf ridge appears because it is one edge of the hammock within the hammock. For me, the trick was to distribute the load more evenly across the fabric. Here is how I did it, your experience may be different:

    1. Understand the Asymmetric Lay. I found that a greater angle spreads the weight across the fabric better. More importantly, I paid attention to where my hips were in the hammock in relation to the ridge-line. Is my butt to the left, to the right, or in the middle? Lying on my back and then on my side also shifted the distribution of the load. I paid particular attention how these shifts in weight changed the tension at the centerline of the hammock at the foot-end, aka, the calf ridge.

    2. Shift entire body toward the head end. This brings the weight away from the foot-box and spreads the weight away from the hammock within the hammock. Once I found the position that I liked, raising my foot-end or dropping the head-end kept me in that position. But, importantly, it wasn't just about cranking down on the foot-end. It is about hanging the straps at different heights or the ends at different distances from the tree.

    3. The ridge-line should be taught, but not tight, when in the hammock. It may seem loose before I sit in in, but it will tighten as weight is put on the hammock. There is a video of Brandon showing that he can twist the ridge-line about 45 degrees when in the hammock. I found this to be a good test.

    4. Adjust the ridge-line length to reduce shoulder squeeze. Sag is important in distributing the load across the the fabric and can be fixed by the length of the ridge-line. I spent too much time trying to adjust to get rid of the calf ridge, but had quick success when I focused on shoulder squeeze. Why? Too much shoulder squeeze means the load isn't being distributed across the fabric, and this will, in turn, impact the calf ridge. My aha moment was when I felt the line of grosgrain that is under the shelf. It was way too tight, and in my other hammocks that would have meant a lot of shoulder squeeze. In the BB, the pressure that is normally on the sides of the hammock is partially shifted to the middle of the hammock near the foot-box. I used an adjustable ridge-line to get the sag correct by focusing on the shoulder squeeze.

    It is hopefully common knowledge on HF that the angle of the suspension will make a difference on how the load is distributed in the hammock. 30 degrees is a starting point, but between 26 and 38 degrees is the range for me. The typical mantra is to walk to a tree reach high, and hang straps. Great advice. But I found it is more complicated in a BB because of the hammock within a hammock. Which brings my next suggestion:


    5. Have different angles for the foot-end and the head end by placing the the straps at different heights on the two trees. For me, I have found that my foot-end needs more of an angle than my head-end. Not just height, but angle. When hanging the hammock, I place the straps higher on the tree on the foot-end side. Shortening the length of the distance between the foot end and the tree can increase the angle. So if one doesn't have a lot of room, hang the foot-end closer to its tree than the head-end is to its tree.

    Lastly, I have tried sleeping with my head in the foot-box, as Shug demonstrated on one of his videos. While lacking a certain hammock Feng Shui, it is surprisingly comfortable and works well for a strained neck muscles.

    Hope this helps.
    Within these two words, be and becoming, your whole life is contained. ―Osho

  7. #17
    Senior Member Badchef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SC_Dave View Post
    You know, the knowledge and willingness to help on this forum never ceases to amaze me. Thanks very much for all of the information, it's a lot to digest and it will mean a lot of in-and-out of the hammock before I figure it out but at least I now have a direction to go in.

    Thanks to all of you for helping me out.
    David
    +1 The information shared in this one thread have already solved some questions that I had from last weekend and now will help as my girls have their first 'Daddy/Daughter Hang' this weekend.
    There are very few problems we can solve ourselves, but there is almost nothing we cannot solve together.

    Most often when someone says they can't, they are unwilling to try.

  8. #18
    Senior Member FatDaddy's Avatar
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    man do I love napping... I mean "dialing in" my blackbird...
    It may just be me, and if I have learned anything on this forum YMMV (your mileage may vary)

    try all of the above and then some...I experienced calf ridge once but generally I sleep closer to the head end of the hammock and I am a little fat hiker, so my feet are barely in the footbox when I sleep.

    Try splitting the difference in the head and foot end (instead of a six inch foot adjustment) then nap for an hour... now an hour is MINIMUM... to know if you are napping well. then get out and stretch and lower the foot back to the original height and sleep for another hour.

    Your wife will LOVE this advice...lol.
    Dang ... now I want to go "Dial-in" my hammock again.
    We never fail when we try to do our duty, we always fail when we neglect to do it. -- Robert Baden-Powell

  9. #19
    Senior Member SC_Dave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnoreMachine View Post
    The foot-box complicates the interaction of the angle of the suspension, the tightness of the ridge line, the length of the ridge-line, and sag. Specifically, I found that the calf ridge appears when the foot end of the fabric is loaded too much. Basically, the foot-box creates a hammock within a hammock. In a traditional gathered end hammock, both edges of the hammock will tighten as the hammock gets loaded. In the BB, the grosgrain line under the shelf tightens and acts as a traditional hammock side, but the load on the opposite edge of the hammock acts differently because of the foot-box. The centerline of the hammock starts to take the load and the calf ridge appears because it is one edge of the hammock within the hammock. For me, the trick was to distribute the load more evenly across the fabric. Here is how I did it, your experience may be different:

    1. Understand the Asymmetric Lay. I found that a greater angle spreads the weight across the fabric better. More importantly, I paid attention to where my hips were in the hammock in relation to the ridge-line. Is my butt to the left, to the right, or in the middle? Lying on my back and then on my side also shifted the distribution of the load. I paid particular attention how these shifts in weight changed the tension at the centerline of the hammock at the foot-end, aka, the calf ridge.

    2. Shift entire body toward the head end. This brings the weight away from the foot-box and spreads the weight away from the hammock within the hammock. Once I found the position that I liked, raising my foot-end or dropping the head-end kept me in that position. But, importantly, it wasn't just about cranking down on the foot-end. It is about hanging the straps at different heights or the ends at different distances from the tree.

    3. The ridge-line should be taught, but not tight, when in the hammock. It may seem loose before I sit in in, but it will tighten as weight is put on the hammock. There is a video of Brandon showing that he can twist the ridge-line about 45 degrees when in the hammock. I found this to be a good test.

    4. Adjust the ridge-line length to reduce shoulder squeeze. Sag is important in distributing the load across the the fabric and can be fixed by the length of the ridge-line. I spent too much time trying to adjust to get rid of the calf ridge, but had quick success when I focused on shoulder squeeze. Why? Too much shoulder squeeze means the load isn't being distributed across the fabric, and this will, in turn, impact the calf ridge. My aha moment was when I felt the line of grosgrain that is under the shelf. It was way too tight, and in my other hammocks that would have meant a lot of shoulder squeeze. In the BB, the pressure that is normally on the sides of the hammock is partially shifted to the middle of the hammock near the foot-box. I used an adjustable ridge-line to get the sag correct by focusing on the shoulder squeeze.

    It is hopefully common knowledge on HF that the angle of the suspension will make a difference on how the load is distributed in the hammock. 30 degrees is a starting point, but between 26 and 38 degrees is the range for me. The typical mantra is to walk to a tree reach high, and hang straps. Great advice. But I found it is more complicated in a BB because of the hammock within a hammock. Which brings my next suggestion:


    5. Have different angles for the foot-end and the head end by placing the the straps at different heights on the two trees. For me, I have found that my foot-end needs more of an angle than my head-end. Not just height, but angle. When hanging the hammock, I place the straps higher on the tree on the foot-end side. Shortening the length of the distance between the foot end and the tree can increase the angle. So if one doesn't have a lot of room, hang the foot-end closer to its tree than the head-end is to its tree.

    Lastly, I have tried sleeping with my head in the foot-box, as Shug demonstrated on one of his videos. While lacking a certain hammock Feng Shui, it is surprisingly comfortable and works well for a strained neck muscles.

    Hope this helps.
    Well, just when I thought the help couldn't get any better.........
    Thanks very much SnoreMachine, I am sure this will help.
    David
    All my morning aches and pains went away when I discovered hammock camping!

  10. #20
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    There's constructional looseness in the installed ridgeline. I don't recall reading than anyone has loaded a length of the material for a time and reported how much it "stretches" to get that looseness out.

    Useful project of wide benefit:

    Someone with a set of lifting weights and 10 feet of new Zing-It or Dynaglide:
    Mark a length of it very carefully at say 50".

    Hang a deadweight dumbell of 200lb overnight or for a week from a length of that throw line. Carefully measure off an exact length within the stretched cord, say 50". (The breaking strength of the 1.75mm stuff is 450lb, Dynaglide somewhat more.)

    Measure the distance between the marks again, and tell us the elongation.

    If 4 feet of line elongates 2%, then a new 100" Warbonnet ridgeline might elongate by 2 inches over time, just getting the constructional looseness out.
    Last edited by DemostiX; 04-21-2012 at 10:00.

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