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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Disabilities and Hammocks...

    I have not seen discussion on this topic except for Frolicking Dinos thread on setting sag. Perhaps, in light of some other conversations it would be helpful to find out what aspects of hammocks can assist in what kind of disabilities. I am looking here for specific examples assuming people want to share from their own experience. In other words "I've had a bad back for years and sleep better in my hammock." is interesting but does not always allow someone else with a bad back to make comparisons because backs can be bad for many reasons.

    Please... I am also not l ooking for solutions from people who do not know the limitations of a particular disability either first hand or through training. First hand includes family members who experience a similar type of disability. One thing is certain. Over time, the significant majority of us will suffer some reduction in mobility or some level of other disability in our lives. Having ideas that we can share regarding how we or others we know have over come or compensated for some of these could be a very important contribution.

    I made the statement in another thread that the bottom entry was essential for me to still be out on the trail. That statement was clearly not understood. But then I did not explain the issue. So in the theory of if we ask people to reveal things about themselves we need to go first......

    I have what is known as "peripheral neuropathy" in my legs and feet. This is a wildly personalized condition and presents differently in different people. For me.... I am losing strength and control in my legs. I can not stand up from a chair without at least arms on the chair to assist me. My legs will reach a certain angle and I will lose all strength and go down in a heap. On trying to get up... I will need to find ways to pull or push myself up from the ground using my upper body until my legs will engage..

    The bottom entrance allows me total control of entering and exiting the hammock. I can place my arms directly above me and lower, or pull myself into/out of the hammock. From there I am ok.

    I have yet to find a top loader which offers the same ability. I understand there are some mod straps which have been developed for assisting people in and out but the HH bottom entry is the only system I am aware of that offers this "off the shelf" so to speak. I have actually been trapped in a top loader, unable to get myself out without risking injury and ending up rolling out onto the ground. So there you have it.

    Now having said that... I have no doubt that there are plenty of people who manage to get into and out of top loaders even with a mobility impairment. How do YOU do it. I build top loaders for my family. Obviously I need to test them and tweak them. so give me your solutions that work for you, or your family. Selling my gear and staying at home is not an option.

    Please feel free to expand this to other disabilities as well.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  2. #2
    Mule's Avatar
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    I don't know, but I have a similar limitation. Muscle shakes and no strength when going down hill or letting myself down from a higher position to setting on the ground. I cannot get up without pushing myself up to get my legs nearly straight before standing up. What ever it is, I know I must hang my Bridge higher than others probably need to in order to get out of the thing. Again, if my body is too close to the ground I cannot stand up. I think my muscle condition happened when taking chemo for an extended length of time, but it does make me enbarassed at times while others watch me get up. All this said, getting in and out of a tent was worse. Mule
    You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
    Buddha.

  3. #3
    Perhaps for your "test bed", you need to consider putting heavier lines across above the hammock that you are testing, to use as an assist. you might even consider a rigid bar. Assuming that you can swing your legs outboard, you could then use these multiple lines or bars to stablize yourself as you come to your feet or enter the hammock.

    Insofar as real use. It's likely that you already have arrived at the best solution.


    Sorry about the pun. Don't worry. I'll keep my day job.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Hanging a bridge high most definitely makes it easier to get out of. flamingo.. my wife had her first overnight hang last night in her DIY bridge. She was fine when she first got in and out before bedding down for the night. By morning the cheapa$$ webbing had stretched and she was just barely scraping ground with the UQ. I had to help her out.

    The lines overhead are good thought but not real feasible given my setup. Plus the bugnet would get in the way. Thanks for the thought. From now on I am probly working on bridges. I can't get out of a gathered end for beans and flamingo likes the bridge better than any other hammock she tested.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    The gimp verus the Bridge... Round 1

    Of all the top loaders, I think the bridge has the most user friendly arrangement for mobility impaired folks. At least that is the case for me. My first attempt at getting out of the DIY bridge was a disaster. I ended up having to roll out and drop to the ground. It was not a pretty sight.

    Round 2: Exiting as the reverse of entering...

    In order to safely get into a bridge, or any top loader, I have to walk backwards into the hammock until I feel some level of support on my butt. I can then pick my feet up and swing into position. Not the most fun when you are unsure of the suspension. So I thought ok... let's try this in reverse. The problem was I could not get the hammock to swing back far enuf to plant my feet. I could plant my feet without swinging but I did not have the power to boost myself up and out. Roll out again...... So far the hammock has me two rounds to none.

    Round three taming of the bridge beast....

    Hanging the hammock higher than normal is the key to this round. Less backpedaling to get in means less out of control swing and more confidence in the suspension. As long as my legs to not approach the 90 dgree mark at the knees I am fairly secure. Exiting was more interesting. I now shift to a perpendicular lie in the center of the hammock. I lean back and scoot my butt up on to the side webbing. Onto enough so that I could actually sit on the webbing if I was in the right position to do so. Grasping the side webbing with my hands I pull myself into a sitting position. This move automatically accomplishes to things. First it swings the hammock so that I am in roughly the entering position. Secondly it plants my feet in front of me at a straigther than 90 degree angle. From there I can raise myself to the point where my legs engage and I can stand with the assistance of my arms on the side support.

    except for the squirming around to get perpendicular and then sitting, the motion of getting out looks fairly reasonable. As much so as any other exit as near as I can tell. The squirming aspect is most interior to the hammock and pretty well covered from observation by others. But the secret to this is a high enuf hang that I can get my legs straighter than 90 degrees when I exit.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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  6. #6
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    that's interesting. There are a couple of aspects of the bridge design that seem to help here. One is that the axis of rotation is lower (suspension apex to suspension apex rather than tree-hugger to tree-hugger) which makes it easier to rotate the hammock into the entry/exit position, and the second is that despite this, it is very hard to get the hammock to turn so far as to actually dump you. I would imagine having the suspension straps to grab onto could help as well.

    Glad you're learning how to tame the beast!

    Grizz

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    that's interesting. There are a couple of aspects of the bridge design that seem to help here. One is that the axis of rotation is lower (suspension apex to suspension apex rather than tree-hugger to tree-hugger) which makes it easier to rotate the hammock into the entry/exit position, and the second is that despite this, it is very hard to get the hammock to turn so far as to actually dump you. I would imagine having the suspension straps to grab onto could help as well.

    Glad you're learning how to tame the beast!

    Grizz
    i'm thinking of modding your DMB to make the suspension arc the same way you make the edges of the basic bridge. The webbing is much easier on my tuckus than the rope. Secondly I want to go back to the rings instead of the ropess at the end of the suspension arch. Two reasons here... I don't really grasp your loop through the webbing with the rope. I understand the concet and have revised to the design to accomplish. But the rings also allow me to have a attachment point for pull straps to get into the sitting position. I am not as concerned about weight as that hammock is not about to be mysolo hammock of choice.

    Come to think of it, I don't know why I would want to do another DMB anyway since the gathered mode is the one that trapped me so that I was concerned I would totally need help getting out. I guess the DIY bug has really got me.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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  8. #8
    slowhike's Avatar
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    I just put this on another thread but since you're talking about help w/ sitting up in a hammock, here it is again, just in case someone would find it helpful.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    I saw that slowhike...Thanks... I had considered something similar at one point for my HH but I do pretty well just grabbing a couple handfuls of fabric or zipper as the case may be.
    the problem I have is oriented perpendicular to the center line in an attempt to get out. Ropes to the gathered ends don't seem to solve that problem in my mind. Maybe I am missing something.

    The Bridge has a whole different geometry that seems to work much better. On a bridge I would attach ropes to the corner attacment points by the spreader bars. But again I can reach out with my arms and grab a handful of webbing along the side and pull myself where I need to be.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  10. #10
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    i'm thinking of modding your DMB to make the suspension arc the same way you make the edges of the basic bridge. The webbing is much easier on my tuckus than the rope. Secondly I want to go back to the rings instead of the ropess at the end of the suspension arch. Two reasons here... I don't really grasp your loop through the webbing with the rope. I understand the concet and have revised to the design to accomplish. But the rings also allow me to have a attachment point for pull straps to get into the sitting position. I am not as concerned about weight as that hammock is not about to be mysolo hammock of choice.

    Come to think of it, I don't know why I would want to do another DMB anyway since the gathered mode is the one that trapped me so that I was concerned I would totally need help getting out. I guess the DIY bug has really got me.
    webbing and rings are straightforward mods to the instructions.

    Now if you look at Turkeyboy's new bridge you see that if you cut the fabric long enough, it can serve as end caps---even if you don't whip or fold or whatever at the end like you would for a card-carrying DMB. If you went the two body route, then you could cut the outer body the length you would for a "normal" bridge and just make the inner body so long to serve as endcaps.

    Grizz

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