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  1. #1
    New Member Gunnerfan's Avatar
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    Hennessy Hammock - Am I doing it right? (Ankle Pain)

    I have recently spent my first few nights in the woods in my new Hennessy hammock (my first hammock) which I purchased after trying out a friend's Hennessy briefly. He is a big guy (6' 4" probably 220 lbs if I had to guess) and has always said its the most comfortable he sleeps anywhere. I am not a big guy (5' 10" 165 lbs), so I figured I would have plenty of room in an Expedition Asym.

    I had a nasty ankle injury back in 2005 which required a few surgeries, and long hikes will cause the ankle to stiffen up. After just a few hours the first night in the hammock, my feet and legs became pretty uncomfortable. There was constant pressure on my ankle from some direction unless I crossed my legs.. it just feels like (even laying across the axis as recommended) my feet are gathered into a single point tightly no matter how I squirm around. I found there to be plenty of room for my shoulders and the rest of me, and enjoy the other features of the hammock.. but if I can't figure out how to free up my ankle a bit I may have to seek other options.

    The questions that come to mind - Am I perhaps laying in it incorrectly? Hanging it incorrectly? Do I need to slide up towards the head more perhaps? Are there other hammocks which might solve this issue? If all hammocks do this, perhaps they aren't the answer for me..

    Thanks in advance for any advice! - Zack

  2. #2
    Cali's Avatar
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    Did you hang the foot end higher than the head end? The foot end higher than the head end prevents you from sliding down toward the foot end. You may want to also try putting something (pillow, jacket, blanket) under your knees to help take some pressure off your ankle and give you a little better position for your feet. Just my $.02. Good luck.
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  3. #3
    fallkniven's Avatar
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    Lots of people experience knee/calf pain, so ankle pain is not too far fetched. Really the best way I've heard to fix it is by switching over to a bridge hammock.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BajaHanger View Post
    Did you hang the foot end higher than the head end? The foot end higher than the head end prevents you from sliding down toward the foot end. You may want to also try putting something (pillow, jacket, blanket) under your knees to help take some pressure off your ankle and give you a little better position for your feet. Just my $.02. Good luck.
    +1 that. Plus maybe a short pad under your feet, it might open the foot end of the hammock up some. And a "figure 4" position with one leg pulled up and foot under the other leg, or side fetal position maybe.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  5. #5
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    I know Hennessy says the Expedition Asym is good for people up to 6 ft., but I'm 5'10" and feel a little cramped in mine. You might want to check out a longer hammock.

  6. #6
    Jayson's Avatar
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    5'11" here HH Expedition user. Raise the foot end to start and also try getting some more sag in the ridgeline.

  7. #7
    Senior Member dejoha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnerfan View Post
    ...I figured I would have plenty of room in an Expedition Asym.

    ...I found there to be plenty of room for my shoulders and the rest of me, and enjoy the other features of the hammock...
    Generally speaking, a longer hammock is more comfortable given the same width. That said, hammocks can be a very subjective choice where some big and tall folks are happy as clams in smaller hammocks. I'm 5'10" (178 cm) and I feel a little tight in my Hennessy Expedition. My next hammock was the Grand Trunk Ultralight, which, ironically, has the same flat dimensions as the Hennessy, but lacks the bug net. I found that the bug net pulled the sides in more, which also put more pressure in the foot region.

    Regardless of the size of a hammock, you will find that hammocks "cradle" your shoulders and feet in a similar way. Even a bridge hammock has this effect. There are a few ways to mitigate this:

    1. Use a pad. In a bridge or gathered-end hammock, a pad will help flatten out the foot area and prevent the fabric from curling around your ankles. Hammock Bliss recently announced a new gathered-end hammock with a pad sleeve and true asym design that really flattens the lay extremely well.

    Pads are not always the most comfortable for the rest of your body -- I'd argue that under quilts are superior in terms of overall comfort -- but pads have the advantage of flattening the fabric. You could even try a short "sit" pad under your calves and ankles and see if that helps.

    2. Use a knee pillow. Sometimes the pressure you feel is compounded by having your knees hyperextending. You can alleviate this pressure and your heels by putting a pillow or stuff sack full of fluffy goodness under your knees.

    I've discovered that my backpack (internal frame) works great has both insulation under my legs, a pad to flatten out the leg/ankle area, and also eliminating knee pressure/hyperextension.

    3. Try different leg positions. Sounds like you already discovered this technique. I often cross my legs and switch if I feel pressure. The "ballerina" pose with one leg cocked up also works so only one leg is down in the foot area. The "frog legs" position is very cozy, but I find I can't do this too long, but it is relaxing. The frog leg position is challenging with insulation too, but it can work.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bcaron's Avatar
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    I recently sprained my right ankle quite severely. Laying on the diagonal that has that right ankle against the side of the hammock hurts because it's twisted a bit. Laying on the other diagonal so the offending ankle is in the middle helps a lot. This might not be relevant to your case, but it works for me.
    " I have not yet begun to procrastinate!"

  9. #9
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    I havent had any kind of ankle injury and I have experienced the same thing. (I have a Deep Jungle and am 5-9")

    I am currently working on adjustments but have also been looking pretty closely at a warbonnet with the footbox.
    Right angles, horizontals, and perpendiculars.

  10. #10
    Senior Member WV's Avatar
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    I like Dejoha's approach to the problem. I'd add: Try increasing the tension on the side pullouts, too. Might make a difference.

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