Holy moly! I thought I was a really experienced hammock user. But it may be that I need some more experience! Or some advice from people who have experience! I just essentially got "skunked" for the first time since I first tried to set up my Hennessy Hammock and it's super shelter on a 100*F day in the backyard, with trees that were 21 feet apart and maybe not quite stout enough, about six years ago.
So my War Bonnet Ridge Runner arrived today, and I hoped to quickly get it set up on the back porch and maybe sleep in it tonight. But I got my butt whipped by set up! Now do not take this as any kind of comment really, one way or the other, about the hammock. Unless, it is a statement about potential problems that might be caused by the length of the hammock and its suspension. But what it is a comment about is trying to use this hammock with the Vario hammock stand. With the possible exception of the Claytor, this stand makes all hammock evaluations quite challenging. Mainly because of the flex in the stand. And I've had to develop ways over the years to try to overcome that. But I don't think I ever really overcome it fully, and it's hard to judge a hammock in any fairway unless I'm connected to trees, as opposed to the stand.
But in real life, the fact is most hammock and insulation testing I have done is in the backyard, in the last couple of years most of that has been done with this stand. So that's the way it is! So what this little mini review is, at the moment, is a review of the new War Bonnet bridge hammock in combination with the Vario hammock stand. And that combination stinks on ice! If anybody has any experience using these two together, please comment quickly and give me some help! And again, let me emphasize, except for the Claytor using this stand keeps me from realizing the full potential of any hammock that I use on it. But the War Bonnet bridge has turned out to be the worst by a long shot when trying to use it with this stand. Mainly because it's such a long hammock suspension.
So I go out there and take my Hennessy Hammock down, and hook her up. It's immediately obvious I'm going to have trouble, plus everything is a struggle trying to keep the hammock off of the wet porch floor. In anticipation of the length of this hammock and its suspension, I adjusted the stand to its maximum length. And I'm going to have to go back and watch the video on setup again, because the cinch buckles were giving me fits. I'm used to the cinch buckles that you get from Onrope 1 and the cinch buckles that come on the blackbird. I never have any trouble with those. And I might not have been having trouble with these connected to trees. But on this stand it was just a huge hassle. But once I got them on, got the spreader bars in, and then tightened up as much as I could, it was obvious that there was too much sag in the hammock, and if I sat down I was going to hit the ground.
But, when I got the Vario stand I bought an optional extender bar, which I have never had to use, not even with my big old Safari hammock. It has just been a big waste of money. But now it looks like it's going to come to my rescue! So I put it in place, and now the stand is several feet longer, but I'm having trouble finding room for the stand on the covered area of my back porch, and very paranoid about knocking some windows out. But at least now there's plenty of room for the length of the hammock. So I get it on there, and attempt to tension things up enough to put some pre-flexion into the uprights of the stand. Which is something I have to do with most hammocks other than the Claytor, because once I get in the hammock those uprights flex very significantly. And any hammock Ridgeline will be sagging down. But I'm having trouble doing this because I'm having trouble with the cinch buckles (haven't mastered the learning curve yet). But I get 'er done, go to sit down in the hammock, and proceed to be flabbergasted by an apparent overcoming of the laws of physics! I now appear to be dealing with some sort of levitation, as I watch in amazement as the "feet" of the hammock stand on the foot end proceed to raise off the ground! I kid you not! How is that even possible? I'm sure it was just on the side that I could see from my position in the hammock. But it was really freaking me out. I might have said a bad word!
So I got out, remove the extension bar, and attached the hammock by the Amsteel suspension cords, bypassing the suspension webbing and cinch buckles. This did manage to keep me off the ground, and the foot end of the hammock stand no longer attempted levitation, but it left me completely unable to apply any pre-tension to the uprights, so I was getting the expected humongous flexion, so I'm sure the distance between the hammock spreader bars was nowhere near what it is supposed to be. Still, amazingly, when I lay down on my back it was typical bridge hammock style comfort, except with the abundant shoulder room (compared to my other bridge hammocks) that I was expecting. But when I tried to lay on my side, it was not as comfortable as my other bridge hammocks. And it obviously just was not adjusted right, I did not have enough length and needed to tension the uprights. So I finally just out of total frustration gave up, packed the hammock back up in his sack, and went in to take a break, and to do a little venting.
Maybe I'll go back out a little later on, and try to put that darn extension bar on again, and see if I have any better luck. My mind is still blown that at least one side (right) of the hammock stand "foot" (the part that contacts the ground) was lifting several inches off of the ground! WT*? (now that I think about it, I did not look on the head end to see if anything weird was going on up there also) I wonder why adding that extension bar would cause such a strange thing? Maybe I can figure it all out later, but any suggestions are welcomed. But, this must be an exceptionally comfortable hammock, maybe even as comfortable as everybody says, if it managed to be comfortable at all under the totally screwed up hammock stand conditions!