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Thread: Fabric length

  1. #1
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    Fabric length

    Okay, until a few days ago I had just been using a piece of cloth fabric, indoor or winter outdoor use only that was initially 15 feet long. I tied a knot in both ends and boom...there was my hammock ready to be hung.

    I saw, if I remember right, on Just Jeff's page that Ed and most everyone else says start with the fabric 2 feet longer than you are tall. Tie the ends and your ready to go.

    I had purchased a 15 foot piece of nylon and had already tied it off the old fashioned way and used it last Friday night outside and once or twice inside.

    After seeing Just Jeff's piece I went out and retied my cotton hammock and redid the setup for it in the house. The first thing I was noticing was that it seemed like it harder to get to feet to stay in the bottom of the hammock. The old way the feet had no trouble whatsoever staying in the hammock.

    Yesterday in preps for heading back out for a near zero degree night last night I retied the nylon hammock and did some other farting around trying to get it set up so hopefully I would stay very nice and comfortable all night long with nothing getting cold.

    I headed out and after doing a little fighting trying to get the padding where I wanted it I finally fell asleep. After waking up and using the peanut bar jar a few times overnight I noticed my toes were getting cold. Since I didn't have to open the hammock for any reason, thanks to the peanut bar jar I didn't get a chance to see what was actually going on down at the feet.

    I managed to get the feet warmed back up/tired once again and feel back asleep for another 45-60 minutes. I woke up about 7:45, later than when I planned on getting up. As I started to get out of the sleeping bag the first thing I noticed was the feet were completely on top of the hammock. The feet weren't even inside the hammock at all. I think that helped to answer why my feet were cold.

    After getting out of the sleeping bag I walked to the top of the hammock where I had the thermometer hanging and I figured it was 5 above zero. NOT!!! The forecast had been for 3 above for the low. OOPS, take away that weatherman's license to practice. Try more like -3 and just a couple of miles from Hanover, about a 35 minute drive from me...-11.

    So what do you guys for your cut length? While 2 feet longer than your height does make for a nice tight fit, it also makes for a nice tight fit. Having the feet dangling on top of the hammock isn't what is suppose to happen but it is a problem I have more or less seen each of the past three nights I've slept in a shorter hammock. I've never had the problem until now.

    Now if I could just figure out how to wrap that padding all the way around the body versus having it just under the body only...oops talking outloud. I got to learn to keep my mouth shut. I guess I know the forecast is for 10-15 below this weekend and I'm not staying inside. It's amazing the difference between having padding up around your shoulders and just having padding under your shoulders. I want the padding totally wrapped around the body for this weekend. I think I can take this zero degree Wal-Mart special mummy bag down to -15, very comfortably.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    A knot uses a huge amount of fabric compared to a whip or channel. Plus.. if you like the 15' better then go back to 15'. It's no biggie. Whatever floats your boat so to speak.
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  3. #3
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    I agree with Ramblinrev. Most of my DIY hammocks start out with 10' or 11' of material and I sure ain't 8' or 9' tall. In fact, I think the BlackBirds start with 10' of fabric and we all know how comfortable they are.
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  4. #4
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    I'm no fan of the knotted end method. It uses up too much material for me.

    My DIY hammocks are all 10X5 pieces of material, using about 6" off each end for my suspension system, and then losing another foot off each end (room it takes for the body to finally spread out) gives me a 7' useable section. If you lay diagonally, which you really should, it is way more than enough room for even larger fellows.

    I used to whip the ends, but am more in favor of a double-sheet's bend / whipping combo for my suspension, with a structural ridgeline, of course. I'll try and put up some pictures later this week. It's a pretty bomb-proof method.

    Now - re: your pad issues. Have you looked into an SPE (segmented-pad-extender)? I've not used one, but will probably build one before my next trip to try it out. Here's a good example.

  5. #5
    Senior Member animalcontrol's Avatar
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    I also have run against this issue...
    I just completed my first DIY no net hammock...similar to yours. Mine is 120"x53"(all the wider my fabric was). I used a end-channel type gather and hung it up. As I layed there on a diagonal, my feet kep sliding OVER the opposite edge...effectively hanging out in mid air! My first thought was I was 'too' diagonal, but it wasn't comfortable when I straightened up...
    I solved my problem by raising the foot end of the hammock higher and sliding my body's position towards the head of the hammock...effectively sliding my feet back to a wider part of the hammock body. Try that and see if it helps
    I'll have plenty of time to fiddle with it at Mt Rogers this weekend
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    That's the funny thing. I have always slept straight in the hammock and never at a diagonal. I have found it more soothing to sleep straight. It's not as rigid I guess. I am using 60 inches wide fabric. Someone PMed me and asked about the width so I double checked and it is a full 5 foot piece. I retied it and rehung outside and am getting ready to head back out for another night under the clouds. Hold it...I thought that was suppose to be stars. Oh well, no snow forecast for a while. I hope they aren't lying, I have no tarp yet.

  7. #7
    Senior Member froldt's Avatar
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    I use whipping instead of the tying method...
    I am 6' tall, and prefer the 11' hammock to the 10' (one for me and one for my wife). I'm just able to get more comfortable.

    As far as the padding goes, I'm using an extra large pad, so there is enough to "hug" my shoulders while I sleep. Slept in about 20 degrees last winter when testing it all out.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    All my hammocks are whipped as well, I tried the knotted way, but like everyone else has already said, it takes up too much fabric. My hammocks now are 10.5X5, and I am 5'9". Sounds like everyone is in the 10' to 11' range. That said, I really love my Claytor, and it is 8x4 I think.
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  9. #9
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    I've also been wrestling with the hammock length issue (I'm 6'2"). Someone's probably figured this out before and I just couldn't find it, but here's a way to easily evaluate different hammock lengths, for a given width.

    Basically, you fabricate a gathered-end hammock that's longer than you expect to need, and then add a movable virtual whip on one end. You can then slide that 'whipping' back and forth to vary the effective length of the hammock. The thumbnails below show the story from left to right:

    First is the basic test setup. The hammock sheet is 60" x 136" and the movable whipping can be seen on the right (foot) end of the hammock. Next is a closeup of the "whipping" -- 3 or 4 turns of webbing around the hammock, near one end, tied off with a variation on Ian's Secure Shoelace Knot Then the whipping is shown at the most extended position, followed by a view from inside the hammock. Finally, it's moved substantially inward from the end of the hammock, followed by a corresponding view of the result.



    I think this will finally help me zero in on a good fit for my frame. Perhaps someone else might might find the idea useful.

    Cheers!

    Chuck
    Last edited by Frawg; 02-08-2009 at 21:15. Reason: replaced "raw" image urls with preferred gallery urls and tightened up the presentation

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by caboyer View Post
    Basically, you fabricate a gathered-end hammock that's longer than you expect to need, and then add a movable virtual whip on one end. You can then slide that 'whipping' back and forth to vary the effective length of the hammock.
    Like the OP, I'm running a 15' hammock (I sized my first one at height+2', and that was way too short). It's pretty long, but I haven't wanted to trim it down. Your idea sounds like a great way to find the perfect size!

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