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  1. #1
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    More Hammock sag and the original HH fly directions reconsidered

    Quote Originally Posted by rock_rat View Post
    After playing with my tarp and hammock this afternoon I realized that if I get the hammock high enough that my but doesn't hit the ground when I get in and then hang my tarp so that it's laying on my hammock my tarp ends up a couple feet above my head when I lay down. This puts my head and feet below the edge of the tarp. I've only spent a total of about 4 hours in my hammock. Is my gear still new enough it's stretching or am I doing something wrong. I am hanging the tarp below the hammock on the tree. Also I have the cord to put on a ridge line but haven't got to it yet. Will a ridge line help me hang closer to my tarp. I'm an extra large hanger and I have the ENO doublenest with a Sportsmans Guide 9x9.
    RR asked this in a different thread, and it got me once again wondering about a certain problem. I have also seen this question asked about different types of tarps when tied to trees, and the hammock sags but the tarp, by design, doesn't.

    Now, it's well known that the wonderfully convenient HH asym fly set up has a problem. It is already connected to the suspension rope for fast set up, it can be wrapped in the skins for extra speed and simplicity, etc. But of course, when you get in the hammock, no matter how tight the original pitch, you end up with a very loose tarp.

    BUT, when I was hanging in the wet Olympics under my tree attached Mac Cat Deluxe ( great tarp) and despite my best repeated efforts, I noticed this hammock sagging far below the tarp problem, but no loose tarp. I start with my hammock hung on the trees ( fairly far apart) attached on the trees well above the tarp ropes, and the hammock pulled tight so that it's ridgeline is about snug up against the tarp ridgeline. Even with the hammock pulled pretty tight, when I get in I get a good bit of sag. And now, though the tarp remains tight, I have lost a good bit of side/head coverage, especially if I don't have the tarp in a "storm pitch" as close to the hammock sides as possible. And when I look out from the hammock, it appears that with wind driven rain coming from either head or foot end, I might get wet. Not likely, but in just the right big windy storm, quite possible. And this is with the MacCat DELUXE! Forget about it with the stock Asym tarp.

    Sense I got off work about 2pm today and it was a beautiful day, I headed to the woods for some extensive testing and experimenting with the original stock HH tarp. For some sick reason, I have a perverse desire to make this thing work as designed, which ain't easy. But, I did confirm something I have been wondering about.

    I hung the HH and stock tarp attached to the HH UL Explorer suspension as designed. And for a change, I concentrated on following the original directions, which don't seem intuitive to me-, and which I had seen confirmed over at Sgt.Rock's site.

    I hung the hammock pretty high, per Shawn Steinkemp (SP?). I put the fly on, and did not tighten on the ridge line lengthwise per my norm, but left it loose. I centered it length and width wise and then started pulling down one side at a time as I tightened the side guy outs. I noticed something interesting. As I did this, this relatively small amount of downward force made the hammock ridgeline SAG significantly, much as when I get in it. Then, after really tightening the fly down, I tighten up the tarp ridge line lengthwise as much as possible on the HH spectra suspension. There was now a steep curve in both the hammock and tarp ridgeline, unlike the usual sharp, straight ridgeline I usually shhot for.

    When I got in and laid down, because the tarp now sags along with the hammock, there was only a small amount of additional sag and the tarp ridge line appeared to be only 8 or 10 inches above my face, and only an inch or 2 above the hammock ridgeline, if even that much. Even though this was not a full storm pitch, I could tell that there was plenty of coverage from all angles! I had little doubt that this was enough coverage to keep me dry in the worst storms. Particularly when used with the SuperShelter. Hence Sgt. Rocks hurricane survival staying dry, I guess! But, though there was not near as much sag as with my normal set up, there was still a couple of inches more sag, so the tarp was a little loose. But not near as loose as normal. Some bungees or weighted stuff sacks hung from the tarp sides would probably help a good bit with this. But, it really had good rain protection, and I'm talking about the STOCK Explorer HH tarp. It actually clearly had more rain coverage than I was used to with my MC Deluxe and a normal tree hang. Of course, I could also hang my MC Deluxe in the same fashion and get the same benefits and then some. Or with my HH Hex tarp. Because this still does not help the problem of not much room under the stock tarp when not in the hammock. I guess this is called going back to the basics and following the instructions, which have their benefits.

    So the bottom line is that there may actually ( wait! don't shoot me! ) be at least one advantage to attaching to the HH suspension rather than the tree. I got out and repeated the procedure but tied to the tree. The results, while better than the original, were not quite as good. I seemed to have about an extra several inches or more distance above my face to the tarp.( But, at least the tarp stayed tight!). I'll keep experimenting with it. But the critical point seems to be causing some sag in the hammock by pulling down on the tarp as you attach to the stakes BEFORE tightening the ridge line. And if attached to the HH suspension instead of trees, there will still be some looseness of tarp to deal with, but not near as much as the way I had normally pitched things. Which was just tightening the ridgeline first, which pulled a nice straight line above the hammock ridgeline, preventing forcing any sag into the hammock before getting in. Which meant A LOT of sag when I did get in, which meant less than optimal side coverage for any given tarp. Just something to consider.

    Of course, if your tarp is big enough, it doesn't really matter how much your hammock sags I guess, as long as you are off the ground.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Nice report. I just took the HH down last night to put the Warbonnet up, now I'm gonna have to switch out again and give this a try. We've even got thunderstorms in the forecast tonight!

  3. #3
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    BB58,

    Nice report.... However, many have known for many years that tying to the trees below the point at which the hammock is tied by 6-8 inches means that you can make the tarp taut and motion free. And when you load the hammock with your weight, it drops to a pont where the tarp is approximately 6-8 inches above the HH ridgeline..... with almost any of the replacement tarps out there this provides great storm, including side coverage..... There really is no reason to try to perfect a dynamic tarp hang when a static (tree attachment) set up, properly done, is error and movement free.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  4. #4
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_pan View Post
    BB58,

    Nice report.... However, many have known for many years that tying to the trees below the point at which the hammock is tied by 6-8 inches means that you can make the tarp taut and motion free. And when you load the hammock with your weight, it drops to a pont where the tarp is approximately 6-8 inches above the HH ridgeline..... with almost any of the replacement tarps out there this provides great storm, including side coverage..... There really is no reason to try to perfect a dynamic tarp hang when a static (tree attachment) set up, properly done, is error and movement free.

    Pan
    Yes, I well realize this also, as can be seen in my first post. And I have been tieing my tarps to the trees for quite a while, replacement or stock tarps. None the less, as Rock Rat said "I am hanging the tarp below the hammock on the tree" but he is still having problems with poor coverage after the hammock sag, I assume with the original stock tarp. ( EDIT: I now realize that RR does not have the HH and stock tarp, but an ENO and SG. But the problem remains the same) I have also, at times in the field, felt my coverage was somewhat less than optimum after hammock sag, even with my MC Deluxe, unless I used a full confining narrow storm pitch. It just seems like sometimes you get, for reasons unknown, more sag than other times. Distance between trees, flex of the more narrow trees, whatever.

    Of course, we can all buy an additional expensive, heavier tarp to replace the tarp that came with our HH, and add/deal with additional long cordage to tie to trees instead of the hooks. And I have done exactly that.

    But some might prefer not to have to do that. And a few have reported fine success with the stock system. I'm just trying to figure out why some are fine with the original design. But no need to fool with it if someone prefers to just go buy a larger ( probably heavier) tarp and fool with extra cordage/stakes etc, I agree this solves the problem. But if you need to use, for whatever reason, the ultralight tarp that comes with the HH, I don't think you are going to get adequate rain coverage from sideways rain when tied to the trees. Not after your hammock sags. I think that is what most people find. And I think I do have adequate rain coverage when set up per original directions, for what it is worth. Plus, I'm just a bit stubborn and because I know it works for some folks, I'd like to know why.

    Bill
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 10-20-2007 at 11:00.

  5. #5
    Member bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_pan View Post
    BB58,

    Nice report.... However, many have known for many years that tying to the trees below the point at which the hammock is tied by 6-8 inches means that you can make the tarp taut and motion free. And when you load the hammock with your weight, it drops to a pont where the tarp is approximately 6-8 inches above the HH ridgeline..... with almost any of the replacement tarps out there this provides great storm, including side coverage..... There really is no reason to try to perfect a dynamic tarp hang when a static (tree attachment) set up, properly done, is error and movement free.

    Pan
    being a new hanger i still have a hard time understanding how this works with a small tarp...

    if you are hanging 6-8" below the hammock suspension, but need to pull your hammock tight, there seems to be a physical impossibility of doing this, as the lines pull into straight lines when tight, and only sag when loaded. you can't hang your tarp 6-8" below the huggers / strap and not have the tarp have to actually bend up and over the hammock ridge when the hammock is not loaded...

    am i visualizing this correctly? or do you just pull the tarp as tight as you can to the hammock ridge line and call it good?

    sorry for the obtuse post - i've only used the stock hh tarp "according to directions" - and have not spent any time out of the weather in it.

  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    being a new hanger i still have a hard time understanding how this works with a small tarp...

    if you are hanging 6-8" below the hammock suspension, but need to pull your hammock tight, there seems to be a physical impossibility of doing this, as the lines pull into straight lines when tight, and only sag when loaded. you can't hang your tarp 6-8" below the huggers / strap and not have the tarp have to actually bend up and over the hammock ridge when the hammock is not loaded...

    am i visualizing this correctly? or do you just pull the tarp as tight as you can to the hammock ridge line and call it good?

    sorry for the obtuse post - i've only used the stock hh tarp "according to directions" - and have not spent any time out of the weather in it.
    When it comes to tying to the trees( is this what you are asking? I'm not sure), your observation is correct, IF you are also trying to pull the tarp ridge line DOWN onto the hammock ridgelines as I described. If you do that and then tie to the trees, the tarp ends towards the trees will be bent down below the hammock suspension at a rather akward appearing angle. I guess that's why I have not yet had quite as much success with this approach when tied to trees, so far. Although, that bend in the tarp over the hammock suspension more or less disappears when you weight the hammock. You can, however, attach your tarp 6 inches or so below the hammock attachment IF you are not also trying to apply tension/sag with the tarp to the hammock. Obviously, if the hammock is attached to the tree above the tarp attachment, you van ONLY tighten the hammock enough so that it's ridgeline just touches the tarp. You obviously must avoid a straight line hammock suspension if attached to the tree ABOVE the tarp, but that may not be a good idea anyway.

    And you are right that, when the tarp is tied to the trees, no matter how tight you pull things, when you get in and the hammock sags ( a particular problem if the trees are far apart or kind of skinny or both, and how heavy you are, etc), you will head towards the ground by 6-12" depending on many factors, but your tarp will stay put, nice and tight. So if you have a minimalist tarp like the stock HH asym, you will now probably find you are a bit nervous about rain protection in anything other than straight down rain with no wind. I bet that is what you find. If the trees are fairly thick and close together ( 13 feet or so) I usually get very little sag and all is dandy.

    OTOH, if you attach that tarp like TH says, loosely to the ridgeline hooks, and then tighten to the ground stakes ( keeping it centered on the hammock) enough to cause some sag in the Ridgeline, and then tighten up the tarp ends a moderate amount (by way of the suspension prussick hooks), you may find 2 things have happened. The hammock will not sag as much as before when you get in, because you have already forced some sag into it when you tightened to the stakes. Before you get into it, the hammock and tarp will look a little like a sway back horse or a catenary cut tarp, several inches higher on each end than in the middle. I wish I had taken a picture!

    2nd, whatever additional amount the hammock does sag, the tarp is going to sag towards the ground with it. Hopefully, this extra sag won't be near as much as it did before you "pre-sagged" the hammock, but it will still be some. But, since the tarp ridge comes with you in your sag, you should find that you are laying pretty darn close to the hammock AND tarp ridgelines, so you should have much more rain protection because you are well "UP" into the area of the tarp that is much wider.

    Now will have to deal with the tarp being loose at the stake out points, which may require weights or bungee type tensioning of some sort. But regardless, this tarp looseness should not be as much as it was before the sag was put in the ridgeline by pulling the tarp down first.

    http://www.hennessyhammock.com/setup.html

    Canopy Set Up
    Align asymmetrical fly to match hammock shape. Clip the plastic "0" rings at each end of the canopy to the stronger plastic hooks of the sliding knot tensioner tied to the main support ropes, being sure to leave this adjustment untensioned until last. Next, clip the lighter plastic hook attached to each end of the canopy onto the main support rope. Center canopy widthwise by attaching side adjustment cords equally tight to nearby tree branches or ground anchors at whatever angle seems right for the conditions.( BB says: It is at this point that I pull down towards the ground applying some tension to the hammock ridgeline. If you have already tightened the sliding knot, you can not apply any tension to the ridgeline)
    Lastly, push each sliding knot tensioner along the main support ropes until the canopy is centered lengthwise and fairly tight. In wet, windy conditions, attach a weight or elastic to side corners of fly to maintain tension.
    YMMV, but I find this improves coverage if you have to, or prefer to, use the stock HH asym tarp. And the the lose tarp effect is lessened, it is still there somewhat and will probably have to be dealt with, especially if it is windy. You may not want to fool with all of this unless you are expecting storms. And I'm not sure it can be done with even a moderately wide, awning style tarp pitch. You probably need the tarp in a fairly narrow storm pitch to be able to apply some tension to the hammock RL with the tarp.

    Naturally, you can avoid most of this if you just go buy a larger ( probably heavier) tarp and tie it to the trees. Then the hammock sag will probably not cause a coverage problem, and there will be no loose tarp to deal with.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 10-20-2007 at 10:48.

  7. #7
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmike View Post
    being a new hanger i still have a hard time understanding how this works with a small tarp...

    if you are hanging 6-8" below the hammock suspension, but need to pull your hammock tight, there seems to be a physical impossibility of doing this, as the lines pull into straight lines when tight, and only sag when loaded. you can't hang your tarp 6-8" below the huggers / strap and not have the tarp have to actually bend up and over the hammock ridge when the hammock is not loaded...

    am i visualizing this correctly? or do you just pull the tarp as tight as you can to the hammock ridge line and call it good?

    sorry for the obtuse post - i've only used the stock hh tarp "according to directions" - and have not spent any time out of the weather in it.
    Depending on the distance between the trees you select for hanging.... when in the 12-13 foot range, even pulling the hammock taut will let you easily tie the tarp 6-8 inches below the suspension tie in point....If you are having trouble estimating the final hang point of the hammock, form it into a chair and sit, the suspension will resettle and you can set your tarp as low as desired for a close secure coverage... this really is easy to do. and it will work with any tarp, stock or aftermarket.

    If you search the archives on Whiteblaze.net/hammock forums you'll find a ton of stuff on this very point going back over 3-5 years or so.

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  8. #8
    Member bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_pan View Post
    Depending on the distance between the trees you select for hanging.... when in the 12-13 foot range, even pulling the hammock taut will let you easily tie the tarp 6-8 inches below the suspension tie in point....If you are having trouble estimating the final hang point of the hammock, form it into a chair and sit, the suspension will resettle and you can set your tarp as low as desired for a close secure coverage... this really is easy to do. and it will work with any tarp, stock or aftermarket.

    If you search the archives on Whiteblaze.net/hammock forums you'll find a ton of stuff on this very point going back over 3-5 years or so.

    Pan
    i don't doubt that it is done and that many folks do it...
    with a hammock with a ridgeline it seems that you'll have a conflict - the ends of the tarp will need to be stretched down over the top of the hammock ridge in order to hang lower. not sure how one then gets 'proper' tension in the tarp if the hammock drops when you get in, and you rig before...

    a bit counterintuitive from my point, but i'll search out for some pics.
    clearly this is "the way" to hang from what i've read on HF... i'll have to check it out.

  9. #9
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Thanks, Cannibal. I want to experiment so more with it also. With other tarps connected to the suspension as well as the HH asym tarp. This is a kind of "if all else fails read the directions" moment for me. I admit I never really set the tarp up per directions before. It just seemed backwards. So I always would center and tighten the ridgeline first and I always ended up with a very loose tarp AND poor coverage. Tied to the trees, I had a much tighter HH tarp, but still had(very) poor coverage(after hammock sag) that still gave no confidence. With my other bigger tarps tied to trees, i only had "not as good" coverage after hammock sag. My tip off was from ( I think) Sgt.Rock's wife(?) at his site. She answered someone about the stock tarp problem with "you will be fine as long as you center and pull down tight to the ground BEFORE you tighten the ridge". This turned on a light bulb in my head as I thought "Hmmm- original directions".

    Unfortunately, though it was significantly lessened, the loose floppy tarp is still a problem which needs work. I have had a good bit of success in the past following Tom's advice to hang a sand/dirt or stone filled stuff sack (or water filled bag- go for 5 or 10 lbs) from the lateral tarp end. That is what the hook is for. That helps a lot. But when I did this yesterday, though I started hanging pretty high, after I pulled the tarp down there was not a lot of distance between the tarp and the ground, so it might have been a problem hanging a weight without it being supported by the ground, defeating the purpose. But it can probably be figured out. Or maybe bungees or tarp tensioners?

    Or, if I try this with my MC Deluxe, it might be OK since it is such a wind resistant tarp even if it is a little loose.

    Or, someone might be able to figure out a way to make this work even while tied to the trees. Maybe by experimenting with where the tarp ridgeline is tied to the tree. But the problem to overcome will be the same one causing the loose tarp to start with, the fact that the hammock will head for the ground while the tarp stays above you. The very problem that causes the loose tarp is the solution for poor rain protection from the HH asym tarp! A rock and a hard place. And the problem exists with all tarps to a more or less degree, though with the larger (heavier) tarps, it may be ignored.
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 10-20-2007 at 10:58.

  10. #10
    Senior Member hangnout's Avatar
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    I find that using the tarp tensioners helps alot when hanging tarp like Pan described. I usually let the ridgeline of the hammock pull my tarp tensioners almost to full extension, when I get in it the tarp settles still under tension and works great. I tested my cuben fiber tarp a couple nights ago in a storm and this worked great.
    Last edited by hangnout; 10-20-2007 at 08:43.

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