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  1. #1
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    Sleeping while sitting in a hammock to avoid knee extension

    I've been backpacking using a hammock for about a year now. I still like it better than a tent, but do have issues with heel pain (residual plantar fascitis) and knee pressure.

    Thanks to the suggestions on this forum I've learned how to adjust the hang angle, position myself properly and use cushioning under my knees/heels to alleviate these problems.

    The remaining issue is that I do shift my position at night. So I'll go to sleep fine then wake up in 2-3 hours having shifted my legs causing some knee or heel discomfort.

    On a recent backpacking trip using an ENO double (nice and wide) I was hanging out in my hammock lounge-chair style and realized "Hey, maybe I could sleep this way..." I tried it the remainder of the morning and was quite comfortable sitting in the hammock with my legs hanging over the side. I had an underquilt on the hammock and was inside my sleeping back while lounging. I had a small thermareset sit pad under my knees at the edge of the hammock.

    Has anyone else ever tried sleeping in the lounge-chair position in their hammock, especially in colder weather? It seems like this could work, and could potentially allow for smaller/lighter hammocks and quilts due to the reduced profile size.

  2. #2
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    Hmmm! Thats an interesting question. I will be interested to see the responses.
    Terry

  3. #3
    PuckerFactor's Avatar
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    I agree, that's a very interesting idea! Something else you might enjoy is putting a foot line on your rig. It's just a string (I used 1.75mm Zing-It) that hangs a few inches below your hammock, that you rest your feet against. I made mine adjustable at first so I could find the most comfortable length, then made it permanent with a bowline on each end. Weighs next to nothing. I find myself using it all the time in the summer, hadn't even thought of it for the winter.

    Good idea!
    PF
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PuckerFactor View Post
    I agree, that's a very interesting idea! Something else you might enjoy is putting a foot line on your rig. It's just a string (I used 1.75mm Zing-It) that hangs a few inches below your hammock, that you rest your feet against.
    PF
    I'll give that a try - thanks for the suggestion. I'll also try sleeping all night in the chair position next time I camp out and will report back.

    Seems like if this could work then it would allow for a shorter but wider hammock (like the ENO double's width), perhaps with a larger hanging side pocket to rest your feet against or provide more foot insulation. My bag's foot box seemed to work fine for insulation though as it was not compressed over the edge.

    It could then allow hanging with a narrower tarp, or perhaps turning the tarp length wise with a steeper hang.

    It seems like this would make better use of "vertical space" when hanging and allow for a smaller rig. Just not sure if it would be any more comfortable on an all-night hang. I'd love to hear of anyone else who's tried it.

  5. #5
    gunner76's Avatar
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    I tried it one time but felt like the circulation to legs was being cut off
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner76 View Post
    I tried it one time but felt like the circulation to legs was being cut off
    thus the reason for the foot line or putting a pad under your legs at the edge of the hammock

  7. #7
    Senior Member eflat7's Avatar
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    I always sleep with my legs pulled up towards me, kinda like the fetal position with my knees pointed at 2 o' clock. I can't stand that overextended feeling in my knees/ankles. In the summer time I could sleep chair style I bet.

  8. #8
    Senior Member E.A.Y.'s Avatar
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    Hm. I've certainly dozed off in the summer sitting sideways in my big double hammock (same size as an ENO double). I don't dangle my feet but rather sit crosslegged. Ok, I lounge crosslegged.
    I think if I wanted to use an underquilt with that position it would be a short wide one. My 3/4 length one, turned sideways, might do. But then the draw strings would end up on the wrong sides but there's no reason why you could not have drawstrings on all four sides of the UQ.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eflat7 View Post
    I always sleep with my legs pulled up towards me, kinda like the fetal position with my knees pointed at 2 o' clock. I can't stand that overextended feeling in my knees/ankles. In the summer time I could sleep chair style I bet.
    I've often ended up in that same position as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by E.A.Y. View Post
    Hm. I've certainly dozed off in the summer sitting sideways in my big double hammock (same size as an ENO double). I don't dangle my feet but rather sit crosslegged. Ok, I lounge crosslegged.
    I think if I wanted to use an underquilt with that position it would be a short wide one. My 3/4 length one, turned sideways, might do. But then the draw strings would end up on the wrong sides but there's no reason why you could not have drawstrings on all four sides of the UQ.
    It does seem that if a sitting/lounge position works out then a more compact hammock of some kind could be built to accommodate it better. The different profile could provide advantages in terms of smaller quilt, hammock and tarp sizes. It may be worth some tinkering for those looking to cut weight of their gear if the comfort level works out.

  10. #10
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    The first time I fell asleep in a hammock was in the "leg dangling" position, I might have to try sleeping that way, especially since I can then keep my boots on and get up easily at night.

    Dave

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