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  1. #1
    New Member Jera's Avatar
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    Post First night (well, hours) in DIY hammock... :)

    A couple of weeks ago I heard about hammock camping for the first time. My first thought was: Cool, but is it really comfy? Of course I started to search the web to learn more about hammocks. After reading A LOT (and realizing that buying a hammock and shipping it to Sweden would cost a bit too much, not knowing whether I would use it or not) I decided to make my own hammock and I found the asym style tutorial by headchange4u (thanks!). I finished the hammock, put on the netting and even made my own kickass-style underquilt. Last friday it was time for my first hammock all-nighter. It was perfect conditions, it was around 40 deg and almost no wind. I got in the hammock at nine and fell asleep immediately. It was warm and comfortable. At midnight I woke up and felt the nature calling. I got up and did what I had to do and went to bed again, but then I couldn't get comfortable. I felt my back hurting from shoulder sqeeze. I tried lying on my back, on my side and on the other side, but it just wasn't comfortable anymore! What did I do wrong? Well, since I was very close to home I gathered up my stuff and went home and went to bed, trying not to wake my husband. I did wake him though, cause I heard him saying something like "I told you so", before he fell asleep again.

    So, does anyone have advise on how to NOT get the shoulder sqeeze? Maybe I had a little too much sag, cause I got a little banana feeling as well. Unfortunately the underquilt didn't have a perfect fit so it wasn't as much room in the hammock as it is without the underquilt and maybe I wasn't lying as diagonal as I should have.

  2. #2
    Senior Member GREEN THERAPY's Avatar
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    I am another that can't stand any shoulder squeeze in a hammock so can relate to how uncomfortable that is. My Question to you is how wide is your finished hammock and how long of a piece did you use to make it. The ones I make for myself that I find comfy start as a piece of fabric 60 inches wide by ten feet long. I triple roll the edges so give a finished width of approx 56 inches. I use the hammock folding method that HC describes in his tutorial and don't pull the sides at all but leave them flush after folding and whip them that way. This leaves the sides a bit floppy but no shoulder squeeze.
    That for me is just as important as laying on the diagonal.

    Another thing I have noticed is that one can get a very sore neck and shoulders if there is no support for your neck when laying in the hammock. Mabe try a small pillow or as I have done use my down filled vest as a pillow. The amount of sag is personal preference for the most part and can affect to a huge amount the comfort that you have when in the hammock. On a ten foot hammock my ridge line tightens up at approx 8' to 8'6" depending on the type and weight of fabric I use.

    A suggestion for your next hammock in case the addiction continues is for you is to play with the amount of sag in each hammock and if you can, spend a nite in it before you sew the bug net on. Once the net is sewn on you are limited as to how much adjusting of the ridge line length you can do.

    I had a look at the pics in your gallery and noticed that you have sewn the sides together for quite a distance past the whipping on the ends. This could also be part of the reason for shoulder squeeze as it prevents the sides from relaxing as much as they would without sewing. I did that on the first few I made, but stopped when I realized it put a lot of strain on the sewn seam at the ends. (Had one rip there)

    Hope some of that rambling helps.
    Last edited by GREEN THERAPY; 03-11-2008 at 04:28. Reason: one more thought
    What I lack in knowledge I MORE than make up for with opinions.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member GREEN THERAPY's Avatar
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    Forgot to add that the hammock looks great for a first attempt and that if you were comfortable for the first few hours then all thats need to make a full nites sleep possible is a bit more fine tuning. Then you will be able to tell hubby.. "told you so"
    What I lack in knowledge I MORE than make up for with opinions.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREEN THERAPY View Post

    I had a look at the pics in your gallery and noticed that you have sewn the sides together for quite a distance past the whipping on the ends. This could also be part of the reason for shoulder squeeze as it prevents the sides from relaxing as much as they would without sewing. I did that on the first few I made, but stopped when I realized it put a lot of strain on the sewn seam at the ends. (Had one rip there)

    Hope some of that rambling helps.
    My experiences are similar. Have a look at these pics, where I have pulled the lond edges of my firs DIY-hammock a little bit too far:
    (******, photobucket is off for maintenance, I post them later)
    I found out that a mere 3cm of pulling the long edges too much before whipping results in a uncomfortable through. I re-whipped several times, with varying in small steps = 0,5cm to get a good fit.
    So sewing the ends as you did might be a cause.
    Also, as mentionend, long hammocks are a good choice. I am only 1,72m but make a standard hammock as shown by jeff
    http://www.tothewoods.net/HomemadeHammock.html
    with at least 3m of fabric. The more the better.
    but thats a very nice hammock you made, absolutely great for a first time!!

  5. #5
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    Yes, having a closer look at one of the pics in your gallery it seem for me that your hammock suffers from the "through-design" as did mine.

  6. #6
    New Member Jera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREEN THERAPY View Post
    Forgot to add that the hammock looks great for a first attempt and that if you were comfortable for the first few hours then all thats need to make a full nites sleep possible is a bit more fine tuning. Then you will be able to tell hubby.. "told you so"
    Thanks!

    I think he's just envious!

  7. #7
    New Member Jera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREEN THERAPY View Post
    I am another that can't stand any shoulder squeeze in a hammock so can relate to how uncomfortable that is. My Question to you is how wide is your finished hammock and how long of a piece did you use to make it. The ones I make for myself that I find comfy start as a piece of fabric 60 inches wide by ten feet long. I triple roll the edges so give a finished width of approx 56 inches. I use the hammock folding method that HC describes in his tutorial and don't pull the sides at all but leave them flush after folding and whip them that way. This leaves the sides a bit floppy but no shoulder squeeze.
    That for me is just as important as laying on the diagonal.

    Another thing I have noticed is that one can get a very sore neck and shoulders if there is no support for your neck when laying in the hammock. Mabe try a small pillow or as I have done use my down filled vest as a pillow. The amount of sag is personal preference for the most part and can affect to a huge amount the comfort that you have when in the hammock. On a ten foot hammock my ridge line tightens up at approx 8' to 8'6" depending on the type and weight of fabric I use.

    A suggestion for your next hammock in case the addiction continues is for you is to play with the amount of sag in each hammock and if you can, spend a nite in it before you sew the bug net on. Once the net is sewn on you are limited as to how much adjusting of the ridge line length you can do.

    I had a look at the pics in your gallery and noticed that you have sewn the sides together for quite a distance past the whipping on the ends. This could also be part of the reason for shoulder squeeze as it prevents the sides from relaxing as much as they would without sewing. I did that on the first few I made, but stopped when I realized it put a lot of strain on the sewn seam at the ends. (Had one rip there)

    Hope some of that rambling helps.
    Thanks for your rambling!

    I started out with 310x150 cm (120''x60'') fabric and folded the edges twice. I did not pull the edges either. I don't remember how long the ridgeline is, but I will measure it when I get home after work tonight.

    Good point with the sewing the sides together at the wipping. I will make it shorter in the next hammock i make, cause I think the addiction is already here...

  8. #8
    Senior Member GREEN THERAPY's Avatar
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    I gave up totaly on sewing the sides together at the whipping. I can't think of an advantage to doing it other than mabe it makes it a bit easier when doing the folds.
    What I lack in knowledge I MORE than make up for with opinions.
    Green Therapy

  9. #9
    New Member Jera's Avatar
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    Isn't it easier when sewing the bug net on?

  10. #10
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    With the long edges shortened too much:

    I have no pic o this particular hammock with perfect whipping, but it gives quite an open surface to lay on but still has raised sides to protect me from falling out. much better than this one, which is a too short commercial one:


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