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  1. #1
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Things I Learned on my Test Hang

    I made a tarp, gathered end and a bridge hammocks and wanted to do some testing. I packed up my items, got the dog and went to a local park to try things out.

    First thing I learned was that if I want to test a bridge hammock, I need to remember to bring the spreader bars. Well, it is not a total loss, I still have my gathered end hammock.

    I wanted to see how a self-inflating pad would do in a bridge hammock in case I had to go to ground. Well, I put it in the gathered end. It did make my shoulders a little more comfortable, but it prevented me from laying diagonally. If I tried, my torso would only be partly on the pad. It also made it necessary for me to have a pillow. Without a pad, I don't require one. In my opinion, a pad is not a good choice for gathered end hammocks.

    2nd thing I learned was that I believe my tarp is wider than necessary but I think I want it a bit longer.

    I'm thinking that I would need to pitch it perfectly to ensure that rain doesn't get to the hammock. I'd rather be able to be less perfect with more coverage.

    3rd thing I learned was about sleeping bag vs quilt. My bag is a Mountain Hardwear Ultra Lamina with dual 1/3 length zippers. Where it is possible to get into the bag, it was kind of cumbersome. I will be making a top quilt. I never liked the mummy bags in a tent. I always felt to confined, especially at the feet end. I was thinking about making a top quilt with a wider foot end, but then during my test hang, I realized that the hammock kind of prevents me from spreading my legs, so the wider foot box won't be needed.

    I also wanted to figure out my guy lines. I was having difficulty with prusik, klemheist and taut line hitches securing to what I believe is thin amsteel. If I got the knot wrapped tight enough with enough turns to hold, it didn't want to slide or would invert. I tried with a Blake's hitch in a 6-2 configuration and that seems to work.

    I tried it with three different setups:
    The first one is for the amsteel is looped around a stake and tied to itself.


    The second way is for the amsteel running from the tarp with a loop of mason line Blake's hitched on the stake.


    The third way is the same line as above, but the mason line is attached to the tarp with a lark's head.


    I've learned that just using the amsteel looped around a stake is not the best. I have to use more line and I can't get the tarp as close to the ground as the other methods. Something I want when I need to go to ground.

    The other two ways both worked well. I think I like the mason line on the tarp, since I can tighten or loosen while still under the tarp.

    I also used homemade Dutch Flyz for the ridge line. I like this method. I don't like my DIY Flyz. I think the line goes over sharp edges and will be damaged if I continue to do it this way. I recently loss my job, so I don't want to be buying items until I am at work again, at that time, I will get some Dutch Flyz.

    The final thing I learned was that my dog loves the park.

    She's just running around enjoying everything.


    She's just fascinated by everything, especially me laying in a hammock.

    Now I will just have to remember to bring the spreader bars so I can redo these tests with the bridge hammock. Though I love the gathered end, I think a self-inflating pad will do better in a bridge.

  2. #2
    dejoha's Avatar
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    Nice pics! Everything DIY? Great job.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Looks like fun.
    What fabric, brand and dimension is the tarp?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fibby's Avatar
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    My dog loves to come on my hammock gear tests too. They are mostly in the back yard but he thinks I'm hiding on him and pokes his head over the side and pokes me in the face.

    I'm doing things the same way you are. I set everything up and then play with better ways to do it. I adjust my ridgeline, play with knots, reconfigure my tarp, etc. I figure eventually I'll hit "the sweet spot".
    I was told there'd be no math on this exam. ~T.D.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejoha View Post
    Nice pics! Everything DIY? Great job.
    Yup, all DIY. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by wwk10 View Post
    Looks like fun.
    What fabric, brand and dimension is the tarp?
    The fabric is 1.1 silnylon. I guess it is SweetLou Brand, it's DIY. I forget the dimensions. I made the tarp a long time ago, but just last week put the guy line loops on it. If I get a chance, I'll take some measurements. I remember it is very wide, because I didn't feel like cutting down the silnylon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fibby View Post
    My dog loves to come on my hammock gear tests too. They are mostly in the back yard but he thinks I'm hiding on him and pokes his head over the side and pokes me in the face.

    I'm doing things the same way you are. I set everything up and then play with better ways to do it. I adjust my ridgeline, play with knots, reconfigure my tarp, etc. I figure eventually I'll hit "the sweet spot".
    I don't have anywhere to hang in my backyard. I looked and couldn't even find a place I could hang a tarp. So I had to go to the park, that's ok, I enjoyed it and so did the dog. I wished I could hang in the backyard, because I want to try some colder night sleeping hangs as well.

    Yep, the pup puts her head right in the hammock and starts licking my face.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Law Dawg (ret)'s Avatar
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    So Lou how about setting up the tarp from corner to corner instead of down the middle? It would give you more length for coverage on the hammock...just thinking out loud.
    Mark is the name and If there is more than one way to understand what I just said....I meant the good one.

    Earth First! We'll dirt bike ride the other planets later.

  7. #7
    trailryder42's Avatar
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    It's possible to improvise on spreader bars when you forget them. Tree branches work well.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailryder42 View Post
    It's possible to improvise on spreader bars when you forget them. Tree branches work well.
    I was thinking about doing that while walking through the woods but decided against it. I made the loops on the suspension just barely fit around the nub of the spreader bars. I guess I could have girth hitched them onto a branch but I would still have the problem with the loops on the hammock. In a real outing, I probably would have done something but for a test hang, it just didn't seem worth it. And it gives me an excuse to go out tomorrow or the next and do another one .

  9. #9
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Law Dawg (ret) View Post
    So Lou how about setting up the tarp from corner to corner instead of down the middle? It would give you more length for coverage on the hammock...just thinking out loud.
    Possibly. I'm not sure how much more length I would gain. It's not a rectangle, it is a catenary cut tarp. If it was a rectangle, I think the length would have been fine. I'd have to measure to see if any length is gained. No big deal though, the purpose of the test hang was to see what I want to change on my system, what works and doesn't work, etc. The tarp isn't even functional yet. I haven't seemed sealed it.

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