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  1. #1
    Senior Member bindibadgi's Avatar
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    Should a heavy guy string the Hennessy tight?

    I've sniffed out a few threads on this subject (how tight to hang the Hennessy), but I'm not entirely sure that they covered the topic from the angle of heavy dudes. Also, the threads were quite old, and it's possible Hennessy has changed the ridge line since then.

    I just got an Explorer Deluxe Asym Zip, and I'm trying to figure out how tight to hang it. Currently I've gone with roughly 30 degree angles down from horizontal at the trees, as recommended in The Ultimate Hang (Great book by the way!). The threads I saw all seemed to say the same thing: hang it as tight as you can (unless you have cinch straps or some other form of mechanical advantage). Even the video of Tom Hennessy hanging up his hammock suggests to do it tightly.

    My concern is that the ridge line seems quite tight, even with my 30 degree angle (angle measured without weight in the hammock). Is it possible that I'll end up on my arse if I pull it too tight? Is the ridge line up to the task?

    I'm not up to the 300lb limit, but if I were to put on a bit more weight (my wife owns a cake and cupcake decorating business ), and with all my stuff hung from the ridge line, I could be pushing 280 I guess.

    Should I replace the line? Should I hang it loose? Should I just stop worriting, hang it up tight and go to sleep?

  2. #2
    Needs more Hang time Catavarie's Avatar
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    I'd say that if your in doubt, then give Hennessy a call and ask them directly. I've yet to test out a Hennessy so I can't talk from first hand experience. But many manufacturers build in safety margins to their numbers, while they say 300# weight limit the hammock in question may really be able to handle 400# or 500#, but as they want to limit their exposure to lawsuit (it has become the American way to get rich after all) they often reccomend something far below the normal threshold for failure.

    As always remember, never hang higher than you are willing to fall.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Grinder's Avatar
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    IMHO

    Just an opinion, but here goes.
    Run the math on the side load as you increase the tension on the hang.

    It goes up to many multiples of the "hung weight" For a big guy this would go well into the thousand pound range.

    Because of the built in ridge line, Hennessy's seem to be more prone to the tight hang.

    I keep expecting to read about a rotten tree falling on someone, but never have heard of it.

    I used 850 pound test rings for my buckles. One hang, with the trees kind of far apart, I tried to get my butt off the ground by tightening the straps a little more. The rings peeled like a ripe grape when I got in to test it. I weigh 150/160

    I just read all of the original post. If you obey the 30 degree guideline, I wouldn't worry about the hammock if the manufacturer says you're in the weight range.
    grinder

  4. #4
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    The function of a structural ridgeline like you have in the HH is to "set the sag", to wit, keep the two ends of the hammock from being pulled any farther apart than the length of the ridgeline. If you are in the hammock, and the ridgeline has no droop in it, it has completed its sag mission. For the purposes of setting the sag there is absolutely no reasons to have the ridgeline be any tauter. The "perfect hang" is where the tree straps are set at a height where there's enough tension in the ridgeline to keep the netting up and not be pulled down much by whatever is in your ditty bag hanging from it.

    That said, a side benefit of having a structural ridgeline is that you can hang from trees at the farther range of hangable, with strap placement that is lower than you'd use without a ridgeline to get the same distance between the hammock ends. A bit of convenience, but one that can put strain on the ridgeline. And that's where you rightly come in asking about what's what with the ridgeline. If you were 300 lbs (avoid the cupcakes!), at a given placement of tree straps, you're putting 50% more force on the ridgeline than someone at 200 lbs, and 100% more than someone at 150 lbs.

    I believe the Hennessy recommendation to put the straps on and then crank up the tension is just so that the user doesn't have to be concerned with how high to put the tree straps. A bit of practice and experience and you'll soon learn how to set the sag without threatening the ridgeline.
    Grizz
    (alias ProfessorHammock on youtube)

  5. #5
    Ken's Avatar
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    I don't think there is ever a reason to hang a hammock tight. Stay at or very near the 30 degrees and you'll be safe and comfortable. Tight stresses the entire system.

    Ooops, Grizz and I doubled. Grizz said it better!

    Ken
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  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    The directions on the stuff sack on my Explorer UL said to pull it moderately tight. If you feel it is way too tight, just loosen things up a bit more to be safe. As long as the comfort is still there, you can stay off the ground and the bug net stays away from your face, you are good to go and not too loose. You can, however, get too tight.

    And if you are having trouble staying high enough above the ground when you don't pull as tight as possible, don't just tighten things up. Rather, move your huggers higher.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  7. #7
    Senior Member bindibadgi's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. You guys have pretty much convinced me. I should stay away from the cupcakes.

    I'm going to keep hanging with a 30 degree angle. It's not hard to do, and as Grizz says, once the ridge line is straight, it's already done its job of getting the hang right.

    This way I can be confident that I won't fall, and also that I won't bring a tree down on me! One of the dangers in Australia is that eucalypts (pretty much the only trees around in most areas I go) can fall or drop limbs even if they are entirely healthy looking/feeling. I don't want to be putting any more lateral force on the trees than I have to!

    I'm still curious though: does anybody know what the ridge line is made out of these days on the Hennessy (specifically the Explorer Deluxe)? Is it stronger than it looks? It's got to be only 7/64" or 1/8" at most (I haven't measured it though).

  8. #8
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bindibadgi View Post
    Is it possible that I'll end up on my arse if I pull it too tight?
    Absolutely. If you could pull the suspension so that the hammock had no sag at all, then your effective weight would be infinite. Hanging so that the suspension is 30 degrees down from horizontal is good (for several reasons, but not least is reducing stress on the whole system).

    Enjoy!

    Rain Man

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    "You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims." --Harriet Woods
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  9. #9

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    What seems to be missed is that you ant to end up at 30 deg not start there. There is enough give in the system as it is sold that you want to pull it more or less flat then as you get in it sags to 30. It might be easier to have somebody else check it when you are in it. Alternatively you can video yourself. Once you get the feel of it you will be fine.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bindibadgi's Avatar
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    That's a good point nothermark. I'm really not sure what angle it sags to when I'm in it. I'll get my wife to take a picture, and then I can measure it.

    Right now, in light of the replies above, I'm going with the philosophy that so long as I'm off the ground and the ridge line is straight when I'm in, the saggier the better. I figure the more sag there is, the lower the strain on the trees will be.

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