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  1. #1
    New Member cjnelson's Avatar
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    Questions About A-Sym

    Hey All!
    First of all, I'd like to introduce myself my name is Nelson, and I am soon to be a hanger.
    I say "soon to be" because I have yet to actually own a hammock, but that is what I am trying to fix right now. I've decided to make my own, and I am seeking help on making an A-sym. Here are a couple questions I have:

    1. Is it possible to make an A-sym hammock without using tie-down points?
    2. Would you recommend using single 1.9 Nylon Ripstop or double 1.1 Nylon Ripstop?
    3. For wind/weather proofing, would you recommend using a tarp or bivvy?

    I am very new to all of this "hanging stuff", so I would appreciate any constructive input. What I am seeking out of my Hammock is something I can comfortably sleep in, and I am not necessarily looking for anything super light-weight, but I would obviously like it as light as possible. I would also like to be protected from the rain and cold temperatures as much as possible; however, I am not planning on taking this winter camping. If anybody has any advice regarding the above questions or anything else that you would expect a new-comer to overlook, please chime in!
    Oh, and by the way, if you own a hammock, you are currently one of my heroes!
    Happy Hangin',
    Nelson

  2. #2
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    To answer your questions in order:

    1. Theoretically, yes. Here is the DIY Hennessy guide; the body isn't actually asymmetric. Only the tie-outs actually are. Just Jeff has a couple of different whipping methods, one of which can lend itself well to the asymmetric hammock body. However, I'm not sure if anyone has actually designed a truly asymmetric hammock. It's possible that I've missed that (I've not actually done a search for this, so it may be in the top threads), so it might be worth looking around the forums.
    2. It depends on the weight of the occupant. Warbonnet has a nice guide for that, recommending different layer options and fabric weights by the weight of the occupant.
    3. Generally, a tarp is better. It allows for less condensation and more windproofing (if you make one with doors). It also offers a place to cook and be dry when the weather is coming down. Since you don't have to worry about ground water with a hammock (at least, if you do, there's a lot more to worry about than just some rain and wind ), one of the major bonuses of using a bivvy is negated by the hammock proper. Even with a bivvy, most folks use a minimalist tarp to keep the weather off of their faces.


    Suspension is probably the biggest thing. Use life-bearing rated stuff for your suspension (all of our cottage industry guys here do) that doesn't stretch, not paracord or nylon webbing. Polyester strapping and dyneema lines seem to be the most popular. Amsteel Blue in 1/8" is probably the most common line used.

    Hope it helps!

  3. #3
    New Member cjnelson's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help! The Just Jeff page on whipping was really informative, so I think I will follow that. I hadn't thought about condensation, so it sounds like a tarp would definitely be better to start with. I was also about to order some nylon webbing, so thanks for stopping me and pointing out some better suspension! I have one question regarding the 550 cord. I've heard that is not good to use for the ridge line and suspension, but do you think it would be okay for whipping?
    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    PapaSmurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjnelson View Post
    1. Is it possible to make an A-sym hammock without using tie-down points?
    First of all, Hi and Welcome.

    The tie-outs hold open the hammock and netting and keep it from sagging against you, giving you more room inside. Think of a floppy tent with no poles to hold it away from you. The tent is the same size with or without the poles, but much more cramped feeling.

    The way you lay in the hammock actually determines it's shape. You can certainly do without the tie-outs and many hangers do.

  5. #5
    New Member cjnelson's Avatar
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    Thanks Papa Smurf; that makes a lot more sense!

  6. #6
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjnelson View Post
    Thanks for all the help! The Just Jeff page on whipping was really informative, so I think I will follow that. I hadn't thought about condensation, so it sounds like a tarp would definitely be better to start with. I was also about to order some nylon webbing, so thanks for stopping me and pointing out some better suspension! I have one question regarding the 550 cord. I've heard that is not good to use for the ridge line and suspension, but do you think it would be okay for whipping?
    Thanks again!
    My gut is saying yes, since the actual load-bearing portion of the suspension doesn't connect to the whipping but to the hammock body. However, if you try this, make sure that you do test hangs in a spot and at a height that you are willing to fall from. Don't mess about with smacking your head or spine on sharp rocks if this should fail.

    If you use the Warbonnet whipping method (as in Knotty's gathered-end hammock and DIY Gear Supply's double-layer hammock), then I can't see a reason why not. Here, for certain, the whipping doesn't rely on the strength of the cordage; it relies on the knob of fabric that's gathered by that cord. There should be virtually no tension on the whipping proper.

    Again, don't hang in a spot that you're not willing to fall onto.

  7. #7
    Member bluefields181's Avatar
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    welcome and prepair yourself for the diy bug. Your whipping will be fine using 550 cord, that's what i used on my hammock and it holds fine. Now like was stated earlier, use only quality suspention equiptment... Or sleep in a helmet, its a matter of personal prefferance i suppose there's so much info here and the guys in the know are also in the business of show so all your questions can be answered by lookin over the forums. Happy hangin!

  8. #8
    Member bluefields181's Avatar
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    oh yeah and my joe ann fabric's 1.something ripstop nylon works great for a hammock body. I sleep in it every night now and have no issues as of yet. Just throwin that out there.

  9. #9
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjnelson View Post
    1. Is it possible to make an A-sym hammock without using tie-down points?
    2. Would you recommend using single 1.9 Nylon Ripstop or double 1.1 Nylon Ripstop?
    3. For wind/weather proofing, would you recommend using a tarp or bivvy?
    1. Absolutely. Even the famous Hennessy Hammocks are actually built symmetric, except for the tie outs and bug net. To me, asym is usually more about how you lay than how the hammock was constructed. All my DIY hammock are symmetric and allow you to lay asym to either the left or the right.
    2. The main reason for 1.1 double is so you can insert a closed cell foam (CCF) pad between the layers. Another side benefit is mosquitos have difficulty getting their snouts through the offset threads of two layers. I use under quilts so it's generally 1.9 single for me.
    3. Tarp. Best protection and also gives you a place to work under when packing up or setting up in the rain.

    Good luck!
    Knotty
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  10. #10
    cwford's Avatar
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    I use only the sheathing on 550 cord to tie up the whipping on my DIY gathered end hammocks. Works great.

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