I aim for getting the ridge line tight enough so I can bend it at a 90 like Brandon does in his video. Are you guys allowing more slack than that in yours?
I lay at an angle and try to get head just above my feet.
I'm going to mess with it some more this weekend and may put an adjustable ridge line on it.
I also get some lower back pain but it affects me more so when I'm in the sitting position / knees bent. It can bother me when lying with my knees up also, so it's positional rather than a weight bearing thing, and seems to only get painful within a small range of movement. Sounds like you get the same when lying straight out. Try a pillow under your knees to put a bend in your lower back. This might just move you out of the pain zone.
If you are thinking of an adjustable RL, be careful you don't add too much length as this could put too much tension in your bug net which might end up ripping. Someone recommended wrapping the RL round a biner to shorten it gradually. I'd imagine each wrap would equate to 1/2" or 3/4" shortening.
I struggle to get the 90* bend just right, and find that the RL is slack when sitting in the hammock but quite tight when I stretch out. The tension changes even if you bend your legs up a little, so I'd only use as a rough guide if you need to at all. Amsteel has very little stretch, so your lay should be identical regardless of tension in the RL. Provided there is some tension and it isn't slack.
Hope you manage to work a way of getting comfortable.
Last edited by Roe Ring; 03-19-2012 at 15:11.
I just hang my BB hammock and don't worry about the ridge line. Sometimes the ridge line is so tight I can not bend and sometimes it is so loose I and bend it way past 90 degrees without trying. Never had any back pain. Make sure the foot end is a few inches higher than the head end.
I tend to agree with Gunner here. I've had my RL all over the place and it's had little effect on my back. However, if my head is just a little too high, my comfort level goes right out the window.
So...I hang the foot of my hammock about 4" to 6" higher than the head and once I lower my legs into the footbox my head ends up just high enough to be above my feet, but not so high as to make me slide down into the footbox as I sleep. This seems to distribute the weight just right for my back and I have zero pain.
...just some more food for thought. Hope you find a solution that works for you SC. As you can see, there isn't one straight forward answer...it seems to be whatever works for you.
Hey MedicineMan, I see your from Roan Mountain, TN. Myself and another Scoutmaster from our area took our sons (both life scouts) to the AT over Spring Break and hiked from Indian Grave Gap to Route 19E. Myself and the other Scoutmaster (known as "cotndoc" on this forum) used our 1.7 Blackbird Doubles the entire way, while our sons stayed in shelters. We slept under the stars. It was majestic! It was an amazing experience. Can't wait to do it again!
I would certainly try all of the things mentioned above, I would however try some other hammocks too. The black bird works for a lot of people but not everyone.