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  1. #1
    Senior Member timabababaluka's Avatar
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    Your First Hammock Fail?

    A couple of days ago I pulled apart the modified sheet bend I have been using to attach my whoopies to my hammock with the idea of whipping the ends instead. Ostensibly, I did this to add 4 or 5 inches to my hammock length, but really, with my next projected campout over a month away, it was just an excuse to mess around with my hammock—I’m getting antsy.

    As I was pulling the sheet bend apart, I was reminded of how my greed, carelessness, and that sheet bend led to my first hammock failure (yes, sadly, I did say first—there have been others ), and I thought it might be instructive (read as ‘entertaining’) to hear some stories/lessons fellow hangers have learned the hard way. I only say first hammock failure because (a) that one leaves a lasting impression that teaches you humility, and (b) it implies that a cautious disposition is just as important as the hammock you decide to bring. If you prefer to relate a hammock failure other than the first… feel free to bring it on!
    You're gonna need a bigger hammock

  2. #2
    Senior Member timabababaluka's Avatar
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    So here goes. When I made my gathered end, I bought 12 feet of material figuring I would use 6 inches on each end for the sheet bend—I forgot that rolled hems would eat some of that (those first hems looked so much like an M.C. Escher staircase that I simply cut them away and started over (the 2nd attempt was only marginally better than the first)). Since an 11 ft hammock was the plan, I thought I would cheat on the hammock’s bight size… by half. I knew it was foolish, but the mule tape held. When I switched out that suspension for whoopie slings, however, I did not fully appreciate how slick amsteel is. I set her up, eased myself in, and two minutes later was contemplating life’s deeper truths—30 seconds after that… WHUMP! I had an even deeper, painful truth to contemplate.

    As I looked over my feet at the south-side whoopie dangling on the tree, it was fairly obvious what happened: my greed for extra hammock length led (literally) to my downfall. I retied her giving it the full 6 inches it required and eased back in. That whoopie hasn’t troubled me since. My 2nd hammock failure occurred about 56 seconds after I had fixed the first. As I was settling into the sweet spot, a thought occurred to me: “I wonder if I should have retied the north-side whoop…” WHUMP! Yes. I should have.
    I learned a couple of things from this experience:

    1. Hammock failure, more often than not, is the product of carelessness. I got greedy, got lazy, got dirt in my mouth.

    2. Experiencing a fail is not enough to prevent it from happening again. If you don’t learn from it and own it, you will eventually live it… again.

    3. Never hang higher than you are willing to fall (or over anything you would fear to land on (or in)). I am on the tallish side, and a higher hang is easier for me to get in and out of, but my second 2 ½ foot drop onto hardpan had me seeing stars and struggling for breath—Now I swing low… that’s how I roll.

    Anybody else feel like sharing?
    You're gonna need a bigger hammock

  3. #3
    mountain_man_mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timabababaluka View Post
    I learned a couple of things from this experience:

    1. Hammock failure, more often than not, is the product of carelessness. I got greedy, got lazy, got dirt in my mouth.

    2. Experiencing a fail is not enough to prevent it from happening again. If you don’t learn from it and own it, you will eventually live it… again.

    3. Never hang higher than you are willing to fall (or over anything you would fear to land on (or in)). I am on the tallish side, and a higher hang is easier for me to get in and out of, but my second 2 ½ foot drop onto hardpan had me seeing stars and struggling for breath—Now I swing low… that’s how I roll.
    I can't imagine anybody who has hung for any time at all being deprived of the "thud" experience also known as the true expression of the law... the law of gravity that is. Which makes me cringe when I see pics of people hanging over creeks, rocks, etc.

    Mine seem to happen in the middle of the night, usually after shifting my body to find the sweet (warm) spot and an operator error is revealed, ie. bad bar tac on a strap, poorly tied knot or a shifting loop. It's a humbling experience for sure.
    Happy Trails to one and all.
    Enjoy the outdoors wisely and elevate your perspective.

    Modified Penny Wood Stove instructional Video-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fPlHqsYy38


    Hammock Wheel https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...09#post1035609


    Another Really cool JC Penny Puffer instructional- https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...141#post953141

  4. #4
    Senior Member affreeman's Avatar
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    I use a garda hitch through a pair of descender rings to suspend each end of my Hennessy. The first few times I set it up I added a slippery half hitch for insurance, but I never had any problems with slippage so I quit tying the half hitch and just relied on the garda hitch. Well, the garda hitch has never actually failed, but one time I hung the hammock and it turned out the suspension was perfect and needed no adjustment, so I made none. This meant that the cord through the rings was a bit off-center from when I last took it down, so the garda hitch did not have the necessary friction to hold. Fortunately I just sat in the hammock, and it slowly eased me down to the ground.

    Now I am sure to always give at least a short pull on the free end of the garda hitch to make sure everything is lined up properly through the rings, and it has never happened again (knock wood).
    ~
    "Home is where I hang my food bag."

    Monkeywrench
    Allen Freeman
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  5. #5
    Roadrunnr72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timabababaluka View Post

    Anybody else feel like sharing?
    No In almost two years of hanging, I can't remember having a "failure". I have made a few build mistakes.

    Now when I was building my stand, and trying different anchor methods, I did have a few guy line anchors pull outs and ended up on my rear.

    I call it "trial and error"
    I'm a member of PETA!!!!

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  6. #6
    Roadrunnr72's Avatar
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    Wow, three of the last four post, the members joined here in Sept, 2010.
    I'm a member of PETA!!!!

    People
    Eating
    Tasty
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    My first thud? I honestly don't remember.

    I think my first failure was waking-up staring at the ground through the bugnet on my Hennessy. I looked up, and saw the entry slit. What followed makes me very happy nobody was there with a camera!
    Trust nobody!

  8. #8
    Senior Member J.Andersons's Avatar
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    Talking

    Experienced one thud in my first real wilderness hang, writed about those experiences in the trip reports.
    After receiving my MacCat tarp cycled to some nice hang place in piney woods and used bought in local outdoor shop 20mm straps and these straps got more slippery than expected, tied two half hitches if I understood right knot namesoops: and eased my butt in my old trusty brazilian hammock...thud! I got lucky about the fact that in the place of my hang ground had been relatively soft. Not being hurted in any way, only my ego got that embarass, lucky me, had been there alone.
    Ride fast
    Live fun

  9. #9
    Senior Member affreeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain_man_mike View Post
    Which makes me cringe when I see pics of people hanging over creeks, rocks, etc.
    I have over rocks more or less regularly. This is New England; there are rocks everywhere. That's one of the reasons I use a hammock rather than a tent.

    I do very occasionally think about what it would be like to fall on said rocks in the middle of the night, but it hasn't happened yet. I suppose it's really no more risky than hiking along rocky trails, at least if you're as clumsy as I am.
    ~
    "Home is where I hang my food bag."

    Monkeywrench
    Allen Freeman
    allen@allenf.com
    www.allenf.com
    blog.allenf.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member timabababaluka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain_man_mike View Post
    Which makes me cringe when I see pics of people hanging over creeks, rocks, etc.
    Me too! This is why I always make sure that my broken bottle and antique dynamite collections are well to the side of where I hang .

    Quote Originally Posted by Roadrunnr72 View Post
    No In almost two years of hanging, I can't remember having a "failure". I have made a few build mistakes.

    Now when I was building my stand, and trying different anchor methods, I did have a few guy line anchors pull outs and ended up on my rear.

    I call it "trial and error"
    I had a turtlelady stand fail on me because I didn't make the base wide enough (wanted to keep the profile narrow--I narrowly escaped death when my youngest daughter decided to "rock daddy to sleep"... timber!

    It's awesome that you have avoided user error failure! Stupid is too deeply embedded in my nature to be the case for me (what did your old signature say?... 'Ya can't teach stupid. It just comes natural--I'm a natural ).
    You're gonna need a bigger hammock

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