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  1. #1
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    SW Idaho
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    Black Bird 1.1 Dbl
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    Still Playing with setup and have a few more ?'s

    Hi all, Yesterday my wife's mom and one of her sisters came for a visit for the day so..... I made a brake for it and decided to go up to the hills for while and hang. So I have a few more questions before I acutely take this thing out for a serious backpacking trip. I went camping a week ago and with a light morning rain I decided that the stock tarp that came with my ULBA will absolutely not cut it, but cash flow at the moment dictates that wit will have to for at least a wile. So first question, how do you get a tight pitch with that tarp. Here is a photo to show what I had yesterday and the other times I have hung it as well.

    As you can see along the edges it is nice and tight but as you get to the ridge everything goes loose. This made the tarp flap and blow in the breeze quite a bit. I would not think this is normal but I worked a bit to try and get it tighter but just could not get the slack out of the tarp to no success. Should I change to a separate ridge line for the tarp instead of using the prussic clips on the hammock tight outs?

    Second question, Those of you that have cut the ridge line for using the hammock as a chair, how well dose that work? This was a big thing that caught my interest in the first place. I have always hated just plopping down on the ground or a hard rock to rest. Being able to sit and relax is very appealing to me, but having that ridge line in the back of my neck or head as I sit is very annoying. I was thinking about cutting it and adding a carabiner but I am a little reluctant to take the plunge just yet. Any tips?
    Or experiences?

    Third question, Would I be that much better off in a WBBB? I know I have not spent that much time in my HH yet but it just dose not seem that comfortable. I have tried laying in it every different way I can imagine and in almost every position I find one thing or another that after a few minutes grows uncomfortable. Laying on my left side I feel like that side is getting hyper extended a bit and my right side is getting compressed. On my back flat I feel like the rise of the hammock is lifting my right side up and is squeezing my shoulders and legs together. If I bend my right leg and put my knee on the rise it opens the hammock up and is much more comfortable but I know that after a bit I will move and stretch my leg and be back to the squeeze. Laying on my right side with my knees both bent up to open up the hammock is much better but lets me slide down to the lowest point and causes me to end up in a ball(fetal almost), agin stretching back out at some point would just be a fight. If I don't pull up my legs I feel ok but have the wall/ridge of fabric in my face.

    So everything I read from all you BB owners say it has more room, is flatter, on and on about all the advantages. So what do I do? I really want to make using a hammock work for me but I can sleep on the ground (sacrilege to say here I know) so far I just have not gotten that uber comfort going in the hammock yet. Once I am in a comfortable position at home I pass out and have usually in the past had the same results on my thermarest but in the hammock I keep feeling tweaks. I have tried every degree of diagonal that I can in it from strait in line with the ridge to almost full perpendicular and everywhere in between. No slack in the lines to lots of slack. What am I doing wrong? OR would I just be that much better with something else. The BB sounds great, but I like to look at and at least see the gear before buying. I got my HH at REI so if it is not going to work I can take it back, but I would like to see if anybody has any good suggestions first.

    Thanks For any help.

    Paul

  2. #2
    titanium_hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    about the tarp- you are tying it to trees, right, not the built in HH tarp clips?

    have a look at www.tothewoods.net - JustJeff (a member here) has lots of tips.

    about the comfort: how tall are you? Are you laying on a diagonal to the center line? How tight are you hanging the hammock? You could try the Risk test hammock: http://www.imrisk.com/testhammock/testhammock.htm and try and get a better fit for your height.

    About the ridgeline: quite a few people have taken scissors to their HH's and written about it on the forums. Have a look around- maybe the "Homemade gear" forum.

    If you're lucky a HammockForums member might chime in that they live not far from you at all and are willing to help you out. Or, try and make it to the Hot Springs Hang out- there will be lots of hammockers there happy to sort you out.

    TH
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
    Winter: total 2521 (~89oz)
    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

  3. #3
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Location
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    Idaho to Hot Springs is a bit of a trek.... hehehe might be worth the trip... but there may be something closer.

    The stock tarp is really intended to be attached to the prussics for the best heavy weather coverage. comfort is largely linked to the amount of sag in the HH. I have used my HH as a chair several times and have not cut the ridgeline. I think a lot of the factor pf comfort has to do with how tight you hang the hammock. It seems the prevailing wisdom in the community is the looser you hang the HH the more comfortable it is. The ridgeline shoulld be taut but just barely. It is more of an issue if you swap out the suspension to a ring buckle or related system.

    If you can find someone close at hand that would be a good thing. Otherwise you might try getting pics of the system components and posting them and let us see if we can suggest something from there.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

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  4. #4
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    The tarp, I am using the HH clips. That was what I was asking about--dose it pitch better on its own line to the trees? The included clip system just dose not seem to get very tight across the entire tarp.

    I have read every page of Jeff's site (very informative) but did not see much on these particular questions. Same with Risk's site. I did make a DIY out of a bed sheet two days ago just to play around. it was ok but defiantly not as nice as the HH.

    Unfortunately I will not be able to travel to the Hangs that are currently planned. Would love to but 2100 miles is a bit much for me to go at this point. Also unless somebody is not on the google map looks like 300 + miles give or take a bit is the closest members to me.

    Thanks

    Paul

  5. #5
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    Thanks Rev was thinking about posting some more photos with my original post but held off. Will try to get more up as soon as I can.

    Paul

  6. #6
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Be aware the stock tarp is designed to one thing and one thing only. it is designed to protect the hammock from reasonably vertical rain. The closer you get to horizontal rain the hard it gets to stay dry with anything but an oversized tarp. Having said that... the stock tarp is very deceptive. If hung close to the bug net and pitched steep to the ground it is remarkably effective. But it is part of the learning curve to using an HH. I use my hex tarp and actually cut up my stock tarp to mod a hex for the winter. But hang it close and steep with the asym lined up properly and it will keep you dry under most conditions.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  7. #7
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    more pic's

    Ok here are a few more photos from yesterday








    In this last photo, the ridge of fabric from my right ankle up is the start of the wall that rises up behind me that wants to lift me when I am flat on my back. If I raise my right knee like my left is in the photo this drastically improves the amount of space in the hammock and also gives me a flatter lay. But like I said in my original post, after a wile I feel like I need to stretch out of this position and I loose the flatness.

    For reference my tree huggers are as high as I could reach (some were in the 7 foot neighborhood)on both tress. I am about 5'7" 160 pounds so well inside the recommended size for my HH. And just a guess but I think I had about 2-2 1/2 foot of free line off the double slip knots from my carbines left of the suspension lines. This put the hammock entrance just right to sit into (chair height) not to low or high.

    Thanks
    Paul

  8. #8
    Just another hanger attroll's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    I have found it is better to attach the tarp to the tree itself and not the the hammock. When attached to the hammock I have found that when I get in the hammock the tarp sags and gets loose. This is my observation.

  9. #9
    Merganser's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    The ridge line sets the amount of sag in the hammock body. It takes out the guesswork and compensates for marginal hangs. It'll also keep stress of the bug net. Theoretically you can hang the hammock just perfectly and get the right sag. I'd advise not cutting it. If your determined to do so I'd suggest rigging it with carabiners or something so you can attach it for normal hanging.

    While we're talking about ridge lines, if its sagging when you lay in the hammock its hung to looses. Its OK if it bounces a bit when you shift around but when you are just laying there it should be taut, not under a ton of stress, just taut.

    As far as the tarp, I agree that you'll be able to hang it tighter if you tie it to the trees separately from the hammock. Use a power cinch (aka truckers hitch) so you can pull the ridge line of the tarp tight. That should solve any sag problem with the tarp.

  10. #10
    titanium_hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    The Wimmera, Australia
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    Have you tried shifting more diagonal, so your head and feet go closer to the hammock side tie-outs?

    Tie the tarp ropes below the hammock suspension for a closer tarp-hammock relationship.

    When they say "slacker hang" don't winch the hammock so tight <- -> that way.. does that help?
    my hammock gear weights total: 2430g (~86oz)
    Winter: total 2521 (~89oz)
    (see my profile for detailed weights)

    gram counter, not gram weenie!

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