Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Hammock: WBBB double layer
Tarp: Noah Kelty 12
Insulation: Camping Pad (2)
First Overnight Outdoor Test
I guess I have to start this off with this,
What's up Hammock Forums?
Alright, now that I got that out of the way... Name is Cliff
I've been into this whole hammock thing since Nov. 2011. I was perusing a certain survival blog, and they were talking about bug-out bags and ways to drink your own urine - amongst all this discussion - all I saw in this one particularly enthralling post, somebody had put you need a hammock. "To get off the ground, away from the bugs, and ability to be put anywhere", I think is what they said.
Now obviously, I had slept on a hammock in the Outer Banks of NC. Plenty of hours just getting out of the house full of family (that never stopped talking) - yeah, I remembered how awesome it was. So anyway, I said to myself, "What is a Hennessy Hammock?" (obviously, it's camo - I mean, it was a survival blog). So I googled it. Saw some images and some websites, so that night I wanted to see what it looked like in person.
I went to Blue Ridge Mountain Sports to check these things out. I even went to see if they they sold stuff like this - I had never heard of it before. I thought it wasn't "the norm". I'm "not the norm" and I wanted one. Hot girl at BRMS helped me take one out of the pack and, when asked if it would be easy if I could make this stuff, replied, "It sure would be cheaper." Naturally, I fell in love.
So I went from spending over $250 on a complete setup, to spending:
-$15 on 4 yards of black ripstop nylon at Joann Fabrics
-$3 on two spools of 100% polyester thread
-$15 on 30 feet of climbing straps at REI
-$4 on 4 metal rings at Home Depot
-$0 for asking for a ENO Fastfly for Christmas (I know, I know... I didn't know about Hammock Forums yet - now I know what I want, but you have to start somewhere)
-$0 for a bugnet for Christmas that I ended up cutting up a little to make it work
$0 Dad got me a sweet The North Face 20* synthetic bag - would have been cooler if it was a down bag, but you have to remember that I didn't know anything about packability of down or how warm it really keeps you, I just got into this Hammock Forums thing right after... better late then never, huh?
-6 hours on a Friday evening with my Grandma who showed me how to sew - and by that I mean I watched (if you're out there Grandma, I love you!) Sorry about that, had to shoutout to my G Ma.
-Countless times my wife has said that what I'm doing is weird, I mean I did get the cops called on me from wondering, "Any good tree setups here?"
So, my grand total is over a few weeks - $37. I'm not factoring in gas or anything, because let's face it - we never do, but even factoring in everything - That's Cheap.
So I then have this hammock that I haven't used, but it's cold outside and I want to go and use this thing! I'm hanging on my balcony, I'm putting it up in the house, and making my wife mad each and every time I am lying in my Ham Ock, thinking, "I gotta get some "bottom" coverage."
That's where a ****'s Sporting Goods item return from the Christmas season comes in handy. Returned some padded cycling shorts, and got me a Thermarest reflectix pad. Laid in it that night, actually. My wife was asleep.
So I still have a problem - I could probably be going to the gym more, but my shoulders will still be this wide, so width coverage on my "bottom" is still an issue. So, to Wally World I go...
I get the pad and cut it 60/40 length-wise. Then, perpendicular to the first cut I made two cuts the width of my Thermarest pad + 4 inches. Slide them onto my Thermarest pad (think modified SPE) and voilą! I've got a complete system.
There was the issue of ridgeline, now there's not. Got one, love it.
Which leads me to the titling of this thread here, sorry, I just needed you to know the whole story.
Tonight I'm going out to Powhatan, Virginia where my sister and her husband live. I am going to sleep outside of their house tonight to test my hammock. BUT, I can go inside if I need to.
Yes, I'm going to take pictures.
Yes, I'm going to post them.
I might be a really good person and post a video. I diiiiid just learn some really cool knots.
All I need are some responses.
Prefers life at 12 MPH.
Have coffee makings ready to go in the morning?
Well, the general consensus is that the greatest comfort with most hammocks is to hang it with the suspension at about a thirty degree angle, minimizing the forces on the suspension and the hammock (helping to eliminate shoulder squeeze). Also, most folks are heavier in their legs than their upper body (we use our legs more often than our biceps, for example), so hanging the foot end a little higher (with mine, this averages four to eight inches) than the head end helps with avoiding sliding down into the foot end while you sleep.
Other than that, play with it. See what feels most comfortable for you; these are just general guidelines and may be different for you than for everyone else. That's one of the wonders of hanging--it's different for everyone.
Oh, and welcome from Florida!
Edit: Oh, and if you intend on continuing the DIY route, I highly recommend getting a good sewing machine (Ramblinrev's suggestions on that are invaluable, at least they were to me, and can be found here) and learning to use it. Your grandmother is probably a wonderful resource on this, but if you want to take a look at gear making first, Ramblinrev also has a video series on that. It was extremely helpful to me with my first couple of sewing projects and can be found here.
Hope it helps!
Last edited by FLRider; 02-18-2012 at 13:06..
Join Date: May 2011
Talk to the people on the DIY portion of the forum. Make sure that you are able to lay diagonal to the center of the hammock. You'll get a much flatter lay. Set your ridgeline when you get the setup just right.
Welcome to the MADNESS!!!! Read, Read, Read, and watch... then read some more... Lots to learn here...sounds like you have a great start...
Welcome to HF from Mass.
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Covington, TN
Hammock: BIAS Hiker Lite DL
Tarp: GG Emergency Shltr
Insulation: CC pad
Sounds like you're off to a GREAT start.
I suffered from tremendous shoulder squeeze the first few times I hung. I had borrowed a friend's ENO Slapstraps and they sagged, stretched and were generally awful. I had decided that the only way to hang was start TIGHT to allow for stretch. My polyester straps didn't stretch... this -- and my wide shoulder frame -- led to shoulder squeeze. I had to learn to allow for a greater sag and then I really started getting comfortable. As rodwolfy says, once you find the right spot, set the ridgeline!
Another small tip: Black/dark fabrics attract bugs (and heat in summer). You may not notice a problem, but I've read a lot about this and conventional wisdom from camping leads me to believe this is likely to be true.
Now carrying the Mini Tattoo Stove!
Light weight. Low prices. Great gear.
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Lexington Park, MD
Hammock: Warbonnet Blackbird 1.7
Tarp: Zpacks Cuben Fiber
Insulation: Leigh's UQ
Welcome to the fun!