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New Member | Backpain

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  • jkneilson
    Hi all, I m a member of the BackPackingLight group. I recently posted a message about dealing with back pain while sleeping on hiking trips. So far, all
    Message 1 of 21 , Oct 18, 2005
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      Hi all, I'm a member of the BackPackingLight group. I recently
      posted a message about dealing with back pain while sleeping on
      hiking trips. So far, all respondents have told me to "go hammock."
      I currently sleep under an 8X10 silnylon tarp and have never thought
      of sleeping in a hammock. I have a lot of questions:

      1. What's a good dependeable lightweight hammock for a beginner?
      Proudct names, images, and/or links would be appreciated.
      2. Can I continue to use my current shelter?
      3. If not, do I need a new shelter?
      4. Are there integrated hammock/shelter systems?
      5. Is a hammock easy to use, easy to pitch?
      6. Can you comfortably move around in a hammock, say, move from your
      back to your side? Or are you held in one position?
      7. I have a flexion bias, meaning that my back feels best when I'm
      leaning slighlty forward. But at the same time, I don't want to be
      forced to sleep in an upside down rainbow sort of position – In
      other words, can hammocks be tautly pitched, so that I have some
      flexion when I sleep, but not a lot?

      Sorry for all the questions. Appreciate any feedback.

      Cheers,
      Kevin
    • Palefrei
      Kevin, I ll answer your points between the lines. I m a recent convert myself. I ve a inoperable intradural tumor in the T12-L2-L3 region of my spine. (think:
      Message 2 of 21 , Oct 18, 2005
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        Kevin,
        I'll answer your points between the lines. I'm a recent
        convert myself. I've a inoperable intradural tumor in the
        T12-L2-L3 region of my spine. (think: Vienna Sausage inside
        the spinal column!) I CAN'T sleep on any firm surface
        (including mattresses and waterbeds) for more than 2-3
        hours without waking up in excruciating pain. (And yes,
        after 15 years of this, I'm very crabby).
        >
        > 1. What's a good dependeable lightweight hammock for a
        > beginner?

        www.hennessyhammock.com. I bought the Explorer Ultralight
        A-Sym (marked down from 189 to 139 at a San Deigo REI
        store). Liked it so much my wife got one (discounted, Ebay.
        $89) The asym designs, with the ability to allow me to lay
        flat, is incredibly comfortable to me.

        > 4. Are there integrated hammock/shelter systems?

        I bought a Big Agnes Bag (Yampa model, 40deg down). IT has
        an integral pouch that my sleeping pad slides in. That pad
        keeps your underside warm as air passes under the hammock.
        that Big Agnes bag keeps you from rolling off the pad in
        the night. It's not a full mummy bag, but semi-rectangular,
        so that you can sleep, rollover, move without a problem. It
        complements the Hennessy nicely. (Though make sure you get
        a bag with the zipper on the left, due to the asym angle of
        the Hennessy.

        > 5. Is a hammock easy to use, easy to pitch>

        With the optional snakeskins, I've pitched the hammock in
        2-3 minutes, and bugged outta camp in the same.

        >6. Can you comfortably move around in a hammock, say,
        move from your back to your side? Or are you held in one
        position?

        Yes. I can move. Roll over, pull one knee to my chest, lay
        on my back with my legs crossed (actually, eases my back
        pain quite a bit), etc. Though to be honest, if I fall
        asleep on my back in this thing, I rarely move. I usually
        wake up 7-8 hours later (unless I gotta pee...) feeling
        very relaxed and rested. Wish I could set one of these up
        at home!

        > 7. I have a flexion bias, meaning that my back feels best
        > when I'm leaning slighlty forward.

        Me too. I find that I don't need my pillow in my hammock .I
        usually use a big down pillow. The pillow pouch in my
        Sleeping bag holds my fleece jacket, but even that isn't
        neccessary unless I wanna tilt my head up slightly for
        reading.

        I just got back from a weekend Boy Scout campout. 41deg
        with 15mph breeze. The above system kept me warm all night.
        I'd probably get a second or other sleepingbag/blanket if
        it got much colder though.

        > Sorry for all the questions. Appreciate any feedback.
        >
        > Cheers,
        > Kevin
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • J.D. Hoessle
        Kevin, May I throw in my two cents worth...? Fortunately, I have no back problems. The posting (below) addresses your questions correctly (IMHO). I have been
        Message 3 of 21 , Oct 18, 2005
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          Kevin,

          May I throw in my two cents worth...? Fortunately, I have no back
          problems. The posting (below) addresses your questions correctly (IMHO).

          I have been playing with all of this hammock stuff for a year now and
          am very happy with the weight/bulk/comfort.

          *HOWEVER*....!!!!!!!!!! When I first started asking questions, EVERY
          darn one of these hammock-hangers ***FIRST*** started telling me about
          the Comfort Factor. Matter of fact, the first two I met had back
          problems and started talking on-and-on-and-on-and-on about how much
          they loved 'em!

          If I may add, stay tuned HERE! Everyone here has been patient and
          helpful with my "newbie" questions and responded!

          Happy Trails,

          J.D.

          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, Palefrei <palefrei@y...> wrote:
          > I'll answer your points between the lines. I'm a recent
          > convert myself. I've a inoperable intradural tumor in the
          > T12-L2-L3 region of my spine. (think: Vienna Sausage inside
          > the spinal column!) I CAN'T sleep on any firm surface
          > (including mattresses and waterbeds) for more than 2-3
          > hours without waking up in excruciating pain. (And yes,
          > after 15 years of this, I'm very crabby).
          > >
          > > 1. What's a good dependeable lightweight hammock for a
          > > beginner?
          >
          > www.hennessyhammock.com. I bought the Explorer Ultralight
          > A-Sym (marked down from 189 to 139 at a San Deigo REI
          > store). Liked it so much my wife got one (discounted, Ebay.
          > $89) The asym designs, with the ability to allow me to lay
          > flat, is incredibly comfortable to me.
          >
          > > 4. Are there integrated hammock/shelter systems?
          >
          > I bought a Big Agnes Bag (Yampa model, 40deg down). IT has
          > an integral pouch that my sleeping pad slides in. That pad
          > keeps your underside warm as air passes under the hammock.
          > that Big Agnes bag keeps you from rolling off the pad in
          > the night. It's not a full mummy bag, but semi-rectangular,
          > so that you can sleep, rollover, move without a problem. It
          > complements the Hennessy nicely. (Though make sure you get
          > a bag with the zipper on the left, due to the asym angle of
          > the Hennessy.
          >
          > > 5. Is a hammock easy to use, easy to pitch>
          >
          > With the optional snakeskins, I've pitched the hammock in
          > 2-3 minutes, and bugged outta camp in the same.
          >
          > >6. Can you comfortably move around in a hammock, say,
          > move from your back to your side? Or are you held in one
          > position?
          >
          > Yes. I can move. Roll over, pull one knee to my chest, lay
          > on my back with my legs crossed (actually, eases my back
          > pain quite a bit), etc. Though to be honest, if I fall
          > asleep on my back in this thing, I rarely move. I usually
          > wake up 7-8 hours later (unless I gotta pee...) feeling
          > very relaxed and rested. Wish I could set one of these up
          > at home!
          >
          > > 7. I have a flexion bias, meaning that my back feels best
          > > when I'm leaning slighlty forward.
          >
          > Me too. I find that I don't need my pillow in my hammock .I
          > usually use a big down pillow. The pillow pouch in my
          > Sleeping bag holds my fleece jacket, but even that isn't
          > neccessary unless I wanna tilt my head up slightly for
          > reading.
          >
          > I just got back from a weekend Boy Scout campout. 41deg
          > with 15mph breeze. The above system kept me warm all night.
          > I'd probably get a second or other sleepingbag/blanket if
          > it got much colder though.
        • Mark Bayern
          You came to the right place! ... Speer hammocks -- http://www.speerhammocks.com/, Ed Speer is the list owner for our group. His book tells you how to make
          Message 4 of 21 , Oct 18, 2005
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            You came to the right place!

            > 1. What's a good dependeable lightweight hammock for a beginner?
            > Proudct names, images, and/or links would be appreciated.

            Speer hammocks -- http://www.speerhammocks.com/, Ed Speer is the
            list owner for our group. His book tells you how to make your own
            hammock. He also sells them commercially.

            Rick a/k/a 'Risk', has done a lot of testing of hammocks.
            http://www.imrisk.com for more information. A quick test hammock is
            described in http://www.imrisk.com/testhammock/testhammock.htm

            For even more information check out
            http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/hiking and look for the hammock
            links.

            The authors of the above sites are all active here.

            For Hennessey hammocks: http://www.hennessyhammock.com/

            For reviews of commercial hammocks check:
            http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Hammocks/

            > 2. Can I continue to use my current shelter?

            An 8x10 tarp seems to be the preferred choice when you need cover.

            > 3. If not, do I need a new shelter?

            You need something to keep the rain off. You will also find that
            hammocks get cold quickly in cooler weather since there is air
            circulation underneath that is not present when you're trying to
            flatten out a piece of ground.

            > 4. Are there integrated hammock/shelter systems?

            All these hammocks can be part of an integrated system. Hennessey
            hammocks are 'more' integrated in that you cannot separate the netting
            from the hammock body. For my use these are more mosquito proof than a
            separate mosquito net. For most folks the separate might be just fine,
            but I do some overnights in the Big Thicket area of southeast Texas
            which seems to be mosquito central. I have seen the rangers try to
            talk folks out of getting permits to overnight in the thicket because
            of the bugs.

            > 5. Is a hammock easy to use, easy to pitch?

            Easier than a tent -- you won't need to worry about rocky ground and
            sloping campsites. (You will need an area with some trees, or you need
            to be very creative.)

            > 6. Can you comfortably move around in a hammock, say, move from your
            > back to your side? Or are you held in one position?

            You can move back to side -- I've never tried to sleep on my stomach
            in a hammock.

            > 7. I have a flexion bias, meaning that my back feels best when I'm
            > leaning slighlty forward. But at the same time, I don't want to be
            > forced to sleep in an upside down rainbow sort of position – In
            > other words, can hammocks be tautly pitched, so that I have some
            > flexion when I sleep, but not a lot?

            This is not accomplished by a taught pitch but by sleeping on a
            diagonal to the pitch. There should be information on this in the
            websites mentioned earlier. Sgt Rock also has a good hammock site:
            http://hikinghq.net/hammock/hammock.html with this specific info on
            the first page of the website.

            >
            > Sorry for all the questions. Appreciate any feedback.
            >

            I'm sure you'll get lots of feedback on this forum.

            Mark
          • Rat
            ... wrote: 1. What s a good dependeable lightweight hammock for a beginner? Proudct names, images, and/or links would be appreciated. 2. Can I continue to use
            Message 5 of 21 , Oct 18, 2005
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              --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, Mark Bayern <mbayern@g...>
              wrote:
              1. What's a good dependeable lightweight hammock for a beginner?
              Proudct names, images, and/or links would be appreciated.

              2. Can I continue to use my current shelter?

              Yes, but the fun really atarts when you fire up the ol' sewing
              machine and make your own gear! :)

              3. If not, do I need a new shelter?

              4. Are there integrated hammock/shelter systems?

              Several different styles are available, Hennessy and Clark Jungle
              Hammocks come to mind. But again, many have made their own and the
              move seems to be a modular system than can be tailored for the
              specific environment you will encounter on you outing. For instance,
              why carry a bugnet in the dead of winter?

              5. Is a hammock easy to use, easy to pitch?

              As stated already, you can pitch it anywhere suitable trees are
              available and many places that would not accomodate a tent or tarp
              very easily like sidehills or rocky wet terrain. Once you learn
              (maybe you already know) a few basic knots and hitches the rest is
              cake.

              6. Can you comfortably move around in a hammock, say, move from your
              back to your side? Or are you held in one position?

              Moving is pretty easy. And I have found that you can lie at various
              angles not possible when ground sleeping. On the round you are
              either on your back or on your side, but in a hammock you can be
              anywhere in between! From spraweled out all the way to the fetal
              position is easy.

              7. I have a flexion bias, meaning that my back feels best when I'm
              leaning slighlty forward. But at the same time, I don't want to be
              forced to sleep in an upside down rainbow sort of position – In
              other words, can hammocks be tautly pitched, so that I have some
              flexion when I sleep, but not a lot?

              I'm not sure what flexion means, but if you mean your upper body is
              slightly higher than your lower body, yes! And, it is a very natural
              sleep position, for me anyway.

              Sorry for all the questions. Appreciate any feedback.

              I think you will find that the hammock system is a very versatile
              and easily adaptable shelter. There is almost nowhere it will not
              work in one form or another, either as a hanging hammock or a bivy.
              I have seen people hang 'em off of motorcycles handlebars, in the
              back of pick-ups and Jeeps and places that would cause tenters to
              break down in tears. All with less impact on the environment!

              Once you read the links that have been posted, and some others you
              will find along the way, you will have more questions. So come back
              and ask all the questions you want. This really is the cutting edge
              of the hammock revolution!

              Also check out the photo section, TONS of good pictures and homebrew
              stuff in there as well.

              Welcome to hammocking!
            • jwj32542
              Until you buy Ed s book (www.hammockcamping.com), this is probably the best link to start with: http://hikinghq.net/hammock/hammock.html It has pics and links
              Message 6 of 21 , Oct 19, 2005
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                Until you buy Ed's book (www.hammockcamping.com), this is probably
                the best link to start with:
                http://hikinghq.net/hammock/hammock.html

                It has pics and links to all kinds of hammocks, as well as basic
                instructions for using the Hennessy brand.

                Check out the hammock camping newsletters that Ed posts on his site,
                too.

                Risk's and Shane's are awesome, too...they've already been provided.

                I'm kinda partial to this one :)
                http://www.geocities.com/jwj32542/HammockCamping.html

                Making a hammock is very easy (see the TestHammock link on Risk's
                page), and it's a lot more fun than buying one. There are a few DIY
                projects for hammocks and associated gear online - just google it.

                Jeff
              • Bill in Houston
                Lots of good answers already. Just a couple of comments from me. ... would be a great place to get
                Message 7 of 21 , Oct 19, 2005
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                  Lots of good answers already. Just a couple of comments from me.

                  --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "jkneilson" <jkneilson@y...>
                  wrote:
                  > 1. What's a good dependeable lightweight hammock for a beginner?
                  > Proudct names, images, and/or links would be appreciated.
                  <http://www.imrisk.com/testhammock/testhammock.htm> would be a great
                  place to get started. I'm a stomach/side sleeper, so I thought
                  hammocks might not be doable, so I made one of these to try it out,
                  and I am still using it. 4 yards of $1 material from Walmart, and
                  some polypropylene braided rope, and you are good to go. You could
                  be swinging this afternoon.

                  > 2. Can I continue to use my current shelter?
                  You betcha.

                  > 5. Is a hammock easy to use, easy to pitch?
                  Yes. I mean, two knots on the hammock and you are set up.

                  > 6. Can you comfortably move around in a hammock, say, move from
                  your
                  > back to your side? Or are you held in one position?
                  It's really easy to move and I sleep in all sorts of positions in the
                  hammock that are impossible in a bed.

                  > 7. I have a flexion bias, meaning that my back feels best when I'm
                  > leaning slighlty forward. But at the same time, I don't want to be
                  > forced to sleep in an upside down rainbow sort of position – In
                  > other words, can hammocks be tautly pitched, so that I have some
                  > flexion when I sleep, but not a lot?
                  Sure. I think Risk pitches his hammock pretty tightly and sleeps
                  along the axis. Hennessey (sp?) has a looser pitch that is claimed
                  helps you sleep flatter a little off the long axis. Speer says the
                  same. I have not had a lot of luck with my perception of the
                  diagonal thing, but I just sleep along the axis and don't feel like a
                  banana or anything.

                  > Sorry for all the questions. Appreciate any feedback.
                  Main feedback - make a hammock and get in it soon. The possibilities
                  for less pain are too great to let them slide by...

                  Bill in Houston
                • Rosaleen Sullivan
                  Kevin- You have already had several responses as I read the digest with your message. There was plenty of good advice in them. I m one of the many who
                  Message 8 of 21 , Oct 19, 2005
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                    Kevin-

                    You have already had several responses as I read the "digest" with your message. There was plenty of good advice in them. I'm one of the many who converted to Hennessy Hammocks for outdoor sleeping due to back problems. I have two blown lumbar discs and some other problems. If you can get to one of Ed's Hammock Camping events, you might be able to climb into several brands and get a "feel" for the one that best suits you.

                    Just know that if I had to ground sleep, backpacking would be over for me. I figured ways to rig my hammock at nearly all of the shelters that I've stayed in (or near ) on the AT. (In, in the case of the Smokies.)

                    Good Luck!

                    Rosaleen


                    From: "jkneilson" <jkneilson@...<mailto:jkneilson@...>>
                    Subject: New Member | Backpain.

                    Hi all, I'm a member of the BackPackingLight group. I recently
                    posted a message about dealing with back pain while sleeping on
                    hiking trips. So far, all respondents have told me to "go hammock."
                    I currently sleep under an 8X10 silnylon tarp and have never thought
                    of sleeping in a hammock. I have a lot of questions:

                    1. What's a good dependeable lightweight hammock for a beginner?
                    Proudct names, images, and/or links would be appreciated.
                    2. Can I continue to use my current shelter?
                    3. If not, do I need a new shelter?
                    4. Are there integrated hammock/shelter systems?
                    5. Is a hammock easy to use, easy to pitch?
                    6. Can you comfortably move around in a hammock, say, move from your
                    back to your side? Or are you held in one position?
                    7. I have a flexion bias, meaning that my back feels best when I'm
                    leaning slighlty forward. But at the same time, I don't want to be
                    forced to sleep in an upside down rainbow sort of position - In
                    other words, can hammocks be tautly pitched, so that I have some
                    flexion when I sleep, but not a lot?

                    Sorry for all the questions. Appreciate any feedback.

                    Cheers,
                    Kevin


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • jkneilson
                    In one of the many (and helpful) replies to my original post, someone mentioned this, a phrase: Sleeping on the diagonal of a properly pitched hammock. What
                    Message 9 of 21 , Oct 19, 2005
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                      In one of the many (and helpful) replies to my original post, someone
                      mentioned this, a phrase: "Sleeping on the diagonal of a properly
                      pitched hammock." What exactly does this mean? Sorry for the hyper-
                      basic question. I've enjoyed learning about hammocks and am eager to
                      build my own for trial purposes before I go Hennesy. Many cheers, Kevin
                    • Rick
                      Kevin, There are good answers to all your questions. Already, the answers have started. There are many people on the list using a number of different
                      Message 10 of 21 , Oct 20, 2005
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                        Kevin,

                        There are good answers to all your questions. Already, the answers have
                        started. There are many people on the list using a number of different
                        hammocks and I am sure they will be happy to share with you.

                        A couple points: You asked if you can use your 8x10 tarp. Yes. In
                        fact that is a very good size for hammock camping and having found two
                        trees to hang a hammock from, the tarp is very easy to hang from the
                        same two trees. It works best to hang it with the 10 foot sides
                        parallel with the hammock.

                        Before going much futher, a couple resources are worth your time.

                        Ed Speer's book on hammock camping is a great resource. Buy it, and
                        read it. It will answer many questions you have not even thought of yet.
                        http://www.hammockcamping.com/

                        On the same page, there are a number of hammock reports that you can
                        download and read.

                        Also, my hammock pages on the internet are worth a look. There will be
                        a number of questions answered there and some projects for making your
                        own hammock if you wish.

                        http://www.imrisk.com/

                        Look about half way down on the left side of the page.

                        Stick around. There is fun to be had and much to learn.

                        Risk

                        jkneilson wrote:

                        > Hi all, I'm a member of the BackPackingLight group. I recently
                        > posted a message about dealing with back pain while sleeping on
                        > hiking trips. So far, all respondents have told me to "go hammock."
                        > I currently sleep under an 8X10 silnylon tarp and have never thought
                        > of sleeping in a hammock. I have a lot of questions:
                        >
                        > 1. What's a good dependeable lightweight hammock for a beginner?
                        > Proudct names, images, and/or links would be appreciated.
                        > 2. Can I continue to use my current shelter?
                        > 3. If not, do I need a new shelter?
                        > 4. Are there integrated hammock/shelter systems?
                        > 5. Is a hammock easy to use, easy to pitch?
                        > 6. Can you comfortably move around in a hammock, say, move from your
                        > back to your side? Or are you held in one position?
                        > 7. I have a flexion bias, meaning that my back feels best when I'm
                        > leaning slighlty forward. But at the same time, I don't want to be
                        > forced to sleep in an upside down rainbow sort of position - In
                        > other words, can hammocks be tautly pitched, so that I have some
                        > flexion when I sleep, but not a lot?
                        >
                        > Sorry for all the questions. Appreciate any feedback.
                        >
                        > Cheers,
                        > Kevin
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > SPONSORED LINKS
                        > Camping hammock
                        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Camping+hammock&w1=Camping+hammock&w2=Camping+food&w3=Rv+camping&w4=Gsi+outdoors&w5=Happy+camper&w6=Outdoors&c=6&s=105&.sig=4AsTHlCZmH7iJEKRQhZ69g>
                        > Camping food
                        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Camping+food&w1=Camping+hammock&w2=Camping+food&w3=Rv+camping&w4=Gsi+outdoors&w5=Happy+camper&w6=Outdoors&c=6&s=105&.sig=Cxs6cfzsEzfzWFwiJRiH1Q>
                        > Rv camping
                        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Rv+camping&w1=Camping+hammock&w2=Camping+food&w3=Rv+camping&w4=Gsi+outdoors&w5=Happy+camper&w6=Outdoors&c=6&s=105&.sig=aT_kvYUCLpXjLyTeLFO1Ew>
                        >
                        > Gsi outdoors
                        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Gsi+outdoors&w1=Camping+hammock&w2=Camping+food&w3=Rv+camping&w4=Gsi+outdoors&w5=Happy+camper&w6=Outdoors&c=6&s=105&.sig=rECy3cqNEIpgzeVoZEsTnw>
                        > Happy camper
                        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Happy+camper&w1=Camping+hammock&w2=Camping+food&w3=Rv+camping&w4=Gsi+outdoors&w5=Happy+camper&w6=Outdoors&c=6&s=105&.sig=sXLsCHw8KwziLp8dHz7HkA>
                        > Outdoors
                        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/gads?t=ms&k=Outdoors&w1=Camping+hammock&w2=Camping+food&w3=Rv+camping&w4=Gsi+outdoors&w5=Happy+camper&w6=Outdoors&c=6&s=105&.sig=u4gP0ieVizFNuJQwXwkrjg>
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                        >
                        > * Visit your group "hammockcamping
                        > <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping>" on the web.
                        >
                        > * To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                        > hammockcamping-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                        > <mailto:hammockcamping-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
                        >
                        > * Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                        > Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
                        >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        >


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Rat
                        First that is two part question. Part one: A properly pitched hammock is a little different for each person. But what it means generaly means is that it has
                        Message 11 of 21 , Oct 20, 2005
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                          First that is two part question.

                          Part one: A properly pitched hammock is a little different for each
                          person. But what it means generaly means is that it has the right
                          amount of "sag" in it. The right amount of sag is determined by you.
                          One of the nice features (and patented) of the Hennessey is that is
                          has a permanent ridge-line that determines the amount of sag no matter
                          how tight the suspension ropes are tied. Many of us who have homebuilt
                          hammocks use a permanent or semi-permanent ridge-line in our set-ups
                          as well. However, you don't NEED a ridge-line if you are fairly adept
                          at gauging the amount of sag you like when tying up the hammock.

                          Part two: The hammocks we use and build are called Myan Hammocks, or
                          based on them at least. One of the benefits of a properly built Myan
                          Hammock is that you can lie almost flat in it, actually so close to
                          flat I can't tell the difference! The way to do this is to lie with
                          your feet on one side of the hammock and your head and upper body on
                          the other, accross the centerline. It's only a few degrees from
                          center, but it makes a huge difference in the way the hammock feels!

                          All of this will come together when you start your experiments. You
                          will find the perfect sag and the perfect diagonal for you, that is
                          the sweet spot. Once you find it and sleep in it a few nights, you
                          will shake your head in bewilderment every time you see someone
                          pitching a tent! :)

                          Rat the Bewildered

                          > In one of the many (and helpful) replies to my original post,
                          someone
                          > mentioned this, a phrase: "Sleeping on the diagonal of a properly
                          > pitched hammock." What exactly does this mean? Sorry for the hyper-
                          > basic question. I've enjoyed learning about hammocks and am eager to
                          > build my own for trial purposes before I go Hennesy. Many cheers,
                          Kevin
                          >
                        • BRIAN
                          ... someone ... Kevin Kevin: I have had extensive reconstruction of my lumbar area. My day to day life is almost pain free after my last surgery, however,
                          Message 12 of 21 , Oct 21, 2005
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                            --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "jkneilson" <jkneilson@y...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > In one of the many (and helpful) replies to my original post,
                            someone
                            > mentioned this, a phrase: "Sleeping on the diagonal of a properly
                            > pitched hammock." What exactly does this mean? Sorry for the hyper-
                            > basic question. I've enjoyed learning about hammocks and am eager to
                            > build my own for trial purposes before I go Hennesy. Many cheers,
                            Kevin

                            Kevin:

                            I have had extensive reconstruction of my lumbar area. My day to day
                            life is almost pain free after my last surgery, however, Sleeping on
                            the ground is no longer an option for me. Hammocks have allowed me to
                            enjoy my time in the outdoors again. Depending on your injury, you
                            may find that Sleeping on the diagonal of a properly pitched hammock
                            is not as comfortable as sleeping on the centerline of one. This is
                            the way I sleep. It allows my back to flex forward which reduces my
                            end of day pain and also helps to reduce swelling in my feet. Try
                            making your own first. On my Hennesy there are features that I like
                            and there are features that contribute to my back pain. I also have a
                            Speer hammock. My favorite hammock is one that I made based partly on
                            Risk's Z-HAMMOCK and partly on the features I liked best from the
                            other two. I have also modified my HH to make it more back friendly
                            and easier to use for me. Hope to have some pics in my folder soon.
                            If I can help you in any way please ask. Be forewarned though, once
                            you hammock camp you will never intentionally sleep on the ground
                            again.

                            T-BACK
                          • Roby Dorsett
                            You only shake your head in bewilderment if you are a back/side sleeper. If you are a stomach sleeper like me you just shake your head in confusion on what to
                            Message 13 of 21 , Oct 25, 2005
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                              You only shake your head in bewilderment if you are a back/side sleeper. If
                              you are a stomach sleeper like me you just shake your head in confusion on
                              what to bring as you consider packweight, warmth, sleeping, trail rest
                              stops, etc... I still go back and forth between my tarp and my HH.
                              Although with back pain this might be a null issue. How do you other
                              stomach sleepers get comfy and sleep all night in a hammock? I just got
                              back from 4 days/nights in N.C. on the AT. Two were spent in my HH and two
                              were on the ground (I was testing various setups of bivy/tarp/hammock). I
                              was warm in the hammock with my JacksRbetter Quilt but wasn't as comfortable
                              as I could only make it to my side and ended up dozing on and off all night.
                              On the ground though I slept all night in one position on my stomach. Any
                              thoughts from other stomach sleepers...Note: I love sleeping on my stomach
                              and don't want to "train" myself to sleep on my back, having tried that
                              before and spending many sleepless/restless nights in a row with no real
                              change in my sleeping habits.
                              -Roby



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Bill in Houston
                              Make one of Risk s testhammocks, and try different amounts of sag, and different amounts of tightening of the edges, and see what works for you. The HH
                              Message 14 of 21 , Oct 25, 2005
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                                Make one of Risk's testhammocks, and try different amounts of sag,
                                and different amounts of tightening of the edges, and see what works
                                for you. The HH doesn't allow some of the experimenting that the
                                testhammock/speer type does. If you are a purely stomach sleeper,
                                you may just be out of luck, or you may need to try an alternate
                                design, like that one that looks like a dolphin sling...

                                Bill in Houston

                                --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Roby Dorsett"
                                <packtramp@h...> wrote:
                                >
                                > You only shake your head in bewilderment if you are a back/side
                                sleeper. If
                                > you are a stomach sleeper like me you just shake your head in
                                confusion on
                                > On the ground though I slept all night in one position on my
                                stomach. Any
                                > thoughts from other stomach sleepers...Note: I love sleeping on my
                                stomach
                                > and don't want to "train" myself to sleep on my back, having tried
                                that
                                > before and spending many sleepless/restless nights in a row with no
                                real
                                > change in my sleeping habits.
                                > -Roby
                              • Roby Dorsett
                                I downloaded the design for the ZHammock. Gonna try making one over the next few weeks and then play around with it. Will I want more or less sag to sleep on
                                Message 15 of 21 , Oct 27, 2005
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                                  I downloaded the design for the ZHammock. Gonna try making one over the
                                  next few weeks and then play around with it. Will I want more or less sag
                                  to sleep on my stomach? You would think less, but laying on the diagonal
                                  may make it counter intuitive...
                                  Thanks Bill,
                                  Roby


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • jwj32542
                                  ... Either one...depends on what s comfortable to you. I used to use very little sag, but the shoulder squeeze got to me. Now I use more sag. I can sleep on
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Oct 27, 2005
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                                    --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Roby Dorsett" <packtramp@h...>
                                    wrote:
                                    > Will I want more or less sag
                                    > to sleep on my stomach?

                                    Either one...depends on what's comfortable to you. I used to use very
                                    little sag, but the shoulder squeeze got to me. Now I use more sag.
                                    I can sleep on my stomach either way, but I think it's more
                                    comfortable with more sag. Others disagree...try it both ways and see
                                    which one you like best.
                                  • Bill in Houston
                                    I d take Jeff s (jwj) word for it. As far as I know, theoretically, if you really wanted to be on your stomach, more sag and very little edge tightening would
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Oct 27, 2005
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                                      I'd take Jeff's (jwj) word for it. As far as I know, theoretically, if
                                      you really wanted to be on your stomach, more sag and very little edge
                                      tightening would be the way to do it. But I can't say for sure.

                                      Bill in Houston

                                      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Roby Dorsett" <packtramp@h...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      > I downloaded the design for the ZHammock. Gonna try making one over
                                      the
                                      > next few weeks and then play around with it. Will I want more or
                                      less sag
                                      > to sleep on my stomach? You would think less, but laying on the
                                      diagonal
                                      > may make it counter intuitive...
                                      > Thanks Bill,
                                      > Roby
                                    • J.D. Hoessle
                                      ... IMHO, good place to start. I did just that last winter to prove to myself that one could actually stay warm in a hammock. Even with my VERY poor talents
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Oct 28, 2005
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                                        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Roby Dorsett" <packtramp@h...>
                                        wrote:
                                        > I downloaded the design for the ZHammock. Gonna try making one over
                                        > the next few weeks and then play around with it.

                                        IMHO, good place to start. I did just that last winter to prove to
                                        myself that one could actually stay warm in a hammock. Even with my
                                        VERY poor talents and *&&^$%$@$@! experience with the sewing machine,
                                        I was able to hang in the back yard down into the teens.

                                        Can't comment on the stomach-sleeping aspects - sorry.

                                        Happy Trails,

                                        J.D.
                                      • hammock_engineer
                                        I know that you said that you do not want to change your sleeping habits, but as one back pain sufferer to another, you might want to try. I used to only
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Oct 28, 2005
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                                          I know that you said that you do not want to change your sleeping
                                          habits, but as one back pain sufferer to another, you might want to
                                          try. I used to only sleep on my stomach. Then I hurt my back. Took a
                                          long time, but I got used to side or back. So much easier on the lower
                                          back. If I sleep on my stomach I am swore all day, but I am fine on my
                                          back or side.

                                          But that is just what works for me. Different things work for
                                          different people.
                                        • Fuzzy
                                          ... habits I grew up as a belly-sleeper. I tend to snore when I sleep on my side. I tend to snore pretty badly when I sleep on my belly. I tend to rattle
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Oct 28, 2005
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                                            --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "hammock_engineer"
                                            <fishfarmer316@h...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            > I know that you said that you do not want to change your sleeping
                                            habits

                                            I grew up as a belly-sleeper. I tend to snore when I sleep on my
                                            side. I tend to snore pretty badly when I sleep on my belly. I tend
                                            to rattle windows when I sleep on my back. Mary helped to teach me to
                                            sleep on my side. How, you ask?

                                            Every time I started to snore, she picked up the 16" stainless steel
                                            mixing bowl from her night table, held it near my head, and firmly
                                            struck the bottom of it several times with the edge of a metal spatula.

                                            Turned me into a side-sleeper pretty quick.

                                            Fuzzy
                                          • jwj32542
                                            When I m in a bed, I always fall asleep on my stomach, and spend some time on my side throughout the night. In a hammock, I always fall asleep on my back and
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Oct 28, 2005
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                                              When I'm in a bed, I always fall asleep on my stomach, and spend some
                                              time on my side throughout the night.

                                              In a hammock, I always fall asleep on my back and spend most of the
                                              night there, with some side-sleeping through the night, and usually
                                              spend a few minutes on my stomach right after I wake up. Just comes
                                              naturally since the hammock is more comfortable, I guess...didn't have
                                              to train myself or anything.
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