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Bridge Hammock ...is it cumfortable?

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  • Torsha P.
    Hey Hammockers, I am interested in this Bridge Hammock that everyone is talking about. http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1676 Looks cool, tut
    Message 1 of 22 , Sep 18, 2007
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      Hey Hammockers,

      I am interested in this Bridge Hammock that everyone is talking about.

      http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1676

      Looks cool, tut has anyone ever slept in the thing? Is it comfortable?
    • milwaukee_son
      ... Hi Torsha P. I fly under the GrizzlyAdams atavar at hammock forums. I ve slept 5 nights in it, and like it a lot, principally because I can sleep easily on
      Message 2 of 22 , Sep 19, 2007
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        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Torsha P." <torpo23@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hey Hammockers,
        >
        > I am interested in this Bridge Hammock that everyone is talking about.
        >
        > http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1676
        >
        > Looks cool, tut has anyone ever slept in the thing? Is it comfortable?
        >

        Hi Torsha P.
        I fly under the GrizzlyAdams atavar at hammock forums.

        I've slept 5 nights in it, and like it a lot, principally because I can
        sleep easily on my side and stomach. Others in the HF who've done so report similarly.

        My earlier models did not spread as wide as I'm spreading it now, and I didn't
        feel I had as much side-to-side room as in my HH Explorer. That's changed though by
        spreading the head end out to 42".

        As we head into the colder months I'm going to be looking critically at how
        to sleep warmly. Spread wide it is quite open at the top, you don't so much nessle
        into the fabric (and underquilt) around you as with conventional camping hammocks.
        That said, the geometry of the body is so regular that a quilt wrap cocoon style --- a
        peapod for the bridge, if you will---sbould be easy to make work.

        feel free to ask more questions, either through HF or here. You won't know
        for sure whether you like it until you try it, but they are easy to construct. I wrote
        up fairly detailed instructions for just that :

        http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1676


        regards,

        milwaukee_son / GrizzlyAdams / David
      • Dave Womble
        GrizzlyAdams, That is a lot of work you have done on the design and documentation. Looks like you have had a lot of fun working on that and it shows in the
        Message 3 of 22 , Sep 21, 2007
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          GrizzlyAdams,

          That is a lot of work you have done on the design and documentation.
          Looks like you have had a lot of fun working on that and it shows in
          the quality of your documentation. You make it sound like it is
          perfect in every way. Is it really that good or are there some
          negative tradeoffs involved with it, like shoulder squeeze,
          sensitivity to how you lay, and how you enter and exit... I think that
          is what the initial question is all about? My initial reaction when
          someone posted the link to that hammock a few years ago
          (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/message/8997) was that
          it might be more suitable for specific small spaces (like a cabin in a
          small boat) since the hammocks I'm familiar with seemingly require
          more length and width (for laying diagonal) to be comfortable for long
          periods of time.

          Dave Womble
          aka Youngblood 2000
          designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
        • Scott Schroeder
          Dave, there is quite a bit of information on the hammockforums on the BridgeHammock thread Probably
          Message 4 of 22 , Sep 21, 2007
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            Dave, there is quite a bit of information on the hammockforums on the
            BridgeHammock <http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1297>thread
            Probably too much info...... :D
            It's only 75 pages lol, and it should have been longer but TeeDee
            unfortunately deleted his posts.
            If you wanna look at some pictures you can see my
            gallery<http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/browseimages.php?do=member&imageuser=568>
            and also check out Grizz'
            gallery<http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/browseimages.php?do=member&imageuser=423>
            It's a community project and lots of people are jumping in.
            The more we see making their own, I think the more ideas start sprouting up.
            The design has many possibilities and variables.
            Shoulder squeeze isn't really an issue, especially if you are a side
            sleeper.
            Grizz (and then I) made a hammock 90" long by 5' wide and that allows you to
            sleep comfortably on you stomach.
            I haven't found entering and exiting a problem at all.
            The current 'downsides' are how to handle the spreaders.
            We know we can make the spread wide enough to not worry about shoulder
            squeeze, but as they get longer the forces increase.
            So right now, the designs and ideas are trying to come up with lightweight
            ways to use hiking poles or carry light poles, while minimizing the forces
            on the poles. Griz has really been pushing the envelope on minimizing these
            forces to where he has actually used stakes to pull the sides out.
            It's pretty easy to make one if you use Grizz' table to make the curves.
            Once you have a posterboard template, cutting the fabric is rather easy.
            That will give you a basic hammock to see if you like it.
            Accessories are a whole other topic... :) (hence 75 pages of talk).
            Something I'm excited about is using an adjustable bottom in the cold. So
            we'll see how that goes.
            I would hope members here on the yahoo group would give it a shot and see
            how they like it.
            I think one of the strengths of the design is how you can sleep on your side
            or stomach.
            Grizz' even had the spread wide enough to be in a semi fetal position.
            Anyway....I know you like to tinker, so make one up and see what you think
            :)

            Scott



            On 9/21/07, Dave Womble <dpwomble@...> wrote:
            >
            > GrizzlyAdams,
            >
            > That is a lot of work you have done on the design and documentation.
            > Looks like you have had a lot of fun working on that and it shows in
            > the quality of your documentation. You make it sound like it is
            > perfect in every way. Is it really that good or are there some
            > negative tradeoffs involved with it, like shoulder squeeze,
            > sensitivity to how you lay, and how you enter and exit... I think that
            > is what the initial question is all about? My initial reaction when
            > someone posted the link to that hammock a few years ago
            > (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/message/8997) was that
            > it might be more suitable for specific small spaces (like a cabin in a
            > small boat) since the hammocks I'm familiar with seemingly require
            > more length and width (for laying diagonal) to be comfortable for long
            > periods of time.
            >
            > Dave Womble
            > aka Youngblood 2000
            > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Dave Womble
            Scott, I am old engineer that has done design work and conducted design reviews. I am going to play the devil s advocate on this for a moment and I hope you
            Message 5 of 22 , Sep 21, 2007
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              Scott,

              I am old engineer that has done design work and conducted design
              reviews. I am going to play the devil's advocate on this for a moment
              and I hope you understand that technique and don't take it as a
              personal insult, it is not intended to be that.

              One thing I see right off is how the term 'flat' is being used. Cots
              with fabric beds are flat and they don't have shoulder squeeze issues.
              However, they put a lot of stress on the fabric and the frame to do
              that. I believe that the term 'flat' is being misused to describe a
              straight spline with the bridge hammock, as opposed to the traditional
              banana shape associated with smallish hammocks. When I look at this
              photo http://tinyurl.com/ypr3br I don't see flat-- I see a straight
              spline with some shoulder squeeze and a fabric bed that stretches
              enough to follow the curves of your body such that major pressure
              points are avoided.

              I don't associate being flat as an absolute indicator of being
              comfortable, I think you want to be reasonably flat and have support
              that contours to the shape of your body without subjecting you to
              uncomfortable pressure points. I can make two large hammocks using
              the same dimensions and construction techniques, and if I use
              materials such that one has a reasonable amount of stretch in the
              fabric bed and the other has negligible stretch, the one with a
              reasonable amount of stretch will be more comfortable than the one
              with negligible stretch... and the one with negligible stretch may be
              uncomfortable. This is often the case with nylon fabric beds versus
              polyester or canvas fabric beds. Also, I can make two different
              hammocks out of the same reasonably stretchy fabric and if one is
              smallish and the other is large, the smallish one will not be as
              comfortable as the large one... and the smallish one may be
              uncomfortable.

              Being flat in itself does not guarantee being comfortable. The
              advantage I see for a hammock being flat, like a cot, is for stomach
              sleeping and it has been a while since I have slept on a cot. But if
              my memory is correct the cots I slept on were made out of canvas and
              weren't all that comfortable on their own. That wasn't because they
              weren't flat, it was because they are made out of a very strong, low
              stretch canvas which caused uncomfortable pressure points and they
              were typically too narrow to allow for a wide range of sleeping
              positions. Seems like we had to use some type of cushion to get
              comfortable on those cots. As far as stomach sleeping goes, I am
              afraid that these days I have a stomach that gets in the way of that
              <grin>. Besides, the floors of the shelters along the AT are flat and
              I assure you they aren't that comfortable for me unless I have about 3
              inches or more of cushioning to relieve pressure points... the same
              can be said for the plywood berths I have used in hostels or
              live-aboard dive boats.

              Being comfortable is ... well it is being comfortable and that has
              more to do with relieving pressure points than it has to do with
              being flat. That is not to say that you can't be comfortable with a
              straight spline or being flat, that is saying that there is more to it
              than that.

              For what it's worth, back a few years ago when I was looking through
              patents related to hammocks, I came across one where they patented
              using an inflatable pad that was flat on the top side but had the
              complimentary shape of a hammock on the bottom side to flatten out the
              lay of a hammock. It looked interesting but I don't recall if they
              addressed the severe stability issue that could cause since it raises
              you quite a bit, my large 4+ inch thick DAM raises me a few inches and
              it does affect the stability.

              I also recall a patent for having expanded sections on the hammock bed
              at the feet and maybe the head area as well, with the claim that these
              allowed your feet (and head?) to drop and thus flatten your lay so
              that you had a straight spline. Again, with this patent I'm not sure
              they built a working prototype or that it is actually something worth
              doing. With comfortable backpacking hammocks I get a similar effect
              by laying on a diagonal and taking advantage of the extra stretch
              along the bias of the fabric... I notice my feet drop quite a bit and
              is one reason that I exaggerate how much I raise the foot end of my
              hammock.

              Dave Womble
              aka Youngblood 2000
              designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
            • milwaukee_son
              ... Thanks, I have had a lot of fun building this. I like that, Perfect in Every Way ---the Mary Poppins Hammock No, not perfect in every way. Like
              Message 6 of 22 , Sep 22, 2007
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                --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@...> wrote:
                >
                > GrizzlyAdams,
                >
                > That is a lot of work you have done on the design and documentation.
                > Looks like you have had a lot of fun working on that and it shows in
                > the quality of your documentation. You make it sound like it is
                > perfect in every way. Is it really that good or are there some
                > negative tradeoffs involved with it, like shoulder squeeze,
                > sensitivity to how you lay, and how you enter and exit... I think that
                > is what the initial question is all about? My initial reaction when
                > someone posted the link to that hammock a few years ago
                > (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/message/8997) was that
                > it might be more suitable for specific small spaces (like a cabin in a
                > small boat) since the hammocks I'm familiar with seemingly require
                > more length and width (for laying diagonal) to be comfortable for long
                > periods of time.
                >
                > Dave Womble
                > aka Youngblood 2000
                > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                >

                Thanks, I have had a lot of fun building this.

                I like that, "Perfect in Every Way"---the Mary Poppins Hammock <grin>

                No, not perfect in every way. Like any hammock there are issues that
                one must pay attention to when building and hanging. With the bridge
                hammock they are different issues than with conventional hammocks.

                Shoulder squeeze can be an issue unless you spread the fabric wide
                enough. Early models that the HF crowd built largely followed a
                design from an Austrailian sailing club, that used 36" spreader bar at
                the head. That's not enough for a large person (I'm 6'1"), but I've
                found that spreading it out farther (e.g. 42") has a tremendously
                liberating effect on squeeze. But it also increases the forces on the
                spreader poles. From a designer's point of view I think you have to
                have a firm grasp on these forces and what design decisions have on
                them. Once that's sorted out, I can imagine someone (like the JRB
                guys) committing to a spreader bar length and suspension line length,
                and providing dedicated spreader bars. Then the only thing to pay
                attention to is the height between the spreader bar and tree
                attachment point (same 1/sin(alpha) force projection issue as you have
                with any hammock).

                My only point of comparison w.r.t. entry/exit is with bottom loading
                HH hammocks. As with that, there is a certain technique one tends
                towards, but different. I've evolved towards hanging my bridge "low"
                to the ground, to increase the ascension angle alpha. To enter I stand
                at the middle, reach across with my right hand and lean on the
                opposing webbing line, lift a leg in, with my left hand push on the
                near webbing line and lift the rest of me in. This may be a little
                more delicate than what I've read about Speer style top-loaders, where
                you back into the hammock (it raises up behind you), then lift your
                legs up. I'm hanging lower than that (mostly out of consideration for
                the compression forces on my hiking poles).

                As Scott also pointed out, spreader bars are the main point of
                consideration right now. Ideally you'd be able to use your hiking
                poles. We're doing that, but they are after all one's hiking poles
                and the compression forces can be large, depending. So Scott is
                chasing down single-use poles that would "just work" in most
                conditions. There are a number of ideas floating around and being
                tried out to reduce the user's needed expertise level (which is not
                large, but is extant).

                With respect to your devil's advocacy with Scott re "flat", I'll
                happily concede that point. "Flat" is actually misleading, in-so-far
                as it seems the Trease hammock (see http://65.108.204.95/, no I don't
                carry numeric IP addresses in my head, it seems the www.trease.biz
                domain name has lapsed...) is much more on the "flat" side, like a
                trampoline. Having said that I don't think "straight spline" quite
                does it all either. How about "straight longitudal axis?" The hammock
                conforms to the body...I like that...no pressure points....still I can
                curl in ways I cannot in my HH Explorer, and can sleep on my stomach,
                pillowing my head on my arms as I cannot in my HH Explorer.

                A couple of pictures tell this story...

                http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/files/4/2/3/grizz-on-stomach.jpg

                http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/files/4/2/3/grizz-on-side.jpg

                BTW, the hiking pole at the head end is pushing apart the corners 41".
                Also, these pictures are of a hammock body where I was experimenting
                with dual webbing suspension lines. Not used in these pictures, and
                (as it turns out), not needed.

                As one of engineering bent I've enjoyed the open challenges in
                exploring design possibilities. But choice of hammock is a personal
                preference. I'm optimized towards sleeping the way illustrated in the
                pictures. If I was happy on my back with a knee pillow, I wouldn't
                really have much motivation to pursue this design, unless I was a
                gram-weeny. I think you can build a comfortable hammock with less
                material...the bodies of my 60" x 90" hammocks (with webbing) are
                something like 8 oz.

                The Mary Poppins hammock it ain't. But its an interesting corner of
                the design space that does some things better than conventional hammocks.
              • Dave Womble
                GrizzlyAdams, I couldn t get the photo link to work this morning but I think I have seen the photos you refer too. You and I could probably get lost in
                Message 7 of 22 , Sep 23, 2007
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                  GrizzlyAdams,

                  I couldn't get the photo link to work this morning but I think I have
                  seen the photos you refer too. You and I could probably get lost in
                  technical talk but most folks don't want to hear that, they just want
                  to know how it performs and compares relative to something they are
                  familiar with.

                  Getting into and out of hammocks is a tricky proposition with all
                  hammocks and is something I get concerned with from time to time. You
                  have to pay attention to what you are doing, particularly the novice
                  hammock user or someone using underquilts, peapods or most any other
                  insulation as they do add some level of complexity to the process.
                  The narrow mid section that one would presumably first sit in on your
                  bridge hammock is the first thing I notice. I have noticed that
                  narrow conventional hammocks are more difficult to safely enter that
                  wider conventional hammocks. Do the spreader bars somewhat opening up
                  the hammock bed help with that?

                  And speaking of those wide spreader bars, whether they are dedicated
                  poles or hiking poles, they present new issues besides the torque and
                  tension on them and the hammock bed. I have used similar struts to
                  experiment with hammocks and to attach two hammocks side by side to
                  the same trees (http://tinyurl.com/2o7qu5). I don't believe the ones
                  I used would be as high as the ones you have on your bridge hammock
                  and I don't think they were as long. But I worried they were
                  something that could potentially be a problem with tarp coverage,
                  possibly snagging someone walking nearby, or poke a tarp when the
                  hammocks swing or are pushed to one side. Certainly that is not a
                  particularly difficult technical issue to resolve, but it is different
                  than the customary backpacking hammocks.

                  The bridge hammock has some significant differences from what folks
                  are use to and I would think most folks are concerned with the
                  differences-- the tradeoffs if you will, both the positive ones, the
                  negative ones, and even the ones that are six of one versus half a
                  dozen of the other. Something laid out simple and brief to help them
                  understand just what it is and what it can do for them versus what it
                  isn't and what it can't do for them. And I know that is sometimes
                  difficult for technical folks involved in design specifics to do-- we
                  often have a hard time seeing the forest because of all the specific
                  trees we see.

                  Dave Womble
                  aka Youngblood 2000
                  designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                • Nancye Eidson
                  First time post here --- I have been studying hammock systems with mild interest since the spring when I alerted to them through the AT journals. This bridge
                  Message 8 of 22 , Sep 23, 2007
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                    First time post here ---

                    I have been studying hammock systems with mild interest since the
                    spring when I alerted to
                    them through the AT journals. This bridge hammock idea has taken my
                    interest
                    to a new level, and made me glad I did not make a purchase plunge
                    earlier.

                    Please, keep all the techy talk as well as the comparisons and
                    performance reports
                    coming. We can pick and choose what we want to read. The pictures are
                    a huge
                    help. The more, the merrier.

                    Thank you to all the developers who share so freely, and with such
                    detailed reporting.
                    I especially enjoy the discussions that make it clear for which
                    applications the discussed
                    system alterations are best suited. My thinking was originally very
                    limited. Now there
                    are so many ideas.

                    Joyfully, Nancye in Kentucky

                    On Sep 23, 2007, at 8:33 AM, Dave Womble wrote:

                    > GrizzlyAdams,
                    >
                    > I couldn't get the photo link to work this morning but I think I have
                    > seen the photos you refer too. You and I could probably get lost in
                    > technical talk but most folks don't want to hear that, they just want
                    > to know how it performs and compares relative to something they are
                    > familiar with.
                    >
                  • Scott Schroeder
                    Hey Dave, being a devil s advocate is always good. However, correcting the spelling of the thread splits it into another thread... :))) I was tempted to do the
                    Message 9 of 22 , Sep 23, 2007
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                      Hey Dave, being a devil's advocate is always good. However, correcting the
                      spelling of the thread splits it into another thread... :))) I was tempted
                      to do the same because it was driving me crazy.
                      Anyhow, you have some valid points. I see Grizz replied and touched on some
                      of it as well.
                      I agree being Flat doesn't necessarily mean comfortable. It is 'flatish' or
                      flatter than a conventional hammock. :)
                      I think Grizz made an excellent point about optimizing the hammock for his
                      needs. I really can't sleep on my back for very long. I sleep mostly on my
                      side or side/stomach. I have a number of hammocks that I've bought or made
                      including HH, Claytor and speer types. If I make the hammocks like 11' and
                      pretty wide with lots of sag, I can get close to being comfortable on my
                      side (but definitely not my stomach) using the diagonal. After two back
                      surgeries in my lifetime, my midsection is pretty sensitive to bends and
                      twists. In the conventional style hammocks I notice the slight banana bend
                      and it becomes uncomfortable into the night. By contrast, the Bridge allows
                      me to get flatter while on my side or stomach. In that position shoulder
                      squeeze isn't really an issue. The squeeze toward the middle of the hammock
                      is kind of interesting because it feels 'supportive.'

                      On the Bridge thread over on the hammockforums, there is recent talk of
                      trying to get the widest spread as possible. I haven't chimed in yet (I
                      don't think so anyway ;) but sleeping in the hammock last night made me
                      realize something. I think we don't want to get the spread too far out
                      there. I think at some point this will make the hammock
                      *more*uncomfortable. I think it will become more taut and become more
                      like a cot
                      (to use your analogy). Yes the shoulder squeeze will be exacerbated but the
                      support will change. It will be like sleeping on a trampoline instead of in
                      a hammock. To me, that sounds less comfortable. So, like most things, there
                      is a Gaussian distribution between the two. This is where a wider hammock
                      body might allow for good support without shoulder squeeze.

                      I would actually say the bridge could be more uncomfortable if you are a
                      back sleeper and don't have this detailed worked out. My current
                      configuration seems to 'stretch' my back away from the spine. This is when
                      I'm laying on my back and it occurs in the upper back. It's not hugely
                      objectionable but I've noticed the same sensation in other hammocks or with
                      backpacks loaded in poor manner. This little bit of tension is probably
                      because the configuration isn't optimized and is getting toward the
                      trampoline tautness. However, on my side and pushing into less fabric, I
                      don't feel any discomfort. Something else occurred to me was my current
                      hammock is using a symmetrical parabola, whereas the first one was an offset
                      parabola to adjust to more weight on the upper body. So the small difference
                      there might be a detail we need to relook at.

                      I think it would be great if you cut and sewed one up so you could offer
                      your opinions and suggestions. If anything it's a fun just making another
                      hammock! :)

                      Scott



                      On 9/21/07, Dave Womble <dpwomble@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Scott,
                      >
                      > I am old engineer that has done design work and conducted design
                      > reviews. I am going to play the devil's advocate on this for a moment
                      > and I hope you understand that technique and don't take it as a
                      > personal insult, it is not intended to be that.
                      >
                      > One thing I see right off is how the term 'flat' is being used. Cots
                      > with fabric beds are flat and they don't have shoulder squeeze issues.
                      > However, they put a lot of stress on the fabric and the frame to do
                      > that. I believe that the term 'flat' is being misused to describe a
                      > straight spline with the bridge hammock, as opposed to the traditional
                      > banana shape associated with smallish hammocks. When I look at this
                      > photo http://tinyurl.com/ypr3br I don't see flat-- I see a straight
                      > spline with some shoulder squeeze and a fabric bed that stretches
                      > enough to follow the curves of your body such that major pressure
                      > points are avoided.
                      >
                      > I don't associate being flat as an absolute indicator of being
                      > comfortable, I think you want to be reasonably flat and have support
                      > that contours to the shape of your body without subjecting you to
                      > uncomfortable pressure points. I can make two large hammocks using
                      > the same dimensions and construction techniques, and if I use
                      > materials such that one has a reasonable amount of stretch in the
                      > fabric bed and the other has negligible stretch, the one with a
                      > reasonable amount of stretch will be more comfortable than the one
                      > with negligible stretch... and the one with negligible stretch may be
                      > uncomfortable. This is often the case with nylon fabric beds versus
                      > polyester or canvas fabric beds. Also, I can make two different
                      > hammocks out of the same reasonably stretchy fabric and if one is
                      > smallish and the other is large, the smallish one will not be as
                      > comfortable as the large one... and the smallish one may be
                      > uncomfortable.
                      >
                      > Being flat in itself does not guarantee being comfortable. The
                      > advantage I see for a hammock being flat, like a cot, is for stomach
                      > sleeping and it has been a while since I have slept on a cot. But if
                      > my memory is correct the cots I slept on were made out of canvas and
                      > weren't all that comfortable on their own. That wasn't because they
                      > weren't flat, it was because they are made out of a very strong, low
                      > stretch canvas which caused uncomfortable pressure points and they
                      > were typically too narrow to allow for a wide range of sleeping
                      > positions. Seems like we had to use some type of cushion to get
                      > comfortable on those cots. As far as stomach sleeping goes, I am
                      > afraid that these days I have a stomach that gets in the way of that
                      > <grin>. Besides, the floors of the shelters along the AT are flat and
                      > I assure you they aren't that comfortable for me unless I have about 3
                      > inches or more of cushioning to relieve pressure points... the same
                      > can be said for the plywood berths I have used in hostels or
                      > live-aboard dive boats.
                      >
                      > Being comfortable is ... well it is being comfortable and that has
                      > more to do with relieving pressure points than it has to do with
                      > being flat. That is not to say that you can't be comfortable with a
                      > straight spline or being flat, that is saying that there is more to it
                      > than that.
                      >
                      > For what it's worth, back a few years ago when I was looking through
                      > patents related to hammocks, I came across one where they patented
                      > using an inflatable pad that was flat on the top side but had the
                      > complimentary shape of a hammock on the bottom side to flatten out the
                      > lay of a hammock. It looked interesting but I don't recall if they
                      > addressed the severe stability issue that could cause since it raises
                      > you quite a bit, my large 4+ inch thick DAM raises me a few inches and
                      > it does affect the stability.
                      >
                      > I also recall a patent for having expanded sections on the hammock bed
                      > at the feet and maybe the head area as well, with the claim that these
                      > allowed your feet (and head?) to drop and thus flatten your lay so
                      > that you had a straight spline. Again, with this patent I'm not sure
                      > they built a working prototype or that it is actually something worth
                      > doing. With comfortable backpacking hammocks I get a similar effect
                      > by laying on a diagonal and taking advantage of the extra stretch
                      > along the bias of the fabric... I notice my feet drop quite a bit and
                      > is one reason that I exaggerate how much I raise the foot end of my
                      > hammock.
                      >
                      > Dave Womble
                      > aka Youngblood 2000
                      > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • milwaukee_son
                      ... I m guessing that a hammocks forum cookie needs to be in the browser for urls to work...sorry all. I have a couple of albums with bridge hammock photos at
                      Message 10 of 22 , Sep 23, 2007
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                        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > GrizzlyAdams,
                        >
                        > I couldn't get the photo link to work this morning but I think I have
                        > seen the photos you refer too.

                        I'm guessing that a hammocks forum cookie needs to be in the browser
                        for urls to work...sorry all.

                        I have a couple of albums with bridge hammock photos at

                        http://public.fotki.com/HikingFool

                        the photos I was trying to link to are in "Bridge Hammock Sept 07"

                        >You and I could probably get lost in
                        > technical talk but most folks don't want to hear that, they just want
                        > to know how it performs and compares relative to something they are
                        > familiar with.
                        >
                        > Getting into and out of hammocks is a tricky proposition with all
                        > hammocks and is something I get concerned with from time to time. You
                        > have to pay attention to what you are doing, particularly the novice
                        > hammock user or someone using underquilts, peapods or most any other
                        > insulation as they do add some level of complexity to the process.

                        One of the real attractions of the Bridge hammock is the very simple
                        geometry of the body. It promises to make designing and fitting
                        underquilts very easy. I used a simple poncho liner as an underquilt
                        in Northern MN about a month ago, temps down to mid-to-upper 40's, no
                        issues. I have a couple of long 20" wide pads I'll join together to
                        make a 40" pad, and that will go down there easily also. Held to the
                        bottom with an undernetting (and I'll be making a weather shield to
                        replace the undernetting for the colder weather).



                        > The narrow mid section that one would presumably first sit in on your
                        > bridge hammock is the first thing I notice. I have noticed that
                        > narrow conventional hammocks are more difficult to safely enter that
                        > wider conventional hammocks. Do the spreader bars somewhat opening up
                        > the hammock bed help with that?

                        Now that you can see the pictures, look again. With the hammock
                        spread wider, the narrow mid-section is not so narrow anymore. It was
                        an issue when I hung the hammock higher, and less wide. Low and
                        wide(r) is the ticket to make getting in and out easy.

                        >
                        > And speaking of those wide spreader bars, whether they are dedicated
                        > poles or hiking poles, they present new issues besides the torque and
                        > tension on them and the hammock bed. I have used similar struts to
                        > experiment with hammocks and to attach two hammocks side by side to
                        > the same trees (http://tinyurl.com/2o7qu5). I don't believe the ones
                        > I used would be as high as the ones you have on your bridge hammock
                        > and I don't think they were as long. But I worried they were
                        > something that could potentially be a problem with tarp coverage,
                        > possibly snagging someone walking nearby, or poke a tarp when the
                        > hammocks swing or are pushed to one side. Certainly that is not a
                        > particularly difficult technical issue to resolve, but it is different
                        > than the customary backpacking hammocks.

                        The way I'm using my poles I have a "tip" for the pole tip that is
                        made up of an electrical connector (like one uses to cover twisted
                        wires), and a washer. The electrical connector protects the tarp.
                        Hanging low helps to keep the pole ends away from the tarp ends. BUT
                        there could still be a problem if you needed to button down the sides
                        of the tarp to protect against weather. I have some hare-brained
                        ideas about that, but won't inflict those on our gentle readers right now.


                        >
                        > The bridge hammock has some significant differences from what folks
                        > are use to and I would think most folks are concerned with the
                        > differences-- the tradeoffs if you will, both the positive ones, the
                        > negative ones, and even the ones that are six of one versus half a
                        > dozen of the other. Something laid out simple and brief to help them
                        > understand just what it is and what it can do for them versus what it
                        > isn't and what it can't do for them. And I know that is sometimes
                        > difficult for technical folks involved in design specifics to do-- we
                        > often have a hard time seeing the forest because of all the specific
                        > trees we see.

                        I am pretty new to the hammocking thing and have no experience as yet
                        with anything other than the HH variety and the bridge. I did buy an
                        ENO double on sale a couple of weeks ago and will be playing with
                        that. The point being that I'm not especially well qualified to do a
                        good job of comparisons.

                        But I do appreciate the sentiment, and ought to be thinking about
                        writing upu an F.A.Q. list (Frequently Asked Questions) for the bridge
                        hammock.


                        >
                        > Dave Womble
                        > aka Youngblood 2000
                        > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                        >
                      • terry_and_pearl
                        ... Dave - I m going to chime in here. It s been a while since I logged into the Yahoo hammock forums, so I m a little late to the game here. First, I ve made
                        Message 11 of 22 , Sep 23, 2007
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                          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Scott,
                          >
                          > I am old engineer that has done design work and conducted design
                          > reviews. I am going to play the devil's advocate on this for a moment
                          > and I hope you understand that technique and don't take it as a
                          > personal insult, it is not intended to be that.
                          >
                          > One thing I see right off is how the term 'flat' is being used. Cots
                          > with fabric beds are flat and they don't have shoulder squeeze issues.
                          > However, they put a lot of stress on the fabric and the frame to do
                          > that. I believe that the term 'flat' is being misused to describe a
                          > straight spline with the bridge hammock, as opposed to the traditional
                          > banana shape associated with smallish hammocks. When I look at this
                          > photo http://tinyurl.com/ypr3br I don't see flat-- I see a straight
                          > spline with some shoulder squeeze and a fabric bed that stretches
                          > enough to follow the curves of your body such that major pressure
                          > points are avoided.


                          Dave - I'm going to chime in here. It's been a while since I logged
                          into the Yahoo hammock forums, so I'm a little late to the game here.

                          First, I've made a Bridge Hammock following the directions from the OZ
                          site. Nothing fancy to make. Just a flexible fiberglass rod, lay the
                          measurements specified there, out on the ripstop, bend the rod to
                          match, mark out the sides, cut and sew in the 1/2" webbing. simple.
                          I've made HH style hammocks - this is much easier.

                          My Bridge Hammock is 80" long an 60" wide at the widest points.

                          My DIY HH style, is a Safari clone. Very large and Very comfortable.
                          Easy to get really far onto the diagonal and almost as "flat" as any
                          hammock I've used. Now as you say the term "flat" can be misleading.
                          By flat I mean no banana shape. The banana shape is liked by some, but
                          for me personally, it is pure torture. Especially for my knees.

                          What I was looking for in the Bridge Hammock is "flat" as in no banana
                          shape and subsequent backwards bending of the knees. "flat" from head
                          to foot as in my memory foam mattress.



                          >
                          > I don't associate being flat as an absolute indicator of being
                          > comfortable, I think you want to be reasonably flat and have support
                          > that contours to the shape of your body without subjecting you to
                          > uncomfortable pressure points. I can make two large hammocks using
                          > the same dimensions and construction techniques, and if I use
                          > materials such that one has a reasonable amount of stretch in the
                          > fabric bed and the other has negligible stretch, the one with a
                          > reasonable amount of stretch will be more comfortable than the one
                          > with negligible stretch... and the one with negligible stretch may be
                          > uncomfortable. This is often the case with nylon fabric beds versus
                          > polyester or canvas fabric beds. Also, I can make two different
                          > hammocks out of the same reasonably stretchy fabric and if one is
                          > smallish and the other is large, the smallish one will not be as
                          > comfortable as the large one... and the smallish one may be
                          > uncomfortable.
                          >
                          > Being flat in itself does not guarantee being comfortable. The
                          > advantage I see for a hammock being flat, like a cot, is for stomach
                          > sleeping and it has been a while since I have slept on a cot. But if
                          > my memory is correct the cots I slept on were made out of canvas and
                          > weren't all that comfortable on their own. That wasn't because they
                          > weren't flat, it was because they are made out of a very strong, low
                          > stretch canvas which caused uncomfortable pressure points and they
                          > were typically too narrow to allow for a wide range of sleeping
                          > positions. Seems like we had to use some type of cushion to get
                          > comfortable on those cots. As far as stomach sleeping goes, I am
                          > afraid that these days I have a stomach that gets in the way of that
                          > <grin>. Besides, the floors of the shelters along the AT are flat and
                          > I assure you they aren't that comfortable for me unless I have about 3
                          > inches or more of cushioning to relieve pressure points... the same
                          > can be said for the plywood berths I have used in hostels or
                          > live-aboard dive boats.

                          As you point out being flat is not necessarily comfortable. I used a
                          flat hard mattress for years. As I got older, it got harder. The
                          pressure points just got to be too much. Sold the mattress, bought
                          some Qualtex foam (5" thick) and some memory foam (3" thick). Laid the
                          latter on top of the former. Comfortable with no pressure points -
                          like you say it conforms.

                          So that is one of the points that determines comfort. Having made my
                          Bridge Hammock out of 1.9 oz ripstop, it conforms - no pressure points.

                          As far as your other points and trying to compare the Bridge Hammock
                          to a cot or the floor of a shelter. The comparison doesn't make any
                          sense to me. I just don't understand what you are trying to accomplish
                          with such comparisons. First the Bridge Hammock is made of whatever
                          fabric you decide, you can use the heavy cotton used in the cot if you
                          like, but I wouldn't advise it. The same fabric you use for your other
                          DIY hammocks would be much better. As for comparing to the floor of a
                          shelter, I don't advise making the Bridge Hammock out of wood either.
                          As I said, the point of the comparisons escapes me.

                          Now as far as "flat". As David and Scott replied, there are 2 kinds of
                          flat for a hammock: 1. head to foot, and 2. shoulder to shoulder.

                          I installed a ridge line on my Bridge Hammock. I played around with
                          the ridge line length a fair amount right off the bat. Learned one
                          very important thing about the ridge line. It affects only the head to
                          foot "flatness". With the ridge line too short, you get a banana
                          shape. With the ridge line too long, you get an inverted banana - that
                          fixes the knee problem, but adds problems with respect to the back.
                          Fiddling with the ridge line to get a length that is not too long and
                          not too short, I get a ridge line that lays "flat" head to foot, i.e.,
                          my head, hips and feet are about as close to the same level as when I
                          lay on my memory foam mattress. Getting the "right length" for the
                          ridge line is not real critical in that you don't have to get it right
                          within fractions of an inch. You can vary the length over a few inches
                          with no noticeable effect.

                          This is one of the aspects of the Bridge Hammock that has endeared it
                          to me - it is very adjustable. For many of my hammocks, usability of
                          the hammock is severely limited once you have decided on the fabric
                          length and width and then the type of whipping you use. To adjust many
                          aspects of those hammocks, you have to rewhip or cut new fabric.

                          I have found that with my Bridge Hammock, by adjusting the ridge line
                          and one or both of the spreaders, I can affect many aspects of the
                          comfort of the hammock.

                          And that brings me to the second aspect of "flatness" that both David
                          and Scott have commented about: shoulder squeeze. This is one aspect
                          of the Bridge Hammock that may keep most away from using one. To
                          reduce shoulder squeeze, longer spreader bars are needed on the head
                          side/end of the hammock thus laying the fabric out "flatter" giving
                          the shoulders more room. There are two trade-offs with increasing the
                          spreader bar length at the head of the Bridge hammock: 1. compression
                          forces on the spreader bar, and 2. stability.

                          The longer spreader bar, the greater the compression force. David has
                          been investigating some techniques for reducing the force. I attacked
                          the problem from another angle, i.e., methods for using my trekking
                          poles and keeping the forces entirely or almost entirely on the axis
                          of the pole. I have succeeded in doing this. I can use my trekking
                          pols and they are rock solid.

                          The only remaining problem to be solved for the compression force was
                          that the locking mechanism on my poles (Stoney Point poles) was not
                          sufficient to hold at the spreader bar length I wanted. This problem
                          was easily and quickly solved by the use of poplar dowels inserted in
                          the poles to limit the amount they could collapse. Even with the
                          dowels, the poles, fully collapsed, are shorter than what I use for
                          trekking poles. I collapse fully for spreader bars and extend for
                          trekking poles. The dowels add about 2, maybe 3 oz per pole. I haven't
                          noticed any effects of the added weight in their use as trekking poles.

                          The second problem with longer spreader bars is stability. As the
                          spreader bars get longer, the hammock becomes more unstable. Think of
                          that cot you used, tie suspension ropes to the 4 corners, join the 2
                          coming from one end and the 2 from the other end. Now suspend the cot
                          from trees at those 2 points where the ropes are joined. I think you
                          can imagine trying to use such a platform. Very unstable. The
                          suspended cot is an extreme form of the Bridge Hammock and not a very
                          usable form.

                          There are only 2 solutions for this that I am aware of: 1. limit
                          spreader bar length, or 2. redesign the hammock. David and Scott
                          probably have other solutions, but I know nothing of those.

                          With solution 2, you no longer have a Bridge Hammock.

                          I opted for solution 1.

                          I found that since shoulder squeeze is not a problem at the foot of
                          the hammock, I could use a much shorter spreader bar there and use the
                          longer spreader bar at the head of the hammock.

                          For my use, a spreader bar length of 105 cm at the head of the hammock
                          and 80 cm at the foot gives me plenty of room for my shoulders and the
                          shorter bar at the foot gives more stability. Enough stability that I
                          have no problem sitting up in the hammock, entering the hammock or
                          exiting the hammock.

                          The solution to the compression forces on the spreader bars is to
                          recognize where the compression forces are coming from. There are 2
                          sources of compression on the spreader bars: 1. compression from the
                          suspension lines, and 2. compression from the webbing used to support
                          the Bridge Hammock. Measuring and computing force 1 is simple. The
                          equation is well known and simple to derive. Measuring and computing
                          force 2 is slightly more complicated and a close approximation is made.

                          There is not much that can be done to reduce force 2. You simply have
                          to live with whatever it is for your dimensions and body weight.

                          Thankfully, for all the situations I have measured and computed on my
                          Bridge Hammock, the compression force due to the webbing is on the
                          order of 60 lbs or less total on the bar. This is a fairly small force
                          when considering the other forces acting on a hammock.

                          A lot can be done for force 1. I assume from correspondence with
                          David, that that seems to be the main thrust of what David and Scott
                          are currently doing. Since I solved that problem for my Bridge Hammock
                          as I described above, I have moved on to other concerns, mainly bug
                          netting, under quilts and pads, etc.

                          Anybody that uses or makes a Bridge Hammock should probably play
                          around with the 3 of the adjustments available:

                          1. ridge line length. If a ridge line is used, the user should vary
                          the ridge line over a wide margin and try the banana, inverted banana
                          and "flat" shapes available. If no ridge line is used, then contact
                          David or Scott and get more information on their endeavors to reduce
                          the compression forces by varying the suspension line lengths and how
                          they are attached to the trees, etc. All of this will affect not only
                          the comfort of the hammock, but ease of hanging and available hanging
                          sites. I know very little to nothing about what David and Scott are
                          doing here. I use a ridge line and would not make or use a Bridge
                          Hammock without one. Just my personal preference.

                          2. Suspension line length. Even if you are using a ridge line, the
                          length of the suspension "triangle" can be varied over a large range.
                          The shorter the suspension lines, the greater the force on the
                          spreader bars and the lower the ridge line will be and consequently
                          the lower you will be able to hang from the trees. The longer the
                          suspension lines, the lower the compression forces on the spreader
                          bars and the higher you will have to hang.

                          3. spreader bar length. Find a way to vary the spreader bar length and
                          find a length that is comfortable for you as regards shoulder squeeze.
                          The length of the bar aT the foot of the hammock should probably be
                          made as short as comfortable for your feet to increase stability. I
                          can supply the method I used for experimenting with spreader bar
                          length. It made varying the length easy. David developed another
                          method. You could devise your own method. It is easy to do.

                          That covers most of the technical aspects I have learned about the
                          Bridge Hammock to date.

                          As far as usability, and this is purely my own opinion and could
                          radically differ from yours or that of others.

                          The Bridge Hammock is simply the most comfortable hammock I have ever
                          used and that includes my Safari clone, in both the bottom loading and
                          top loading modes for that hammock.

                          The only other hammock I found to be nearly as comfortable was a Mayan
                          hammock and laying totally on the diagonal. That is probably the only
                          hammock which compares since, in the Bridge Hammock, you are laying
                          totally on the diagonal.

                          As far as comparing the Bridge to, say my Safari clone, in regards to
                          weight. The fabric alone in my Safari clone was over 15 oz. The fabric
                          in the Bridge Hammock is slightly over 5 oz - 1/3 the weight in the
                          fabric alone. I do not count the spreader bars in the weight of the
                          hammock since I am using my trekking poles and they are with me even
                          when using any other hammock. The only other major weight component is
                          the 1/2" webbing used and that comes to slightly under 3 oz. I use 2.8
                          mm Spyderline for my suspension, add maybe another 3 oz at
                          approximately 0.07 oz/ft (slightly under by my measurement). The
                          Bridge Hammock beats the Safari clone by many oz and is as comfortable
                          for me. It is also much lighter than my Hennessy ULBA and much, much,
                          much, much more comfortable.

                          Another aspect to the Bridge that I really like is the ease of
                          designing and making accessories: under quilts and pads, bug netting,
                          over covers, under covers, gear storage to name a few.

                          Due to the shape of the Bridge hammock, i.e., the bottom of the
                          hammock from head to foot is, for all practical purposes, a straight
                          line - no banana. This makes fitting an under quilt a trivial matter.
                          I have personally used a simple rectangular Poncho Liner (80" x 60")
                          as an under quilt. Fits like a glove. Can be pulled up tight with no
                          air gaps or pockets and no compression of the insulation. Over my
                          head, I added 2 simple braided loops to the edge of the poncho liner
                          and using the lace tie out supplied with the liner, I can tie it and
                          have the liner blocking any air infiltration above my head. I can lay
                          my Gossamer Gear 3/8" thick Thinlight pads on top of the liner (1
                          shoulder to foot, the second cut down and laid perpendicular at the
                          top for my torso) and they stay fixed in place and give me 3/4" thick
                          insulation for my torso. Being on top of the liner, they fit snug up
                          against my body with no compression effect of either the pads or the
                          liner.

                          So designing and making under quilts is a trivial exercise, a simple
                          rectangle fits like a glove. Trying to fit the banana shape of other
                          hammocks just isn't necessary.

                          I have found the bug netting just as easy to design and make. My bug
                          netting uses a simple irregular, but symmetric, octahedron. Add two
                          pieces for over the head and below the feet, some small diameter shock
                          cord and it's done - no zippers or Velcro.

                          Gear storage inside the hammock is also trivial - a simple rectangle,
                          tied to the foot corners and suspended from the ridge line. More than
                          enough for top quilts, clothes and other items. Doesn't subtract from
                          the usable space inside the hammock.

                          Adjustable undercovers, as Scott mentioned (and by the way he invented
                          that brilliant idea) are easy to make and use.

                          You asked about getting into the hammock and exiting. I find it to be
                          extremely easy. Since I use a ridge line, I hang the same height as I
                          do for any of my top loading hammocks with a ridge line. To get in, I
                          simple grasp the near edge of the webbing in the middle to stabilize,
                          sit down, swing my legs into the hammock and lay down. Reverse to get
                          out. The same procedure I use for any top loading hammock.

                          So is the Bridge Hammock the perfect hammock - darn near perfect for me.

                          Would it be perfect for you or somebody else??

                          Each person would have to answer that question for themselves.

                          But rather than trying to answer that question by analyzing my use or
                          that of Scott or David and trying to critique it, it would be far
                          easier to simply make one for yourself. You can follow David's
                          directions or the directions from the original OZ site. Using a
                          flexible pole of fiberglass, carbon fiber or AL to lay out the curve
                          is extremely easy. David used a fancy computer generated curve
                          customized for his body and which I believe can be customized for
                          others. I do not happen to think getting that fancy is really
                          necessary unless you want to. The basic dimensions of the original are
                          very usable and David's ended up being very close to those dimension
                          if I remember correctly. The only change I made to the original was to
                          extend the length head to foot.

                          So have at it.

                          Make a Bridge Hammock.

                          Decide from actually using one if it fits your needs - or not.

                          Then you can compare your Bridge Hammock to another Bridge Hammock, or
                          to a Speer or to a Hennessy or to a Claytor or a Treklight or ....
                          whatever. Those comparisons make sense to me. Trying to compare to
                          shelter floors just doesn't make sense to me :-)


                          >
                          > Being comfortable is ... well it is being comfortable and that has
                          > more to do with relieving pressure points than it has to do with
                          > being flat. That is not to say that you can't be comfortable with a
                          > straight spline or being flat, that is saying that there is more to it
                          > than that.
                          >
                          > For what it's worth, back a few years ago when I was looking through
                          > patents related to hammocks, I came across one where they patented
                          > using an inflatable pad that was flat on the top side but had the
                          > complimentary shape of a hammock on the bottom side to flatten out the
                          > lay of a hammock. It looked interesting but I don't recall if they
                          > addressed the severe stability issue that could cause since it raises
                          > you quite a bit, my large 4+ inch thick DAM raises me a few inches and
                          > it does affect the stability.
                          >
                          > I also recall a patent for having expanded sections on the hammock bed
                          > at the feet and maybe the head area as well, with the claim that these
                          > allowed your feet (and head?) to drop and thus flatten your lay so
                          > that you had a straight spline. Again, with this patent I'm not sure
                          > they built a working prototype or that it is actually something worth
                          > doing. With comfortable backpacking hammocks I get a similar effect
                          > by laying on a diagonal and taking advantage of the extra stretch
                          > along the bias of the fabric... I notice my feet drop quite a bit and
                          > is one reason that I exaggerate how much I raise the foot end of my
                          > hammock.
                          >
                          > Dave Womble
                          > aka Youngblood 2000
                          > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                          >
                        • terry_and_pearl
                          ... Dave, I responded to your question about entry/exit to the Bridge Hammock. As I said there, for me at least, it has turned out to be a non-issue. I was
                          Message 12 of 22 , Sep 23, 2007
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                            --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > GrizzlyAdams,
                            >
                            > I couldn't get the photo link to work this morning but I think I have
                            > seen the photos you refer too. You and I could probably get lost in
                            > technical talk but most folks don't want to hear that, they just want
                            > to know how it performs and compares relative to something they are
                            > familiar with.
                            >
                            > Getting into and out of hammocks is a tricky proposition with all
                            > hammocks and is something I get concerned with from time to time. You
                            > have to pay attention to what you are doing, particularly the novice
                            > hammock user or someone using underquilts, peapods or most any other
                            > insulation as they do add some level of complexity to the process.
                            > The narrow mid section that one would presumably first sit in on your
                            > bridge hammock is the first thing I notice. I have noticed that
                            > narrow conventional hammocks are more difficult to safely enter that
                            > wider conventional hammocks. Do the spreader bars somewhat opening up
                            > the hammock bed help with that?

                            Dave, I responded to your question about entry/exit to the Bridge
                            Hammock. As I said there, for me at least, it has turned out to be a
                            non-issue. I was concerned when I started. And a little confused. Do I
                            get over the webbing or duck under the spreader bar or ...???

                            After making the Hammock, getting in and out is as natural as any top
                            loader I have used. Since I enter/exit at the mid-point, the spreader
                            bars are far away and don't really enter into the procedure.

                            The narrow mid-section, doesn't really matter. I find it enjoyable in
                            fact.

                            I can sit cross-wise, i.e., webbing to webbing, in the hammock with my
                            back against one webbing and my legs hanging out over the opposite
                            webbing. I can sit up, almost upright, or I can lean way back. I find
                            it rather comfortable. I can also get entirely in the hammock, and sit
                            up with my legs laid out in front of me. Scott and David developed
                            methods for using the Hammock as a lounger, kind of like a Laz-y-Boy.
                            Both quite inventive.

                            >
                            > And speaking of those wide spreader bars, whether they are dedicated
                            > poles or hiking poles, they present new issues besides the torque and
                            > tension on them and the hammock bed. I have used similar struts to
                            > experiment with hammocks and to attach two hammocks side by side to
                            > the same trees (http://tinyurl.com/2o7qu5). I don't believe the ones
                            > I used would be as high as the ones you have on your bridge hammock
                            > and I don't think they were as long. But I worried they were
                            > something that could potentially be a problem with tarp coverage,
                            > possibly snagging someone walking nearby, or poke a tarp when the
                            > hammocks swing or are pushed to one side. Certainly that is not a
                            > particularly difficult technical issue to resolve, but it is different
                            > than the customary backpacking hammocks.

                            Yes tarp coverage and interference between the pole ends and the tarp
                            can be an issue. But I find the issue can be managed by how you hang
                            the tarp and how high you hang the hammock. As for the spreader ends
                            interfering with movement under the tarp. Again I have found it to be
                            an issue that goes away with learning to use the hammock.

                            When you moved from the ground to a hammock you had to learn new
                            habits and ways of doing things. The same is true for the Bridge
                            Hammock, just not as big a learning curve. For me, I set up the
                            hammock and tarp. I then have my trekking poles setup as spreader
                            bars. I then remove the poles with one end still attached to the
                            hammock. The hammock then collapses down - no spread. Moving around
                            under the tarp is then easier than with a Hennessy and the side tie
                            outs. Maybe even easier than a Speer since the Bridge collapses down
                            very narrow. Narrower than any Speer I have seen. Inserting the
                            trekking poles as spreader bars just before entering for the night is
                            accomplished in a matter of seconds. Night time calls just reverse the
                            procedure. Inserting the trekking poles and taking them out is
                            accomplished in seconds and with a little practice, it becomes second
                            nature. At least it has worked that way for me.

                            As far as the ends of the trekking poles tearing the tarp. This again
                            was something I was concerned about also. It has turned out to be
                            another non-issue for me. The carbide tips of my poles are covered
                            with plastic which enables them to be used as spreader bars and the
                            other end has a 1/2" diameter AL cylinder with rounded edges, but not
                            pointed. Could the tarp material rub and eventually wear through? Yes,
                            but the situation can be managed by learning slightly different
                            techniques than those used with a conventional hammock.


                            >
                            > The bridge hammock has some significant differences from what folks
                            > are use to and I would think most folks are concerned with the
                            > differences-- the tradeoffs if you will, both the positive ones, the
                            > negative ones, and even the ones that are six of one versus half a
                            > dozen of the other. Something laid out simple and brief to help them
                            > understand just what it is and what it can do for them versus what it
                            > isn't and what it can't do for them. And I know that is sometimes
                            > difficult for technical folks involved in design specifics to do-- we
                            > often have a hard time seeing the forest because of all the specific
                            > trees we see.

                            Yes - using the Bridge Hammock is different from a conventional
                            hammock. Not as different as moving from a tent to a hammock, but
                            different. For anybody that made the transition from the tent to a
                            hammock, learning to use a Bridge should be a lot easier. A lot more
                            common ground.

                            For those who have never used a tent and are going straight to a
                            hammock, then the learning curve for a Bridge is no worse than for any
                            other hammock. They will probably have it easier than those who have
                            used a conventional hammock since they won't have deeply rooted
                            concepts of how a hammock is supposed to be. No habits to overcome.


                            >
                            > Dave Womble
                            > aka Youngblood 2000
                            > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                            >
                          • sebastiantoney
                            I made a Bridge Hammock. It s 96 inches long and 60 inches wide. First It was 36 inch spreaders on the head end and 24 inches on the foot end. Shoulder squeeze
                            Message 13 of 22 , Sep 24, 2007
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                              I made a Bridge Hammock. It's 96 inches long and 60 inches wide. First
                              It was 36 inch spreaders on the head end and 24 inches on the foot
                              end. Shoulder squeeze killed me. And Side sleeping didn't allow for
                              the fetal position. Also, lines tend to get tangled.

                              I'm one of those who has had a hard time getting comfortable in any
                              hammock. But I ill say this, I think the Bridge Hammock is the only
                              one I've seen with the potential to be comfortable. On Hammock Forums
                              there is a version of the Bridge Hammock that does not use spreader
                              bars. It uses snow stakes and line tied out on all four corners
                              instead. That'll will be my next try. I just need to buy some big
                              stakes and more Spyderline.

                              I hear you about banana hammock being torture. I just can't get
                              comfortable in them. I can't sleep on my back. And the banana curve
                              plus the torque when laying on the diagonal is too much for me. For a
                              long time I thought of giving up hammock camping. But the Bridge
                              Hammock offers hope where banana hammocks fall short.



                              --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "terry_and_pearl"
                              <terry_and_pearl@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > GrizzlyAdams,
                              > >
                              > > I couldn't get the photo link to work this morning but I think I have
                              > > seen the photos you refer too. You and I could probably get lost in
                              > > technical talk but most folks don't want to hear that, they just want
                              > > to know how it performs and compares relative to something they are
                              > > familiar with.
                              > >
                              > > Getting into and out of hammocks is a tricky proposition with all
                              > > hammocks and is something I get concerned with from time to time. You
                              > > have to pay attention to what you are doing, particularly the novice
                              > > hammock user or someone using underquilts, peapods or most any other
                              > > insulation as they do add some level of complexity to the process.
                              > > The narrow mid section that one would presumably first sit in on your
                              > > bridge hammock is the first thing I notice. I have noticed that
                              > > narrow conventional hammocks are more difficult to safely enter that
                              > > wider conventional hammocks. Do the spreader bars somewhat opening up
                              > > the hammock bed help with that?
                              >
                              > Dave, I responded to your question about entry/exit to the Bridge
                              > Hammock. As I said there, for me at least, it has turned out to be a
                              > non-issue. I was concerned when I started. And a little confused. Do I
                              > get over the webbing or duck under the spreader bar or ...???
                              >
                              > After making the Hammock, getting in and out is as natural as any top
                              > loader I have used. Since I enter/exit at the mid-point, the spreader
                              > bars are far away and don't really enter into the procedure.
                              >
                              > The narrow mid-section, doesn't really matter. I find it enjoyable in
                              > fact.
                              >
                              > I can sit cross-wise, i.e., webbing to webbing, in the hammock with my
                              > back against one webbing and my legs hanging out over the opposite
                              > webbing. I can sit up, almost upright, or I can lean way back. I find
                              > it rather comfortable. I can also get entirely in the hammock, and sit
                              > up with my legs laid out in front of me. Scott and David developed
                              > methods for using the Hammock as a lounger, kind of like a Laz-y-Boy.
                              > Both quite inventive.
                              >
                              > >
                              > > And speaking of those wide spreader bars, whether they are dedicated
                              > > poles or hiking poles, they present new issues besides the torque and
                              > > tension on them and the hammock bed. I have used similar struts to
                              > > experiment with hammocks and to attach two hammocks side by side to
                              > > the same trees (http://tinyurl.com/2o7qu5). I don't believe the ones
                              > > I used would be as high as the ones you have on your bridge hammock
                              > > and I don't think they were as long. But I worried they were
                              > > something that could potentially be a problem with tarp coverage,
                              > > possibly snagging someone walking nearby, or poke a tarp when the
                              > > hammocks swing or are pushed to one side. Certainly that is not a
                              > > particularly difficult technical issue to resolve, but it is different
                              > > than the customary backpacking hammocks.
                              >
                              > Yes tarp coverage and interference between the pole ends and the tarp
                              > can be an issue. But I find the issue can be managed by how you hang
                              > the tarp and how high you hang the hammock. As for the spreader ends
                              > interfering with movement under the tarp. Again I have found it to be
                              > an issue that goes away with learning to use the hammock.
                              >
                              > When you moved from the ground to a hammock you had to learn new
                              > habits and ways of doing things. The same is true for the Bridge
                              > Hammock, just not as big a learning curve. For me, I set up the
                              > hammock and tarp. I then have my trekking poles setup as spreader
                              > bars. I then remove the poles with one end still attached to the
                              > hammock. The hammock then collapses down - no spread. Moving around
                              > under the tarp is then easier than with a Hennessy and the side tie
                              > outs. Maybe even easier than a Speer since the Bridge collapses down
                              > very narrow. Narrower than any Speer I have seen. Inserting the
                              > trekking poles as spreader bars just before entering for the night is
                              > accomplished in a matter of seconds. Night time calls just reverse the
                              > procedure. Inserting the trekking poles and taking them out is
                              > accomplished in seconds and with a little practice, it becomes second
                              > nature. At least it has worked that way for me.
                              >
                              > As far as the ends of the trekking poles tearing the tarp. This again
                              > was something I was concerned about also. It has turned out to be
                              > another non-issue for me. The carbide tips of my poles are covered
                              > with plastic which enables them to be used as spreader bars and the
                              > other end has a 1/2" diameter AL cylinder with rounded edges, but not
                              > pointed. Could the tarp material rub and eventually wear through? Yes,
                              > but the situation can be managed by learning slightly different
                              > techniques than those used with a conventional hammock.
                              >
                              >
                              > >
                              > > The bridge hammock has some significant differences from what folks
                              > > are use to and I would think most folks are concerned with the
                              > > differences-- the tradeoffs if you will, both the positive ones, the
                              > > negative ones, and even the ones that are six of one versus half a
                              > > dozen of the other. Something laid out simple and brief to help them
                              > > understand just what it is and what it can do for them versus what it
                              > > isn't and what it can't do for them. And I know that is sometimes
                              > > difficult for technical folks involved in design specifics to do-- we
                              > > often have a hard time seeing the forest because of all the specific
                              > > trees we see.
                              >
                              > Yes - using the Bridge Hammock is different from a conventional
                              > hammock. Not as different as moving from a tent to a hammock, but
                              > different. For anybody that made the transition from the tent to a
                              > hammock, learning to use a Bridge should be a lot easier. A lot more
                              > common ground.
                              >
                              > For those who have never used a tent and are going straight to a
                              > hammock, then the learning curve for a Bridge is no worse than for any
                              > other hammock. They will probably have it easier than those who have
                              > used a conventional hammock since they won't have deeply rooted
                              > concepts of how a hammock is supposed to be. No habits to overcome.
                              >
                              >
                              > >
                              > > Dave Womble
                              > > aka Youngblood 2000
                              > > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                              > >
                              >
                            • Dave Womble
                              ... ... ... terry_and_pearl, I don t believe I compared the bridge hammock to a cot or the floor of a shelter. One point I was trying to make was that
                              Message 14 of 22 , Sep 24, 2007
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                                --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "terry_and_pearl"
                                <terry_and_pearl@...> wrote:
                                >
                                <snip>...

                                > As far as your other points and trying to compare the Bridge Hammock
                                > to a cot or the floor of a shelter. The comparison doesn't make any
                                > sense to me. I just don't understand what you are trying to accomplish
                                > with such comparisons. First the Bridge Hammock is made of whatever
                                > fabric you decide, you can use the heavy cotton used in the cot if you
                                > like, but I wouldn't advise it. The same fabric you use for your other
                                > DIY hammocks would be much better. As for comparing to the floor of a
                                > shelter, I don't advise making the Bridge Hammock out of wood either.
                                > As I said, the point of the comparisons escapes me.

                                ... <snip>
                                >

                                terry_and_pearl,

                                I don't believe I compared the bridge hammock to a cot or the floor of
                                a shelter.

                                One point I was trying to make was that the term flat was being
                                misused and could cause confusion. I have brought the same issue up
                                in the past when folks stated they were able to lay flat in more
                                traditional backpacking hammocks by laying on a diagonal and told them
                                they weren't really laying flat but were laying flatter. As another
                                example, this is a flat suspended platform http://tinyurl.com/3dmps3
                                and this is not http://tinyurl.com/32v2rt . Both those types of
                                platforms provide for a straight spine but have some different
                                characteristics that can affect comfort... there are some tradeoffs
                                involved and different individuals may find different comfort levels
                                between the two.

                                Another point I was trying to make was that being flat in itself is
                                not the holy grail of comfort and that was where the reference to flat
                                shelter floors was brought up. Shelter floors are flat but most
                                people don't find them particularly comfortable unless they use a lot
                                of cushioning with them. Many folks have gone to hammocks that use
                                stretchy nylon fabric that don't allow them to get totally flat to get
                                off those hard flat shelter floors so they could be more comfortable.

                                My intent was to clarify the descriptions that were being used and to
                                point out that being comfortable isn't all about being flat, that
                                relieving uncomfortable pressure points plays a huge part it how
                                comfortable a person is.

                                Dave Womble
                                aka Youngblood 2000
                                designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                              • tim garner
                                i have to say, in my hammock i m so close to flat that the slight curve is hard for me to detect. i need to get someone to check it w/ a line . i use a
                                Message 15 of 22 , Sep 24, 2007
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                                  i have to say, in my hammock i'm so close to flat that the slight curve is hard for me to detect. i need to get someone to check it w/ a line<g>.
                                  i use a different method than most... narrow hammock, hung w/ not much sag. i also use a DAM, softly inflated to conform.

                                  but when i've laid in other hammock types... a loosely hung, 5' wide by 11' long hammock (dave's), & a hh clone (headchange's) i was also so close to flat that if there was a sag going in the direction of a banana, it was very minimal & i was extreamly comfrtable w/o a DAM. mater a fact in dave's wide hammock, my feet seemed to rest a few inches lower than my back as they were off to one side, and the back/torso was perfectly supported.
                                  the only reason i haven't made a wider hammock like that is more hammock material & more insulation. but it was so comfortable, i might could do w/o the DAM.

                                  i haven't wanted to be negative toward the bridge type hammocks, because they will probably suit some folks better, but the two i've laid in seemed far to rigid & non-conforming after using the more common types.
                                  i disliked the shoulder squeeze too but of course i realize that can probably be helped by using longer spreader bars.

                                  another thing i really like about my hammock style is lower sides for a great view!!! ...tim



                                  don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!!!


                                  ---------------------------------
                                  Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha!
                                  Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at Yahoo! Games.

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • terry_and_pearl
                                  ... Dave - I think I misunderstood what you were saying. Scanned too fast and left my mind on idle while doing so. Yes you right. Flat, as in mattress flat,
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Sep 24, 2007
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                                    --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "terry_and_pearl"
                                    > <terry_and_pearl@> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > <snip>...
                                    >
                                    > > As far as your other points and trying to compare the Bridge Hammock
                                    > > to a cot or the floor of a shelter. The comparison doesn't make any
                                    > > sense to me. I just don't understand what you are trying to accomplish
                                    > > with such comparisons. First the Bridge Hammock is made of whatever
                                    > > fabric you decide, you can use the heavy cotton used in the cot if you
                                    > > like, but I wouldn't advise it. The same fabric you use for your other
                                    > > DIY hammocks would be much better. As for comparing to the floor of a
                                    > > shelter, I don't advise making the Bridge Hammock out of wood either.
                                    > > As I said, the point of the comparisons escapes me.
                                    >
                                    > ... <snip>
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    > terry_and_pearl,
                                    >
                                    > I don't believe I compared the bridge hammock to a cot or the floor of
                                    > a shelter.
                                    >
                                    > One point I was trying to make was that the term flat was being
                                    > misused and could cause confusion. I have brought the same issue up
                                    > in the past when folks stated they were able to lay flat in more
                                    > traditional backpacking hammocks by laying on a diagonal and told them
                                    > they weren't really laying flat but were laying flatter. As another
                                    > example, this is a flat suspended platform http://tinyurl.com/3dmps3
                                    > and this is not http://tinyurl.com/32v2rt . Both those types of
                                    > platforms provide for a straight spine but have some different
                                    > characteristics that can affect comfort... there are some tradeoffs
                                    > involved and different individuals may find different comfort levels
                                    > between the two.
                                    >
                                    > Another point I was trying to make was that being flat in itself is
                                    > not the holy grail of comfort and that was where the reference to flat
                                    > shelter floors was brought up. Shelter floors are flat but most
                                    > people don't find them particularly comfortable unless they use a lot
                                    > of cushioning with them. Many folks have gone to hammocks that use
                                    > stretchy nylon fabric that don't allow them to get totally flat to get
                                    > off those hard flat shelter floors so they could be more comfortable.
                                    >
                                    > My intent was to clarify the descriptions that were being used and to
                                    > point out that being comfortable isn't all about being flat, that
                                    > relieving uncomfortable pressure points plays a huge part it how
                                    > comfortable a person is.
                                    >
                                    > Dave Womble
                                    > aka Youngblood 2000
                                    > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                                    >

                                    Dave - I think I misunderstood what you were saying. Scanned too fast
                                    and left my mind on idle while doing so.

                                    Yes you right. Flat, as in mattress flat, isn't really what I wanted.
                                    What I wanted most of all was to get rid of the backwards pressure on
                                    my knees. I guess I have just gotten into the habit of using the term
                                    "flat" as shorthand to mean just that.

                                    My Safari clone does a beautiful job of doing that. Until I took a
                                    wild chance and made a Bridge Hammock, that Safari clone was my
                                    favorite hammock. The whipping is such that I have a little platform
                                    formed by the folds that acted as a pillow, so none needed for my
                                    head. Also, the folds are such that my knees are raised just a
                                    fraction of an inch. Not much, but enough that the backward pressure
                                    is eliminated. I didn't plan the whipping like that, it just happened
                                    to work out that way and I love it.

                                    And talk about room!! That hammock is HUGE. I really got to the point
                                    that I like a HUGE hammock for the roominess and the fact that the
                                    ridge line was up high and out of my face and I didn't attempt to
                                    decapitate myself on it getting into and out of the hammock.

                                    I prefer hammocks with ridge lines and will not use one without
                                    anymore. That is my personal preference.

                                    But my Safari clone is HEAVY, HEAVY and oh by the way did I mention
                                    that it is HEAVY. Almost 1 lb just for the fabric, then add in the bug
                                    netting, the Velcro for the bottom entry/exit slit, the Velcro on the
                                    edges and the bug netting to make the bug netting removable, the bias
                                    tape used for trim instead of hems and the weight is up to almost 2
                                    lbs. Then add in the snake skins and a tarp and we are talking
                                    significant weight here.

                                    The Safari clone is a very, very comfortable hammock, but the price
                                    paid is weight.

                                    Tim mentioned the view. That was another problem with the Safari
                                    clone. Laying on the diagonal, there is a veritable wall of material
                                    to your right. The view to the right is blocked almost totally from
                                    your feet around to the head end, continuing around almost to the left
                                    shoulder. About the only place you can really see out of that hammock
                                    is from the left shoulder down to the the level of the hips. Then the
                                    fabric starts rising up and blocking everything again. If anything
                                    wanted to sneak and surprise you, just come from your right side
                                    towards your head. You wouldn't see a thing.

                                    So what happened when I laid in my Bridge Hammock after I got the
                                    ridge line and spreaders adjusted properly??

                                    Well, first of all, I noticed that I do need a head pillow just like I
                                    do on my memory foam mattress. Then I noticed that I also will
                                    probably use a small pillow under my knees occasionally just like I do
                                    on my memory foam mattress. In the Bridge Hammock, I use one of those
                                    air pillows from BPL for my knees. Deflated it weighs approximately 1
                                    oz, maybe less. If I had known about the less expensive sources for
                                    that pillow, I would have purchased there instead of BPL, but what the
                                    heck.

                                    I learned fast that the air pillow doesn't work for my head, the air
                                    doesn't stay in one place and my head just flops from side to side.
                                    Useless for my head. So I invented a built-in pillow for my Bridge
                                    Hammock. It isn't really a pillow, but a platform made out of 1.1 oz
                                    ripstop, grosgrain and guy line cord. Works great when sleeping on my
                                    back and even better than a pillow when on my side. And being
                                    built-in, it cannot get lost an weighs approximately 1 oz or less.
                                    Also, since it is made out of 1.1 oz ripstop, it conforms to my head
                                    and cushions.

                                    One thing I didn't like about the Bridge Hammock was sleeping on my
                                    side - no room for my arms. They ended up folded across my chest. If
                                    you have seen the picture of the guy in the OZ site, that is what he
                                    is doing. I like to kind of have the underside arm extended under my
                                    head or out in front of me. The Safari clone was great for that. Just
                                    cannot do that in the Bridge Hammock without my built-in
                                    pillow/platform. The platform supports my head at just the right
                                    height (which is easily adjustable) and my arm can then be extended up
                                    under the pillow and my head. Until I invented the built-in pillow,
                                    sleeping on my side was a struggle with the un-natural position for
                                    me. With the built-in pillow, I fall to sleep on my side, either side,
                                    in seconds or minutes.

                                    Now back to something I really, really, really like about the Bridge
                                    Hammock ---- The View. I have more unobstructed view from my Bridge
                                    Hammock than any hammock I have ever laid in. That dip in the middle
                                    affords the best view out the sides I have ever seen in a hammock. The
                                    rising sides on the foot of the hammock are seen pretty much on edge
                                    and present almost no obstruction to the view. The rising sides on
                                    head of the hammock are steeper than on the foot and consequently
                                    present less obstruction than the foot sides would. True, you are
                                    looking at the head sides full on, but there just seems to be less
                                    there. Directly over the feet and directly overhead, the hammock can
                                    be fully open or closed, my choice. I can fully open for an
                                    unobstructed view or close off fully to block wind or I can open/close
                                    partially for a view and ventilation compromise.

                                    The view is obstructed a whole lot when I install my poncho liner as
                                    an under quilt. The liner is stretched out under the hammock and acts
                                    like a huge bathtub, only open ended. When it is cold and windy out, I
                                    close off the hammock above my head and below my feet to block wind
                                    and then the high sides of the poncho liner accomplish the same for
                                    the sides even with that dip in the middle of the hammock. Getting in
                                    with the poncho liner installed as an under quilt is not an issue. The
                                    foot end is secured with shock cord. So I just pull the side of the
                                    liner down to the webbing on the hammock and enter/exit normally. The
                                    poncho liner snaps back into place. No problem. I have a piece of
                                    shock cord attached to the middle of one side of the poncho liner.
                                    That cord gets run over the ridge line and clipped with a micro
                                    carabiner to the other side. It is secured only when I am in the
                                    hammock - just grab the cord, throw over the ridge line, catch and
                                    clip - done is 2 or 3 seconds. With the poncho liner secured at four
                                    corners and the middle it is snug. To get even more insulation, as I
                                    wrote previously, I just lay my Gossamer Gear Thinlight pads on top of
                                    the liner. Since they are under the hammock and on top of the liner,
                                    they stay in place as if stitched there no matter how much I move
                                    about and toss and turn. Nothing special needed. With the cut down
                                    section turned perpendicular, I have insulation up past my shoulders
                                    when on my back

                                    Using one of the small IR thermometers, I have observed a little
                                    better than 15* F difference between ambient air inside the
                                    hammock/liner "bathtub" and the hammock fabric under my back with both
                                    the poncho liner and the GG pads. The GG pads put 3/4" thick
                                    insulation under my torso. Also, I have observed about a 5* F to 10* F
                                    difference in ambient temperature inside the poncho liner "bathtub"
                                    and the outside air. The latter was with only a small wind outside. I
                                    am thinking of making a "bug netting" out of 1.1 oz ripstop. It isn't
                                    for bugs, but to act as an overcover to seal the hammock with the
                                    poncho liner or under quilt. Would only use when it is very windy and
                                    very cold. I would then slightly open either the cover above my head
                                    or below my feet or both for ventilation.

                                    Roominess??? My Safari clone is the epitome of roominess for all
                                    hammocks except big Mayans. But then The Safari is essentially,
                                    almost, a Mayan hammock with bug netting and bottom entry/exit.

                                    How does the Bridge Hammock compare? Quite well in my opinion. It
                                    doesn't have the "acres" of fabric that a Mayan or the Safari has. But
                                    it also doesn't constrict me much either. With a spreader bar above my
                                    head of 105 cm (41.3 inches - my tape measure is graduated in metric
                                    so I end up mixing metric and English units), shoulder squeeze is not
                                    an issue for me. But then I don't have a line backer's shoulders
                                    either. I'm not diminutive either - my chest measures between 44" and
                                    45" and if I include my arms, it measures between 50" and 51". So that
                                    gives you something to compare with for shoulder squeeze.

                                    I have found that for me, I really don't need the "acres" of fabric
                                    and the subsequent weight to have roominess.

                                    I sleep exclusively on my side and back with a preference for my side.
                                    I'm adaptable and can sleep on my back exclusively and on my stomach
                                    if forced, but I find sleeping on my stomach uncomfortable - I usually
                                    get a sore neck.

                                    To get an idea of how the Bridge Hammock works, do a thought
                                    experiment. As an engineer you are probably used to doing this.

                                    First get a picture of a big Mayan Hammock with a person laying
                                    totally on the diagonal, laying perpendicular to the line from tree to
                                    tree. Picture the roominess and comfort and lack of shoulder squeeze.

                                    Got It??

                                    Okay, now leaving the person in the hammock and the hammock in the
                                    air, unhitch from the trees.

                                    Now, take the ends where the whipping is, un-whip the ends and spread
                                    the fabric out flat. Remember the hammock is still in the air with the
                                    person in it.

                                    Now you have all of that fabric with the person in the "bathtub".

                                    Cut away all of the extraneous fabric. Cut it down to about 2 feet
                                    above the person laying in the hammock.

                                    You will notice that in the middle, where you cut the fabric away, the
                                    fabric is loose and tight only at the corners.

                                    To get rid of the looseness, we'll take a lesson from bridge builders
                                    and cut again, only this time instead of cutting on a straight line,
                                    we'll cut an arc, low in the middle. Taking another lesson from the
                                    bridge builders, we'll make the arc steeper where he upper body is. We
                                    do this since the steeper arc supports the extra weight of the upper
                                    body better.

                                    Now sew some supporting rope or webbing along both cuts, rotate the
                                    whole thing 90 degrees and extend the rope or webbing out to the trees
                                    and you essentially have the Bridge Hammock. Some of the details about
                                    sewing and using a mixture of webbing and rope and joining the ropes
                                    to get 1 rope running to the tree have to be added to finish, but you
                                    get the idea.

                                    You still have the roominess and comfort of that Mayan Hammock, but
                                    have eliminated a lot of weight.
                                  • C C Wayah
                                    Ok Dave, Can this strut system work with the hennery hammocks with one tarp or find a way to tandem the tarps together? My husband and I had a hard time
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Sep 24, 2007
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                                      Ok Dave,
                                      Can this strut system work with the hennery hammocks with one tarp or find
                                      a way to tandem the tarps together?
                                      My husband and I had a hard time finding four suitable trees north of Woody
                                      gap that wasn't full of poison ivy this summer. We found two trees across a
                                      cleared side trail easily but not four in a reasonable distance from each
                                      other so that only one of us was not in the PI.
                                      .
                                      Rogene


                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@...>
                                      To: <hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2007 9:33 AM
                                      Subject: [Hammock Camping] Re: Bridge Hammock ...is it cumfortable?


                                      > GrizzlyAdams,
                                      >
                                      > I couldn't get the photo link to work this morning but I think I have
                                      > seen the photos you refer too. You and I could probably get lost in
                                      > technical talk but most folks don't want to hear that, they just want
                                      > to know how it performs and compares relative to something they are
                                      > familiar with.
                                      >
                                      > Getting into and out of hammocks is a tricky proposition with all
                                      > hammocks and is something I get concerned with from time to time. You
                                      > have to pay attention to what you are doing, particularly the novice
                                      > hammock user or someone using underquilts, peapods or most any other
                                      > insulation as they do add some level of complexity to the process.
                                      > The narrow mid section that one would presumably first sit in on your
                                      > bridge hammock is the first thing I notice. I have noticed that
                                      > narrow conventional hammocks are more difficult to safely enter that
                                      > wider conventional hammocks. Do the spreader bars somewhat opening up
                                      > the hammock bed help with that?
                                      >
                                      > And speaking of those wide spreader bars, whether they are dedicated
                                      > poles or hiking poles, they present new issues besides the torque and
                                      > tension on them and the hammock bed. I have used similar struts to
                                      > experiment with hammocks and to attach two hammocks side by side to
                                      > the same trees (http://tinyurl.com/2o7qu5). I don't believe the ones
                                      > I used would be as high as the ones you have on your bridge hammock
                                      > and I don't think they were as long. But I worried they were
                                      > something that could potentially be a problem with tarp coverage,
                                      > possibly snagging someone walking nearby, or poke a tarp when the
                                      > hammocks swing or are pushed to one side. Certainly that is not a
                                      > particularly difficult technical issue to resolve, but it is different
                                      > than the customary backpacking hammocks.
                                      >
                                      > The bridge hammock has some significant differences from what folks
                                      > are use to and I would think most folks are concerned with the
                                      > differences-- the tradeoffs if you will, both the positive ones, the
                                      > negative ones, and even the ones that are six of one versus half a
                                      > dozen of the other. Something laid out simple and brief to help them
                                      > understand just what it is and what it can do for them versus what it
                                      > isn't and what it can't do for them. And I know that is sometimes
                                      > difficult for technical folks involved in design specifics to do-- we
                                      > often have a hard time seeing the forest because of all the specific
                                      > trees we see.
                                      >
                                      > Dave Womble
                                      > aka Youngblood 2000
                                      > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • terry_and_pearl
                                      ... curve is hard for me to detect. i need to get someone to check it w/ a line . ... not much sag. i also use a DAM, softly inflated to conform. ... wide
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Sep 24, 2007
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                                        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, tim garner <slowhike@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > i have to say, in my hammock i'm so close to flat that the slight
                                        curve is hard for me to detect. i need to get someone to check it w/
                                        a line<g>.
                                        > i use a different method than most... narrow hammock, hung w/
                                        not much sag. i also use a DAM, softly inflated to conform.
                                        >
                                        > but when i've laid in other hammock types... a loosely hung, 5'
                                        wide by 11' long hammock (dave's), & a hh clone (headchange's) i was
                                        also so close to flat that if there was a sag going in the direction
                                        of a banana, it was very minimal & i was extreamly comfrtable w/o a
                                        DAM. mater a fact in dave's wide hammock, my feet seemed to rest a
                                        few inches lower than my back as they were off to one side, and the
                                        back/torso was perfectly supported.
                                        > the only reason i haven't made a wider hammock like that is
                                        more hammock material & more insulation. but it was so comfortable, i
                                        might could do w/o the DAM.
                                        >
                                        > i haven't wanted to be negative toward the bridge type hammocks,
                                        because they will probably suit some folks better, but the two i've
                                        laid in seemed far to rigid & non-conforming after using the more
                                        common types.
                                        > i disliked the shoulder squeeze too but of course i realize
                                        that can probably be helped by using longer spreader bars.
                                        >
                                        > another thing i really like about my hammock style is lower
                                        sides for a great view!!! ...tim
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!!!
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > ---------------------------------
                                        > Boardwalk for $500? In 2007? Ha!
                                        > Play Monopoly Here and Now (it's updated for today's economy) at
                                        Yahoo! Games.
                                        >
                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        >

                                        Tim - you're probably not a good candidate for a Bridge Hammock. You
                                        seem to have found what you like and is comfortable for you. Maybe a
                                        good idea to stick with it.

                                        I'm just having a lot of fun in designing something completely new and
                                        different and also enjoying the fact that for me it works so very well.

                                        I'm really not trying to talk anybody into the Bridge Hammock instead
                                        of something else. I just get enthusiastic and like to share that with
                                        others. If I didn't enjoy the Bridge Hammock I just wouldn't do it.
                                        Sorry if that comes across as being pushy or anything - it's not meant
                                        to be that way.
                                      • tim garner
                                        if you go to the photo gallery, go to the last page & back up one, you will see several photos starting w/ slowhike . check the one that says three
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Sep 24, 2007
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                                          if you go to the photo gallery, go to the last page & back up one, you will see several photos starting w/ "slowhike". check the one that says "three hammocks".
                                          it's a lot easier to find there trees for two hammocks than four.
                                          we have set 2 & 3 hammocks beside each other many times, using the same tree for the foot end hammock supports & two separate trees for the head end supports.


                                          C C Wayah <ccwayah@...> wrote:
                                          Ok Dave,
                                          Can this strut system work with the hennery hammocks with one tarp or find
                                          a way to tandem the tarps together?
                                          My husband and I had a hard time finding four suitable trees north of Woody
                                          gap that wasn't full of poison ivy this summer. We found two trees across a
                                          cleared side trail easily but not four in a reasonable distance from each
                                          other so that only one of us was not in the PI.
                                          .
                                          Rogene


                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "Dave Womble"
                                          To:
                                          Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2007 9:33 AM
                                          Subject: [Hammock Camping] Re: Bridge Hammock ...is it cumfortable?


                                          > GrizzlyAdams,
                                          >
                                          > I couldn't get the photo link to work this morning but I think I have
                                          > seen the photos you refer too. You and I could probably get lost in
                                          > technical talk but most folks don't want to hear that, they just want
                                          > to know how it performs and compares relative to something they are
                                          > familiar with.
                                          >
                                          > Getting into and out of hammocks is a tricky proposition with all
                                          > hammocks and is something I get concerned with from time to time. You
                                          > have to pay attention to what you are doing, particularly the novice
                                          > hammock user or someone using underquilts, peapods or most any other
                                          > insulation as they do add some level of complexity to the process.
                                          > The narrow mid section that one would presumably first sit in on your
                                          > bridge hammock is the first thing I notice. I have noticed that
                                          > narrow conventional hammocks are more difficult to safely enter that
                                          > wider conventional hammocks. Do the spreader bars somewhat opening up
                                          > the hammock bed help with that?
                                          >
                                          > And speaking of those wide spreader bars, whether they are dedicated
                                          > poles or hiking poles, they present new issues besides the torque and
                                          > tension on them and the hammock bed. I have used similar struts to
                                          > experiment with hammocks and to attach two hammocks side by side to
                                          > the same trees (http://tinyurl.com/2o7qu5). I don't believe the ones
                                          > I used would be as high as the ones you have on your bridge hammock
                                          > and I don't think they were as long. But I worried they were
                                          > something that could potentially be a problem with tarp coverage,
                                          > possibly snagging someone walking nearby, or poke a tarp when the
                                          > hammocks swing or are pushed to one side. Certainly that is not a
                                          > particularly difficult technical issue to resolve, but it is different
                                          > than the customary backpacking hammocks.
                                          >
                                          > The bridge hammock has some significant differences from what folks
                                          > are use to and I would think most folks are concerned with the
                                          > differences-- the tradeoffs if you will, both the positive ones, the
                                          > negative ones, and even the ones that are six of one versus half a
                                          > dozen of the other. Something laid out simple and brief to help them
                                          > understand just what it is and what it can do for them versus what it
                                          > isn't and what it can't do for them. And I know that is sometimes
                                          > difficult for technical folks involved in design specifics to do-- we
                                          > often have a hard time seeing the forest because of all the specific
                                          > trees we see.
                                          >
                                          > Dave Womble
                                          > aka Youngblood 2000
                                          > designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >




                                          Yahoo! Groups Links






                                          don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!!!


                                          ---------------------------------
                                          Need a vacation? Get great deals to amazing places on Yahoo! Travel.

                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • milwaukee_son
                                          ... detect. i need to get someone to check it w/ a line . ... use a DAM, softly inflated to conform. ... Tim, I ve seen pictures of you in your hammock. How
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Sep 25, 2007
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                                            --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, tim garner <slowhike@...> wrote:
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > i have to say, in my hammock i'm so close to flat that the slight curve is hard for me to
                                            detect. i need to get someone to check it w/ a line<g>.
                                            > i use a different method than most... narrow hammock, hung w/ not much sag. i also
                                            use a DAM, softly inflated to conform.
                                            >

                                            Tim, I've seen pictures of you in your hammock. How wide is your DAM? How effective is it at
                                            pushing out the sides of your hammock?

                                            I'm thinking that a set up for a really cold night in a bridge hammock could be a 26" wide
                                            Exped DAM inside the bridge, sleeping in a normal deep winter sleeping bag. If the spreader
                                            bars are closer to 36" than 42" inches and the DAM pushes out whatever shoulder squeeze
                                            there is, with an overcover one would have quite a nice "floating tent" like feel, with closure
                                            small enough to keep some heat (or at least cut the air movement, and large enough to be
                                            comfortable.
                                          • tim garner
                                            i believe the exped 7 i have is about 23 wide inflated. it does keep the hammock walls spread really well. at times i wouldn t mind a few more inches width
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Sep 25, 2007
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                                              i believe the exped 7 i have is about 23" wide inflated. it does keep the hammock walls spread really well. at times i wouldn't mind a few more inches width in cold weather so there would be more room for the quilt's full loft.
                                              i may be trying a warmlight DAM soon. it's a little wider.



                                              milwaukee_son <milwaukee_son@...> wrote:
                                              --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, tim garner wrote:
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > i have to say, in my hammock i'm so close to flat that the slight curve is hard for me to
                                              detect. i need to get someone to check it w/ a line.
                                              > i use a different method than most... narrow hammock, hung w/ not much sag. i also
                                              use a DAM, softly inflated to conform.
                                              >

                                              Tim, I've seen pictures of you in your hammock. How wide is your DAM? How effective is it at
                                              pushing out the sides of your hammock?

                                              I'm thinking that a set up for a really cold night in a bridge hammock could be a 26" wide
                                              Exped DAM inside the bridge, sleeping in a normal deep winter sleeping bag. If the spreader
                                              bars are closer to 36" than 42" inches and the DAM pushes out whatever shoulder squeeze
                                              there is, with an overcover one would have quite a nice "floating tent" like feel, with closure
                                              small enough to keep some heat (or at least cut the air movement, and large enough to be
                                              comfortable.







                                              Yahoo! Groups Links






                                              don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!!!


                                              ---------------------------------
                                              Don't let your dream ride pass you by. Make it a reality with Yahoo! Autos.

                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • Dave Womble
                                              Tim, If you have a 20 wide Exped-7, it will fit into the sleeve of a SPE and you can use the wings to effectively extend the width. I use a SPE when I use my
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Sep 25, 2007
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                                                Tim,

                                                If you have a 20" wide Exped-7, it will fit into the sleeve of a SPE
                                                and you can use the wings to effectively extend the width. I use a
                                                SPE when I use my 20" wide Exped-7 but don't use anything with my
                                                large Stephenson DAM that is 28" at its widest... except for the
                                                10"x20" ccf pad that I use under it to keep it from sliding so easily
                                                against the hammock bed.

                                                I found these large pads to be warm and comfy. They affect the lay of
                                                the hammock, basically reducing shoulder squeeze and knee
                                                hyper-extension while providing the ultimate in cushioning. Your
                                                knees drop some if the mat isn't fully inflated because your heels
                                                sink a little, with the 4+ inch thick Stephenson DAM you can hang your
                                                heels off the end and get even more heel drop. With either one of
                                                those DAMs, I just laugh at hard shelter floors and they probably make
                                                hard shelter floors as comfortable, if not more for some folks, than a
                                                nice hammock... you are flat, have no shoulder squeeze and have plenty
                                                of cushioning.

                                                But, they are not without some negative tradeoffs as well and those
                                                are significant enough to consider before you think the DAMs are
                                                perfect in every way. The first negative tradeoff I noticed was what
                                                a pain they are to inflate and deflate in a hammock environment...
                                                especially when it is very cold, which is where they excel in keeping
                                                you warm.

                                                Dave Womble
                                                aka Youngblood 2000
                                                Designer of the Speer Segmented Pad Extender and SnugFit Underquilt

                                                --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, tim garner <slowhike@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > i believe the exped 7 i have is about 23" wide inflated. it does
                                                keep the hammock walls spread really well. at times i wouldn't mind a
                                                few more inches width in cold weather so there would be more room for
                                                the quilt's full loft.
                                                > i may be trying a warmlight DAM soon. it's a little wider.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > milwaukee_son <milwaukee_son@...> wrote:
                                                > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, tim garner wrote:
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > > i have to say, in my hammock i'm so close to flat that the slight
                                                curve is hard for me to
                                                > detect. i need to get someone to check it w/ a line.
                                                > > i use a different method than most... narrow hammock, hung w/ not
                                                much sag. i also
                                                > use a DAM, softly inflated to conform.
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                > Tim, I've seen pictures of you in your hammock. How wide is your
                                                DAM? How effective is it at
                                                > pushing out the sides of your hammock?
                                                >
                                                > I'm thinking that a set up for a really cold night in a bridge
                                                hammock could be a 26" wide
                                                > Exped DAM inside the bridge, sleeping in a normal deep winter
                                                sleeping bag. If the spreader
                                                > bars are closer to 36" than 42" inches and the DAM pushes out
                                                whatever shoulder squeeze
                                                > there is, with an overcover one would have quite a nice "floating
                                                tent" like feel, with closure
                                                > small enough to keep some heat (or at least cut the air movement,
                                                and large enough to be
                                                > comfortable.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!!!
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > ---------------------------------
                                                > Don't let your dream ride pass you by. Make it a reality with
                                                Yahoo! Autos.
                                                >
                                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                >
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