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  • Randy Saylor
    A few days ago I finished my first hike using my hammock so I thought I d make a few comments of a newbie nature. I lurked on this list for several months last
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 21, 2004
      A few days ago I finished my first hike using my hammock so I thought I'd make a few comments of a newbie nature.
       
      I lurked on this list for several months last winter, learned about peapods, catenary curves and all, and in March bought a HH Asym UL. I didn't use it on a trip to Vancouver Island in June so I started to wonder if I was chicken, or what. So I planned an 8 day hike along the eastern cliffs of the Bruce peninsula this past week between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay; my wife joining me for the first 3 days using our tent. At the switch over to my going solo, at the end of day 3, I thought I'd better take the thing out of the bag and tie it up just to make sure all the parts are there. I am not usually this reckless. I had copied directions for the knot from someone's web page and had no problem with it. After tying it up I looked at the sketch of the knot on the bag and it all made sense. I also took note that the trees needed to be no less apart than my arm span including my two hiking poles. Off I went.
       
      At the end of a hot day I started looking for a suitable spot only to discover that I was in a conifer forest, thick with underbrush and branches going low to the ground. It took some time but I found two trees that looked great. I strung up the hammock then found that I forgot that the tarp needed some space sideways to splay out. It was so cramped that two trees interfered with the tarp. Any way, I got it all tight and thought I was set. In I got to find that it was too low, not tight enough and that the tarp was set at too sharp an angle downward as it sat against the bug netting blocking any air movement. Starting over, higher, tighter this time and the tarp was now out nearly parallel, held up by my inverted hiking poles. Now when I got in things were much better but I noticed that the poles held the tarp up and a nice pocket was formed to collect rain water. Not good. It was late, hot and humid so I made supper and climbed in. I was dying of the heat lying on top of my WM UL bag, so I climbed out, unhooked the tarp over my head, pulled it back to the feet and clipped it there. In a rain I could quickly reset it up. I am happy to say, enjoyed the stars, fell sound asleep, woke up once, because at 60 nature always calls, and then slept till dawn. In nearly 40 years of canoeing and hiking I have never slept so well.
       
      The next day I'd heard rain was forecast and the size of the tarp concerned me so when I set up - in a nice hard wood forest - I pretended it was raining. I took out the tarp alone. HH supplies a rope (that in any other world would be called a string) at each end of the tarp. Using these two 'strings', I tied the tarp between two trees. A micro surgeon would never get any knot un-done with this line so I just wrapped it around the trees several times and then doubled the line up and used a shoelace knot. It held well. This time I had lots of sideways space for the tarp and all looked well so I got under, with my pack, looked up and realized what all the emails were about by people wanting a larger tarp. It would be fine in a windless rain but not in a wind driven storm. However the saving grace was that I could now take out the 'dry' hammock, under cover, and clip it onto the tarp and then tie the hammock to the trees. It worked well and I felt I could keep pretty dry in a rain. It got cold that night, just above freezing, and I woke up with a sore (cold) back. I had to get out and take out of my pack the 3/4 length closed cell (1/4 inch) mattress. Got it in place and without much bother was very comfortable again. I did notice that around 4 AM my calves and thighs were not too happy (cold) and this kept me drifting in and out of sleep.
       
      By the 3rd day I was feeling pretty smug. Nice and level, good site, and then in the middle of the night I noticed that I was always sliding down towards my feet. I'd pull myself upwards but in no time I was bunched at my feet. Not a great sleep and it was cold as well as I was slipping off the foam which held well against the tarp material. In the morning I took one look at the set up and I know you experts out there know what I am going to say. The line was level alright, but the head end of the tarp/hammock was about 6" from the tree and the other (foot) end about 3 feet from the other tree. Man, why do I learn the hard way. Right on the bag it says to set it up 'level and CENTERED'.
       
      I also was wondering if I was setting the tarp correctly because when I looked up from my head the tarp edge was very close-in towards my face. I realized that rotating the tarp changed nothing, so why was the greater tarp coverage always on the wrong side. Then it hit me as I was hiking along with not much else on my mind - it was upside down. So on my 4th and last night, I set it up carefully, level, centered, tarp extending nicely over my head and feet and slept like a baby - with cold legs bothering me in the late morning. I now feel I have found the 'groove'. When I get in, my body slides into this pocket that is level and extremely comfortable. I am hooked.
       
      So what have I learned? Now that I am re-subscribed to the list I will read postings about under blankets with new awareness. In the summer my bag alone will be fine, in fact my summer weight will be OK too. But a full foam mattress is bulky and probably heavier than a lighter underblanket. Will I ever use my tents again? Sure, my wife loves our roomy 7.9 lb two man (that I carry) and it may be hard to convince her to use my 3.9 lb one man and I use the HH. Sleeping on my back is very comfortable but I did find when I might shift to my side, though comfortable, I seemed to rotate quickly to my back. I haven't quite got the tarp thing right. Using the poles keeps the tarp high but a pocket sometimes forms and we all know how much rain water weighs when it pools in a tarp.
       
      This is a long posting, apologies, but I had fun and felt thankful to all those postings last winter that got me this far. Maybe my few words might get a lurker or two to take the plunge.
       
      Randy
       
    • Dick Matthews
      Randy, Thanks for that long post. You brought back some good memories. Been there, done that. It sounds like you learn faster than I do. I use a poncho for
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 21, 2004
        Randy,

        Thanks for that long post.  You brought back some good memories.  Been there, done that.  It sounds like you learn faster than I do.

        I use a poncho for a fly.  Instead of collecting water when it is too flat, it becomes a funnel.  A clove hitch around the hood and guying it overhead solves the problem without too much effort, but adversity is a very good teacher.

        I am 56 and think that a hammock will make it possible for me to hike another 15 -20 years.

        Thanks again.

        Dick Matthews

        Randy Saylor wrote:
        A few days ago I finished my first hike using my hammock so I thought I'd make a few comments of a newbie nature.
         
        I lurked on this list for several months last winter, learned about peapods, catenary curves and all, and in March bought a HH Asym UL. I didn't use it on a trip to Vancouver Island in June so I started to wonder if I was chicken, or what. So I planned an 8 day hike along the eastern cliffs of the Bruce peninsula this past week between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay; my wife joining me for the first 3 days using our tent. At the switch over to my going solo, at the end of day 3, I thought I'd better take the thing out of the bag and tie it up just to make sure all the parts are there. I am not usually this reckless. I had copied directions for the knot from someone's web page and had no problem with it. After tying it up I looked at the sketch of the knot on the bag and it all made sense. I also took note that the trees needed to be no less apart than my arm span including my two hiking poles. Off I went.
         
        At the end of a hot day I started looking for a suitable spot only to discover that I was in a conifer forest, thick with underbrush and branches going low to the ground. It took some time but I found two trees that looked great. I strung up the hammock then found that I forgot that the tarp needed some space sideways to splay out. It was so cramped that two trees interfered with the tarp. Any way, I got it all tight and thought I was set. In I got to find that it was too low, not tight enough and that the tarp was set at too sharp an angle downward as it sat against the bug netting blocking any air movement. Starting over, higher, tighter this time and the tarp was now out nearly parallel, held up by my inverted hiking poles. Now when I got in things were much better but I noticed that the poles held the tarp up and a nice pocket was formed to collect rain water. Not good. It was late, hot and humid so I made supper and climbed in. I was dying of the heat lying on top of my WM UL bag, so I climbed out, unhooked the tarp over my head, pulled it back to the feet and clipped it there. In a rain I could quickly reset it up. I am happy to say, enjoyed the stars, fell sound asleep, woke up once, because at 60 nature always calls, and then slept till dawn. In nearly 40 years of canoeing and hiking I have never slept so well.
         
        The next day I'd heard rain was forecast and the size of the tarp concerned me so when I set up - in a nice hard wood forest - I pretended it was raining. I took out the tarp alone. HH supplies a rope (that in any other world would be called a string) at each end of the tarp. Using these two 'strings', I tied the tarp between two trees. A micro surgeon would never get any knot un-done with this line so I just wrapped it around the trees several times and then doubled the line up and used a shoelace knot. It held well. This time I had lots of sideways space for the tarp and all looked well so I got under, with my pack, looked up and realized what all the emails were about by people wanting a larger tarp. It would be fine in a windless rain but not in a wind driven storm. However the saving grace was that I could now take out the 'dry' hammock, under cover, and clip it onto the tarp and then tie the hammock to the trees. It worked well and I felt I could keep pretty dry in a rain. It got cold that night, just above freezing, and I woke up with a sore (cold) back. I had to get out and take out of my pack the 3/4 length closed cell (1/4 inch) mattress. Got it in place and without much bother was very comfortable again. I did notice that around 4 AM my calves and thighs were not too happy (cold) and this kept me drifting in and out of sleep.
         
        By the 3rd day I was feeling pretty smug. Nice and level, good site, and then in the middle of the night I noticed that I was always sliding down towards my feet. I'd pull myself upwards but in no time I was bunched at my feet. Not a great sleep and it was cold as well as I was slipping off the foam which held well against the tarp material. In the morning I took one look at the set up and I know you experts out there know what I am going to say. The line was level alright, but the head end of the tarp/hammock was about 6" from the tree and the other (foot) end about 3 feet from the other tree. Man, why do I learn the hard way. Right on the bag it says to set it up 'level and CENTERED'.
         
        I also was wondering if I was setting the tarp correctly because when I looked up from my head the tarp edge was very close-in towards my face. I realized that rotating the tarp changed nothing, so why was the greater tarp coverage always on the wrong side. Then it hit me as I was hiking along with not much else on my mind - it was upside down. So on my 4th and last night, I set it up carefully, level, centered, tarp extending nicely over my head and feet and slept like a baby - with cold legs bothering me in the late morning. I now feel I have found the 'groove'. When I get in, my body slides into this pocket that is level and extremely comfortable. I am hooked.
         
        So what have I learned? Now that I am re-subscribed to the list I will read postings about under blankets with new awareness. In the summer my bag alone will be fine, in fact my summer weight will be OK too. But a full foam mattress is bulky and probably heavier than a lighter underblanket. Will I ever use my tents again? Sure, my wife loves our roomy 7.9 lb two man (that I carry) and it may be hard to convince her to use my 3.9 lb one man and I use the HH. Sleeping on my back is very comfortable but I did find when I might shift to my side, though comfortable, I seemed to rotate quickly to my back. I haven't quite got the tarp thing right. Using the poles keeps the tarp high but a pocket sometimes forms and we all know how much rain water weighs when it pools in a tarp.
         
        This is a long posting, apologies, but I had fun and felt thankful to all those postings last winter that got me this far. Maybe my few words might get a lurker or two to take the plunge.
         
        Randy
         


      • zippydooda
        Thanks for the post. Now I won t feel so bad when I struggle with new gear. At least you got the knot right on the first try! and almost everything else
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 21, 2004
          Thanks for the post. Now I won't feel so bad when I struggle with
          new gear. At least you got the knot right on the first try! and
          almost everything else worked out after only three nights...

          Bill in Houston

          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Randy Saylor" <r.saylor@s...>
          wrote:
          > A few days ago I finished my first hike using my hammock so I
          thought I'd make a few comments of a newbie nature.
          >
          <snip> I had copied directions for the knot from someone's web page
          and had no problem with it. After tying it up I looked at the sketch
          of the knot on the bag and it all made sense. I also took note that
          the trees needed to be no less apart than my arm span including my
          two hiking poles. Off I went.
          >
          ><snip>
        • Coy
          Hi Randy you will never look at the ground the same again.... sorry. Sounds like you learned a lot on this trip. Coy Boy PS when I first saw the subject line
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 22, 2004
            Hi Randy

            you will never look at the ground the same again.... sorry. Sounds
            like you learned a lot on this trip.

            Coy Boy
            PS when I first saw the subject line I was a little worried

            --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Randy Saylor"
            <r.saylor@s...> wrote:
            > A few days ago I finished my first hike using my hammock so I
            thought I'd make a few comments of a newbie nature.
            >
            > I lurked on this list for several months last winter, learned
            about peapods, catenary curves and all, and in March bought a HH
            Asym UL. I didn't use it on a trip to Vancouver Island in June so I
            started to wonder if I was chicken, or what. So I planned an 8 day
            hike along the eastern cliffs of the Bruce peninsula this past week
            between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay; my wife joining me for the
            first 3 days using our tent. At the switch over to my going solo, at
            the end of day 3, I thought I'd better take the thing out of the bag
            and tie it up just to make sure all the parts are there. I am not
            usually this reckless. I had copied directions for the knot from
            someone's web page and had no problem with it. After tying it up I
            looked at the sketch of the knot on the bag and it all made sense. I
            also took note that the trees needed to be no less apart than my arm
            span including my two hiking poles. Off I went.
            >
            > At the end of a hot day I started looking for a suitable spot only
            to discover that I was in a conifer forest, thick with underbrush
            and branches going low to the ground. It took some time but I found
            two trees that looked great. I strung up the hammock then found that
            I forgot that the tarp needed some space sideways to splay out. It
            was so cramped that two trees interfered with the tarp. Any way, I
            got it all tight and thought I was set. In I got to find that it was
            too low, not tight enough and that the tarp was set at too sharp an
            angle downward as it sat against the bug netting blocking any air
            movement. Starting over, higher, tighter this time and the tarp was
            now out nearly parallel, held up by my inverted hiking poles. Now
            when I got in things were much better but I noticed that the poles
            held the tarp up and a nice pocket was formed to collect rain water.
            Not good. It was late, hot and humid so I made supper and climbed
            in. I was dying of the heat lying on top of my WM UL bag, so I
            climbed out, unhooked the tarp over my head, pulled it back to the
            feet and clipped it there. In a rain I could quickly reset it up. I
            am happy to say, enjoyed the stars, fell sound asleep, woke up once,
            because at 60 nature always calls, and then slept till dawn. In
            nearly 40 years of canoeing and hiking I have never slept so well.
            >
            > The next day I'd heard rain was forecast and the size of the tarp
            concerned me so when I set up - in a nice hard wood forest - I
            pretended it was raining. I took out the tarp alone. HH supplies a
            rope (that in any other world would be called a string) at each end
            of the tarp. Using these two 'strings', I tied the tarp between two
            trees. A micro surgeon would never get any knot un-done with this
            line so I just wrapped it around the trees several times and then
            doubled the line up and used a shoelace knot. It held well. This
            time I had lots of sideways space for the tarp and all looked well
            so I got under, with my pack, looked up and realized what all the
            emails were about by people wanting a larger tarp. It would be fine
            in a windless rain but not in a wind driven storm. However the
            saving grace was that I could now take out the 'dry' hammock, under
            cover, and clip it onto the tarp and then tie the hammock to the
            trees. It worked well and I felt I could keep pretty dry in a rain.
            It got cold that night, just above freezing, and I woke up with a
            sore (cold) back. I had to get out and take out of my pack the 3/4
            length closed cell (1/4 inch) mattress. Got it in place and without
            much bother was very comfortable again. I did notice that around 4
            AM my calves and thighs were not too happy (cold) and this kept me
            drifting in and out of sleep.
            >
            > By the 3rd day I was feeling pretty smug. Nice and level, good
            site, and then in the middle of the night I noticed that I was
            always sliding down towards my feet. I'd pull myself upwards but in
            no time I was bunched at my feet. Not a great sleep and it was cold
            as well as I was slipping off the foam which held well against the
            tarp material. In the morning I took one look at the set up and I
            know you experts out there know what I am going to say. The line was
            level alright, but the head end of the tarp/hammock was about 6"
            from the tree and the other (foot) end about 3 feet from the other
            tree. Man, why do I learn the hard way. Right on the bag it says to
            set it up 'level and CENTERED'.
            >
            > I also was wondering if I was setting the tarp correctly because
            when I looked up from my head the tarp edge was very close-in
            towards my face. I realized that rotating the tarp changed nothing,
            so why was the greater tarp coverage always on the wrong side. Then
            it hit me as I was hiking along with not much else on my mind - it
            was upside down. So on my 4th and last night, I set it up carefully,
            level, centered, tarp extending nicely over my head and feet and
            slept like a baby - with cold legs bothering me in the late morning.
            I now feel I have found the 'groove'. When I get in, my body slides
            into this pocket that is level and extremely comfortable. I am
            hooked.
            >
            > So what have I learned? Now that I am re-subscribed to the list I
            will read postings about under blankets with new awareness. In the
            summer my bag alone will be fine, in fact my summer weight will be
            OK too. But a full foam mattress is bulky and probably heavier than
            a lighter underblanket. Will I ever use my tents again? Sure, my
            wife loves our roomy 7.9 lb two man (that I carry) and it may be
            hard to convince her to use my 3.9 lb one man and I use the HH.
            Sleeping on my back is very comfortable but I did find when I might
            shift to my side, though comfortable, I seemed to rotate quickly to
            my back. I haven't quite got the tarp thing right. Using the poles
            keeps the tarp high but a pocket sometimes forms and we all know how
            much rain water weighs when it pools in a tarp.
            >
            > This is a long posting, apologies, but I had fun and felt thankful
            to all those postings last winter that got me this far. Maybe my few
            words might get a lurker or two to take the plunge.
            >
            > Randy
          • zippydooda
            Did you get your saggy hammock figured out? Last I heard you were thinking of sending it to Hennessy to see if they could figure out what was up with it. Bill
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 22, 2004
              Did you get your saggy hammock figured out?

              Last I heard you were thinking of sending it to Hennessy to see if
              they could figure out what was up with it.

              Bill in Houston
            • Coy
              Not yet, I planned to carry it to the kampout in Ky but it was canceled due to Ivan (and let some expert hammockers look it over) and possibly fix it myself
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 22, 2004
                Not yet, I planned to carry it to the kampout in Ky but it was
                canceled due to Ivan (and let some expert hammockers look it over)
                and possibly fix it myself along withh some modifications I have
                been thinking about. For one, with the loose bug netting I may put
                in a zipper so I can reach outside the hammock at night. I had to
                work when Ed had the SEHHA III or IV (I forget which one it is up
                to) and see what some of these guys, and Ed thought. Not to
                disparage the Hennessy Hammock in any way either. I just got one
                that sliped through final inspection I think. May be awhile before
                I do anything now. I'm in no hurry though, I have 3 other HH's, 1
                CC LEX and 2 homemade hammocks to choose from right now.

                Coy Boy

                --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "zippydooda"
                <zippydooda@y...> wrote:
                > Did you get your saggy hammock figured out?
                >
                > Last I heard you were thinking of sending it to Hennessy to see if
                > they could figure out what was up with it.
                >
                > Bill in Houston
              • dlfrost_1
                ... Those two black lines are the side tie out lines that are secured to the stakes on either side of the hammock. You might want to add a seperate ridge line
                Message 7 of 7 , Sep 24, 2004
                  --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Randy Saylor" <r.saylor@s...>
                  wrote:
                  > Now when I got in things were much better but I noticed that
                  > the poles held the tarp up and a nice pocket was formed to
                  > collect rain water.

                  > HH supplies a rope (that in any other world would be called
                  > a string) at each end of the tarp. Using these two 'strings',
                  > I tied the tarp between two trees.

                  Those two black lines are the side tie out lines that are secured to
                  the stakes on either side of the hammock. You might want to add a
                  seperate ridge line for the tarp. This will give you a solid shed-
                  roof pitch even without the hammock.

                  Like lots of other people I also carry the HH tarp in a seperate sack
                  so I can put it up in the rain, and to store it away from everything
                  else when wet.

                  Doug Frost
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