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View Full Version : how do you make these hammocks comfortable?



Ed G
2005-08-11, 14:09
I keep hearing how hammock camping is so much more comfortable than tent camping.

help me to find out how to make it so!

I used mine for the first time two weeks ago. It poured and I stayed nice and dry - got that part down.

Mosquito's were so plentiful, I had to put in earplugs. I stayed pretty much bug free - got that part down.

Sleeping in the hammock was the most uncomfortable thing I have ever tried! I might as well tried to sleep in a tree.

Hammock was set up between trees five paces apart, I had plenty of room, length and width, I used a closed cell pad, my head was slightly lower than my feet.

I'd sure like to learn how you all make it comfortable before I give up and go back to a tent.

Hammock I have is the "jungle hammock" and can be seen at mosquitohammock.com.

thanks in advance.

Ed G
Clermont, Fl

SGT Rock
2005-08-11, 14:52
I've never used one of those, so I don't know if it has some issues that other hammocks do not.

youngblood
2005-08-11, 16:14
I've never used one of those, so I don't know if it has some issues that other hammocks do not.Same here.

Just Jeff
2005-08-11, 16:46
Maybe if you described how you were uncomfortable we could help more.

Some ideas:
- Make sure you're sleeping on the diagonal...not straight down the centerline of the hammock. That makes a BIG difference.
- Put a pillow under your knees to relieve knee strain if you're laying on your back.
- Put a pillow between your knees to relieve hip and lower back pressure when you're sleeping on your side.
- Put small pillow under your neck (not your head...just your neck) to relieve neck strain and the morning headache.
- Make sure your pad is wide enough so you can move around during the night...you don't want to me scrunched up unable to move all night.
- Try other ways to stay warm - underquilts/PeaPods are generally agreed upon as the most comfortable...but priciest.

Check out http://www.hammockcamping.com/ and look for the "Tips" section for more ideas.

peter_pan
2005-08-11, 23:29
If you mean a M1965 JH...sting tight...sleep straight line...try trees a little futher apart...read the articles on our web site for tricks....Note pics under FAQ, the Nest fits the M1965....watch for string wear, especially at the little triagular cord spreader, assuming that you have a real M1965 and not a surplus knock off, which will have a 2 inch steel ring doing this job....Broken string dropped me at 2 AM one morning in Low Gap Ga on a nite with a 5 inch snow fall...no fun...I've had about 25 great nites in this model...

If you want another expert, local to you in Brooksville, Fl is a retired Ranger bud with 35 year and hundreds of nights in this hammock....I mean all the same hammock...HooHah....PM me and I'll give you his phone number...He does not follow this site.

Pan

GregH
2005-08-12, 00:02
Pan,
Get him on the site. We could use some extra wisdom!

Ed G
2005-08-12, 08:22
Rock and Youngblood, take a peek at the mosquitohammock.com websight.

The Jungle hammock looks just like a hennessey and all the rest.

Pan, it is not the hammock you are thinking about.

Jeff, it was a low temp of 80 degrees when I tried the hammock. Cold was not an issue.

If I need to carry a pillow to stuff everywhere, what's the point of hammock camping?

sleeping pad was a thermarest closed cell. 24 x 48 x 1/2

peter_pan
2005-08-12, 09:39
Ed G,

Opps...just focused on the jungle hammock words and Clairmont Fl location, missed the moskito hammock clarifier...

Take a good look at the length between trees, 5 paces sound a little tight...6-6+ is more normal...try for a close to level pitch, before trying the head lower stuff...and as Rock mentioned adjust to the off angle position , a la the s. american indian style...

You might also try a call the manufacturer and discuss the issue for tricks and confirmation that it is the right hammock for your height and weight....if there are any peculiar issues with this model please post your findings.

Pan

youngblood
2005-08-12, 09:42
Ed,

I've looked at the site (and I suspect Sarge has too). There are things you cannot tell without actual seeing one and maybe without even trying one overnight.

The first thing I do is to hang the hammock so that it is centered between the trees (or supports) so that it has the same amount of rope/webbing between the foot end of the hammock and the tree as it does from the head end of the hammock and the tree. Simultaneously, I use enough rope/webbing to keep me off the ground, provide about a 30 degree sag angle (referenced to the horizon) with the rope/webbing (this will give hammocks like yours that don't have an integral ridgeline a 30 degree sag as well) and keep the hammock relatively level. I know all that is a mouthfull, but it is important to set the hammock up so that it can be comfortable.

The relative level part is real important. Some folks prefer it level, other folks (like me) prefer the footend to be slightly higher, but I don't think anyone prefers the headend to be slightly higher. I find it a real problem when the headend is higher and can't sleep comfortable that way... basically I feel like I am trying to slide to the bottom of the hammock and then off the side.

The sag part is also important. If it is too tight it will tend to squeeze your shoulders and it won't respond too well to laying at a diagonal, where your your feet and shoulders tend to drop... that is the position that hammock campers claim to be sleeping flat, which is in error, they are just sleeping more flat like and it is pretty comfortable for most people. For this to work well, the hammock itself has to have enough width too it, the hammock design has to a accomodate this (all hammocks are not the same in this area, some design this out in the way they design for stability) and the fabric has to have enough stretch on the bias of the fabric. The Hennessy Hammocks and the Speer Hammocks do this well, I have tried a few other hammocks that don't but I haven't tried the hammock you use. I make my own hammocks based on the Speer design and have noticed how fabric choice plays a big part in this, as does two layer designs versus single layer designs.

The rope/webbing can be problematic, especially stretchy stuff like nylon (which I think your's uses). I have tried ropes/webbing that stretched so much that I was unable to set up the hammock properly. You set it up roughly how you want it and when you get in it your rear end is on the ground... when you get out it pops right back up where you wanted it. If this is happening you can try initially tying the hammock off with less sag and hope you end up where you want to be... it is much easier with low stretch rope/webbing.

If you have particular questions, I will try to help, but I don't really know how to help you without knowing more about your particular hammock, how you were setting it up and what particular problems you were having.

Youngblood

Just Jeff
2005-08-12, 11:59
You don't have to carry a pillow, but you do carry a stuff sack with your extra clothes, don't you? Or you can stuff your jacket down into its sleeve and put it under your neck. I've even rolled up my frameless pack to put between my knees. There's always something to use.

If you had a low of 80, you might be able to sleep without the pad. Try that...I find a big difference in comfort if I don't use a pad (which is why I use an underquilt instead).

GregH
2005-08-12, 21:37
Try inflatable pillows. I use one for my head and one for my knees. I can manage the firmness and they pack down (when deflated) to nothing.

peter_pan
2005-08-13, 09:51
Hammocks without pads are just much more comfortable...sorta "best of the best"...IMHO, but then I'm biased.

Pan

Ed G
2005-08-15, 08:20
my five paces is about 12 feet.

Pan...hammock camping without a pad?

You haven't camped in Florida during the summer have you? That's the barrier between you and mosquitos. They easily bite thru the two layers.

thanks all

Ed

peter_pan
2005-08-15, 09:14
Ed G,

Oh Contrare...I have camped plenty in my hammocks in Florida...probably more than most floridians with 20+ trips to Daytona for bike week, camping with the BMW guys, Weeks at milepost 47 in the Keys, and several years at The Seminole reenactments at the Big Cypress Reservation....Once or a 3 day deluge I pitched my hammock directly over a drainage ditch that never had less than 6 inches of water running in it all weekend, between a fence post and the only bush big enough to hold...it was a great site and I was high and dry...just dried my feet off with a t-shirt as I pulled them in each night...

It did cross my mind that a stray gator might show up...Sill I figured it was better than being on the bank in a bivi or tent...gators normally lunge to shore meals...don't know of any incidents of them snatching a bird in flight...anyone have any data on this? I would definately worry more on the bank of a FL river about a gator; than a GSM tent near a full shelter about a bear...

As to the skeeters...never been bit thru my under quilt... no longer carry the wgt and bulk of a pad, nor hassle to get and stay on one...

Pan

Just Jeff
2005-08-15, 10:53
The HH BP A-sym is supposed to be skeeter-proof on bottom...I've never been bitten through it.

Seeker
2005-08-16, 01:35
same here.

i spray mine with permethrin spray once in awhile, which probably helps too.