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Davidj
2006-04-07, 04:22
Looking to test a number of differant hammocks to market as a tactical sleep system for www.rangermade.us
If anyone has ideas on where to start and which brands to steer clear of. needs to be a sturdy system that can be suspended from various levels and ease of entry is a must.

scarecrow
2006-04-07, 05:29
Well, when you're talking tactical, hammocks generally don't fit into this category because of their obvious shape and the fact they sit so high off the ground. As a rule of thumb with military shelters, the apex should ideally not come any higher than your waist. Most hammocks (at least the ones designed to be a suspended tent) sit too high and would not be suitable for tactical usage. Anyway these are just my thoughts - I'm sure the good hammock-dwelling folk may have some ideas to contribute to your proposal :biggrin:.

Cheers then,

Take-a-knee
2006-04-07, 10:19
A Hennesey hammock would be an excellent piece of gear for ANY soldier, it should be in his deployment box. As already noted, the hammock is not suited for tactical employment, what must be remembered, especially in this day and age, is even while deployed, a lot, if not most of your time will not be in a tactical environment. It will be in an FOB somewhere preparing for a mission and often times cots and adequate sleeping gear is whatever you brought with you. Getting worked over by disease carrying mosquitos is an ever-present threat living in a military tent or hanger. With a dozen or so GI's coming in and out of a tent it is impossible to keep them out. The Hennessy hammock precludes this exposure. You may be on antimalarials, they don't always work and nothing stops the viruses that mosquitoes can carry. I caught dengue in Haiti in 95, trust me, you don't want it.

For an RON on a dismounted patrol, some sort of silnylon tarp or floorless tent like Kifaru's Parahooch would be the way to go. This will enable the patrol to roll out from under the shelter instantly to react to any threat. For sleeping gear, some sort of synthetic insulated quilt with a footsack like that designed by Ray Jardine in Beyond Backpacking would be best. In non inclement weather you can lean back against your ruck while sitting on a closed cell pad and cover up with the quilt with your boots on and weapon handy and sleep but yet be ready to roll when the trooper on security shakes you. Also one of the thinsulate poncho liners with a zipper installed in the center so it can be worn as a poncho in an essential piece of gear.

Davidj
2006-04-07, 16:23
I agree they may be a great piece of equipment for the soldier, but I think they can have tactical application. We are looking for a low signature system but the profile will need to be configured for higher level suspension for use in triple canopy vegetation. Maybe something similar to the cliff side systems used by climbers.

Mutinousdoug
2006-04-07, 17:21
I think most of the commercial hammocks you see are sized pretty generously for tactical applications. They are much more comfortable than the GI 1965 (?) model at the price of a larger signature. The GI model I have with me now is 90" long compared to my HH which is 104-5" long. I imagine other commercial hammocks are similar in length which requires an attachment at each end higher than a short hammock.
I routinely pitched my GI hammock inches from the ground when I was in SE Asia triple canopy, the hammock end ropes were tied about waist high. The end of the hammock material was somewhat lower, but a poncho fly increased the profile again.
The bottom entry HH is not practical tactically where a top entry hammock can be rolled out of surprisingly fast (especially if the exit is inadvertant). Mosquito barriers are another complication if attached to the hammock. Ours were just draped over the hammock or fly ridgeline.
There was a discussion on this board a while ago about high hanging a hammock to avoid bears and such. I think Turk initiated that thread? As I recall, the conclusion was: setup, entry and safety were greatly complicated.
Hard finished nylon and of course, velcro are kind of noisy, as is a tightly strung poncho in the rain.

peter_pan
2006-04-08, 09:47
A top loader can be hung lower with less issues than a bottom loader...

I carried and used an M1965 for a while...strings broke...weak point...the strecher pole tubes are easily removed with an un seamer...so is the repair kit pocket and the now separable top and just use a ponho...saves some weight...IMHO avoid the string on the ends models...less hassle than the tangles...less risk of failure.

FWIW the little triangular cord manager on "real" M1965s should have the cord holes smothed by a very small rat tail file or knife point...it will save some wear in the cords..still too much work and remaining risk...but if you intend to use this hammock it is worth doing.

One more thing...."real" M1965s have velcro un both side to facilitate quick combat exits...cheapo comercials have zippers on one side only...both poor ideas when in a combat likely scenario.

Pan

Verlager
2006-04-08, 15:49
Mosquitohammock.com (http://mosquitohammock.com) has a few jungle hammocks which are worth looking at. I own one and reviewed it here (http://hikinghq.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1366). You might try contacting Tom Claytor, he's a right nice fellow.

His hammocks are intelligently designed, versatile, and tough. They are also reasonably priced. I like them, I like the design. I like the flap for the insulating pad and the two-way zippers. The model I own is lengthy to accomodate oversize big guys like myself. It looks and functions like a jungle hammock should.

Sgt.Krohn
2006-04-08, 19:52
My first experience with trying to “sleep” in a hammock was as a grunt in the Americal (23rdID) in the HiepDuc & QueSon valleys south of DaNang. We had the standard issue nylon hammocks; some of us had air mattresses (total joke- they all got leaks). We all had ponchos and some had poncho liners. Our missions were 30-day search & destroy patrols.

What I learned about a hammock in combat was- we never strung them and tried to sleep in them at night on ambush- very quick way to die. (I’ve been shot at while laying in a hammock- all you want to do is hit the dirt!) If you catch any sleep, you’d better be laying on your poncho on the ground hugging your M-16. The first sound you hear- you’d better be totally awake trying to figure out where Charlie is before he zapps your ass!

Almost every lager was an ambush perimeter with claymores, trip flares, positioned 60/pigs, and expected areas of penetration by the dinks. You might catch 90 minutes to 3 hours sleep at night and that was usually very early, if you were lucky. You didn’t want to be asleep between around 2am to dawn.

If we had enough trees to swing hammocks- we would swing them around dawn and try to catch a nap before we took off on patrol or humped it to the next lager area.

If we were hanging around for a few hours in the afternoon and there were a few trees available, you’d hang your hammock for an afternoon nap. We slept more during the day than we ever did at night.

As MutinousDoug said- if we had a regular cot mosquito net we would drape it over a string suspended/draped over the hammock with our poncho draped over that, if it was raining. We never got out of our clothes or boots. You lived in them for the duration of the mission- action could start at any second.

http://tinypic.com/9zxc8n.jpg

If I was in a search&destroy unit today I wouldn’t want it any other way. The hammock is a nice thing to have to take a nap in but when you’re in a combat environment you want to be as close to the ground as you can be and you don’t want any restriction that would keep you from immediately evacuating the hammock - sleep hugging your weapon!

I like the MosquitoHammock with the built on mosquito net that Verlager posted. If it had Velcro along the edge instead of a zipper and you could just fall out of it- that would work in a tactical situation. The mosquito net doesn’t have to be tight- just not touch your skin. But you have to be able to roll out of the hammock immediately!

I’ve had a Hennessy hammock since 1999- back when the fly was too small. In my pictures you can see how I solved the problem of the fly staying over the hammock by adding a stretcher pole and attaching the corner points to the tips of the fly (which also lets the hammock swing free). Then for weather I use a simple plastic drop cloth for rain protection, which I really like because I can see out even when it’s raining. As much as I really like my Hennessy I would be reluctant to use it in a tactical situation. Although I think I could get out of the Velcro opening pretty quick (would have to practice that move…;-)

http://tinypic.com/afdbis.jpg

Being a Nam grunt who lived in the bush for 30 day patrols, I think if I was out there today I wouldn’t want anything more than my poncho, poncho liner, a fold up closed cell ¾ length pad, &a pocket hammock. Like Doug, I once lived in my poncho for almost 8 months (f**king monsoon)

http://pic12.picturetrail.com/VOL433/1045515/5481091/97435942.jpg

BTW- I spent 7 weeks in the hospital when I was medivaced out of Nam. One of the conditions I had was a bad case of malaria- and I took both pills…. So I really like the idea of having some type of a mosquito net!!!

Mutinousdoug
2006-04-08, 20:27
A top loader can be hung lower with less issues than a bottom loader...

I carried and used an M1965 for a while...strings broke...weak point...the strecher pole tubes are easily removed with an un seamer...
Pan
Well Pan,
I spoke before checking my sources, so I'm wrong again. The hammock Sgt Krohn and I used in RNV is without a canopy. I pulled out my GI hammock and looked for the almost illegible ink stamped label which reads (as best I can make out): " HAMMOCK, JUNGLE,NYLON, M-1956 (W/O CANOPY)"
The "M-1956" is a little iffy and the DSA number below that is unreadable. Then: "GIBRALTAR FABRICS INC". So the one I was referencing was NOT an M-1965. Sorry for the confused post.
The hammock is a single sheet of nylon with a hem on either end through which a 1/4" line is strung, pulled snug to gather the ends and then each is tied to a convenient immovable object.
My sleeping arrangements were much less arduous than Sgt Krohn's in that I was in a mortar platoon and stayed with the company CP most missions. We operated in company sized patrols where my mortar platoon supported the 3 or 4 squad sized nightly ambushes run by the rifle platoons. That makes me a REMF. When we were in triple canopy, we traded in the tube for 2 m-60s and became an automatic weapon platoon (two squads worth). Then we had to pull ambushes like the legs. After I found my hammock, those were the only times I had to sleep in the dirt. The hammock I had then wasn't standard issue. I stole it from some real REMF when I was back in battalion rear. The Vietanmese scouts and I were the only ones in the company who got to sleep in the air. I think their hammocks were made of silk. Really nice.

peter_pan
2006-04-08, 22:01
Well Pan,
I spoke before checking my sources, so I'm wrong again. The hammock Sgt Krohn and I used in RNV is without a canopy. I pulled out my GI hammock and looked for the almost illegible ink stamped label which reads (as best I can make out): " HAMMOCK, JUNGLE,NYLON, M-1956 (W/O CANOPY)"
The "M-1956" is a little iffy and the DSA number below that is unreadable. Then: "GIBRALTAR FABRICS INC". So the one I was referencing was NOT an M-1965. Sorry for the confused post.
The hammock is a single sheet of nylon with a hem on either end through which a 1/4" line is strung, pulled snug to gather the ends and then each is tied to a convenient immovable object.
My sleeping arrangements were much less arduous than Sgt Krohn's in that I was in a mortar platoon and stayed with the company CP most missions. We operated in company sized patrols where my mortar platoon supported the 3 or 4 squad sized nightly ambushes run by the rifle platoons. That makes me a REMF. When we were in triple canopy, we traded in the tube for 2 m-60s and became an automatic weapon platoon (two squads worth). Then we had to pull ambushes like the legs. After I found my hammock, those were the only times I had to sleep in the dirt. The hammock I had then wasn't standard issue. I stole it from some real REMF when I was back in battalion rear. The Vietanmese scouts and I were the only ones in the company who got to sleep in the air. I think their hammocks were made of silk. Really nice.

MD,

Glad to hear about the 1956 model...sounds better than the 1965 mode with the strings....simpler is better and any model with out the end strings has a leg up in my book.

The use of the term "real" m1965 was only meant to differentiate from the copies sold today by Brigade QM and others...these typically have zippers and steel /chrome rings where the triangle spreader piece is....the rings don't hold the center sag sides tense position as well as the triangle piece IMHO....but then they may not cause the strings to wear as quick...and zipper are not near as life friendly when the bullets fly.

Sgt Krohn, great summary...Thx for posting it.

Pan

Mutinousdoug
2006-04-08, 23:15
P-Pan,
Don't quote me on the M-1956 model. I had remembered reading somewhere that the US issue hammock was based on the NVA model, therefore: too early for 1956. What do I know? That's why I guessed 1965.(Or I'm likely: ADD or ADHD). Also, single malt may be a factor after 7:00 pm/1900hrs. :captain:

Pappyhighlife
2006-04-09, 09:28
Verlager, the Claytor site is impressive. Have you ever owned a HH and compared the two.
I own a British hammock that allows you to slide in a sleeping pad, and it was very comfortable. I used it with a tarp system, right until I bought my HH.
It was good sleeping cause the pad NEVER slipped and it was warm.

Always thought if the Hennessey folks could add or sew in an underbody pocket and then slip in a "custom" foam pad, it would solve the cold problems.
Instead of messin with the quilts and what- not, that can get expensive.

Now Claytors tarps look bigger, but there seems to be from the pictures alot of guide lines for support, is this the case? Do the guide lines stretch?
I like the price too.
Thanks for the link.

Verlager
2006-04-09, 13:44
Verlager, the Claytor site is impressive. Have you ever owned a HH and compared the two.
Yes, I own a top of the line Hennessey Hammock. In a spacious HH, there is a lot of room to play inside, with its oversize interior and wonderful ridge line. Possible to bring gear in. Wonderful view. The only problem is that hearing in a hammock is more important than vision. Hearing acclimates the hammock occupant to the environment, and provides continual 360 feedback, vision does not. But you knew that, anyway....

Maybe someday a hammock designer will design a hammock that unzips on one side like Claytor's does, but also has a removeable zippered (windproof) draft panel on the opposite side. Even if it loses 50% of visibility, it's still way better than visibility in an enclosed tent.

Hey, isn't it funny how each hammock feels awkward until slept in for a few nights? Yet each hammock always ends up fitting me like a glove. The Speer, the HH, the Clarke and the Mosquito Hammocks -all felt strange for the first few nights until I adapted to them. "No way on this hammock!" was invariably my initial response. But the various hammock(s) always proved to be the ultimate in comfort and versatility.


In a Mosquito Hammock, let's just say that it's also easy enough to just relax or go right to sleep.


I own a British hammock that allows you to slide in a sleeping pad, and it was very comfortable. I used it with a tarp system, right until I bought my HH.
It was good sleeping cause the pad NEVER slipped and it was warm.

Always thought if the Hennessey folks could add or sew in an underbody pocket and then slip in a "custom" foam pad, it would solve the cold problems.
Instead of messin with the quilts and what- not, that can get expensive.

Now Claytors tarps look bigger, but there seems to be from the pictures alot of guide lines for support, is this the case? Do the guide lines stretch?
I like the price too.
Thanks for the link. The Claytor tarps are huge, but they are not silnylon. I dislike the idea of using the stock tarps issued with hammocks because they are always too small, too weird, or the wrong color. I prefer my Jack's 'R Better tarp with my Mosquito hammock, I'm still money ahead with a Mosquito Hammock and Jack's 'R Better Silnylon tarp vs. a HH.

The Claytor Mosquito hammock's main anchor attachment is like the Clarke Jungle Hammock; a simple, but rugged, fold over in the main bed thru which a cord is strung. What you see in the pics is just his jazzing up the head and shoulder with makeshift spreader bars. I don't bother with that, I just enjoy the comfort and the outdoors and the serenade of the land and sky, and am asleep within 15 minutes.

deadeye
2006-04-09, 21:27
Always thought if the Hennessey folks could add or sew in an underbody pocket and then slip in a "custom" foam pad, it would solve the cold problems.

My Mother-in-law is a fantastic seamstress and is always looking for projects. I think I just found her one - four triangular gussetts of fabric, strategically placed inside my Hennessey, to hold a pad just so. Why not make it six, so I can use a full length or shorty as suits the weather. Thanks, Pappy. :biggrin:

scarecrow
2006-04-09, 23:33
I agree they may be a great piece of equipment for the soldier, but I think they can have tactical application. We are looking for a low signature system but the profile will need to be configured for higher level suspension for use in triple canopy vegetation. Maybe something similar to the cliff side systems used by climbers.

If you think the application of this will be to a predominantly jungle environment, low profile shouldn't be an issue seeing as during the day 95% of the light is filtered out through the canopy making for no more than 15m visibility, and at night, visibility is next to nothing. Signature under NVGs is the threat I percieve. You could ask though before the manufacture of the hammocks to have the material treated with some sort of IRR absorbant application - GoreTex is one example of a company which uses this technology when requested.


low profile shouldn't be an issue... / Signature under NVGs is the threat I percieve...

Someone care to clarify if this is correct?

Take-a-knee
2006-04-10, 09:22
Some things do indeed appear to "glow" with the newer goggles like the 3rd generation PVS 7D's. I don't know what causes it. When I went to sniper school many years ago the big concern was a sniper getting picked up by a thermal imaging sight. Think of the movie Predator. Those were lab toys at the time but that is no longer the case. As for how to counter this, I'm not sure there is one except for good security.

scarecrow
2006-04-10, 11:35
Sorry about the capitals - this is cross-posted from Crossfire Australia (http://www.crossfire.com.au). Anyway, this sheds some light on why a lot of stuff glows under NVGs.

AT ANY GIVEN TEMPERATURE (ABOVE ABSOLUTE ZERO) THE MOLECULES OR ATOMS MAKING UP THE OBJECT ARE VIBRATING/MOVING/ETC. THEY ARE CONSTANTLY ABSORBING ENERGY FROM AND GIVING OFF ENERGY TO THEIR SURROUNDINGS. IF THESE SURROUNDINGS ARE COOLER THE OBJECT IT WILL LOSE HEAT, EITHER BY CONTACT WITH A COOLER SOLID OBJECT (CONDUCTION), OR BY A COLDER FLUID (LIKE AIR OR WATER) IN COANTACT WITH IT WARMING UP AND MOVING AWAY FROM THE OBJECT (CONVECTION) OR BY DIRECTLY RADIATING ENERGY AS THE MOLECULES 'DROP' TO LESS ACTIVE ''STATES''. A GOOD EXAMPLE OF ABSORPTION OF RADIATION IS THE CASE OF WATER MOLECULES AND MICROWAVE RADIATION. WATER MOLECULES VIBRATE WITH ENERGIES DIRECTLY ASSOCIATED WITH MICROWAVE RADIATION WHICH IS WHY MICROWAVES ARE SO GOOD AT HEATING FOODS CONTAINING WATER. THE MOLECULES ''SOAK UP'' THE MICROWAVE ENERGY EASILY. THEY ARE ''IN TUNE'' TO MICROWAVE FREQUENCIES. MICROWAVES ARE QUITE NEAR TO INFRA-RED WAVES, WHICH ARE JUST ON THE LOWER ENERGY SIDE OF VISIBLE LIGHT, JUST PAST RED LIGHT, SO THE NAME INFRA-RED. WHEN HOT WATER COOLS THE MAIN FREQUENCY OF RADIATION IT EMITS IS INFRA-RED RADIATION - A LITTLE HIGHER FREQUENCY THAN MICROWAVES. THE SAME IS TRUE OF ALL OBJECTS AT THE NORMAL RANGE OF TEMPERATURES FOUND ON THE EARTH'S SURFACE (- 50 DGEREES C TO 100 DEGREES C). THE MAIN RADIATION THEY EMIT IS INFRA-RED. ACTUALLY, THE ''MIXTURE'' OF ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION (FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION) EMITTED BY ANY OBJECT DEPENDS MAINLY ON IT'S SURFACE TEMPERATURE. (SO, FOR EXAMPLE, WE SAY WHITE HOT OR RED HOT WHEN STEEL IS HEATED TO VERY HIGH TEMPERATURES FOR PROCESSING). SO..... THE HUMAN BODY AT 38 DEGREES CELCIUS MAINLY GIVES OFF INFRA-RED RADIATION AND AFTER DARK THIS IS EASILY DETECTED BECAUSE THE SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT USUALLY COOLS DOWN QUICKLY (BY RADIATING INFRA-RED OUT INTO SPACE) BUT US WARM BLOODED HUMANS KEEP GENERATING HEAT AND RADIATING INFRA-RED. 'NIGHT VISION' EQUIPMENT DETECTS INFRA-RED AND IS WIDELY USED BY ALL MILITARY. THE VIEW IS ALMOST LIKE A COLOURLESS VERSION OF DAYLIGHT.

NEXT IMPORTANT POINT: THE AMOUNT OF RADIATION (NOT THE TYPE) DEPENDS ON THE COLOUR AND SURFACE TEXTURE (BLACK ROUGH SURFACES RADIATE AND ABSORB THE MOST, POLISHED WHITE/SILVER SURFACES RADIATE AND ABSORB THE LEAST. WE KNOW THIS FROM EXPERIENCE. THE BLACK ROAD SURFACE GETS MUCH HOTTER IN SUMMER THAN A LIGHTER GREY COLOURED CONCRETE FOOTPATH. AFTER SUNSET YOU FEEL MUCH MORE HEAT COMING OFF THE ROAD THAN FROM A LIGHTER GREY COLOURED FOOTPATH. DARK SURFACES ABSORB MORE, LIGHT SURFACES REFLECT MORE. SO IT IS MUCH EASIER TO MAKE LIGHT COLOURS WORK WITH IR SUPPRESSION SINCE THEY ALREADY ARE POOR AT GIVING OFF RADIATION. (NOTICE THAT THE TAN COLOURED DEI BUCKLES AND FRAMES MEET IRS STANDARDS BUT THE BLACK ONES DO NOT. ALSO, I RECALL THAT PETER HWANG REPORTED THAT IRS WAS NOT POSSIBLE WITH BLACK FABRIC).

THE IDEA OF INFRA-RED SUPRESSION FABRICS IS TO MINIMISE THE AMOUNT OF BODY HEAT RADIATED FROM CLOTHING AND TEXTILE OBJECTS (LIKE POUCHES, BACKPACKS, ETC) WORN ON THE BODY AND WARMED BY BODY HEAT. A PERSON'S MAIN WAY TO KEEP COOL IS BY CONVECTIVE HEAT LOSS ANYWAY ( LIKE AIR FLOW NEAR THE BODY, EVAPORATION OF PERSPIRATION, SWIMMING IN COOL WATER). A SECOND LESS EFFECTIVE OPTION IS BY CONDUCTIVE HEAT LOSS (RESTING AGAINST A COOL SURFACE). SINCE NONE OF THESE INVOLVE DIRECT RADIATION OF INFRA-RED THEY DO NOT RISK DETECTION BY NIGHT VISION EQUIPMENT. THE MOLECULES IN INFRA-RED SUPRESSION DYES ARE DESIGNED TO ABSORB INFRA-RED FREQUENCIES AND NOT TO RE-RADIATE THE ABSORBED ENERGY IN THE INFRA-RED BAND. (LIKE WATER MOLECULES ABSORB MICROWAVES VERY EFFICIENTLY).

peter_pan
2006-04-10, 12:52
Verlager, the Claytor site is impressive. Have you ever owned a HH and compared the two.
I own a British hammock that allows you to slide in a sleeping pad, and it was very comfortable. I used it with a tarp system, right until I bought my HH.
It was good sleeping cause the pad NEVER slipped and it was warm.

Always thought if the Hennessey folks could add or sew in an underbody pocket and then slip in a "custom" foam pad, it would solve the cold problems.
Instead of messin with the quilts and what- not, that can get expensive.

Now Claytors tarps look bigger, but there seems to be from the pictures alot of guide lines for support, is this the case? Do the guide lines stretch?
I like the price too.
Thanks for the link.



Pappyhighlife, etal,

I have three HH and tom Claytore's mosquito....the mosquito wide enough to lay asym...I find it just as comfortable as a HH...not as long on the ends, and not as wide at the asym corners ( which is unusable space anyway)... While it is a little heavier than the HHBUL,ELR and AR it is lighter than the HH Exped ,even with a JRB tarp included...nice value overall.

Bonus is being able to flip the Mosquito over and go net free....also in this mode, a one wrap BQ also from JRB will encase the Mosquito top and bottom for 24 oz and pack down to approx 400 ci.... Note, the Mosquito hammock is currently free with a BQ purchase at JRB.

But then I'm biased.

Pan

Pappyhighlife
2006-04-10, 13:37
Thanks guys, this hammock is going on my wish list. Hell, i gotta stop spending the grandchildrens inheritance like this.

Say Dead eye, if the pockets work let me know and if you patent it can you at least name it after me and Verlager. That we can at least say we inspired a new invention. The PappyLager by Deadeye.

Davidj
2006-04-21, 20:19
Just to clarify the system we are looking at is for tactical application as soldier do sleep contrary to popular opinion. Not so much for use in a combat environ as a tactical long range recon scenario. We are testing equipment for special purpose not for mainline application. A high strung tactical hammock can provide an excellent observation platform if it can be stable and hidden. The problems with this system are two: one stability and safety for the operator, and thermal imaging. NVG won't pose a hazard, if you are hidden you are hidden. But heat signature reduction w/o creating a human sauna this is a ongoing hazard with a number of the systems we are looking at.