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Denver1911
2008-02-10, 09:35
From you guys, I gather that comfort is one of the key factors for choosing a hammock as your bed whilst camping.

I've spent a night or two in my new one doing test-runs and find only one problem with the comfort:

My feet contact the hammock and my butt (can I say that?) contacts the hammock and there's a void left under my knees such that I no support for my legs.

How do I fix this:

1. Less/More tension?
2. Hang one end higher/lower?
3. Stuff something under there?
4. ???

Thanks,
Denver

peter_pan
2008-02-10, 10:03
From you guys, I gather that comfort is one of the key factors for choosing a hammock as your bed whilst camping.

I've spent a night or two in my new one doing test-runs and find only one problem with the comfort:

My feet contact the hammock and my butt (can I say that?) contacts the hammock and there's a void left under my knees such that I no support for my legs.

How do I fix this:

1. Less/More tension?
2. Hang one end higher/lower?
3. Stuff something under there?
4. ???

Thanks,
Denver

Yup... some/each of these things work..... try each of your suggestions and see what works for you.....if necessary, #4 is consider a different model, as this characteristic is not true of all models and types.

Welcome to the hanging gang.... Check out www.hammockforums.net....

Pan

dixicritter
2008-02-10, 10:56
From you guys, I gather that comfort is one of the key factors for choosing a hammock as your bed whilst camping.

I've spent a night or two in my new one doing test-runs and find only one problem with the comfort:

My feet contact the hammock and my butt (can I say that?) contacts the hammock and there's a void left under my knees such that I no support for my legs.

How do I fix this:

1. Less/More tension?
2. Hang one end higher/lower?
3. Stuff something under there?
4. ???

Thanks,
Denver

Hi Denver,

Which hammock are you using? Oh and yes you can say butt on here. :wink:

Denver1911
2008-02-10, 12:52
Thanks for the feedback.

I've got this hammock:

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=29975162&memberId=12500226

Mainly because I didn't want to spend a bundle to "try" something out and see if it was for me. I figured for $16, I could try it and if the hammock idea didn't work for me, I wasn't out much. Now that I'm "sold" on the idea, I'll search for a lighter hammock. Maybe:

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0024864516408a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCHFEAT&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&QueryText=hammock&N=4887&Ntk=Products&Ntx=mode+matchall&Nty=1&Ntt=hammock&noImage=0

They owe me some points so I could get it free.

I also picked up a $7 8X10 tarp today to start learning what works and what doesn't. Once I get it figured out, I'll get an appropriate sil-nylon version. For $7, I can learn what my needs are and use it around the house when I'm done.

Thanks Guys,
Denver

deadeye
2008-02-10, 16:09
I sometimes have a similar feeling - like your legs are being stretched or even hyper-extended sometimes. My cure was to stick my folded z-rest (6 sections that I use for sitting, etc.) under my knees. Worked great, still use it if I feel the need, but I don't seem to need it often anymore.

dixicritter
2008-02-10, 16:34
If you know how to sew you could make one yourself.

GGS2
2008-02-10, 17:25
The hammock you have is a simple catenary style, so the fabric tends to curve down all the way. Lying on your back, that means every part of you needs to curve some to have support. One think you might investigate is one of the hammock styles that have a flat support profile, like the bridge or the Hennesy asymmetric. Much more expensive, but you could sew these styles up yourself much cheaper. Or simply stuff things under the gaps, as you suggest yourself.

SGT Rock has a lot of experiments described here, and a system that works for winter, too. Have a search on this site for good stuff. Have fun.

dropkick
2008-02-11, 00:31
This is a guess as I can't see your set up, but I would say that you have too much tension on the hammock.

This is a common mistake.

Don't tie it tight. With the type of hammock you have, you're going to want a pretty good drop to the middle.

Once you get in it flattens out a bit.

Another thing you might try is laying on an angle. Try putting your head toward one corner of the hammock and your feet towards another (kitty corner). This can also make a difference in comfort.

Once you get it figured out you're going to wonder why you ever bothered sleeping on the ground.

GGS
2008-02-11, 02:04
Building on other posts here,

1) Laying at a slight angle to the centerline of the hammock allows you to lay flatter
2) A hammock designed asymmetrical (made so you lie at an angle to centerline) like a Hennessy allows you to lay flatter still, even sleep on your side or stomach
3) I've noticed that leg hyperextension feeling is worst if I sleep too close to the foot end of the hammock. Sliding more toward the head end seems to help
4) I put my clothing stuff bag filled with my jacket or whatever clothes I'm not wearing under my knees so they are bent a little. Also evens the pressure out between butt, legs, and feet. VERY comfy that way for me!
5) I have curvature of the spine and I find I can't relax my neck well in a hammock without a small pillow, or at least a rolled up shirt under my neck. One of those small camping pillows from Wally World did the trick for me

Hammock sleeping/camping is the ONLY sleep system where I can sleep more than 8 hours and awaken without a stiff back or body. Even my bed isn't as comfy that long

The only barrier I currently have with hammock sleeping is lying on my back aggravates sleep apnea. I keep waking myself to the tune of "ZZZKKNNXXX!" (At home I sleep on my side so I don't swallow my tongue) However I'll blame that on being 50+ pounds overweight before I'll blame it on hammock sleeping. As my new year's resolution is waving a permanent goodbye to those extra pounds by mid-July I'll let y'all know then whether the apnea is eliminated and my hammock sleeping is finally true bliss.

Denver1911
2008-02-17, 09:45
Well, I pitched my $17 hammock under my $7 tarp in the backyard last night and gave it a go. Here's a few things I learned:

1. Pitch the tarp lower to reduce the amount of wind that blows through in February.

2. Find trees that allow me to pitch the hammock so that the prevailing winds hit the side of my tarp and don't funnel up the middle.

3. The closed-cell foam pad I used bunched up. If I want to use it with my current setup, I need to make some cuts to ensure it conforms to the hang.

I was still fairly uncomfortable. Not as much as if I'd just slept on the ground closed-cell foam, but more uncomfortable than my thermarest.

As time goes on and I deal with the questions of comfort, tarp, etc., I've started looking at the Hennessey Ultra-Light Asym. Thoughts on this? Other options?

Again, my goal is to sleep comfortably, warm (down to 45 deg.), dry, and reduce weight backpacking.

Thanks,
Denver

dropkick
2008-02-18, 00:25
I've always used homemade hammocks so I can't help much on the Hennessey.But it still bothers me that you aren't comfortable in the hammock you have now.

Especially as it looks like you should be able to lie in it the same as I do in my hammocks - and I've actually considered removing my bed and installing a hammock in my house.

Was the pad a big part of the discomfort?

If this was true I'd consider trying this next time: get some clothes pins and hook a blanket (or quilt) under the hammock (tie the ends with string over the ends of the hammock. Under the blanket hang a piece of plastic (drop cloth, cut garbage bag, etc.) - this doesn't need to be tight against the blanket, it is a wind break.

Other than that you might try raising the foot end of the hammock. For some reason I've always been more comfortable with the foot tied about a foot higher than the head of the hammock.

Hog On Ice
2008-02-18, 12:36
perhaps adjusting (playing with) the amount of sag and how much one is able to get diagonal would be a good idea also

Denver1911
2008-02-18, 18:21
Thanks for the feedback.

I have tried adjusting the sag with some success, but ...

Comfort: Part of the problem is the fact that my hammock is narrow and wraps up so tightly on my sides that it's somewhat uncomfortable.

The biggest issue is the gap under my knees. I've tried sag adjustments, but can't get it right. I tried putting extra clothes under my knees, but it was just too lumpy.

The pad was an attempt to:
1. Keep warm ... it worked.
2. Keep the hammock from closing in so tightly around my body ... it didn't work that well.

I'll keep trying. I don't have any backpacking trips planned until April, so I've got a little time to get it right.

Later,
Denver

GGS
2008-02-18, 23:26
I have tried adjusting the sag with some success, but ...

Comfort: Part of the problem is the fact that my hammock is narrow and wraps up so tightly on my sides that it's somewhat uncomfortable.

The biggest issue is the gap under my knees. I've tried sag adjustments, but can't get it right. I tried putting extra clothes under my knees, but it was just too lumpy.

The hammock wrapping too tight might be because it's only a $16 hammock. Gotta be drawback in the cost somewhere! I own a Hennessy Expedition, there are side tie-outs that open the hammock up more and make it much less constraining

I put clothes in a stuff sack so it's more of a uniform cylindrical pillow, then put it under my knees. The stuff sack keeps things from sliding around / lumping up.

Take-a-knee
2008-02-25, 00:27
The hammock wrapping too tight might be because it's only a $16 hammock. Gotta be drawback in the cost somewhere! I own a Hennessy Expedition, there are side tie-outs that open the hammock up more and make it much less constraining

I put clothes in a stuff sack so it's more of a uniform cylindrical pillow, then put it under my knees. The stuff sack keeps things from sliding around / lumping up.

My Hennessy Expedition is set up on the back porch with my knew Speer Segmented Pad Extender/Thermarest inside. That combo with the pad on the diagonal is almost totally flat, no knee extension at all.

GGS
2008-02-25, 05:57
My Hennessy Expedition is set up on the back porch with my knew Speer Segmented Pad Extender/Thermarest inside. That combo with the pad on the diagonal is almost totally flat, no knee extension at all.

I gotta get me one of them segmented pad extenders...

Denver1911
2008-03-01, 15:27
I certainly recognize my $17 hammock probably contributes to my lack of comfort. I bought it to test the waters to see if hammock camping might be for me. I think it is, but I just want to figure out which lightweight hammock might be a good investment for me.

Thanks for all the help,
Denver

Oetzi
2008-03-05, 14:55
For me, there is always the need to support my knees a bit when sleeping in a hammock.
Please note that all of my hammocks are always curved a bit, no matter how I hang them. There may be a diffrence with thick pads being used.
I take my fleece clothing, stored in a thin cotton bag, and put it under my knees.
Alternatively, I use an air pillow to give support.
http://www.mammut.ch/mammut/katalog.asp?view=detail&did=34&dart=3&tid=52808&sid=2

rigidpsycho
2008-03-05, 19:52
I gotta get me one of them segmented pad extenders...

you could just make one with two ccf pads w/o having to do any sewing.

GGS
2008-03-06, 00:29
you could just make one with two ccf pads w/o having to do any sewing.

Interested. How would I do that?

I've placed two trimmed pads at 90 degrees to each other with the cross pad under my shoulders. Definitely warm but the pads shift while you sleep, very annoying. If I glued 'em that way they'd be hard to roll up.

What do you suggest?

survivalsam
2008-03-11, 20:23
yep i find making it as secure as possible often get rid of all problems

if in doubt get a hennessy

mikehelvey
2008-04-06, 23:35
The only barrier I currently have with hammock sleeping is lying on my back aggravates sleep apnea. I keep waking myself to the tune of "ZZZKKNNXXX!" (At home I sleep on my side so I don't swallow my tongue) However I'll blame that on being 50+ pounds overweight before I'll blame it on hammock sleeping. As my new year's resolution is waving a permanent goodbye to those extra pounds by mid-July I'll let y'all know then whether the apnea is eliminated and my hammock sleeping is finally true bliss.

At the risk of hijacking a thread...my wife just got one of those special pillows through Brookstone that is real funky shapped, but meant to fix the mild sleep apnea...IT WORKS! Woo hoo, now if only I could get a couple of the guys I camp with to buy one :biggrin:

dropkick
2008-04-08, 01:35
Interested. How would I do that?

I've placed two trimmed pads at 90 degrees to each other with the cross pad under my shoulders. Definitely warm but the pads shift while you sleep, very annoying. If I glued 'em that way they'd be hard to roll up.

What do you suggest?

How about if you used stick on velcro?
I've used it before on things and in areas I couldn't sew, and it worked ok.
The only problem I've ever had with it was when I put it in an area where it got very warm, like on my car dashboard, the glue used to stick it on melted.
-This could just be the cheap brand of velcro I used though.

GGS
2008-04-08, 11:42
Hmmm. Good idea, Dropkick. I'll give that a try.