The Gear Doctor for November 2014

Hammock camping is growing in popularity due to it’s convenience. With less gear than traditional tent camping, many people are choosing hammock camping as a way to lighten up their backpacks. Another asset of hammock camping is the variety of camp site options.

No need to find a flat, open, dry spot for your site. You just need a couple of trees and some light rigging and you’re set.  But it is not quite as simple as just hanging your hammock between two trees – in order to get the most of your hammock camping experience, you must first learn the finer points of hanging out in camp.

One to 1.5 in (2.5 to 3.8 cm) polyester or polypropylene webbing straps help disperse the weight and reduce damage to trees or other objects. PahaQue Hammocks come complete with their own adjustable hanging strap system.  Polyester and polypropylene are also low-stretch, so you won’t sag during the night (avoid nylon straps, which stretch). Pitching a hammock too tight between anchor points puts an enormous amount of force on the suspension lines and hammock, leading to potential failure (and discomfort). A tight pitch also raises the center of gravity, making the hammock unsteady. Pitching the hammock at 30° ensures you get a deep sag. A lot of beginners try to sleep in line with the hammock, curving their bodies into a banana shape. I find that this takes a lot of effort, because with a good sag, your feet naturally slide to one side or the other, finding a “pocket” of fabric. By angling your body askew of center, you fall into a ergonomically flat position (it looks a bit like a recumbent bicyclist), where the hammock takes away all the pressure points naturally. The diagonal lay is the key to comfort in a gathered-end hammock.

Here is a great quick-reference guide for properly setting up your Hammock.

Hang Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

excerpts and images from http://survivallife.com/2014/03/07/basics-hammock-camping/

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