With the growing trend of camping and trekking, people are taking a huge interest in hammocks for their comfy sleepover. Among some other amenities that play a necessary role in hammocking, hammock ridgeline also plays a major role.
Is it mandatory to have a Ridgeline?
No. Hammocks can be set up without a ridgeline as well, then why you should use a hammock ridgeline?
Ridgeline facilitates in providing defined sagging that offers you the same relaxation every time you get in. It not only maximizes the comfort but also takes up the tension off the suspension joints.
By Definition: Hammocks can be more comfortable and suitable only if the establishment is proper. And this is not at all difficult when you use a ridgeline.
What is Hammock Ridgeline?
A ridgeline is a cord that is tied to both the end of the hammock, either to the fabric directly or to the loops or carabiners, depending on the suspension system.
A hammock ridgeline is extensively used for gathered-in hammocks and is necessary if you want the ideal hammock sag. The ridgeline goes from one tie-out point to the other directly above where the user lies down and offers the right amount of sag on tour hammock.
What is Hammock’s sag?
When you set up your hammock, the amount of curve that is generated in the fabric is called Sag. The hammock sag is important as it allows you to lay diagonally in the hammock, which is more comfortable, than lying in a tight hammock.
Sag is very important not only because it looks good, but also because it brings the whole idea of relaxing in the hammock to life. When you’re lying flat, your spine should ideally be aligned almost as it is when you’re standing up, meaning it’s pretty much straight but with a slight curve. Sleeping in a flat position is also advised by physicians. If there is no sag, you cannot achieve this position or regulate the angle.
The Concept of Ridgeline
A hammock ridgeline concept is fairly simple. This cord between two ends of a hammock helps in pulling the tension on both sides of the hammock.
When you set up a regular hammock around the trees or poles, the pressure along the sides holds the hammock in the place. If there is no or less tension between the two ends the hammock will eventually fall. If you put too much tension, then it will become too uncomfortable, as it will reduce the hammock sag.
This is where the ridgeline helps in providing the right amount of tension, without affecting the sag of your hammock. The hammock and cord should be connected to your suspension at a common point.
This cord takes up all the tension, creating the required sag in your hammock. With a ridgeline, the fabric hangs loosely, facilitating a diagonal lay. It reproduces the appropriate amount of sag even if the distance between the hanging points varies.
If there is no ridgeline, the fabric carries all the tension from the anchor points and is tauter. The amount of sag depends directly on factors like the distance between trees, rope or strap length or hammock stand.
A ridgeline can be tied once to your hammock, and then you don’t have to tie it again.
Which cord can be used for a Ridgeline?
As hammocks do not always come with ridgelines, let’s discuss what type of cord can be an ideal one for a ridgeline. Since you are willing to maintain constant sag on your hammock, the ridgeline should not be stretchable. Also, you have to be sure that it can hold up all the tension and keep your hammock and suspension together. So use a strong and sturdy cord for a ridgeline.
Nowadays there are cords specifically made to be a hammock ridgeline and are easily available online. For eg. Whoopie sling, rope with adjustable loops, Zing- It, etc can be ideal for hammocking.
A utility cord or paracord can also be used if there is no other alternative. But beware, paracord is not a suitable option due to its ability to stretch. If you are willing to use the hammock for a long time, make sure that the cord is durable.
Setting up the Ridgeline
Making a ridgeline is simple and can be added to any hammock that doesn’t already have one. Common calculative measurement is 83% of the total hammock length. For instance, for a 10′ long hammock, you would need an 8’3.5″ ridgeline.
You should use a bit longer one and then adjust it according to your comfort level.
Despite the thumb rule of 30 degrees of the hang, your length of the cord can differ as everyone has a different preference for the exact sag and curvature they want out of a hammock.
You can attach it at the suspension system, on a gathered end hammock, so that it can support the tension at the suspension point.
A ridgeline requires some knots to create. Many experienced campers use different types of knots on a ridgeline.
Tip: You can refer to certain online videos to know more about the knots.
It is advised to keep the ridgeline adequately above the head height. If you use the same ridgeline for your hammock, you will get the same sag every time.
Do Hammock stands need Ridgeline?
No, I don’t recommend using a ridgeline for a hammock stand. As hammock stands are usually for permanent setups and have adjustable loops, a ridgeline is not required. There are also stands with a ridge-beam, that leaves no room for the ridgeline.
Camping Hammock and Ridgeline
People who have been hanging and sleeping on hammocks for a long time now understand how and what makes a hammock more relaxing.
Also, if you are working on your way to ultralight backpacking, camping hammocks with a ridgeline is what we would recommend you. As it is lightweight you have more space for anything else you want to pack.
Camping needs days of travel to different destinations and different climates. So people usually tie their hammocks to trees. Distance between trees will vary, but if you have ridgeline installed the sag in the hammock will stay consistent. Thus providing you the same comfort every time you assemble it.
Many camping hammocks use carabiners or clips to attach ridgeline on the suspension straps.
Other than this, while camping, you usually carry a lot of stuff and ridgeline can be used to hang your accessories.
Benefits of Hammock Ridgeline
Apart from creating and maintain the sag for your hammock, it does offer some other benefits. Some of them are listed below:
Hanging the protective shield: You can use it for keeping an integrated mosquito net away from your body. Although tarps have a different method of hanging, these can also be used for hanging tarps to protect you from unusual rain.
Hanging the stuff: With ridgeline, you get a handy place to hang stuff like your glasses and a ridgeline organizer. You can also use gear to hang your items on the ridgeline.
Stress-free hammock and trees: Ridgeline protects the trees and your hammock from the extra stress, in turn increasing the durability of the fabric.
Ridgeline can offer the privilege of other benefits and ample sag and comfort. We would highly recommend a ridgeline to go with your hammock. It not only brings more comfort, but it also makes the set up easier.