Now the other writeups are quite accurate, except for the beach-and-palm trees thing. You need neither, in fact, it is entirely possible not only to attach the net to wall-mounted hooks, but also to sleep in a sufficiently long and straight specimen. I should know because I did for a few years (and in fact still would if most of the strings on the side near the window had not given way ...).

Attaching the wall plate was relatively straightforward except my father had to drill the holes as I didn't have a percussion drill at the time.

The major pain in the ass when sleeping in a hammock is chillyness, even in midsummer I used to toss the blanket and look for the sleeping bag a few hours into the night.

I have been told it's bad for your back to sleep in a hammock, but this is most likely as much of an urban legend as not being able to barefoot in snow.

How to sleep in a hammock.

You're probably thinking that this has to be a joke. After all, who needs to be told how to sleep in a hammock? It's easy, right? All you do is lie down in the hammock and fall asleep, right?

Well, the tricky part is knowing how to lie down in the first place. If you're reading in the hammock, or just want to get off your feet for a while, then you can do whatever makes you comfortable for the moment. However, if you want to fall asleep, you must take care to lie down in a position that will not hurt your back when you wake up. The trick lies in removing as much of the curvature as possible.

Most people, when trying to sleep will look like this:


                            __
| |                        (  )       | |
| |                        (__)       | |
| |--____                 \ /   ____--| |
| |'-,   ------___________-/----   ,-'| |
| |   '-,                       ,-'   | |
| |      '-,                 ,-'      | |
| |         '-_____________-'         | |
| |                                   | |
| |                                   | |
| |                                   | |

This is because they are treating the hammock as if it were a mattress; they have their head at one end, their feet at the other, and their body is in the middle of the hammock. This is where they make their mistake. Instead of centering yourself on the hammock, lie down as diagonally as possible. This will twist the hammock, removing much of the arc. This is infinitely better for your back. If you are lying down properly, it will look somewhat like this:


                            
| |                             | |
| |                             | |
| |                             | |
| |'-,                   .--''',| |
| |`. '-,            .--'    ,- | |
| |  '.  '-,     .--'      --'  | |
| |    '.   '-.-'        ,-'    | |
| |      '.    '-.    ,-'       | |
| |        '-_____;.-'          | |
| |                             | |

Now that you know how to sleep in a hammock, go find two nice trees and take a nap. You'll feel a lot better, because hammocks seem to have a magical resting property.


I apologize for the craptacular ASCII art. I tried to draw a person in the lower hammock, but it just wasn't working out. Still, you can see what the hammock itself will look like.

Ham"mock (?), n. [A word of Indian origin: cf. Sp. hamaca. Columbus, in the Narrative of his first voyage, says: "A great many Indians in canoes came to the ship to-day for the purpose of bartering their cotton, and hamacas, or nets, in which they sleep."]

1.

A swinging couch or bed, usually made of netting or canvas about six feet wide, suspended by clews or cords at the ends.

2.

A piece of land thickly wooded, and usually covered with bushes and vines. Used also adjectively; as, hammock land.

[Southern U. S.]

Bartlett.

Hammock nettings Naut., formerly, nets for stowing hammocks; now, more often, wooden boxes or a trough on the rail, used for that purpose.

 

© Webster 1913.

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