I recently used a photograph of my hammock in my Italian olive grove to illustrate an article about all things Italian. It was either the one now illustrating this blog, or one very similar. My friend David made a comment at the time about the difficulty of getting out of a hammock which he rightly said was not just an Italian problem. This got me thinking and then my friend Harriet posted a picture of a lady reading in a hammock on her blog (which is certainly worth exploring if you need some ideas for books to read) and I realised we needed to solve this age old problem.
It’s true that it is something I have had to deal with myself. When I take myself off to my hammock I go well stocked with sunglasses, water, book etc etc. I tend to have my hammock hung quite low. This is for two reasons. The first is because I like to be able to put my water etc. on the floor under my hammock to keep them out of the sun, but I still want to be able to reach them and the second is I’m not that confident of the knots I use to secure my hammock to my trees and should I drop I don’t want to drop far. Not unreasonable I’m sure you will agree. But I certainly have not mastered the art of the graceful dismount. Generally this doesn’t matter as I rarely have an audience for this activity, but that doesn’t mean I won’t need to do this in company at some stage.
So I started looking for advice and the first piece of advice I found was really about how to gracefully get into a hammock. At purewow.com they recommend standing in the middle of the hammock, walking backwards until you can sit down and swing your legs over. They sum this up as Grab, Hold and Sit. That’s fine but getting out is much more difficult so I continued my search.
I came across just what I needed at a forum for hammock users. Who knew? I realised that the problem that David had expressed and that I experienced too was a universal issue. These people were spending a lot of time discussing this. These people were American. I’m just saying this as when I was reading these comments I was reading them with a kind of Texas drawl. Can you read in an accent? Appears I can.
Well it seems the problem is more complex than I had imagined. There are different kinds of hammock and each offers its own challenges apparently. The Hennessy has issues with Velcro that can create problems. These problems are unspecified but one can only imagine that if they impede one’s ability to get out of a hammock gracefully it must be because it latches onto you in some way. Fortunately the WBBB has no such problems. I don’t think my hammock has a name. It certainly doesn’t have Velcro.
Someone calling himself Alamosa suggested that you need to hold onto the ridgeline for support before throwing your legs over the side and walking backwards allowing the hammock to swing you into a standing position. Ridgeline? No, me neither. This was getting more technical than I thought. He also suggested that a useful adjunct to this foolproof method was to shout ‘look at that’ and point in the opposite direction just before commencing the ridgeline grab. I’m thinking that shows a lack of confidence in his own method.
Dangerous Dan didn’t seem to have an issue and Roadrunner 72 seemed to have missed the point completely as he describes throwing a leg over the side, no ridgeline grabbing here, and just rolling onto the ground with a thump. He suggests just laying there for a few minutes to recover. This is a man with time on his hands I suspect. Rather worryingly the Ramblinrev uses the HH bottom entry method. He didn’t expand on this and I didn’t search further.
Then came the most intelligent intervention so far. Why, someone asked, was everyone trying to get out of their hammocks? I’m with him on this but sometimes one doesn’t have a choice. I’m sure I don’t need to elucidate further. A very gymnastic approach was offered. Bring your knees to your chest, spin 90 degrees, lean forward and gently bounce out. Yeh right!
In passing, I was slightly worried to see that these people referred to the use of their hammocks as a ‘hanging’ – the accent in my head changed to Deep South just then. Shiver!
Cos20 spends a lot of time in camouflage outfits. I’m just guessing. He suggested grabbing both lips, (I’m assuming on the hammock, not yourself) rolling to a prone position and dropping like a ninja assassin! Love it.
Well I’m not sure I’ll be trying the ninja assassin approach anytime soon. I expect I will continue with my usual falling onto the grass in an undignified manner while trying not to drop my sunglasses and hoping that no-one can see from the house.