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20141[Hammock Camping] Re: Is this forum dead? (Suspension system)

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  • boardmanmw
    Sep 22, 2009
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      Here's my solution:
      Use polypro straps; mine are from Speer, rated at 750 lbs. I like to do the strap adjusting from the hammock end of the line, not the tree end. It's more convenient, and you only have to get next to the tree once, avoiding the branches, bugs, dew, sap etc.

      Sew (or tie) a 3inch loop in the end of your strap. Wrap that end of the strap around the tree (twice, if you have enough strap), then run the hammock end of the strap thru the loop and snug up against the tree. Done with that end, and no knot to worry about. The free end goes to the hammock.

      On each end of the hammock I use a 1.5 inch climbers descender ring (0.5 oz each). Instead of a Spear style knot in the hammock, I bunch the hammock end up, run it thru the ring a couple of inches, lay it over and whip it back on the hammock body with mason twine or thin nylon cord (could use the interior cords of gutted parachute line). Wrap the whipping tight as possible at least 1.5-2.0 inch, or more. The hammock material (assuming you are using some lightweight nylon), will lay thru the ring nicely, with no sharp edges and good stress distribution on the material. If the whipping is tight, the hammock material won't slip back thru the ring. If you're concerned about it, melt a small hole thru the bunched hammock material halfway down the whipping and run the whip cord thru the hole a couple of times, then continue the whipping. The whip cord will cover the hole, and now you've got a very positive connection between the hammock material and the whip cord. I stand 73 inches and weigh 215, and I've used this for the last 5 years without ever a failure. And that's without the thru hole.

      So now you have a hammock with descender rings at each end, with your hanging straps fixed to the trees--incidently with no overtightened knots at the tree end.

      To suspend the hammock, just run the strap thru the descender ring, then around and back thru the ring, so it goes thru the ring twice. Pull the slack thru until you've got the hammock curve you want, then just pull a loop of the strap over itself and snug up, like tieing a shoelace. The excess strap just hangs down, so it doesn't matter how much extra strap you have. When you tension the hammock (ie, get in)your weight pulls the knot up against the descender ring, and it won't slip, even if wet. If you only ran the strap thru the ring once, it might slip, but with two wraps thru the ring, the stress is on the wraps, not the knot. It holds with no slip, yet it's fully adjustable until you tie the slip knot.

      To disassemble, just hold the hammock in one hand, grab the free end of the strap and give it a good pull to undo the slip knot. If it's really tight, you might need to waggle the free end back and forth a time or two, but it will come loose easily, guaranteed. I've never had this system jam on me, or come loose when I didn't want it to. Then you just recover the two straps, roll 'em up and stash in the stow bag with the hammock itself.

      Best of all, it's easy to adjust the hang of the hammock to exactly the curve you want. Inevitably, I tie up, get in to test it, then want to tweak the curve a little. This system makes it really easy, since you're working at each end of the hammock, rather than all the way back at the tree ends.

      This is the ring I use: http://www.rei.com/product/471123 ,
      but you could use any qualified ring or a carabiner that's rated for the weight. These are cheap ($2.90 each at REI), compact and above all lightweight (0.5 oz). If you are concerned about ring failure, Omega Pacific sells a much more robust ring (http://www.rei.com/product/745608), but there's a size and weight trade off.

      Other advantages: The knot and ring act as water stops; any rain running down the strap hits the knot and diverts down the free end of the strap that's just hanging down; you don't need to tie a sock or cloth piece to prevent water draining down onto the hammock. Second, if you know you're headed to an area of very large diameter trees, you can make a second set of extra long straps to accomodate. Otherwise, use your shorter standard ones (mine are cut at 11 feet to save the extra weight-- and still longer than I've ever needed). But I've never hung in the Redwoods... One hammock, multiple sets of straps, as needed.

      I can post some pictures if there's any interest. Regards to all. Mike

      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Steven Bronstein" <steve@...> wrote:
      >
      > The knot Ralph is referring to is sometimes called a Trucker's Hitch and , I
      > agree, it is a great solution.
      >
      >
      >
      > One question I have is that when I wrap around the tree twice when you pull
      > up on the hitch you then have to adjust the strapping that is cinched around
      > the tree to even out the pull and then your hammock adjustment has shifted.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > I have been trying to come up with a more elegant solution so that you can
      > eliminate the fussing. Adding rings at the hammock loop and using a
      > carabiner around the tree works well but adds more weight.
      >
      >
      >
      > I want to be able to pull till the curve in the hammock is correct and then
      > tie it off and be done.
      >
      > .
      >
      >
      >
      > Steven Bronstein
      >
      > Blackthorne Forge
      >
      > Marshfield, VT 05658
      >
      > phone/fax 802-426-3369
      >
      > www.blackthorneforge.com
      >
      >
      >
      >
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