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21My rig - long

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  • David Chinell
    Jan 10, 2003
      Here's what I use on most of my weekend expeditions...
      Nomad Traveler Tropical Hammock
      Custom 8 x 8 ft silnylon tarp
      Custom 9 x 12 ft mosquito net
      Closed-cell foam pad 24 x 60 in
      Thinsulate poncho liner 7.5 x 5 ft
      2 10 ft long 1/4-inch tree ropes
      1 25 ft long paracord ridge line
      6 10 ft long paracord tarp lines
      6 aluminum tent pegs
      4 small binder clips
      This is just the hammock-based shelter stuff. I also take cooking and clothing and first aid gear, but this is a hammock list, so I'll skip that.
      I wrap the tree ropes around the tree, then tie the hammock lines to them. This gives me a consistent way to rig the hammock, and distributes the pressure on the bark better. I wrap the tree lines at about eye level. After wrapping, I tie off the tree lines with a square knot. I pull out a bight from the tree line and attach the hammock line using a slipped sheet bend.
      The ridge line goes up next, tied with a bowline at one end and a tautline at the other. I start with the ridgeline positioned almost as high as I can reach, but use a single, big loop around the trees so I can loosen the line and slide it up and down the trunk as weather dictates.
      Next the tarp goes up. I pitch the tarp on the diagonal unless there's a really high wind. Usually, I just throw the tarp over the ridge line while I rig it. I could leave the tarp lines attached to the tarp, but I like practicing the knots. Moonbow made the tarp for me. It's square, with tie-outs at the corners and the mid-points of the sides.
      At the ends of the tarp (the corners at the head and foot of the hammock) I tie on a tarp line using a bowline, making sure to leave some space between the knot and the tie-out. I loop the line around the tree, just above the ridgeline, bring the line back through the loop made by the bowline, and secure it onto the ridgeline using a tautline hitch. I do this so I can adjust the tension of the tarp from under the tarp. This means I can slide the ridgeline and tarp up and down without getting wet.
      At the sides of the tarp, I tie on a tarp line using a tautline hitch -- again, so I can adjust the tension without getting wet, by reaching out from under the tarp. The side lines run out at right angles to the ridgeline, and I just throw a lark's head knot around the tent peg.
      At this point I usually take a nap. If it's already cold, I may slide the closed-cell foam pad between the hammock layers. Otherwise, I'll leave the pad out until it gets cold enough to need it. I really prefer the feeling of the hammock without the pad. The pad I use is a cheap, blue, department store pad. I trimmed it to length and rounded the ends. It conforms to the shape of the hammock nicely.
      The last thing to go on is the mosquito net -- if it's bug season. I made this myself, starting with a 12 ft length of 9-ft wide bridal tulle. Only Illusion brand comes this wide, and it's only available in white or ivory. But it takes Rit die nicely, so I die it dark green. No cutting or sewing is required. The net just drapes over the ridgeline. I clip it at the ends, once in the middle and once just below the hammock to close it off and keep it anchored. There's enough slack to just lift it up to get into or out of the hammock.
      I use the poncho liner as a quilt. In cold weather -- I'm in Florida, so 40 degrees F is cold -- I'll switch from the poncho liner to a Speer Pea Pod bag. The only drawback to this is that the velcro on the bag will destroy the mosquito net, so it's one or the other, but not both. Fortunately, when it's cold enough to need the Pea Pod, the mosquitoes are generally dormant.
      That's it. What do you think?
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