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461RE: Hammock Camping Methods of securing hammocks to trees

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  • Shane
    Feb 6, 2003
      > The hammock is attached to the tree huggers
      > by passing the line from the hammock through the
      > loops on the ends of the huggers. It is finished
      > off with a kind of loose figure 8 and two half-
      > hitches. ...
      > Well, to tie the knots, I HAVE to take my gloves
      > off, which of course led to really cold and stiff
      > hands, which of course led to decrease in dexterity,
      > and in the end, a hell of a time getting my knots
      > tied.

      Why do you HAVE to take the gloves off? I have no trouble tying up the
      Hennessy with heavy gloves and liners on, and I have even tied it in

      For reference, check:


      > So, I am looking into alternatives. I have some
      > ideas regarding carabineers. I am also entertaining
      > the use of a truckers hitch as a way of providing a
      > quick solution to not only securing but also
      > tightening the hammock line. It would also be very
      > quick to undo for readjustments.

      I have various setups using webbing and 'biners. Here's an old message that
      describes one such system:

      Well, what you see in the picture, and what I just invented are two
      different things, but both work well.

      The picture is this, for those of you just tuning in:


      What you see in the picture are three pieces of webbing, two carabineers,
      and the hammock. On the right is the long piece of webbing - about 5' long
      after the knots are tied. (Knots are tied like this double figure of eight,
      pictured on this page:

      This is to go around larger trees. For smaller trees, wrap twice. Clip
      carabineer through loops. On the left side are actually two pieces of
      webbing, 3' long after the knots are tied (as above). One short piece can
      be used around a small tree, or the two pieces can be looped together (as
      they are here) to make a longer piece to go around a larger tree or to give
      extra length (as they do here). Clip carabineer through loops. Unroll
      hammock, clip hammock to carabineers, and you're done.

      This system uses no knots, but has no adjustment. You have to find trees
      more or less the right distance apart - which isn't hard to do down here in
      the south. You could retie the loops and have all the adjustment you like,
      I am just too damn lazy... At the end of the day, I want to make camp NOW.
      I want to make camp and be cooking my dinner in less than five minutes.
      With this rig, setup is less than a minute. The ridgeline can be strung and
      the tarp and/or bug net put up or not depending on conditions. I can stop
      and be ready with a hot dinner in ten minutes - which is a tremendous plus
      in the cold. Camp chores are just that - chores - and I'd prefer to get on
      doing other things, like dancing naked in the rain...

      What I've come up with recently, is this: You can adjust the tension
      instantly with no fear of slippage. I just worked this out for Bob with his
      new Hennessy, since his knot skills aren't very good, and it works great.
      Personally, I am lazy, and Tom's knot is fairly difficult to understand from
      the illustration on the bag, so I wanted something different. The method
      below is a little different from what I posted a few weeks ago.

      You will need:

      Hennessy Hammock w/ropes. (Any hammock will do. Some hammocks don't have
      ropes, they have loops, which will work just as well - just clip the
      'carabineers in the loops.) 2 Carabineers (you can find 35 gram careeners)
      1" Webbing strap, 15 feet long. 1 tie down strap available from any auto
      parts store.

      (We discarded the straps that came with the Hennessy because they were too
      short (about 36"). We have BIG trees down here in the south, and we needed
      something more substantial.)

      Tie the carabineers to the hammock ropes as close to the hammock on the
      ridge line as you can. (If your hammock has loops instead of a rope, just
      clip the carabineers to the loops.) If you have a Hennessy, this means that
      the carabineers can be no closer to the hammock than the maximum extension
      of the canopy on the ridge line. (I think that's about 12 feet, for the
      Safari...) You will have a lot of excess rope. If you are REALLY brave,
      you can cut the excess off - but DON'T do this until AFTER you have set the
      hammock up and tensioned the tarp for the first time to make sure you have
      enough distance between the carabineers.

      Ok, now you have the carabineers tied to the hammock, or the carabineers
      clipped to the loops. Now get your webbing strap. Cut it in half, then cut
      14 inches off one piece. You'll now have three pieces. Singe all cut ends
      with a cigarette lighter or other fire source so that the ends don't fray.
      On the middle piece, tie loops in both ends using a double figure of eight
      knot in the ends of the webbing strap. In other words, fold 10 inches or so
      of the strap together and tie an overhand knot.
      <http://www.realknots.com/knots/sloops.htm> On the long piece, tie only one
      end with the double figure of eight loop, and leave the other end untied.
      The loops, when you are done, should be 3-4 inches. If you have, or know
      someone with, a saddle stitcher, you could stitch the loops instead of tying
      the knots - but remember that your whole weight will be depending on those
      stitches not to drop you on your butt at night...

      Now you have the Carabineers tied to the hammock, and loops in your webbing.

      Next we need a tie down strap, such as this:

      There are actually two types of tie down straps, available at any auto-parts
      store. Ratcheting and non-ratcheting. I used the non-ratcheting type,
      because they are lighter. The first thing you notice about tie down straps
      is that they are extremely heavy. This is because of the steel S hooks on
      each end. Discard EVERYTHING except the tensioning device. We used the
      webbing that came with the tie down strap at first, but then it broke. It
      was very thin and flimsy... The tensioning device are very light, as you
      will notice. (3-4 ounces?) Take the 14" piece of webbing and pass it
      around the back bar (non-adjusting side) of the tensioning device, then tie
      a water knot to make a loop.
      <http://brmrg.med.virginia.edu/knots/water.html> This loop is where you will
      clip one of the carabineers. Feed the untied end of the long piece of
      webbing into the tensioner.

      Now you have the carabineers tied to the hammock, a long piece of webbing
      with loops, a tensioning device with a loop on the back side, and a long
      piece of webbing fed into the tensioner with a loop on the far end.

      Now you can set up that hammock in less than 60 seconds and tie no knots.
      Find 2 trees of an appropriate diameter about 15 feet or so apart.

      Ready? GO!

      Unroll hammock between trees. Wrap webbing with two loops around tree #1 as
      many times as you can and still clip the carabineer between the two loops.
      Clip carabineer #1 to loops. Move to tree #2. Pass long webbing strap
      w/loop end around tree. Pass tensioning device through loop. Pull until
      the large lasso loop you have just made pulls tight to the tree. Clip
      carabineer #2 to webbing loop on back of tensioning device. Grasp loose end
      of webbing in tensioning device and pull tight.

      Voila! Done with no knots tied. If the hammock stretches a little, and
      there is some slack in your ridgeline, simply grasp the loose end of the
      webbing in the tensioner and pull it tight. If you have used the ratcheting
      type of tensioner, which is heavier, just crank it tight. No need to untie
      knots and retie. Just remember not to pull it TOO tight. You can break the
      ridgeline in a Hennessy like this. Most hammocks sleep better with a little

      To break it down, depress the lever on the tensioning device, release some
      slack, and then unclip the carabineers. If you wind up between two trees
      too far apart, tie a figure of eight loop on the end of the Hammock rope,
      pass that through the webbing loops, then clip the carabineer to the rope
      loop. If you wind up between two trees that are WAY too far apart, and have
      no other options, you can untie and retie one or both of the carabineers,
      but with enough webbing in the tensioner (10' or so) you won't have any
      problems. Of course, if you have cut the excess rope off, you won't have
      either of those two options. You can use shorter pieces of webbing if the
      trees where you hike are small, or if you are willing to find smaller trees
      the right distance apart.

      I promise to have pictures of all of this soon... I took them all last

      How's that?

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