461RE: Hammock Camping Methods of securing hammocks to trees
- Feb 6, 2003
> The hammock is attached to the tree huggersWhy do you HAVE to take the gloves off? I have no trouble tying up the
> 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
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 someI have various setups using webbing and 'biners. Here's an old message that
> 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.
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
(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.
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
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