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927This weekend's expedition

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  • David Chinell
    Mar 31, 2003
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      It was almost perfect weather this weekend. From the low 60s
      to mid 70s. A couple of hours hard rain before I had to get
      up Sunday, then overcast but dry the rest of the day for the
      hike out.

      I conducted very few experiments this time -- I mostly
      wanted to enjoy some quiet hours, dreaming and drowsing in
      the forest.

      I did try something with my tree ropes, though. I often use
      two ten-foot lengths of 1/4-inch nylon sheathed spectra to
      tie around the trees. I tie my hammock lines to a loop or
      two of this rope.

      This time I determined the middle of each rope and tied a
      figure 8 on a bight there. This let me tie the tree ropes
      tight around the tree, but left a loop to which I could tie
      the hammock lines.

      It worked pretty well. The figure 8 did get mighty tight,
      but I was able to work it loose with just my fingers when it
      was time to pack up. If I wanted to, I guess I could just
      leave the knots there -- it's not as if they have to be

      That's a funny thing though, I prefer to take my rig apart
      completely, separate the ropes, and take out any knots. It
      means a longer setup and takedown time, but for some reason
      I don't like to leave things attached. I guess it's the idea
      of restricting the potential configurations of the gear or

      It's good practice to have to tie the knots every time.

      I dreamed up a notion for a self-centering hammock. Here

      You use straps for your hammock mains, like a Speer hammock.
      (Or tie your hammock ropes to straps a short distance from
      the hammock.) One of the straps has to terminate in a double
      D ring.

      You tie tree ropes or straps to the trees, with a circular
      or D ring included as an attaching point.

      You run the hammock mains through the rings on the tree
      ropes, then join the mains over top of the hammock, using
      the double D rings to tension the hammock.

      That is, your hammock mains run out through the tree rings
      then back over top of the hammock, forming a ridgeline.

      Since the hammock isn't fixed to the trees, you can slide it
      back and forth until it's centered.

      The double-d rings will hold the weight all right, but that
      much strap might be too elastic.

      The strap ridgeline would be a good height for me to drape a
      mosquito net over, but I'd want to put my tarp up higher,
      maybe on a second ridgeline or maybe floating -- tied to
      itself around the trees -- like I usually do.

      Then the whole deal, hammock and tarp, could be centered
      without undoing anything.

      That's one of my favorite things to daydream about while I'm
      swinging in my hammock -- different hammock rigs, and
      cooking systems, and packing methods, etc.

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