927This weekend's expedition
- Mar 31, 2003Gang:
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
I conducted very few experiments this time -- I mostly
wanted to enjoy some quiet hours, dreaming and drowsing in
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
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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