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What is the best hammock rope to use on the AT?

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  • togetherinparis
    Hello! I m new, planning an AT adventure in a couple of months. I was wondering about what the group thought was the best type brand and length of ropes to
    Message 1 of 15 , Dec 30 7:15 AM
      Hello! I'm new, planning an AT adventure in a couple of months. I was wondering about
      what the group thought was the best type brand and length of ropes to use for fastening
      hammocks between two trees/beams?
      I do not want to carry more rope than necessary and I certainly don't want to carry a heavy
      rope when a lighter one would serve. At the same time, I do not want to wind up on the
      ground, either. Have any of you broken a rope on a campout? How much weight was on
      it? Is it easy finding a replacement in the towns near the AT?
    • jwj32542
      I like Ed s 1 poly webbing - it s cheap and easy to use. Any cord with Spectra core, a nylon sheath, and breaking strength 600+ lbs should work fine. Dave
      Message 2 of 15 , Dec 30 8:00 AM
        I like Ed's 1" poly webbing - it's cheap and easy to use. Any cord
        with Spectra core, a nylon sheath, and breaking strength 600+ lbs
        should work fine. Dave uses that cheap hollow-core poly braid rope
        from Walmart (I think) and it works fine...just make sure you get the
        right strength.

        I have broken some cheap poly rope from Walmart (bought the wrong
        stuff a long time ago), and some 550 cord (parachute cord) that failed
        at a knot.
      • jack_tier
        ... cord ... rope ... the ... failed ... I broke para cord aka 550 cord once...definately too light as a suspension line... And, remember...knots reduce the
        Message 3 of 15 , Dec 30 2:16 PM
          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "jwj32542" <jwj32542@y...>
          wrote:
          >
          > I like Ed's 1" poly webbing - it's cheap and easy to use. Any
          cord
          > with Spectra core, a nylon sheath, and breaking strength 600+ lbs
          > should work fine. Dave uses that cheap hollow-core poly braid
          rope
          > from Walmart (I think) and it works fine...just make sure you get
          the
          > right strength.
          >
          > I have broken some cheap poly rope from Walmart (bought the wrong
          > stuff a long time ago), and some 550 cord (parachute cord) that
          failed
          > at a knot.
          >

          I broke para cord aka 550 cord once...definately too light as a
          suspension line...

          And, remember...knots reduce the working rating of a line...

          Dave has a chart on the forces on hammock line... it may be worth a
          look... get a few hundred pounds of strength over what is the
          minimum you figure...

          Remember...it is your responsibility to inspect for wear daily...
          Hate to admit this, but, I once had a cord on a M1965 junge hammock
          snap and drop me at 0200 at low gap GA on the night of the 5 inch
          snow in 2003 ( rethreaded,retied and was back in bed in 5-6 minutes,
          but was an event to avoid in the future)... Byer hammock end cords
          should be closely watched also...caught a couple of near breaks
          (worn cord) before they happened and reknotted...

          Jack aka Peter_pan
        • Dave Womble
          Welcome to the list and I suspect this isn t what you want to hear, but there are several ways to use rope with hammocks and the details of how you do that
          Message 4 of 15 , Dec 31 4:37 AM
            Welcome to the list and I suspect this isn't what you want to hear,
            but there are several ways to use rope with hammocks and the details
            of how you do that will affect what is the 'best' rope. Likewise,
            how you use your rope to attach to trees will affect the length or
            rope that you will want to use. I'll try to quickly explain that.

            Whatever rope you use, you don't want to use rope that stretches,
            which means stay away from nylon rope. You need to be concerned
            about damaging trees that you attach your hammock to. There are
            three ways that come to mind but I'm sure there are others.

            One is to use 42"(?)lengths of webbing as tree huggers like Hennessy
            Hammocks do. This means if it is done right the rope doesn't make
            contact with the tree. This allows the rope to be of small diameter
            without cutting into the tree. Some types of small diameter rope
            that doesn't flatten will cut into the bark of trees if it makes
            contact with the tree and has significant force on it.

            Another is to just use webbing instead of ropes like Speer Hammocks
            do. This is failsafe as there isn't anything near the tree that is
            small enough to cut into it.

            The third technique is to use a 'tree friendly' rope like Clark
            Hammocks do. The knot is a factor in this as well as you don't use a
            cinching knot. If you use rope that isn't 'tree friendly' you can
            really bugger up trees.

            I personally use the third technique and I use a hammock that doesn't
            have an integral ridgeline. The integral ridgeline comes into play
            because by its very nature, it puts more stress or force on both the
            hammock suspension lines (rope or webbing) and the trees it is
            attached to. It fools most people at first glance but hammocks
            attached between two structures generate a force that is trying to
            pull the two structures towards each other and the amount of this
            force is determined by the weight in the hammock and how close the
            hammock suspension lines are to the horizon. If the hammock
            suspension lines were parallel to the horizon with an occupant in the
            hammock, the force generated would be infinite, or without bound, so
            that won't happen, something will break, stretch or sag. When the
            angle of the suspension lines are at about 10, 15 or 30 degrees from
            the horizon the force on each suspension line is roughly 3 times, 2
            times or 1 times the weight in the hammock, respectively. For the
            non-technical inclined folks this just sounds like blah blah blah,
            but it makes a big difference if a 200 pound person is in a hammock,
            the force on each suspension line might be 200 pounds or it might be
            600 pounds... that makes a big difference in required rope strength,
            support strength and possible tree bark damage.

            Back to integral ridgelines and how it affects this. Integral
            ridgelines encourage the user to start with hammock suspension lines
            that are parallel to the horizon without an occupant in the hammock
            and the angle of the suspension lines to the horizon is created when
            the hammock is weighted because of stretch(?) and the natural
            realignment of the attachment at the supports (ie trees). The
            integral ridgeline presets the lay of the hammock (I call this the
            sag angle) and it will stay at the same sag angle as long as the
            angle of the hammock suspension lines are less than this preset sag
            angle. The sag angle that most backpackers like for their hammocks
            is around 30 degrees and with a hammock without a structural
            ridgeline the sag angle is the same angle that the hammock suspension
            lines are relative to the horizon. Because of this, hammocks without
            structural ridgelines typically have the occupants weight as its
            static (dynamic can be much higher and is why you don't want to
            bounce around in a hammock) load whereas hammocks with a structural
            ridgeline will have more, it's anybodies guess as to how much more
            but my guess is worse case would be 3 times as much, but I would
            certainly plan on at least twice as much. Hennessy Hammocks are the
            only manufactured backpacking hammocks that I'm aware of that uses an
            integral ridgeline.

            That's a mouthful isn't it? What I'm trying to say is that if you
            use an integral ridgeline, you will need 2 to 3 times stronger
            hammock suspension lines and you will put 2 to 3 times more stress on
            the supports you attach it to. Of course this also means you need to
            be 2 to 3 times more careful about damaging the bark of trees.

            My rope advice is not for a hammock that is using an integral
            ridgeline, it is for a hammock that doesn't use an integral
            ridgeline. I prefer hollow braid polypropylene rope that has a SWL
            (Safe Working Load) of about my body weight as I don't use an
            integral ridgeline and I set my hammock sag angle to roughly 30
            degrees. SWL should not be confused with the tensile strength, SWL
            is based on the tensile strength and is a fraction of the tensile
            strength, somewhere between 8% and 20% of the tensile strength. I
            currently use 3/8" diameter that has a 210 pound SWL and I see it in
            many hardware and department stores. Lehigh is the brand I have used
            and it isn't expensive. The advantage of hollow braid rope is that
            it flattens out where it is attached to trees and doesn't cut into
            the bark like harder or solid rope will. It is not particularly a
            narrow diameter rope which is good for the trees. It is reasonably
            light weight and easy to work with. For a knot I use a slippery
            bowline, just like Clark Hammocks recommends so that it doesn't cinch
            and draw tight around the tree.

            For lengths, I use 12.5 foot lengths on both ends of the hammock and
            that includes the amount I use to attach to the hammock body. That
            allows me to attach to trees roughly a foot in diameter that are
            separated by 18 feet and two feet in diameter that are separated by
            12 feet.

            That was easy, wasn't it. <grin>

            Dave
            aka Youngblood


            --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "togetherinparis"
            <togetherinparis@y...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello! I'm new, planning an AT adventure in a couple of months. I
            was wondering about
            > what the group thought was the best type brand and length of ropes
            to use for fastening
            > hammocks between two trees/beams?
            > I do not want to carry more rope than necessary and I certainly
            don't want to carry a heavy
            > rope when a lighter one would serve. At the same time, I do not
            want to wind up on the
            > ground, either. Have any of you broken a rope on a campout? How
            much weight was on
            > it? Is it easy finding a replacement in the towns near the AT?
            >
          • dlfrost_1
            ... The equalization point is 120 degrees between anchors. At that seperation both lines bear 100% of the load, increasing quickly with increasing seperation.
            Message 5 of 15 , Dec 31 12:38 PM
              --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Dave Womble" <dpwomble@y...>
              wrote:
              > It fools most people at first glance but hammocks
              > attached between two structures generate a force that is trying to
              > pull the two structures towards each other and the amount of this
              > force is determined by the weight in the hammock and how close the
              > hammock suspension lines are to the horizon.

              The equalization point is 120 degrees between anchors. At that
              seperation both lines bear 100% of the load, increasing quickly with
              increasing seperation.

              My rough rule of thumb for selecting hammocking lines: If the
              rope/webbing will safely bear my full body weight it's good for
              hammocking. (By "safely" here I mean the standard practice of taking
              10% of a rope's breaking strength {1/3rd for webbing} to calculate
              the working load, etcetera.)

              Doug Frost
            • chcoa
              For my birthday my wonderfully intelligent and keen husband gave me a Ultralight Travel Hammock. I normally use a Hennessy so playing around with an open
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 3, 2006
                For my birthday my wonderfully intelligent and keen husband gave me
                a Ultralight Travel Hammock. I normally use a Hennessy so playing
                around with an open hammock was fun and interesting today.

                I'm concerned about the attachment ropes (the ones that would go
                around the trees). I'm used to using flat straps that come with the
                HH but the Travel Hammock is using a thinner braided line with three
                knots placed along it at various lengths.

                I just read Dave W's comments regarding ropes on the AT and now I'm
                concerned Travel Hammock's ropes might provide a higher potential
                for tree damage. I'm also concerned that I might find myslef in a
                situation where the ropes just aren't long enough since they are a
                set length. Additionally, I know from reading some of the other
                comments here recently about ropes failing that the knots. This is
                disconcerning to me since the knots along the attachement ropes are
                what the hammock S hook attaches to.

                So I'm wondering if there are any Travel HAmmock users out ther who
                have changed ropes and how did that go? Also, has anyone had a
                problem with the type of rope on the hammock causing damage to trees
                or breaking at the knots?

                Thanks
                jamie in az
              • Ralph Oborn
                ... Seems it would be easier to buy or make tree huggers, and just hook your existing ropes int them. Hennessy sells them, or you can make a sling with strap.
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 3, 2006
                  > So I'm wondering if there are any Travel HAmmock users out ther who
                  > have changed ropes and how did that go? Also, has anyone had a
                  > problem with the type of rope on the hammock causing damage to trees
                  > or breaking at the knots?
                  >
                  > Thanks
                  > jamie in az

                  Seems it would be easier to buy or make tree huggers, and just hook
                  your existing ropes int them. Hennessy sells them, or you can make a
                  sling with strap.

                  Ralph
                • Bill in Houston
                  I would not worry unless you hang on some sort of tree that you are sure is especially delicate. The pines and oaks and cottonwoods around here seem like they
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 4, 2006
                    I would not worry unless you hang on some sort of tree that you are
                    sure is especially delicate. The pines and oaks and cottonwoods around
                    here seem like they can take a hammock rope without any stress, since
                    their bark is 3/8 to 1" thick and very stiff.

                    But that is just my opinion...

                    Bill in Houston

                    --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "chcoa" <jdeben@h...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I'm concerned about the attachment ropes (the ones that would go
                    > around the trees).
                  • tim garner
                    bill... i have to question that advice somewhat my friend. i can`t help but think that we will cause ourself (hammockers) more problems if we`re not careful
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jan 4, 2006
                      bill... i have to question that advice somewhat my friend. i can`t help but think that we will cause ourself (hammockers) more problems if we`re not careful about the hanging methods we suggest. i understand what your saying, but i know that we would run into a lot of controversy & misunderstanding about which trees will not be damaged by ropes. not only by the hammock users, but also the people who manage the parks & forests. and in some areas, hammockers may at times find themselfs choosing between differant types of trees (those w/ tougher barks & those w/ more easly damaged bark) & the best choice for hanging a hammock for the night may include one or two trees that i wouldn`t want to hang from by a rope. HEY!!!... that didn`t sound right... i don`t want to swing from any tree from a rope! :~} anyway... i`m just suggesting that we may promote hammocking better if we suggest hanging methods that are going to be less subject to aurgument. thanks....tim/slowhike

                      Bill in Houston <zippydooda@...> wrote: I would not worry unless you hang on some sort of tree that you are
                      sure is especially delicate. The pines and oaks and cottonwoods around
                      here seem like they can take a hammock rope without any stress, since
                      their bark is 3/8 to 1" thick and very stiff.

                      But that is just my opinion...

                      Bill in Houston

                      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "chcoa" <jdeben@h...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I'm concerned about the attachment ropes (the ones that would go
                      > around the trees).





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                    • Chinell, David F (GE Infrastructure)
                      Jamie: I think there are two different hammocks called the Travel Hammock. If this is the one mean, then I *have* changed the hanging ropes.
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 4, 2006
                        Jamie:

                        I think there are two different hammocks called the Travel Hammock. If this is the one mean, then I *have* changed the hanging ropes.

                        http://sites.browsermanaged.com/folder16387/index.cfm

                        I left the hammock rope in place, removed the S-hook, and substituted two 1-inch rings which I just slipped onto the hammock rope with a larks-head. I used plain 1-inch polyester strapping for tree ropes. The free end of the tree straps passed through the rings like a belt would, and provided easy adjustment.

                        See the photos in the Bear's Pix folder.

                        BUT I'm sure you could just tie a loop in the end of your tree straps and hook the S-hook through that, then wrap the straps around the tree a-la Speer.

                        Bear
                      • chcoa
                        Oh duh!! That s a good though Ralph. I have a set already from my HH so I ll see how they work. That would also lengthen the rope in case I couldn;t find
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 4, 2006
                          Oh duh!! That's a good though Ralph. I have a set already from my HH
                          so I'll see how they work. That would also lengthen the rope in case
                          I couldn;t find idealy spaced trees.

                          Jamie D

                          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, Ralph Oborn <Ralph.oborn@g...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > > So I'm wondering if there are any Travel HAmmock users out ther who
                          > > have changed ropes and how did that go? Also, has anyone had a
                          > > problem with the type of rope on the hammock causing damage to
                          trees
                          > > or breaking at the knots?
                          > >
                          > > Thanks
                          > > jamie in az
                          >
                          > Seems it would be easier to buy or make tree huggers, and just hook
                          > your existing ropes int them. Hennessy sells them, or you can make a
                          > sling with strap.
                          >
                          > Ralph
                          >
                        • chcoa
                          Thanks Bill. The trees you mentioned are the more common on which I tie to but I also have hung from mesquites and palo verdes and it seems like they might be
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jan 4, 2006
                            Thanks Bill. The trees you mentioned are the more common on which I
                            tie to but I also have hung from mesquites and palo verdes and it
                            seems like they might be more easily damaged.

                            I think Ralph gave me a nice idea with the HH huggers.

                            jamie

                            --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Bill in Houston"
                            <zippydooda@y...> wrote:
                            >
                            > I would not worry unless you hang on some sort of tree that you
                            are
                            > sure is especially delicate. The pines and oaks and cottonwoods
                            around
                            > here seem like they can take a hammock rope without any stress,
                            since
                            > their bark is 3/8 to 1" thick and very stiff.
                            >
                            > But that is just my opinion...
                            >
                            > Bill in Houston
                            >
                            > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "chcoa" <jdeben@h...> wrote:
                            > >
                            > > I'm concerned about the attachment ropes (the ones that would go
                            > > around the trees).
                            >
                          • chcoa
                            Yes that s the same Travel Hammock. Good idea on the two rings. I ll look into that. I was already thinking about a way to get rid of the s hooks, hoping to
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jan 4, 2006
                              Yes that's the same Travel Hammock. Good idea on the two rings.
                              I'll look into that. I was already thinking about a way to get rid
                              of the s hooks, hoping to change the 10 oz hammock to maybe a 9 or 8
                              ozer. Whoo hooo!

                              jamie in AZ

                              --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "Chinell, David F \(GE
                              Infrastructure\)" <david.chinell@g...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Jamie:
                              >
                              > I think there are two different hammocks called the Travel
                              Hammock. If this is the one mean, then I *have* changed the hanging
                              ropes.
                              >
                              > http://sites.browsermanaged.com/folder16387/index.cfm
                              >
                              > I left the hammock rope in place, removed the S-hook, and
                              substituted two 1-inch rings which I just slipped onto the hammock
                              rope with a larks-head. I used plain 1-inch polyester strapping for
                              tree ropes. The free end of the tree straps passed through the rings
                              like a belt would, and provided easy adjustment.
                              >
                              > See the photos in the Bear's Pix folder.
                              >
                              > BUT I'm sure you could just tie a loop in the end of your tree
                              straps and hook the S-hook through that, then wrap the straps around
                              the tree a-la Speer.
                              >
                              > Bear
                              >
                            • opnheartscrub@tampabay.rr.com
                              The trees you mentioned are the more common on which ... I hung on some Bald Cypress trees while on a canoe trip this past weekend and left indentions where my
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jan 5, 2006
                                The trees you mentioned are the more common on which
                                > I
                                > tie to but I also have hung from mesquites and palo verdes and it
                                > seems like they might be more easily damaged.

                                I hung on some Bald Cypress trees while on a canoe trip this past
                                weekend and left indentions where my straps were wrapped. I hope I
                                did not damage the trees.

                                Brian
                                T-BACK
                              • Bill in Houston
                                I don t think that anyone would be too upset if you damaged a mesquite weed. Bill in Houston
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jan 5, 2006
                                  I don't think that anyone would be too upset if you damaged a mesquite
                                  weed.

                                  Bill in Houston

                                  --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "chcoa" <jdeben@h...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Thanks Bill. The trees you mentioned are the more common on which I
                                  > tie to but I also have hung from mesquites and palo verdes and it
                                  > seems like they might be more easily damaged.
                                  >
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