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RE: Hammock Camping "Tree-Hugger" Straps...

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  • Ed Speer
    Sean, we avoid most ropes because they do damage tree bark--they tend to tighten and roll down the side of the tree when loaded and this action can greatly
    Message 1 of 10 , May 2, 2003
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      Sean, we avoid most ropes because they do damage tree bark--they tend to tighten and roll down the side of the tree when loaded and this action can greatly burn or bruise the bark. Webbing at least 1" wide stays flat against the tree and does not harm the bark. High memory webbing like nylon should also be avoided since it can harm young bark because it stretches under load, grips the bark, and then burns the bark as it unstretches as the load shifts or is removed. Low-memory stretch polypro webbing or no-stretch polyester webbing work very well since they do not bunch up on the tree--especially if several full wraps around the tree are employed.
       
      Many recreational hammocks come with round rope that causes a lot of damage. Even the polypro ropes common on many hammocks can be a problem. In fact, so much tree damage has been done by these hammocks in the past, that some government parks, preserves and campgrounds already prohibit the hanging of any hammock from trees. These restrictions will become more widespread if we hammock hangers don't go the extra mile to protect trees. Suitable, wide flat webbing is the solution...Ed
       
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Sean Keplinger [mailto:skeplin@...]
      Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 8:57 AM
      To: Hammock Camping
      Subject: Hammock Camping "Tree-Hugger" Straps...


      I've been following the thread regaring the use of webbing and had a
      thought: is this any different that using a rope? Wouldn't the nylon bunch
      up towards the bottom when weight is applied, cutting into the bark just
      as a standard piece of rope would?

      What about an old seatbelt from a junkyard with loops sewn together at
      the ends? Too heavy?


      Sean
      --
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         |o,o|  skeplin at one dot net
      \/    )  http://spookyworld.dnsalias.com
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    • Rick
      ... I completely buy your argument. It makes sense. It does raise a couple questions: - what parks already prohibit? I want to stay away from or not be
      Message 2 of 10 , May 2, 2003
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        Ed wrote:

        > In fact, so much tree damage has been done by these hammocks in the
        > past, that some government parks, preserves and campgrounds already
        > prohibit the hanging of any hammock from trees.

        I completely buy your argument. It makes sense.

        It does raise a couple questions:

        - what parks already prohibit? I want to stay away from or not be
        obvious there. Certainly showing a ranger at that park that I am
        doing no-impact camping by using a hammock would be a bad idea!

        - What evidence exists at present to show that hammocks using ropes
        have harmed trees (not the lawn hammocks which are left up for
        months, but even frequent hanging of camping hammocks

        - What evidence already exists to show that straps (either strap
        hanging of the hammock or tree huggers) eliminate the damage

        - What kind of study can we do to show and publish and use to
        persuade officials to allow hammock hanging of appropriate hammocks?

        Rick
      • Sean Keplinger
        ... I see...I thought you were talking about the type of mesh webbing you would see used for laundry bags. Would material used for pack straps work? How do you
        Message 3 of 10 , May 2, 2003
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          On Fri, 2 May 2003, Ed Speer wrote:

          > Many recreational hammocks come with round rope that causes a lot of
          > damage. Even the polypro ropes common on many hammocks can be a problem.
          > In fact, so much tree damage has been done by these hammocks in the
          > past, that some government parks, preserves and campgrounds already
          > prohibit the hanging of any hammock from trees. These restrictions will
          > become more widespread if we hammock hangers don't go the extra mile to
          > protect trees. Suitable, wide flat webbing is the solution...Ed

          I see...I thought you were talking about the type of mesh webbing you
          would see used for laundry bags.

          Would material used for pack straps work? How do you sew the loops on the
          ends so that they're strong enough to support the weight of the hammock?


          Sean
          --
          \___/ Sean Keplinger
          |o,o| skeplin at one dot net
          \/ ) http://spookyworld.dnsalias.com
          ----mm-----------------------------------
        • Ed Speer
          Some good questions Rick--I do believe the problem is serious and can get a lot more serious. Most state and national park campgrounds actually have
          Message 4 of 10 , May 2, 2003
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            Some good questions Rick--I do believe the problem is serious and can get a lot more serious. Most state and national park campgrounds actually have regulations against hanging anything from trees--generally applies to clothes lines, tarps, lanterns, etc. I've been told to take my hammock down in several state parks already--Ga, NC & MN.
             
            Anyone using ropes to hang hammocks will soon notice the damage, especially to young thin-bark trees.
             
            I've been using webbing straps for years (thousands of trail miles) with no apparent damage. I assume everyone else notices the same.
             
            Can we persuade park officials to allow hammock hanging of appropriate hammocks? I doubt we can do anything to change existing regulations--We may be able to prevent new regulations from springing up by following NO TRACE CAMPING....Ed
             
             
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Rick [mailto:geoflyfisher@...]
            Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 9:53 AM
            To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: Hammock Camping "Tree-Hugger" Straps...

            Ed wrote:

            > In fact, so much tree damage has been done by these hammocks in the
            > past, that some government parks, preserves and campgrounds already
            > prohibit the hanging of any hammock from trees.

            I completely buy your argument.  It makes sense.   

            It does raise a couple questions: 

            - what parks already prohibit?  I want to stay away from or not be
            obvious there.  Certainly showing a ranger at that park that I am
            doing no-impact camping by using a hammock would be a bad idea!

            - What evidence exists at present to show that hammocks using ropes
            have harmed trees (not the lawn hammocks which are left up for
            months, but even frequent hanging of camping hammocks

            - What evidence already exists to show that straps (either strap
            hanging of the hammock or tree huggers) eliminate the damage

            - What kind of study can we do to show and publish and use to
            persuade officials to allow hammock hanging of appropriate hammocks?

            Rick



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          • Ed Speer
            As you ve probably guessed Sean, there are many different webbing straps available--I recommend only +600 lb test low-memory stretch 1 wide polypro or
            Message 5 of 10 , May 2, 2003
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              As you've probably guessed Sean, there are many different webbing straps available--I recommend only +600 lb test low-memory stretch 1" wide polypro or no-stretch 1" wide polyester webbing. These can be difficult to find at retail suppliers--they can be mail ordered from numerous suppliers (see list in book). I also sell cut lengths of these webbings--contact me off list if interested at info@...
               
              We attach the webbing by sewing 6" loops on the end using 3 or more bar tacks--the hammock end knot is passed thru this loop before sdewing the bar tacks in the webbing. Again there are illustrations and instructions in my book.
               
              ...Ed
               
               
              -----Original Message-----
              From: Sean Keplinger [mailto:skeplin@...]
              Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 10:07 AM
              To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: Hammock Camping "Tree-Hugger" Straps...


              On Fri, 2 May 2003, Ed Speer wrote:

              > Many recreational hammocks come with round rope that causes a lot of
              > damage. Even the polypro ropes common on many hammocks can be a problem.
              > In fact, so much tree damage has been done by these hammocks in the
              > past, that some government parks, preserves and campgrounds already
              > prohibit the hanging of any hammock from trees. These restrictions will
              > become more widespread if we hammock hangers don't go the extra mile to
              > protect trees. Suitable, wide flat webbing is the solution...Ed

              I see...I thought you were talking about the type of mesh webbing you
              would see used for laundry bags.

              Would material used for pack straps work? How do you sew the loops on the
              ends so that they're strong enough to support the weight of the hammock?


              Sean
              --
                 \___/  Sean Keplinger
                 |o,o|  skeplin at one dot net
              \/    )  http://spookyworld.dnsalias.com
              ----mm-----------------------------------



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            • Sean Keplinger
              ... Rick, your comments made me sit back and think for a moment. I just recently (within the last two months) got into hammock camping and I ve seen the
              Message 6 of 10 , May 2, 2003
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                On Fri, 2 May 2003, Rick wrote:

                > - What evidence exists at present to show that hammocks using ropes
                > have harmed trees (not the lawn hammocks which are left up for
                > months, but even frequent hanging of camping hammocks
                >
                > - What evidence already exists to show that straps (either strap
                > hanging of the hammock or tree huggers) eliminate the damage

                Rick, your comments made me sit back and think for a moment. I just
                recently (within the last two months) got into hammock camping and I've
                seen the "tree-hugger straps cause less damage" statement on many sites
                and mailing lists. I first read about them on Sgt. Rock's website and at
                the Hennessy Hammocks website.

                I'm sure the straps cause less bark damage, but how much damage is really
                being done? When I go out hiking, I never really spend more than one
                evening at a campsite and even then, the hammock is only up for about 16
                hours and weighted for a maximum of 8 hours.

                The problem would be on popular trails like the AT where you have a lot of
                people camping in the same place again and again.


                Sean
                --
                \___/ Sean Keplinger
                |o,o| skeplin at one dot net
                \/ ) http://spookyworld.dnsalias.com
                ----mm-----------------------------------
              • Gregg Spoering
                Rick, I just returned from Gettysburg last week, and the rules there are very specific as far as tying anything to trees. No hammocks, tent lines, guy lines,
                Message 7 of 10 , May 4, 2003
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                  Rick,
                  I just returned from Gettysburg last week, and the rules there are very specific as far as tying anything to trees. No hammocks, tent lines, guy lines, etc. I imagine that any historic area will be very restrictive.
                  Gregg

                  > In fact, so much tree damage has been done by these hammocks in the
                  > past, that some government parks, preserves and campgrounds already
                  > prohibit the hanging of any hammock from trees.

                  I completely buy your argument.  It makes sense.

                  It does raise a couple questions:

                  - what parks already prohibit?  I want to stay away from or not be
                  obvious there.  Certainly showing a ranger at that park that I am
                  doing no-impact camping by using a hammock would be a bad idea!

                  - What evidence exists at present to show that hammocks using ropes
                  have harmed trees (not the lawn hammocks which are left up for
                  months, but even frequent hanging of camping hammocks

                  - What evidence already exists to show that straps (either strap
                  hanging of the hammock or tree huggers) eliminate the damage

                  - What kind of study can we do to show and publish and use to
                  persuade officials to allow hammock hanging of appropriate hammocks?

                  Rick
                   
                   

                • blqysmg
                  I just got back from a camping trip to St Augustine, Fl. We were in the most beautiful tropical jungle, surrounded by pine, live oak, and tons of ground
                  Message 8 of 10 , May 5, 2003
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                    I just got back from a camping trip to St Augustine, Fl. We were in
                    the most beautiful tropical jungle, surrounded by pine, live oak, and
                    tons of ground cover.

                    While my wife was setting up the inside of the camper, I was busy
                    selecting trees for the hammock. I had my tree-hugger straps out,
                    and had the hammock slung over my shoulders when the ranger came by.

                    The first thing he said to me was not, "welcome to Florida," but "You
                    are not allowed to attach anything to any of the trees." They have
                    effectively banned setting up hammocks.

                    I was disappointed, since I'd just found the perfect pair of trees,
                    but I wasn't stopped completely. I'd brought bamboo supports with
                    me, so I used them instead of the trees. If everyone went to non-
                    destructive tree-huggers, they might lift the ban.

                    I used to do a lot of caving, and made most of my own climbing gear.
                    We used to buy two inch poly webbing that was rated at around 6000
                    lbs breaking strength. (Basically seat belt material) We also would
                    get three inch webbing every once in a while. We would use it for leg
                    loops, which are much more comfortable than two inch loops, and also
                    for tree-huggers.

                    A properly sewn three inch wide, three foot long strap, with loops at
                    each end would be secure, and incredibly strong. You can also find
                    three inch wide cargo and two strap webbing that's rated 20,000 lbs,
                    with basically no streach at our level of use.

                    David Chamness
                  • blqysmg
                    Oops, that should have been tow strap, not two strap. Even with preview I didn t catch it. ... in ... and ... but You ... gear. ... would ... leg ... also
                    Message 9 of 10 , May 5, 2003
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                      Oops, that should have been tow strap, not two strap. Even with
                      preview I didn't catch it.

                      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "blqysmg"
                      <david.chamness@e...> wrote:
                      > I just got back from a camping trip to St Augustine, Fl. We were
                      in
                      > the most beautiful tropical jungle, surrounded by pine, live oak,
                      and
                      > tons of ground cover.
                      >
                      > While my wife was setting up the inside of the camper, I was busy
                      > selecting trees for the hammock. I had my tree-hugger straps out,
                      > and had the hammock slung over my shoulders when the ranger came by.
                      >
                      > The first thing he said to me was not, "welcome to Florida,"
                      but "You
                      > are not allowed to attach anything to any of the trees." They have
                      > effectively banned setting up hammocks.
                      >
                      > I was disappointed, since I'd just found the perfect pair of trees,
                      > but I wasn't stopped completely. I'd brought bamboo supports with
                      > me, so I used them instead of the trees. If everyone went to non-
                      > destructive tree-huggers, they might lift the ban.
                      >
                      > I used to do a lot of caving, and made most of my own climbing
                      gear.
                      > We used to buy two inch poly webbing that was rated at around 6000
                      > lbs breaking strength. (Basically seat belt material) We also
                      would
                      > get three inch webbing every once in a while. We would use it for
                      leg
                      > loops, which are much more comfortable than two inch loops, and
                      also
                      > for tree-huggers.
                      >
                      > A properly sewn three inch wide, three foot long strap, with loops
                      at
                      > each end would be secure, and incredibly strong. You can also find
                      > three inch wide cargo and two strap webbing that's rated 20,000
                      lbs,
                      > with basically no streach at our level of use.
                      >
                      > David Chamness
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