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Methods of securing hammocks to trees

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  • tcoug7 <tcoug7@aol.com>
    Hi all.... I know there are several methods out there being employed to secure your hammocks to trees. I use a Hennessey, and with it comes tree huggers ,
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 6, 2003
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      Hi all....

      I know there are several methods out there being employed to secure
      your hammocks to trees. I use a Hennessey, and with it comes 'tree
      huggers', which are nylon straps that are wrapped around the tree to
      protect the trees bark. The hammock is attached to the tree huggers
      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. I know a lot of people include quick releases and
      so forth, but I'll tell you my problem: Two weekends ago, I was
      trying to set up my hammock w/ temp in single digits (that's as close
      as I trust my little thermometer). My hands were freezing, since I
      had been fairly stationary for several hours. 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 tied.

      So, I am looking into alternatives. I have some ideas regarding
      caribiners. 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. I have read here that Ed came up with a different
      approach w/ his hammocks - Ed, a pic would really help here if
      possible.

      Any thoughts, ideas, etc welcome.

      Thanks...Tim
    • Ed Speer
      Tim, the method of attaching hammocks to trees raises several concerns. Obviously tying/untying knots with cold fingers is best avoided if possible. Another
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 6, 2003
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        Message
        Tim, the method of attaching hammocks to trees raises several concerns.  Obviously tying/untying knots with cold fingers is best avoided if possible.  Another major concern of mine is possible damage to the trees themselves.  Now days, everyone is an environmentalist and many people's first question is "What about damage to the trees?"  It's critical that we NOT damage the trees, or else hammock use will be prohibited on public lands (many State and Federal Parks already prohibit tying anything to trees, especially at campgrounds).  I've spent considerable time discussing this with the Leave No Trace organization, who actually endorse my hammocks.  Most, but not all modern camping hammocks today avoid the small-diameter ropes that can greatly damage trees by stretching excessively and even rolling down the tree when loaded.
         
        I solve the cold finger and tree damage concerns by using 1" wide low-stretch webbing straps and wrapping them several times around the tree in such a way that a typical knot is unnecessary.  The webbing is wraped around the tree so that each wrap goes in the opposite direction of the previous wrap; the webbing tightens against itself and the tree w/ enough friction to hold the hammock without a knot!  To un-attach the webbing, simply undo the wraps.  It's simple and solves both problems completely.  There is a picture sequence in my book.  I'm working on a simple diagram sketch that will be easier to post online....Ed
         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: tcoug7 <tcoug7@...> [mailto:tcoug7@...]
        Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 2:23 PM
        To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Hammock Camping Methods of securing hammocks to trees

        Hi all....

        I know there are several methods out there being employed to secure
        your hammocks to trees.  I use a Hennessey, and with it comes 'tree
        huggers', which are nylon straps that are wrapped around the tree to
        protect the trees bark.  The hammock is attached to the tree huggers
        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.  I know a lot of people include quick releases and
        so forth, but I'll tell you my problem:  Two weekends ago, I was
        trying to set up my hammock w/ temp in single digits (that's as close
        as I trust my little thermometer).  My hands were freezing, since I
        had been fairly stationary for several hours.  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 tied. 

        So, I am looking into alternatives.  I have some ideas regarding
        caribiners.  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.  I have read here that Ed came up with a different
        approach w/ his hammocks - Ed, a pic would really help here if
        possible.

        Any thoughts, ideas, etc welcome.

        Thanks...Tim


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      • Shane
        ... Why do you HAVE to take the gloves off? I have no trouble tying up the Hennessy with heavy gloves and liners on, and I have even tied it in mittens... For
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 6, 2003
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          > The hammock is attached to the tree huggers
          > 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
          > tied.

          Why do you HAVE to take the gloves off? I have no trouble tying up the
          Hennessy with heavy gloves and liners on, and I have even tied it in
          mittens...

          For reference, check:

          http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/hiking/sections/gear/shelter/hknot.htm

          > So, I am looking into alternatives. I have some
          > 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.

          I have various setups using webbing and 'biners. Here's an old message that
          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:

          <http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/hiking/journals/shane/images/020524/DSC02
          104.jpg>

          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:
          <http://www.realknots.com/knots/sloops.htm>)

          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
          parts store.

          (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:
          <http://www.jcwhitney.com/product.jhtml?CATID=174529&BQ=jcw2>

          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.

          Ready? GO!

          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
          slack.

          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
          weekend...

          How's that?

          Shane
        • tcoug7 <tcoug7@aol.com>
          ... the ... http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/hiking/sections/gear/shelter/hknot.h tm ... Yeah, this is the classic HH knot. I had wool liners and overmittens
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 6, 2003
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            >
            > Why do you HAVE to take the gloves off? I have no trouble tying up
            the
            > Hennessy with heavy gloves and liners on, and I have even tied it in
            > mittens...
            >
            > For reference, check:
            >
            >
            http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/hiking/sections/gear/shelter/hknot.h
            tm
            >


            Yeah, this is the classic HH knot. I had wool liners and overmittens
            on and couln't do the over-around-through-tighten routine well.
            Maybe it's just me. Anyone else out there have problems? I do a lot
            of work outside, and usually end up ripping off my gloves -
            especially mittens. Normally, this isn't a problem because I'm nice
            and toasty. But, I had been not doing much except to take in the
            views for quite some time. (Actually, was actively engaging in a
            discussion on religion. I think you would have enjoyed it too!)


            > I have various setups using webbing and 'biners. Here's an old
            message that
            > describes one such system:


            I remember this when you posted it.


            <really did some snipping>


            > 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.)



            This I like...


            <snip,snip,snip>
            >
            > 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.

            This I like too....


            > Clip carabineer #1 to loops.

            I have a suggestion here. Check this out:

            http://www.nhamcpaddlers.org/images/truckers_hitch.gif

            What I propose is wrap strap #2 around tree. Clip 'beener #2 to
            loops. Now, Take ridge line rope, put loop in it, either by pic or
            just a quick twist, and feed through beener. Feed working end
            through loop and pull tight (not too tight, because you've just
            created a 2:1 mechanical advantage.) Wrap around both lines with two
            half hitches, finishing the second with quick release.

            If you have the type of hammock with loops, caribeener will be
            attached. So, run a line through straps and through beener. OR,
            eliminate caribeener.

            Just another twist on your idea...

            >


            > How's that?

            Pretty dam good, I'd say! My suggestion may eliminate the tie down
            is all. Since I haven't actually tried it yet, it might not work
            anyways. Plus, I've got to get my hands pretty cold if we want to be
            scientific about it!

            How much exta weight would you say?

            Tim
          • David Chinell
            Tim: I think the Crazy Creek system deserves consideration too. The salient feature is that they use a metal buckle to control the length of a 1-inch wide
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 6, 2003
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              Tim:

              I think the Crazy Creek system deserves consideration too.
              The salient feature is that they use a metal buckle to
              control the length of a 1-inch wide strap. If you could find
              similar buckles, you could clip onto the webbing, then use
              the webbing to adjust the tension.

              You wouldn't have the 2:1 mechanical advantage of the
              trucker's hitch, though.

              I'm must thinking you may experience as much difficulty with
              the trucker's hitch as with the HH knot.

              Bear
            • tcoug7 <tcoug7@aol.com>
              ... Got a pic?? ... Do you mean like Shanes? ... I don t really need it. Just an idea I m throwing out there. What it does is it gets me away from the
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 6, 2003
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                --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "David Chinell"
                <dchinell@m...> wrote:
                > Tim:
                >
                > I think the Crazy Creek system deserves consideration too.



                Got a pic??


                > The salient feature is that they use a metal buckle to
                > control the length of a 1-inch wide strap. If you could find
                > similar buckles, you could clip onto the webbing, then use
                > the webbing to adjust the tension.


                Do you mean like Shanes?


                >
                > You wouldn't have the 2:1 mechanical advantage of the
                > trucker's hitch, though.


                I don't really need it. Just an idea I'm throwing out there. What
                it does is it gets me away from the intersection of the webbing and
                the rope and the tree. Although the recommended knot is simple, I do
                find it annoying if I have to undo it to readjust tension.



                >
                > I'm must thinking you may experience as much difficulty with
                > the trucker's hitch as with the HH knot.



                You may be right. I think its time for a little experimentation.
                >
                Tim
              • tcoug7 <tcoug7@aol.com>
                Bear, I just went to the Crazy Creek web site. None of their pics show the attachment system clearly. Can you elaborate? tim
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 6, 2003
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                  Bear, I just went to the Crazy Creek web site. None of their pics
                  show the attachment system clearly. Can you elaborate?

                  tim
                • David Chinell
                  It s dead simple. It s just like an adjustable, sliding belt buckle, only stamped out of maybe 1/16-inch metal. Think of a military-style BDU belt and its
                  Message 8 of 11 , Feb 6, 2003
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                    It's dead simple. It's just like an adjustable, sliding belt
                    buckle, only stamped out of maybe 1/16-inch metal. Think of
                    a military-style BDU belt and its buckle.

                    The CC hammock I'm talking about is a simple hammock with a
                    casement at either end. The strap passes through the
                    casement, gets looped around the tree, then fastened and
                    adjusted with the buckle.

                    You wouldn't do that for an HH. The webbing would go around
                    the tree, but you'd leave a large, loose loop at the end
                    where the buckle is. The HH ridgeline would be clipped
                    (caribiner) or tied to the loop. The webbing would be
                    tightened.

                    Don't hurt your head if this isn't clear.

                    I think Ed's straps and wrapping method would work well,
                    too. Except you sew a steel D-ring into one end of the
                    strap. Then the HH ridgeline would attach to that D-ring.

                    Bear
                  • starnescr <starnescr@yahoo.com>
                    ... I have a good pic of the buckle in my recent BGT report. It is the second pic down. Like David said, It is very simple. You may need to copy and paste the
                    Message 9 of 11 , Feb 6, 2003
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                      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "tcoug7 <tcoug7@a...>"
                      <tcoug7@a...> wrote:
                      > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "David Chinell"
                      > <dchinell@m...> wrote:
                      > > Tim:
                      > >
                      > > I think the Crazy Creek system deserves consideration too.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Got a pic??

                      I have a good pic of the buckle in my recent BGT report. It is the
                      second pic down. Like David said, It is very simple. You may need
                      to copy and paste the link to the address bar.

                      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Hammocks/Crazy%
                      20Creek%20Crib%20LEX%20%20-%202003/Coy%20Starnes/Crazy%20Crib%20LEX%
                      202003%20initial%20report%20by%20Coy%20Starnes/

                      Coy Boy
                    • David Chinell
                      Coy Boy: That IS a good picture. Do you mind if I copy it for personal use? And if anybody ever finds a source of those buckles, PLEASE let me know. I ve tried
                      Message 10 of 11 , Feb 7, 2003
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                        Coy Boy:

                        That IS a good picture. Do you mind if I copy it for
                        personal use? And if anybody ever finds a source of those
                        buckles, PLEASE let me know. I've tried OWF and various
                        Internet searches, but came up empty.

                        Bear


                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: starnescr <starnescr@...>
                        [mailto:starnescr@...]
                        Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 09:34 PM
                        To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Hammock Camping Re: Methods of securing hammocks to
                        trees


                        --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "tcoug7
                        <tcoug7@a...>"
                        <tcoug7@a...> wrote:
                        > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "David Chinell"
                        > <dchinell@m...> wrote:
                        > > Tim:
                        > >
                        > > I think the Crazy Creek system deserves consideration
                        too.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Got a pic??

                        I have a good pic of the buckle in my recent BGT report. It
                        is the
                        second pic down. Like David said, It is very simple. You
                        may need
                        to copy and paste the link to the address bar.

                        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Hammocks/Cr
                        azy%
                        20Creek%20Crib%20LEX%20%20-%202003/Coy%20Starnes/Crazy%20Cri
                        b%20LEX%
                        202003%20initial%20report%20by%20Coy%20Starnes/

                        Coy Boy
                      • starnescr <starnescr@yahoo.com>
                        David That pic is compresses. I ll send you the original 640 x 480 after school. I dont have that image on this (my home desk) computer. My wife has the
                        Message 11 of 11 , Feb 7, 2003
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                          David

                          That pic is compresses. I'll send you the original 640 x 480
                          after school. I dont have that image on this (my home desk)
                          computer. My wife has the laptop where I stored the pic. My home
                          computer will not transfer a pic from an email to desktop (for
                          upload purposes). I had several reports with pics on the old BGT
                          site which I could not include in my reports when the move was made
                          to the new site for this reason.

                          Coy Boy

                          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "David Chinell"
                          <dchinell@m...> wrote:
                          > Coy Boy:
                          >
                          > That IS a good picture. Do you mind if I copy it for
                          > personal use? And if anybody ever finds a source of those
                          > buckles, PLEASE let me know. I've tried OWF and various
                          > Internet searches, but came up empty.
                          >
                          > Bear
                          >
                          >
                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: starnescr <starnescr@y...>
                          > [mailto:starnescr@y...]
                          > Sent: Thursday, February 06, 2003 09:34 PM
                          > To: hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject: Hammock Camping Re: Methods of securing hammocks to
                          > trees
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "tcoug7
                          > <tcoug7@a...>"
                          > <tcoug7@a...> wrote:
                          > > --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, "David Chinell"
                          > > <dchinell@m...> wrote:
                          > > > Tim:
                          > > >
                          > > > I think the Crazy Creek system deserves consideration
                          > too.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Got a pic??
                          >
                          > I have a good pic of the buckle in my recent BGT report. It
                          > is the
                          > second pic down. Like David said, It is very simple. You
                          > may need
                          > to copy and paste the link to the address bar.
                          >
                          > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Hammocks/Cr
                          > azy%
                          > 20Creek%20Crib%20LEX%20%20-%202003/Coy%20Starnes/Crazy%20Cri
                          > b%20LEX%
                          > 202003%20initial%20report%20by%20Coy%20Starnes/
                          >
                          > Coy Boy
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