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RE: Hammock Camping Methods of securing hammocks to trees

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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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