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Best cord for hammock camping?

1:00 p.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi guys,

I'm looking to replace the flexible webbing strap-cord that I am using with my hammock, and this is what I'm after:

  • Something less bulky
  • Can hold me + fiance, ~320 lbs total
  • As little stretch as possible
  • And relatively cheap I suppose

I would also not mind some advice on knots to tie to a tree as well as a possible adjusting knot that I can tension the hammock with.

Thanks!

5:51 p.m. on April 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey bccarlso,

Two words for ya......Whoopie Slings!

You can find everything you need at:

http://www.whoopieslings.com/

Also the guys & gals over at Hammock Forums can help out a lot with this stuff.

1:10 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Wow trout, icredible link. I learned lots. It's very clear.

7:43 p.m. on May 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Does anyone think hammock camping is like a meat bag strung up in the trees, but accessible ?

And

what do you do if there are no trees ?

8:24 p.m. on May 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Callahan, like in such conditions? IMG_2360.jpg

Here we are diggin into one hut, using our own showel. Note the huts showel staged at the chimney!

IMG_2361.jpg

I'm afraid only hut, tent or snowcave that are usable options here, in that order.

8:41 p.m. on May 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Does anyone think hammock camping is like a meat bag strung up in the trees, but accessible ?

And

what do you do if there are no trees ?

The hammock is also known as a "backpacker burrito" but in reality you can get stepped on, or run over, or eaten by a Trex just as easily in a tent or bivy IMO

Should you find yourself with a hammock and no trees, the hammock can serve as a tarp & bivy on the ground, but they are not a replacement for a real bivy (protection from severe weather etc.).  Hopefully with proper planning I always know ahead of time which type of shelter will serve me the best in each area, or season, I head into.

I use tents, tarps & bivies, and sometimes a hammock. In some of the steep river gorges I backpack in, a flat and root free tent site is almost non-existent so hammocks make a lot of sense for me.

When I can I also like to sprawl out in a  roomy tent with books and maps, maybe play a game of cards with a friend while it is raining.

On fast light trips during winter I often take a solo tent and a good sleeping bag; to me it's warmer than a hammock (unless you lay out the bucks for good down quilts to go with the hammock) since you get wind chill from below in a hammock.

Everyone has to decide for themselves which shelter works for them, their climate, and the areas they go adventuring into.

I like to try different things because I learn a lot that way.

Some I like, some not so much, some grow on me.

8:47 p.m. on May 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Otto,

In your country I would have to travel with you so I could live!

But it would be fun!

5:12 p.m. on May 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm all for trying various methods of any kind of camping or survival skill.  That's the way one learns.

Have you thought about climbing ropes?  How about 550 or 1000-lb test paracord?  You can get that at Vermont's Barre.  Marine rope might be another option.

As to the knot, I know there is a perfect one for what you want, but all I can think of at the moment is the sheepshank.  It might work.  Anytime you tie a knot in a rope, think that the rope's strength is reduced by 50% - so for me, I would go with 1000 lb or better rope.  Especially if you want to move around any and further stress the rope, that would be the minimum I'd want holding me and a fiance up.

 

10:08 p.m. on May 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Eb-7#11 is the best chord for hammock camping in my view.

10:11 p.m. on May 4, 2011 (EDT)
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mahoosicmayhem said:

Eb-7#11 is the best chord for hammock camping in my view.

 Isn't that a little flat? haha

8:57 a.m. on May 5, 2011 (EDT)
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skecanj said:

Anytime you tie a knot in a rope, think that the rope's strength is reduced by 50% - so for me, I would go with 1000 lb or better rope.   

 This is a good thing to remember, that many knots can reduce the breaking strength of a rope while it is tied, and after if it was shock-loaded. However, there are many knots that do not reduce the breaking strength much at all. A water knot in webbing has been consistantly proven to retain the entire breaking strength. 

12:57 a.m. on May 16, 2011 (EDT)
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nylon will stretch especially if it gets wet. dacron/polyester does not stretch much even when wet. dacron will also resist uv better than nylon. a lot or marine ropes are dacron. 

ottostover

love the dog sled

4:13 a.m. on May 16, 2011 (EDT)
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Check out Shug Emery's series of videos on YouTube. He is an amusing character, but knows a heck of a lot about hammocking.  I think he's pretty well known among the hammock crowd.  I'm not a hammock person, but have watched a few of his videos.  He has a nifty winter tarp that encloses his hammock.

Here's as good a place as any to start-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7NZVqpBUV0

2:57 p.m. on May 16, 2011 (EDT)
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You can always weave your own hammock. It takes a little time but it's worth it. I am considering weaving one myself. A hammock you weave is also very useful for a lot of things. It can substitute for a backpack and other items. I would combine it with a reusable space blanket for a bottom liner and a real liner for winter. There are a lot of videos on weaving hammocks on youtube.

There are people who like to tie a cargo net type of hammock. I expect it's good for good weather backpacking.

11:42 a.m. on May 17, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah that would be cool to weave a hybrid backpack/hammock. =) Perhaps a little ambitious for me at this point though, especially given that I already have one.

7:05 p.m. on June 5, 2011 (EDT)
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A "figure-8 / double-retrace" knot with a "stop-knot", as used in belay will work very well.

Also, there is very small-gauge paracord with Kevlar woven into it.   About the thickness  of a shoe-lace (even smaller), and incredibly strong.   Not sure where you can get it.

I suggest you acquire a good knife (Buck, etc.) with a marlinspike.   It will assist in dislodging tangles and knots.

_______________________________

~r2~

1:08 p.m. on June 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks Robert. After making this thread and looking into it a bit more, it seems a lot of people are using Amsteel Blue (7/64th or 1/8th inch) and creating a "whoopie sling" or running the cord back through itself which constricts when there's tension, but is adjustable when there isn't. This seems like a pretty nice setup (they're also usually using the marlin spike hitch attached to their "tree huggers" which also looks nice/easy). I think this setup is what I'll be aiming for.

7:37 p.m. on July 20, 2011 (EDT)
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any good place to buy it? i seem to only find huge spools worth!

10:43 p.m. on July 24, 2011 (EDT)
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@Tom D, 

Thanks for posting that video. I have watched all 5 of Shug's beginner "how to and whatnot" videos, and now I am super excited to start hammock camping. He does a really good job of breaking it down for us beginners :)

9:44 p.m. on July 25, 2011 (EDT)
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skecanj said:

 How about 550 or 1000-lb test paracord?

 I asked that exact question not 3 days ago, of a friend who is heavily into hammock camping. He told me that while it can hold an extreme amount of weight, the thinness of the paracord is very undesirable, and can be outright dangerous when stretched by suspending a persons weight.

April 18, 2014
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