Aug 25, 2010 at 10:50 am #1262619
I am new to hammocking but I know enough to be dangerous! What do you all like for your hammock suspension? Do I need a structural ridge line? If I go with whoopie slings how long should I make them? I have a bunch of Dyna Glide 1.8 mm to work with.Aug 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm #1640372
Kevin BabioneBPL Member
Good questions…I use 6' whoopie slings that I purchased from Whoopieslings.com. With them I use webbing with 2" loops sewn into each end. Because of the variation in the diameter of trees in PA I have one 6' strap and one 10' strap.
I then use toggles and the Marlin Spike Hitch to create the support for the whoopie slings.
Structural ridgeline? I've tried one but, quite honestly, it kept getting in my way so I removed it. I haven't needed any insect protection while hammocking so I don't need the line to keep netting off my face. I'm thinking I may try the structural ridgeline again though…I find that I need to tweak my settings each time to get the feel just the way I want it.
Good luck!Aug 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm #1640375
I'm no expert, but I've played with some suspension options and really like what I have now. I really value simplicty both in terms of being light and simple to set up: 4' poly tree straps, 6' Whoopies made from 7/64" Amsteel, Dutch Clips on the tree straps, and Dutch biners to connect the whoopies to the tree straps. Just wrap the tree straps around the trees and clip on to them. Pull the whoopies to where I want them and I'm done. Maybe a minute or two.
I considered the dynaglide whoopies, but I don't see the benefit. I read on HF that people were saving 3, 4 or more oz vs amsteel whoopies, but mine are less than 1.5 oz for the pair and I don't have to worry about pushing any load limits, so I'm sticking with them. Those folks saving oz's must have had some heavy, longer, and thicker whoopies originally. If you are just starting though, go with what you have. I can't comment on making dynaglide whoopies–seems like I'd go cross-eyed trying to work with 1.8 mm line!
If you have a hammock that has a "head" and "foot" end, it's a good idea to use 2 different color whoopies so you can tell them apart while setting up. On a regular hammock it shouldn't matter unless you just don't want your head where your feet have been!
I think the structural ridgeline is really useful. It makes sure you set the sag correctly every time and it distributes some of the forces. Your dynaglide would be perfect and you can make it fixed or adjustable.
Hope this helps and I'm curious what other folks are using.Aug 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm #1640383
I know what a Dutch clip is (and really like them, so smart) but what is a Dutch Biner?
-TimAug 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm #1640391
Nathan BakerBPL Member
@slvravnLocale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
A dutch biner is a mini biner made by dutch that is not out for general sale just yet. I think that once JRB site is back up they will be sold through there.
Bender – you should really try and make your own whoopies or your own suspension for that matter. The whoopies take no time at all to make and even if you go with a strap based system they are a cinch too. Look on hammock forums for the DIY whoopie blog or on Samson Ropes site for a pdf on how to do it.
Also an adjustable ridgeline is just a really long whoopie if you want to make that too.Aug 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm #1640392
Ken T.BPL Member
Skip the first minute unless you enjoy corn
Skip the biner altogether and use a nacrabiner made out of some leftover amsteelAug 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm #1640427
after my comment i looked it up on HF and found the videos. They look like a nice option for those who need all those connection points. I see no reason not to use hammock to whoopie(girth hitched) whoopie to tree strap (marlin spike) What is the point of having another piece of cord in the mix?
-TimAug 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm #1640436
Tim–Yep Nathan and Ken answered your question Tim–sorry I got busy. I thought JRB was carrying them already. Basically it's a super light, strong, and small caribiner.
I tried tying (girth hitch) the whoopie and tree strap together, but I didn't like that because you have to leave everything together when you pack up and potentially get tree sap, poison ivy, etc, on your hammock. The marlin spike is a great alternative, but a little more fiddling around than I like. The Dutch Biner is a little more clean and easy. Soft shackles would work well too.
I also use the Dutch Biners (not their intended use) for attaching my tarp to prussic loops on my ridgeline tieouts. That's a lot of words for "clipping them on the string that's tied to a tree". I guess they are backup just in case one failed on my hammock suspension (which should never happen) and it makes my tarp set up really quick too.Aug 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm #1640523
What kind of light weight tree straps are you using? I would hate to have a 5 oz hammock, crazy light dyna glide and heavy webbing for trees.Aug 26, 2010 at 4:50 am #1640566
Arrow Head seems to be recommended as one of the lightest options. I haven't used it yet but that's what i keep reading.
-TimAug 26, 2010 at 5:51 am #1640577
I have the Arrowhead ones. Seems to be the exact same material that came on the stock "adjustable webbing" Warbonnet suspension.
FYI–here's how my suspension breaks down with weights:
7/64 amsteel ridgeline 0.5 oz
7/64 amsteel 6' whoopies (pr) 1.4 oz
4' straps, amsteel loops, dutch clips & biners 3.2 ozAug 26, 2010 at 2:59 pm #1640733
Yah we have some of the lightest webbing available :) The camo is just a hair (fraction of a gram) lighter per foot. Both the black and camo polyesters though are rated to 1200 pounds and we have had load testes with loops on the ends tested to 900. Both take a marlin spike hitch very well.
For what it is worth, I am currently using dynaglide whoopies with 8 foot straps (we got them big trees out here) and a pair of aluminum toggles for spikes. I rig the tarp on a separate rige line.
PaulAug 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm #1640752
why do so many hammock guys rig their tarps on ridge lines instead of just using the tie-outs on the tarp to pull it directly to the trees?
-TimAug 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm #1640802
I still use 2 tarp ridge lines, but I've toyed with using one. It's a good system. Set up is really quick and it makes moving the tarp easy–basically you can just slide the tarp back and forth to get the coverage where you want it. That's assuming you have prussic loops tied to the ridgline and that you connect the tarp to those loops. With a tarp on the ground, it's easy to just scoot your body and gear over if necessary. Not so easy with a hammock. Maybe there are other benefits, but that's the biggest one to me.Aug 26, 2010 at 6:34 pm #1640808
Paul or anyone–what is a good whoopie length? It seems to me that even with large trees you could use pretty small tree straps (like 3' or so) and longer Whoopies. The tree strap really would only have to cover the side of the tree with tension (opposite the hammock), right? Wouldn't it be lighter that way and less bulky when packed?Aug 26, 2010 at 7:39 pm #1640822
Paul thanks for the info. It would be cool if you added weight per foot on your website. I have been checking out your tree straps! I made a dynaglide whoopie this afternoon but the fixed bury wasn't as long as I planned. With shorter tree straps & dynaglide whoopies I will have an extremely light setup. The hammock itself is a 4.9 oz Grand Trunk Nano 7. My goal is under 8 oz complete.
Wouldn't tree straps only need to be half the circumference of the tree? If so, a 5' strap would be fine even for 3' diameter trees.Aug 27, 2010 at 7:02 am #1640916
Tim, I make tarp lines both ways and still sell a lot of both. There are a couple reasons why the single ridge line is becoming popular though, first in high winds or heavy snow loads the single will be more stable (especially if you pitch the tarp over the line. As well like Brain said it can be a little faster and simpler to center the tarp over the hammock for the best coverage. You can also pull the tarp all the way to the foot of the hammock for star viewing and just have to move the one prussic to cover should a storm come in.
Bender and Brain, There has been a little bit of work to show that with a set of straps there is some compression load on nearly all of the tree so it is best to have your straps fully encircle the tree. In many areas the biggest battle that hangers have is to convince land managers that what we are doing is not harming the trees and should be aloud to continue. Putting the best foot forward with the best possible leave no trace etiquette is critical for us. Even if that is just appearances. A number of states have bans in state parks or forested against hammocks due to misinformation and assumption. I am not saying that we have to bend over and take it on weight to make hammocking an option to those of us looking to hang, but we need to do all we can to be conservative in how we go about it so that we are not cutting our own throats to the point of being banned from a great place we got out there to see in the first place.Aug 27, 2010 at 8:04 am #1640945
Paul–Great idea to pull the tarp totally out of the way using the single ridgeline.
And good point about not only protecting trees, but even going beyone what's necessary, for all of the reasons you mentioned. I have to say though that on high-use trails like the AT, the impact from hammocks on trees is really negligible. Almost non-existent. And that's even in high use, scorched-Earth, campsites. Seems like land managers would welcome stealth camping in hammocks, but what do I know?Aug 27, 2010 at 8:24 am #1640949
Brain, you are totally correct, a hammock creates less impact then most any other shelter option. I have packed up and looked back at my site (often to check for anything I may have set down that may get left behind) for years and my old tent sites could clearly be seen. The outline of the area swept of rocks, twigs, and general forest debris. Clear indications of my spot, the last guys spot and the little things that define it clearly as a camp. With a hammock you are far less limited to finding an appropriate location that will when left not remain looking like "camp." I find my self gravitating more to spots when solo or in a small group that are not established camp locations, finding a spot that will, once I move on, look as if it had never been touched. Hammocks allow that better than any other option. Keeping that mentality in all regards is beneficial to maintaining the access that we desire as much as any other user group.Aug 27, 2010 at 1:54 pm #1641048
I have Whoopies on my hammock, but still use two six-foot straps and single four-foot strap. I have encountered many trees that require the extra length to encircle the entire trunk and still allow enough strap to create the Marlin-Spike Hitch.
There is a limit on how long the Whoopies can be. The suspension generally needs to hang at a 30 degree angle, and the highest most folks can place straps is 6 or 7 feet up a tree. Take a look at the illustration in the link below and you'll find much more than 4 feet is pretty good for a Whoopie.
For straps and other miscellaneous items, try this guy out in Idaho:
Mods: I suggest an instructional sticky in the test forum on how to link an image.Sep 2, 2010 at 3:35 pm #1642621
@deljohnstonLocale: Heart of Dixie
"For straps and other miscellaneous items, try this guy out in Idaho"
Hehe…That made me smile because Paul Gibson (directly above your post) runs Arrowhead Equipment. =) Small world, eh?
I love that our collective communities…both BPL and HF…have such awesome cottage industries that are made up of helpful (and ACTIVE) members on the forums. Talk about customer service! I own a KAQ underquilt from Paul at Arrowhead and an INCREDIBLY light three season top quilt from Tim Marshall (above) at Enlightened Equipment. Review of the top quilt to come SOON.
I agree that straps and whoopie slings (as they are known) are light enough and strong enough to be used exclusively. I have even converted my Hennessey ULBA to use this system. I am going to convert my Grand Trunk Nano 7 to use them as well for those times when bugs are not such a factor (which is a short window here in the South East).
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