My new Bridge Hammock hanging system
I have submitted the following as part 8 of my Bridge Hammock system Article. I am posting here so that you can read it now. I submitted as a new part of the article so that people will be able to find it easily in the future if they are interested in it.
Recently in hanging the Bridge Hammock, I was looking at the suspension ring at the apex of the suspension triangle and wondering why should the suspension triangle be permanently tied to the ring. What would happen if it wasn't. Then I remembered past experiments with using a tree to tree line and hanging a hammock from the line with Prussic loops. The Prussic knots didn't work well unless the tree to tree line was at least 0.25" diameter and preferably 0.5" diameter in order for the Prussic loops to work well.
Then it occurred to me to replace the Prussic knots with the suspension ring and I had the same thing. The rings don't slide on the tree to tree line like the Prussic knots did, but they hold a lot better. The Prussic knots had the advantage that I could slide them to center the hang.
A big advantage of the tree to tree line was the fact that I could hang the line and then hang the hammock from the line. That simplified things considerably.
Well I would still have that advantage with the rings, I would just have to shift the line to center the rings.
So I immediately untied the suspension triangles from the suspension rings. I then hung the line, tree to tree and centered the rings. Then I simply passed the suspension triangle line through the suspension ring now hung on the line and used a larks head to secure the suspension triangle line to a stake. Repeated on the other end of the Bridge Hammock.
Bridge Hammock hung.
This simplifies the process of hanging the hammock considerably. Instead of hassling with the hammock, the tree huggers (or webbing), getting everything hung from the trees and then centering everything and then tightening, I now just hang the line and center. Less weight to hassle which makes the hanging and centering process much easier and less hassle. Then hanging from the line using the rings and larks heads is extremely simple and easy.
So I have now modified the hanging, take down and storage process accordingly.
I have 2 sections of the 2.8 mm Spyderline suspension line tied to 3/4" ID Stainless steel rings with the Crystalyne ridge line in the middle, i.e., from left to right I have 15' Spyderline, SS ring, ridge line, SS ring, 15' Spyderline.
Hang the Spyderline and ridge line tree to tree.
Grasp the suspension triangle line at one end of the Bridge Hammock, find the middle and thread the middle through one of the rings on the tree to tree line. Double the loop back on itself and pass a stake through the loop formed, making a lark's head knot on the stake. Make sure that the corners of the hammock are even and tighten the lark's head knot on the stake and let the stake fall back on the ring. That end of the hammock is now hung.
Repeat on the other end of the Hammock.
I can use various methods of attaching the suspension triangle to the ring:
- separate knots - instead of a single line from bar ring to bar ring, I can use 2 lines and tie each separately to the suspension ring on the tree to tree line. I eliminated this method quickly as cumbersome. It is much more difficult to ensure that both sides of the triangle are equal. I have to tie 2 knots and then untie 2 knots. More work and more knots and more error prone.
Thus, I use a single line from bar ring to bar ring. Then simply thread the middle of the line through the suspension ring and tie with a lark's head to a "toggle" which holds the line to the ring. Getting equal lengths on the suspension triangle is a trivial matter taking a second or two, before tightening the lark's head.
- stake - use a tarp stake as the toggle holding the suspension triangle to the suspension ring. Here it is with a Titanium nail used as the toggle:
Since I carry 2 of these anyway, it is no added weight. I use the nails to pound holes in frozen or hard ground for regular Titanium stakes. Save bending the regular stakes. Weight per stake: 12 grams each, total 24 grams
- ring - I can use 3/4" ID nickel plated steel rings for the toggle:
Weight 5 grams each, total 10 grams.
- scrounged toggle - or I can scrounge a section of branch, say 6" long, trim and use this as a toggle:
I have to ensure that the wood is sound, not rotten or brittle. Also, I have to use a small suspension ring, like the 3/4" ID Stainless Steel ring. Using an SMC descending ring with a 1.5" ID would increase the bending force on the wood toggle and maybe cause failure. Since the SMC descending ring and the Stainless Steel ring are the same weight, there is no weight penalty using the stainless steel. Actually, the Stainless Steel ring is 1 gram lighter than the SMC descending ring.
Also, I personally would not trust any branch less than at least 1/2" in diameter.
Carry weight: zero grams - can't get any lighter unless you can find an null-gravity device at Lowes or Home Depot.
So I have several options for securing the suspension triangle to the suspension ring. The heaviest option is the Titanium nail, but I carry those anyway. If you don't and don't care to spend the money to buy them, then the nickel plated steel rings are a good option and very light. Available from McMaster-Carr in boxes of 10. The lightest option of all is the last, actually zero carry weight - scrounge a wooden toggle from the ground. This is the riskiest option: you may not be able to find suitable wood for toggles, and the wood you do find may have hidden defects leading to failure.
So here is the Bridge Hammock hung with the new method and using a wood toggle:
I have used all three of the options and will in the future. All three work very well.
Since the ridge line and suspension triangle lines are now stored separately, the problem of line tangling has been eliminated. Thus, the two section snake skins I used before are no longer necessary. Also, the curly laces are no longer necessary either.
I have switched to a single "snake skin". It really isn't a snake skin, but what you would get by mating a double ended stuff sack with a snake skin. A constant diameter tube with draw cords on both ends: a "double ended stuff skin". Instead of 2 skins as for regular snake skins, only 1 stuff skin is used and for the Bridge Hammock it doesn't taper like a normal snake skin, but has a constant diameter. Very easy to make and use.
When taking the Bridge Hammock down, I simply remove the spreader bars/hiking poles, and drop the bug netting or overcover into the hammock. Then I pull the suspension line in the suspension ring to pull the hammock out more straight and use a half hitch to hold. Do the same on the other end. Then pull the single "stuff skin" the full length of the hammock leaving the triangle suspension llines exposed. Cinch the draw cords on both ends. Untie the suspension triangle from a ring, walk to the other end and untie that suspension triangle line from that ring. Hammock is down. Take down suspension and ridge lines and I'm done except for putting the hammock and line away.
Bridge Hammock in the single "stuff skin":
This image shows the end of the stuff skin with the draw cord securing the end:
This image illustrates how I pull the suspension triangle line and secure with a half hitch before pulling the skin to enclose:
This image shows the skin stored on the suspension triangle:
Note that with the new method of hanging and storage, using a Black Bishop bag is now the same as using the skin for hammock storage.
Either work equally well.
Second reason for posting here
Actually there is another reason I posted here also.
It occurred to me that this method could be used to hang any top loading hammock, simplifying the hanging of any top loader.
All that would be needed for a top loader, would be a simple loop, say 6" to 9" long on each end of the hammock. Secure the loop to the suspension ring on the tree to tree line using a toggle and lark's head as above.
People were trying to use Prussic loops on line months back. The Prussics had the disadvantage of requiring large diameter rope which increased the weight considerably. By doubling the diameter of the rope, you get 4 times the weight.
The SS rings I suggest here are 0.4 oz each, so they add less than 1 oz to the weight.