Webbing system questions
Alright, I've spent all evening (and past few days) scouring this section for answers but I'm still not sure (info overload? perhaps).
I am just starting and my ENO DoubleNest is on its way (any day now!!!!!!!), and I'm looking for a simple suspension for it. Right now I'm not worried about weight or ridgelines/tarps/nets/etc or fanciness or anything, I just want to hang. I've settled on using webbing and I am not afraid of knots, so I'm looking for how best to utilize the stock rope and biner that comes with my hammock, plus webbing, to come up with a strong suspension method. And I have a few questions:
1. Strap strength: I've seen this question asked periodically, but I'm still not 100% sure what I need. I bought the ENO DN so that I could use it with two people, so I'm probably looking at up to a 350ish lb load. What should my straps be rated? Also, breaking strength vs. working load? Which number do I want to pay attention to?
2. I've been looking for straps (polyester, of course) and I like the idea of just buying tow straps/tie downs/whatever from my local hardware store. From what I've found that is available in store, most of the higher-strength rated straps are 2". If I need a strap rated that high, how does this differ from 1" as far as flexibility, tie-ability, etc? Does it work just as well or is 1" significantly better?
3. I've watched Grizz's primer on webbing (which is excellent, thank you!), I've seen Shug's videos, I've seen the Mors Kochanski non-inverting slippery bowline suspension vid, I've tried to look for anything that relates to what I'm doing and I'm just looking at how best to put everything together with what I currently have. Suggestions?
4. Is there anything I'm missing? Are there any "Oh, you should just try ___!" or "No, that won't work because ___." comments?
Thanks for everything, y'all are awesome!
Ditch the stock rope and 'biner. The 'biner gate has sharp "teeth" that can damage your hammock. I have a strong preference for the suspension described by JustJeff in his stickied Crazy Creek thread. Those buckles are currently available from onrope1.com. Stu, at whoopieslings.com can fix you up with everything else you need.
I'm not a fan of big box store solutions, because you're never sure of what you're getting. What you can be sure of is, none of the stuff they sell is rated for life support. Buy once, and get the right stuff.
Everything I've heard about the ENO stock suspension systems is bad. Like the oldgringo over there said: ditch the rope and biner and move to whoopies. You can make your own or buy them from someone.
I use Harbor Freight (yellow) 1 inch cinch buckle straps 2 for $3. I cut off the cinch buckles and sewed a 2 inch loop on the end. I put on Elephant Trunks from Smart Outdoors, and hook them into whoopie chain links I got from ArrowHead Equip. I love this system. It is easy and quick and weighs just 8 oz. :)
I actually just slung up my DIY suspension last night. I got some tie down straps rated for 400 lbs working 1260 max load. And like old gringo said they are not rated for life support, says so on the tag, but I figure 40 feet of webbing for 10 bucks would at least get me started.
My ridge line I made out of 3/8 wire rope, (that was rated for towing and lifting, 800 lbs working load I believe) I have a couple of steel rings (descender rings?) rated for 800 lbs apiece, found in the same section as the wire rope on either side of my ridge line. I put a figure 8 loop in one end of a strap and use that to wrap around the tree, the other end I run through the rings. Cinches up nice and tight and easy to take down. I hang my hammock from a couple of continous loops of webbing that are hooked to the steel rings. Simple and easy.
One note on tie down straps, the fine print also states that they are considered a "consumable" and will wear over time and need to be replaced after "evidence of excessive wear". By then I plan to have the money to invest in real straps.
1. The consensus seems to be 1000lbs. Although, I use straps that are 800-900 but I weigh 200lbs. A 350ish load is actually a 700ish load because of the approximate angle the hammock comes off the tree. I would only be concerned with breaking strength. Working load is typically 1/3 the breaking strength for saftey, so if you find something with only working load info it's probably safe to assume the break strength is 3x that.
2. 1" straps are going to be more versatile because they will fit more buckles and other hardware made for hammocks and are easier to tie. A 2 in. strap does have the benefit of spreading out the load over a wider area on the tree, but its going to be twice the weight you carry as well, maybe not an issue if you can split the weight over two people.
3. When I first got my hammock I tied a climbing rope to the biner using a slippery half hitch. Then took the "loop" part of the S.H.H. and tied another overhand knot onto the part of rope under tension going to the tree for security. You could probably tie the same knot using webbing as the entire length of your suspension. This worked without fail, and is easy to untie in the morning, but after time you will probably want to move up to another suspension method since it is not that convenient. As far as teeth on the biner go, just be sure to pack your biners outside the stuff sack.
4. If you have seen all the vids you are not missing much. A method gaining steam which I don't think is mentioned in the any of the vids is to have an "all-in-one" system where the whoopie is attatched to the tree strap through a sewn loop or a biner. Also, the tree strap does not have to go around the full circumference of the tree. Alot of people make extenders out of amsteel and other stuff for when their tree straps are not long enough. Some here have stated it is only necessary to have the outside half of the tree wrapped... Just another thing to consider when thinking about strap length.