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The write-up on the BB was nice, but I did have to cringe at the ropes tied to the trees. All in all, an excellant blog.
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I agree, nice write up.
I also like the pictures of the Clark pitched on the ground. It gave a nice view of how to do it.
Nice informative site. Some very beautiful pictures (my GF and I especially loved the photo of the of the rock-ridge and man pushing on a boulder, very artsy).
Good reviews on various gear. And yes, what is up with the ropes on the trees?
Nice info and comments on all the sweet gear on there!
As far as ropes on trees .... probably just new at hammocking ... as we seem to have so many new members on here looking for info and discovering their hammock groove.... and just hasn't discovered tree hugging webbing yet.
Even with cord it is best to use a 3 to 6 foot piece depending on your forest area. Preaching to the choir though.....
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Thanks for the feedback on my blog from everyone. I've been out of internet range for a few weeks and just catching up on things.
I have used tree straps on a speer type hammock I made myself. They worked well on small to regular sized trees. But big trees were a problem.
And I've read of the concerns about ropes and tree damage. But, I personally have never noticed any damage to the trees I've hung on. Is this something that is not visible to the naked eye? Or a cumulative thing? Maybe specific to a certain kind of tree.
I was looking on Warbonnet's website and it looks like he has a line/strap hybrid option. Have any of you tried this?
You do have a great site, Carol, and I always enjoyed your BPL articles when I had a subscription. (Maybe I'll renew when I get enough time to read it again!) Thanks for contributing so much to the hiking and hammocking communities.
Tree huggers and webbing vs rope/cord is a somewhat contentious topic, only because there haven't been any official studies on the damage a hammock can cause. Sometimes it's obvious, like scarring you can see on thin-skinned trees. Other times it's extrapolated from studies that have been done on girthing and the like. It's obvious that a hammock's forces can compress the tree's cambium layer to some degree...just not obvious if this is enough to damage or kill the tree. Somewhere in the middle of those two extremes would be visible damage done to the bark of a thick-barked tree...certainly not enough to damage the tree, but still not LNT compliant.
Webbing helps by spreading the load over the width (usually 1") rather than focusing all of the force on a ~1/8" cord, but the issue is further complicated b/c some hollow-core ropes flatten out to disperse the force...but still look like normal rope to people who are educated about it.
So the short answer is...no scientific proof that it's necessary on all trees, but it does happen sometimes so the perception is out there that hammocks can damage trees. And that perception may be enough to convince land management types that hammocks aren't good for the trees and outlaw them in their areas.
The "right" answer would be to commission a study by the park service. Given the small numbers of hammockers compared to everyone else who uses our lands, I don't see this as very likely...much easier for the bureaucrats to avoid the issue by outlawing them. So the most practical answer (and therefore the "best" answer IMO) is to avoid the possibility of damaging trees as much as possible by using webbing or huggers, and encouraging everyone else to do the same.
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While I'm concerned about ropes damaging trees, I also gotta wonder.... Would the roughness of a tree start damaging the rope after a while?
Great blog, Carol ! Keep it coming!
I enjoyed your blog.
The line suspension option comes with "tree huggers" to wrap around the tree. These are supposed to disperse the force over a larger area and reduce / eliminate tree damage.
I believe we are trying to prevent damage to the cambium layer (the part right under the bark). This is the part that moves water and nutrients up the tree. Depending on the type of tree, I think it might be possible to damage this layer without having noticeable damage to the bark. I have always operated under the "better safe than sorry" philosophy.
Turk, I think, places several small sticks between the rope and tree to prevent damage, and lessen pack weight.
JJ beat me to it. He gave a much better explanation.
Last edited by Big D; 08-02-2009 at 12:33. Reason: I type slowly
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rope tree huggers thread.
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