Garda Hitch hanging from a Marlinspike hitch toggle
I told NCPatrick I'd post pictures of making the garda hitch. In doing some searching I rediscovered this thread, which actually is the best place to park the post.
My boys and I are hitting the trail shortly. They both hang in HH Explorers. Last year they used the ring buckles with Strapworks straps, we didn't cut the stock HH rope. This year we'll forgo the straps, but use the SMC rings on the stock rope, using the Garda Hitch.
What makes the method I'll now document different from the others in this thread is the connection at the tree. I've grown fond of the Marlinspike hitch to put a toggle next to the tree. Now what I'll do is hang a pair of rings off that toggle, and put a Garda hitch through the rings with the stock HH line, and we're done.
Here's the webbing with the Marlinspike hitch and toggle
I cut about 2' of Spyderline, made a loop by tying off the ends with an overhand knot, slipped the rings on with a prusik, and just clip the loop onto the toggle.
The first step in the Garda hitch is to loop the cord around the rings.
The second step is to take the free end and slip it between the rings.
When the hammock is under weight the loop around the rings tightens them up to pinch the free end. For the pinching to work the rings have to be well clamped down on the other side, hence the prusik.
My stock HH hanging from this arrangement.
A nice thing about this arrangement is that when tearing down the hammock one can unhook the prusik+rings from the toggle, and leave it threaded onto the cord (with a little more knot tying to ensure the rings don't fall off completely if the Garda hitch loosens up too much).
That makes set-up simple
1. wrap webbing around tree, pass one end through looped end, cinch up.
2. put Marlinspike hitch in
3. Repeat on other tree
4. Hook prusik+rings loop on Marlinspike toggle at each end of the hammock
5. Adjust as needed, if needed
On a completely different note: It has been almost a year since I climbed inside one of these Explorers. Last year it seem so spacious---but that was relative to the HH Desert Rat I previously had. The enclosed hammocks I've been in recently (my DIY dual mode bridge, and Skeeter Beater Pro) are cavernous by comparison with the Explorer. Which probably means they have too much material! On the other hand, the netting on the Explorer seemed pretty close to my face, and having more space there (particularly with the bridge design) is very nice.