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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Paracord Ridgeline

    Hey Guys,

    I recently upgraded my suspension to the cinch buckle system for my Hennessy Hammock. With that I also needed a new ridgeline, which I forgot to purchase with my cinch buckle system. Since I'm planning on hiking this weekend, I need something to get me through, and the "best" line I have sitting around the house is paracord.

    I set it up following a diagram from Derek (The Ultimate hang) using two lengths of rope with prusik knots on the rope and a mini carabiner back at the hook up to the tarp. I just hung it up in my back yard, it seems to tighten up really well. There is a little give to the paracord, but seems to hold up well.

    I was wondering what your guys thoughts on paracord is, should i upgrade to zing-it/lash-it ASAP? or will this work for a while?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    WaffleBox's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    The problem with paracord is that it stretches over time. So you might get a nice taut pitch at first, but as the night goes on it will sag more and more.

  3. #3
    pgibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    SW Idaho
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    Yes you will be much happier with another type of cord. Paracord stretches a lot...and even more when it gets wet. So if it rains on you at 3 am your tarp will start to sag more and more at 3am...making you get up and have to re-tighten everything. Ditch that Paracord...it has no good use in a hammock camping setup.

    More about ropes and cords commonly used in hammock camping. http://www.arrowhead-equipment.com/w...e-dope-on-rope
    Arrowhead Equipment -- For all your hammock camping and backpacking gear
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  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Fuquay-Varina, NC
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    I'd just go with the paracord and enjoy camping for now, and get some zing-it on order for later. My first few trips were with paracord just to keep my mosquito net off of my face and I slept fine, having had the advantage of being a noob and not knowing better. I upgraded to a zing-it SRL last weekend and it really does seem to lay better, so I think that will be an improvement.

    Sorry - just noted that this is your tarp ridgeline and not your hammock ridgeline. Whoops.
    Caminante, son tus huellas el camino y nada más... - Antonio Machado

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Arrowhead Equip's page gives a great quick summary. With that being said, you'll be much happier moving to zing-it/lash-it. Most paracord stretches considerable when wet and it's never fun being in a massive unexpected storm with improper or less than ideal gear. Getting soaked and/or having to fiddle with stretchy cord in the middle of the night is not pleasant.

  6. #6
    I think the whole "..but paracord stretches" thing is a bit of a needless hoohah.
    It is not as if it stretches enough that your tarp is going to droop down on your face, or even slacken enough that it won't continue to shed rain. Certainly not on my 14 oz. tarp. There just isn't enough of a weight-load even with rain water on it.
    I understand not wanting to use paracord for a hammock suspension, etc. However, for tarps and other gear, I just don't see enough of a problem to give it up. [and I love me my mason's line! Cheap, and good enough for government work]

    You can always knot in a piece of bungee as a slack line tensioner.

    Go on. Get out in the woods. That's what it's all about.
    Granddad used hemp rope, canvas, a wooden pack-frame, and a heavy, coarse, wool Hudson's Bay blanket. He'd think we were a bunch of whining sissies, and take the solid-oak handle of his 3-pound double-blade to us.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I used para cord for everything as I bet most did before they got "Hammock Bit" Sounds like this is just a quick fix ridgeline anyway. I say go with it. I don't know how Derek describes the set up but I'd just use a long enough piece to allow a truckers hitch knot to be under the tapr in the case of a midnight rain that may or may not allow the PC to stretch. As some have said I don't think PC stretches as much as everybody fears. But in the case it does and you have to tighten things up in the middle of the night, the hitch knot is right there under the tarp. No big deal.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter55 View Post
    I used para cord for everything as I bet most did before they got "Hammock Bit" Sounds like this is just a quick fix ridgeline anyway. I say go with it. I don't know how Derek describes the set up but I'd just use a long enough piece to allow a truckers hitch knot to be under the tapr in the case of a midnight rain that may or may not allow the PC to stretch. As some have said I don't think PC stretches as much as everybody fears. But in the case it does and you have to tighten things up in the middle of the night, the hitch knot is right there under the tarp. No big deal.
    I'm new to this so I'm saying this with NO experience AT all.
    I agree with Hunter, use it but keep in mind that it stretches and take steps to help you out in the event you need to do something about it. I mean you already have it in your hand... would you overnight some more appropriate line? Of course that's your choice but taking a little something from my other "hobby"... Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    I have used paracord on my tarps from time to time, but I don't run it in a continuous ridgeline. I just run from the tie-outs to around the tree and tie a tautline. Over such a short distance I don't think the potential stretch makes much difference, and yes I've had the tarp up in that config in some fairly industrial strength rain.

    My only desire to get rid of the paracord is that for the same amount of pack space I can get a lot more zing-it. I'm slowly replacing my paracord a bit at a time, but I'm not rushing it. I just order a 25' hank from Dutch on most orders and I'm slowly retiring my paracord.

  10. #10
    WaffleBox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geneaut View Post
    'm slowly replacing my paracord a bit at a time, but I'm not rushing it. I just order a 25' hank from Dutch on most orders and I'm slowly retiring my paracord.
    Wow, you must use a lot of cord!

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