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  1. #1
    blackmagic's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Marlinspike Hitch

    A particular difficulty I've had with the most common technique for a marlinspike hitch -- making a loop in the working end and pulling another loop through from the standing end -- is that the resulting knot is very loose, requiring significant tightening after placing the toggle, which often moves several inches down the line from where it was initially tied, making it difficult to precisely position the toggle along the length of rope / webbing, which in turn makes it difficult to precisely adjust the position of a hammock along its suspension.

    There are two other common techniques for tying a marlinspike hitch, both of which involve placing the toggle along the rope where you wish to locate the knot, and then tying the hitch around the toggle in-place, which minimizes the amount of "shifting" in the knot during tightening.

    This YouTube video demonstrates both of those techniques, which are also useful for placing a toggle in the line for a PCT bear hang.

  2. #2
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    When using with whoopie slings, the position of the MSH isn't terribly critical anyway.

    But you'd have to be a pretty bad at knot tying to miss it "by several inches"!
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  3. #3
    blackmagic's Avatar
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    I'm not a whoopie sling user. I hang directly from the straps.

    For me, when I tie the marlinspike directly in the line, and then slip in a toggle and tighten it down, the toggle always slides down at least an inch or two. Even one or two inches makes all the difference when I'm trying to get the structural ridgeline into its goldilocks tightness.

    Could just be me, of course.

    In any case, alternate methods of tying knots are objectively useful.

  4. #4
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Maybe this will help some. Try starting the knot an inch or two higher towards the tree to make up for the sliding you are getting.
    Shug

    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Secure in Sector Seven

  5. #5
    Senior Member rweb82's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackmagic View Post
    I'm not a whoopie sling user. I hang directly from the straps.

    For me, when I tie the marlinspike directly in the line, and then slip in a toggle and tighten it down, the toggle always slides down at least an inch or two. Even one or two inches makes all the difference when I'm trying to get the structural ridgeline into its goldilocks tightness.

    Could just be me, of course.

    In any case, alternate methods of tying knots are objectively useful.
    Any reason why you don't just use a becket hitch- and remove the toggle from the equation altogether?

  6. #6
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Yes, in that case I would also recommend Becket Hitch, J-bend or Lapp Hitch (and there are others) and skip the toggle altogether.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  7. #7
    blackmagic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rweb82 View Post
    Any reason why you don't just use a becket hitch- and remove the toggle from the equation altogether?
    I use Dutch's Spider Web 1.5 UHMWPE webbing, which bunches up pretty severely in a becket hitch. I started using the marlinspike because that kind of webbing does not "bunch up" as much in the marlinspike hitch. The Spider Web webbing also binds extremely tightly under load in the becket hitch, and requires a tremendous force to pull out the slipped end after it has been under load. A toggle just pulls free easily.
    Last edited by blackmagic; 10-07-2019 at 17:09.

  8. #8
    blackmagic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    Yes, in that case I would also recommend Becket Hitch, J-bend or Lapp Hitch (and there are others) and skip the toggle altogether.
    I hang my continuous loops directly from the marlinspike. I have used a becket hitch before, but with the Spider Web 1.5 webbing, even a slipped becket hitch binds so tightly that it takes an almighty yank to undo it in the morning. No joke -- I have to brace against the continuous loop with one hand, wrap the slipped end around my other hand a couple of times, and yank as fast and hard as I can to pull it out, and even then it may get stuck. I have noticed damage to the Amsteel loops from either friction or abrasion caused by doing that.

    With the J-bend I have the same problem as with tying the marlinspike on its own -- it's difficult to precisely position the point of attachment, which matters to me because I'm hanging directly off of the webbing, I don't use whoopie slings.

  9. #9
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackmagic View Post
    I hang my continuous loops directly from the marlinspike. I have used a becket hitch before, but with the Spider Web 1.5 webbing, even a slipped becket hitch binds so tightly that it takes an almighty yank to undo it in the morning. No joke -- I have to brace against the continuous loop with one hand, wrap the slipped end around my other hand a couple of times, and yank as fast and hard as I can to pull it out, and even then it may get stuck. I have noticed damage to the Amsteel loops from either friction or abrasion caused by doing that.

    With the J-bend I have the same problem as with tying the marlinspike on its own -- it's difficult to precisely position the point of attachment, which matters to me because I'm hanging directly off of the webbing, I don't use whoopie slings.
    I experimented with several types of webbing, including a couple of "flavors" of UHMWPE (Venom and Myers) and found that their characteristics are much more like cord than webbing, and I've heard the same said of Spider and the WB version. Indeed, those small, hard knots are difficult to release with almost any kind of knot/hitch, and damage from the heat of friction is a very real problem.

    With Becket there is a trick you can do, which is to larkshead a little loop on the CL that can be used to pull the CL out and permit the easy release of the slipped bight. Here it is tied with Kevlar, but it works with any webbing.

    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  10. #10

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    Whilst we are on this subject-I had the same ropey hard to untie and slipping beckett hitch issue one afternoon with the Blue Dutch 2.0.Fortunatley I remembered the 2 Dutch toggles in my bag and used them to great effect with the marlin spike hitch.It worked like a champ too.

    I am currently waiting on some Dutch 1.5 spider and planned at the outset to just switch to the toggle and MSH full time as it would halve my suspension weight.At this point,I will take every ounce I can get and the 1.5 should save me 2.6 oz.

    But the question is this-which Dutch product would be the best for tying the beckit hitch?Does kevlar get all ropey and twisted over on itself?I installed the micro cord on my CL's just in case I ever want to try the hitch again;especially after the way I bruised my hand trying to yank the hitch out that afternoon.

    Has anyone tried the 2 inch tree hugger in 1.5 Spider?I thought I might lark 12 feet of 1 inch 1.5 onto the two inch tree hugger and protect the tree more than regular 1 inch.Anybody do that?

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