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  1. #21
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    The 550 pound strength is the ultimate strength of the line under ideal conditions in pure tension.

    Knots and splices greatly reduce the effective strength of a line significantly. A simple bowline reduces the strength of the line by 40% bringing the 550# strength down to 330#

    Other factors reduce line strength as well. Shock loading the line may not break it outright, but it can damage the fibers and reduce the strength. Age is probably the worst thing - everything from mold, mildew, wet and dry rot will take its toll on the line and UV degradation is pretty awful, too.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    Another reason not to use paracord is that it soaks up water like a sponge. I don't know about you but I prefer not to have my suspension double in weight after a lite rain shower, not mention soaking my hammock and quilts.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

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  3. #23
    Senior Member jayf124's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by trinni View Post
    Paracord makes your buttocks meet the ground and will break after using it several times as a suspension.
    Excellent point! Thirty 22-foot suspension lines made of Type II nylon cord (400, not 550 lb tensile strength like a lot of folks think) made my buttocks meet the ground several times....even broke my tailbone once. I was hanging under a MC-1D though.....a little bigger than my WBBB.

  4. #24
    Senior Member taylo's Avatar
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    Sorry guys I didn't mean to be harsh. Carry on. But DONT USE PARACORD man. I will send you a set of 7/64 whoopies in grey free of charge if you PM me GrumpyTom.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyTom View Post
    ...but I believe I've seen people using zing-it. Zing-it's specs are in the same category as 550 cord, so I don't understand...
    One small detail that has been mostly overlooked in this thread is that zing-it is not used as the suspension. OK, I'm sure someone has tried it but it would be a rare thing.

    It is used as ridgelines (hammock and tarp), tarp tie outs, bear bag line, etc.

  6. #26
    Senior Member taylo's Avatar
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    Good point, don't use Zing it either!!!!!!!!!!!! It's just as bad as paracord for suspension.

    7/64 amsteel is what you want.

  7. #27
    New Member Zig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pag View Post
    Another reason not to use paracord relating to the stretch is it's service life. Much like a climbing rope paracord can't maintain it's strength after being stretched 4-5x, it may hold 550# when new but after being stretched just a couple times it retains approximately half it's tensile strength. Most nylon types of rope rely on the fibers aligning under tension (think chinese finger trap) for their load rating, obviously a hard fast jerk like that of a parachute opening combined with a more or less static load this works. In hammocks when tired camper#01 gingerly climbs in for the night the fibers creep quite substantially, elongating and thinning the core. It doesn't take long before your 550# load rope fails at around 200# even if you're cautious.
    +1. The value of paracord is blown WAY out of proportion by the "survival experts."

    Paracord is a great survival/multi-use cordage because it is relatively strong and can be easily broken down into 8 different lengths, but it is not a heavy duty hard use option. Use it for shoelaces, lanyards, lashings, and clotheslines. Leave the heavy lifting for stronger options.
    2012 Resolution: 0/1 long distance thru-hikes, 20/30 nights out.

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  8. #28
    Member GrumpyTom's Avatar
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    Thank you to ALL that have commented - you've really drilled the point home. Hopefully in 6 months I'll be one to post the dangers of paracord in 'safety'-related situations.

    Cheers!!

    Ps Taylo - no harm, no foul! I appreciate your offer but i've already ordered the Amsteel and am looking forward to making the whoopies/ucrs myself

  9. #29
    Senior Member ernesthemmingway's Avatar
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    This was a good thread. It had a question, a very detailed and informative answer, offers to help out new hammockers, a gentle nudge by a moderator, and a good conclusion. Thanks HF members and moderators alike, good threads in forums like this one are painfully hard to find on the internet.
    with two m's, like "hammock."

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