Friday night I went out with my son's scout troop for a quick overnighter. While the boys pitched their crappy tents on the soggy grass, I set up my HH in the trees by the creek (effectively blocking out the noise of the scouts: double bonus!).
I was just checking out my setup ... you know: taking a couple of minutes to, um, check the integrity of my knots ... when I hear this loud cracking noise and I hear the branch I'm tied to begin to fall -- towards me. The tarp blocked my vision and I had to imagine being crushed by a falling tree until it landed 12" to my right.
I *thought* I had thoroughly checked the tree before I tied to it. It was plenty big enough (I could get the stock 'huggers around one full loop but not two) and it didn't seem unstable when I gave it an initial shake. Am I missing something here? Should I have used a different technique to ensure that my anchor-trees were safe and solid? Has anyone had a tree actually fall on them while they were enhammocked?
I usually just give a quick-but-definitive shake of a tree or branch before I tie off: maybe 40 lbs of pressure? Do the rest of you make a more comprehensive test of tree-strength before tying off?
(To make matters worse, when I tied to another tree I moved too fast, didn't fully anchor my knots and had them slip on me as soon as I got in. I was feeling pretty stupid that night. I know the solution to that one, though.)