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  1. #1
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    Hammock Supports

    I hear a lot of talk about the different supports you can use for you hammock.

    I see Spectra Cord mentioned a bunch, yet I have no idea what it is (it's cord duh) and kinda doubt some nearby store has it.

    Webbing is basically something you can get at a fabric store correct? If so that would be fine, but I'm not sure what kind of weight those things can hold.

    550 Paracord. Easily obtainable, cheap, and with a little knot knowledge should be fine.

    I hear a bunch of people breaking their paracord, like Mr. Jeff from his website. This seems kinda weird to me because myself and friends have used some pretty crappy stuff and it did fine. I probably weigh around 180lbs so maybe I just weigh less than some of these people.

    For example: I once used a really crappy hammock (cost $6.09) and it used some generic string that didn't feel so strong and boy did it make noise when you get in the hammock. It held up just fine and such with me swinging in it.

    So when I hear people breaking this and that I chuckle since I've used probably some of the worst stuff. I always get a little nervous though cause who wants to be stuck in the mountains with weak supports for your hammock.


    What do you guys think? Am I stressing or is something greater taking place?

  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum, aceatc.

    Spectra-based cord is very popular because it is extraordinarily light and strong. It should be available in many places, even locally, but is certainly available for order on the internet.

    Webbing is a matter of personal preference. Polyester is the strongest/least stretching. I've never seen it for sale at a fabric store, though. Strapworks sells it, or you could buy a set of ratchet webbing from Harbor Freight and cut the hardware off to get some for very cheap.

    Paracord is fine for applications that don't carry heavy loads, or where stretch doesn't matter. The high amount of stretch that it has is why I don't use it.

    You'd be surprised how much force is on hammock supports (more than your body weight, read up on this). This is especially true when talking about a hammock with a ridgeline, where the suspension tension is GREATLY increased.

    No, the people you read about having problems with weak suspensions aren't fat or crazy...they're experienced. You'd be wise not to trust yourself to a questionable setup. JMO
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  3. #3
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aceatc View Post
    I hear a lot of talk about the different supports you can use for you hammock.

    I see Spectra Cord mentioned a bunch, yet I have no idea what it is (it's cord duh) and kinda doubt some nearby store has it.

    Webbing is basically something you can get at a fabric store correct? If so that would be fine, but I'm not sure what kind of weight those things can hold.

    550 Paracord. Easily obtainable, cheap, and with a little knot knowledge should be fine.

    I hear a bunch of people breaking their paracord, like Mr. Jeff from his website. This seems kinda weird to me because myself and friends have used some pretty crappy stuff and it did fine. I probably weigh around 180lbs so maybe I just weigh less than some of these people.

    For example: I once used a really crappy hammock (cost $6.09) and it used some generic string that didn't feel so strong and boy did it make noise when you get in the hammock. It held up just fine and such with me swinging in it.

    So when I hear people breaking this and that I chuckle since I've used probably some of the worst stuff. I always get a little nervous though cause who wants to be stuck in the mountains with weak supports for your hammock.


    What do you guys think? Am I stressing or is something greater taking place?
    Aceatc,

    Don't chuckle because you used "some of the worst stuff" and escaped fate....the experiances and math of the force on these cords written here is accurate and a wise person will give it very due consideration and reflection....you may have been one brownie short of the weight to break it or had no wind to add swing etc.... none the less, get adequate stuff ...

    Pan
    Ounces to Grams.

    www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413

  4. #4
    slowhike's Avatar
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    i agree w/ what angrysparrow said. just because you got away w/ skimpy hammock supports before, don't mean you always will
    & if you land on a rock or a root, or smack an elbow or tail bone, it could set you back more than you'd expect

    one place to find the spectra cord is the climbing section at an outfitter. but it's definitely wise to use webbing around the tree... to protect the trees & your fellow hammockers.
    and welcome to HF. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  5. #5
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I use the 7/64 Spectra from here:

    http://www.reddenmarine.com/site/new...id=AMRAMSTL764

    I think the rope is rated at either 1200 or 1500 lbs breaking strength. Maybe more. If you are going to use webbing go with polyester.
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  6. #6
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    I recently bought a bunch of webbing, but I'm not sure if it's poly. The worker their had no idea and this store was pretty much the only place I could get the stuff.

  7. #7
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    aceatc,

    The gentlemen that have given advice on this thread so far are very wise and experienced hangers. Trust the info given here and make sure your hang support is reliable. Search the forum as angrysparrow suggests and you will find a lot of great info, science, and math from very intelligent folks and even some engineers on this subject. And, glad to have you on the forum. Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wamyteipen View Post
    aceatc,

    The gentlemen that have given advice on this thread so far are very wise and experienced hangers. Trust the info given here and make sure your hang support is reliable. Search the forum as angrysparrow suggests and you will find a lot of great info, science, and math from very intelligent folks and even some engineers on this subject. And, glad to have you on the forum. Good luck.
    Never said they weren't.

    Of course I'll take their info. Is it a serious no-no to use nylon webbing for supports or tree-huggers? I'm not sure if the webbing I have is nylon, but with my luck I'm sure...

  9. #9
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aceatc View Post
    Is it a serious no-no to use nylon webbing for supports or tree-huggers? I'm not sure if the webbing I have is nylon, but with my luck I'm sure...
    No, nylon webbing is quite strong, but it is designed for climbers who need it to stretch under load. For a hammock suspension application, stretch is less than ideal. Non-stretching materials keep you from having to re-adjust the tautness of your suspension or deal with sagging to the ground.
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  10. #10
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    aceact,

    Like the others have said, welcome to the forum.

    There are several factors that go into how much force you put on a hammock suspension that may explain why you got by with crappy rope. First, I bet you weren't using a ridgeline...that reduces the angle, thereby increasing the force on the supports. Second, I bet you didn't sleep in the hammock...stretch over an hour may not put your butt on the ground, but let it stretch over a night and you may end up scraping your butt on a rock, rubbing a hole in your hammock (or at least getting it muddy).

    But regardless, most folks say to get webbing or cord rated for at least 700lbs or so. Remember - knots greatly reduce the working load of cord, and even moreso for webbing. That's why sewing is better for webbing, IMO. When I broke the 550 cord, it broke right at the knot.

    Personally, I wouldn't use webbing from a fabric store unless it came with a tested working load. The risk of falling in some of the places I hang is greater than the benefit I get from saving a few days of shipping when I order webbing from Ed Speer (plus I get to support a great guy's business - www.speerhammocks.com). YMMV - just be sure to test it carefully before you trust it to hanging over sharp rocks or on a steep ridge.

    You can usually find load-tested Spectra at climbing shops, kitesurfing/sailing shops, etc. Climbing shops usually carry nylon webbing instead of polyester. It'll work, but as mentioned above it'll stretch...and to get nylon webbing strong enough that it won't stretch too much overnight, it'll be much heavier than polyester. But it'll work.

    Let us know what you decide...and most importantly, have fun with it.
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