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  1. #1
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    Figure 9 for ridgeline

    Hey all,

    I'm new here, and got introduced to hammock camping about a year ago by this very forum. I had never considered doing it until I read about it here.

    As it is my first post, I'll start with a little story of my hammock camping trips (not that many in one year or one and a half summers...) and then lead us to the figure 9 question :-) (Yes, I have searched on this forum and have found some epic topics on the subject).

    So, as I set out on my first trip, I had never thought about the cold I'd get at my back. First night, mid summer, I was unexpectedly freezing at night Fixed that the next trip with a little mat (underquilt was not necessary in summer here). Then on about the third-fourth trip, it was going to rain. SO I set up my cheap surplus tarp. That certainly taught me that they are not too great. First of all, they make a TON of noise, they weigh too much, and are quite a pain to set up compared to lighter material.

    This lead me to the ridgeline problem. You see, I can not get it to sit nice and (tout?) straight. I'm quite horrible at any other than normal knot, as I do not go camping that often, so I tend to forget the knots :

    Then I found the figure 9 thing, in a gentleman named Shug on youtube, excellent vids. Anyhow, so I started looking into them.

    I have found out, that they exist for the guy lines, no problem there for me, and that they MIGHT be used for the center, ridgeline.

    Now my question is, considering all varieties are quite expensive in my area: Are the carabiners the same use as the non carabiner kind? What's the benefit of one vs the other? Right now I'm tempting to order the carabiner kind as it seems to offer more strength, the same benefits as the non (clip' ones, and it has of course... a clip/gate.

    Please do let me know, I can not make up my mind on which one to get. I'm not looking to buy 6, at most two, but probably just one to make sure I can easily straighten out the central line for the tarp so it doesn't bend down when raining.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bomber's Avatar
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    First welcome to the Forum. Regarding your question, i suppose you´re talking about ridge line for your tarp , right?

    Take a look at this, pictures tell a thousand words..... :

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=16945

    /Bomber

    PS i would go for the fig 9´s with no carabiners... much lighter...
    Last edited by Bomber; 08-22-2010 at 09:57. Reason: forgetfullness.....
    /Bomber.LTD
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  3. #3
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    The figure 9 will work perfectly well for tensioning your tarp ridge line. The figure nines are made by Nite-ize. They also make a nifty gadget called the dog bone that works really well for tensioning tarp ridge lines.
    Terry

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poppabear View Post
    The figure 9 will work perfectly well for tensioning your tarp ridge line. The figure nines are made by Nite-ize. They also make a nifty gadget called the dog bone that works really well for tensioning tarp ridge lines.
    Any difference betwee the 'carabiner' (i.e. with a gate), and the normal earlier version figure 9 without a gate (door)?

    Thanks!!

    Edit: ow Bomber, what a great link :-) Muchos gracias

  5. #5
    Poppabear's Avatar
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    The carabiner version can give you more versatility in rigging options. IE: it can be clipped directly to the tarp. Normally when this option is chosen you are not using a continuous ridge line. The figure 9 biner is clipped to the tarp and a section of line goes from there to your anchor point on either end of the tarp. this method requires two figure nine biners which is a small weight penalty. If you are using a continuous ridge line you would only need one figure nine. My continuous ridge line has 2 inch loops spliced into each end. My tarp is connected to the ridge line using two six inch or so continuous loops that are larks headed to the tarp and fasten to the ridge line with prusik knots. If I am using a figure 9 I use another continuous loop and attached to the fixed eye of the figure nine and attached with prusik knot down towards the other end of the ridge line.To use I pass one end around my selected tree and fasten it with a toggle hitch using a short finger sized piece of twig found at the hang site. The other end of the ridge line is passed around my other selected tree and tensioned with the figure nine. My tarp can be adjusted up and down the ridge line as need by sliding the prusik knots as needed.
    Terry

  6. #6
    Senior Member Festus Hagen's Avatar
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    Call me a Luddite if you will, but you will lose your figure 9 before I forget how to tie a trucker's hitch. Also a trucker's hitch, if you learn it and practice it, will come in handy so many other times in general life- times when you might have rope or cord, but no gizmos. I've learned the trucker's hitch, the bowline, prusik, and marlin spike... I'm sure other knots could be useful but for the purposes of rigging my tarp and hammock, I'm set.

    Like Poppabear, I use a continuous ridgeline, but I use a bowline loop on one end which I secure around the tree with a tiny 3.2 gram Hammock Forums Micro-carabiner, on the other end I use a trucker's hitch, and the tarp is secured to the ridgeline with two prusiks and a micro-carabiner on each end (for simple adjustment, tensioning, and removal).

    Here's the "easy end"


    And the trucker's hitch end


    And an example of the prusik/crab attachment


    To me, the beauty is... although I do use micro-crabs for convenience sake, I can do without any or all of them. My ridgeline is guitar-string tight, regardless.

  7. #7
    canoebie's Avatar
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    I have a diamond claytor fly and I use the gated biner 9's on all 4 points. It really works well for me. I have the other nines as well but really like the biners.

    I have a line with a micro biner, goes round the tree and the microbiner clips over the rope with the free end then going to the tarp and the nine awaits to be tightened. Quick, simple and effective.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Salty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festus Hagen View Post
    Call me a Luddite if you will, but you will lose your figure 9 before I forget how to tie a trucker's hitch. Also a trucker's hitch, if you learn it and practice it, will come in handy so many other times in general life- times when you might have rope or cord, but no gizmos.
    I'm not going to call you names. I definitely agree with you that a trucker's hitch is very handy to know for general use, and it's very easy and fast to tie. I use a trucker's hitch for my tarp ridgeline, but I have wondered about something, and I'd love to hear yours and others thoughts on this. If you're using something like Zing-It, the twisted loop portion of the knot can get extremely tight. As you know, to loosen the knot when finished, all you have to do is pass the tag end back through the loop and pull the standing line very hard, and the twisted portion of the knot releases, but it seems there is a tremendous amount of friction on the Zing-It when that knot breaks loose...you can sometimes hear it snap/pop when the knot breaks free. Do you think that will damage the Zing-It over time? I purchased a few fig 9's to experiment with, and I also wonder about the teeth damaging the line over time. Any thoughts on that?

    BTW, the Fig 9's can be attached to the line via a larks head or could be permanently attached with a prusik loop or klemheist loop, so it would be next to impossible to lose the Fig 9 unless you lose your entire ridgeline.

    Salty

  9. #9
    Senior Member carolinasbackpacker's Avatar
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    I made a continueous loop and tied it as a prussik on the ridgeline. Don't think i'll be losing it
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  10. #10
    Bubba's Avatar
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    I bought 4 gated fig 9's a while back but have since abandoned them for a couple reasons. The first is I didn't want to add gear that I could potentially lose and second I was concerned about the teeth damaging my rope over time. I always thought it was better to know a handful of knots then to rely on hardware. That's just me though. People use them all the time and don't loose them and if they did lose them chances are they know knots to tie to accommodate the loss. In the end it depends on how your are with your gear. To each their own.

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