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  1. #1
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    Any safety reason to use a structral tarp ridge line?

    I use a structural ridge line above my tarp when I hammock camp. In the past I have just used para-cord. I have a klemheist or prusik knot toward either end. I attach the tarp rl loops to the kleheist knots. This permits me to adjust the tarp very easily toward head or foot end.

    When I logged into HF today this picture was displayed.
    http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery...age.php?i=5666
    It shows a HH that had a tree or large limb fall upon it. That reminded me of something I have been thinking about.

    The tarp SRL as added safety device.

    I have been thinking it might be a good idea to switch to amsteel line as my SLR above the tarp. It would be much stronger than para-cord and if some unseen widow maker limb fell upon me it might actually land on the SRL that could withstand the fall or at least slow it down enough to lessen the impact.

    However, that may have as much a chance of happening as being attacked by a bear or having a rabid raccoon bite me on the rear end in my sleep.

    How many folks think of the SRL as added safety?
    How many folks have had a large limb, > 2" diameter, fall upon their hammock or tarp?

    Sure we all look for limbs above us or in near by trees and try to pick a place to hang without the potential danger above us or that could blown unto us by storm winds. But there is always the chance there is one not seen.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    New Member nyanderson's Avatar
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    In my opinion, a structural ridgeline as you describe makes sense. I've never had a limb fall on top of me, but I have had one fall near me. Not a fun experience in the middle of the night.

  3. #3
    New Member Jeeps's Avatar
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    Look up before ya hang up

    But sometimes dead things don't look so dead when they are forty feet above your head. I've been toying with the idea besides the fact that i still have my tarp from the ground days (10x10) that i used to make a lean-to with a thick structural rope and attached the corners with prussics. That tarp has twelve tabs on it and i tied eight inch ropes to each one and leave em there so i can "prussic" at will if i want to try out a different way of hanging it depending on weather or what not.

    Jeeps

  4. #4
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    the potential energy of a falling limb, could easyly exceed the strength of any ridge line. the safty factor is in it's comfort factor more that phyiscal safety!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Silverlion's Avatar
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    I feel any edge we have against getting injured or killed I'd worth having. When I converted my HH to whoopies, I also replaced the RL with 1/8" Amsteel. Is the added expense worth it? I think so.
    We must all learn to live together as brothers--or we will all perish together as fools. MLK

  6. #6
    Senior Member mtncmpr's Avatar
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    Sure couldn't hurt though, eh??

    Quote Originally Posted by the_gr8t_waldo View Post
    the potential energy of a falling limb, could easyly exceed the strength of any ridge line. the safty factor is in it's comfort factor more that phyiscal safety!
    ...And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_gr8t_waldo View Post
    the potential energy of a falling limb, could easyly exceed the strength of any ridge line. the safty factor is in it's comfort factor more that phyiscal safety!
    In some extreme case you could be correct. However, in a practical fall of a branch if the falling branch should actually land on the SRL I think an amsteel SRL over or under the tarp would be more than a comfort factor and its strength not exceeded.

    If hanging under a tree and a storm tears off a green branch that falls on your hammock I think it will not free fall from high in the tree. It would collide with other branches on the way down reducing the potential/kinetic energy. Should it land on the SRL an amsteel line would certainly hold up better than one made of mason line or paracord line.

    I agree it could all just be comfort factor mainly because there could be a low probability that a falling branch would actually land on the SRL. And a higher probability that a falling branch would just rip through the tarp and do you harm. Never having any contact with the SRL.

    Anyway. The real purpose of the thread was to ask how often have folks actually had a branch fall on them. Something big enough to damage their tarp or themselves.

    I've gone for a walk in the woods after storms and below trees suitable to hammock camp seen some good sized green branches laying on the ground. Not just long dead branches finally released to fall to the ground. The scariest sight is seeing good sized healthy trees blown down. Makes you question the wisdom of camping under trees and glad I wasn't camping in the area during the storm. There's another current thread running about lighting strikes while hammock hanging. I'm just as concerned about high winds during storms. otoh- it could be I would have a higher probability of being eaten by a bear during a rain storm.

    Since people ask about about safety from bears or lighting perhaps another interesting thread would be to ask if anyone has a story of having trees blow down near them during a high wind storm while hammock camping. Or seen blown down trees only a short walk from where they rode out the storm under their tarp and were quit happy they did hang their hammock another mile down the trail.

  8. #8
    Senior Member thekalimist's Avatar
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    I do think that there is a level of protection with amsteel. Ive learned my lesson with "that'll work" splices. patience, practice, perfection will give you some seriously strong results. take for example if your entire suspension and ridgeline were made of 1/8" amsteel with its paltry 2500lb avg break strength. I feel like it'd require a pretty fair sized limb falling (best case) level and perpendicular to the ridgeline over 20 ft up to result in catastrophic failure. That is not a place id hang my hammock without discretion. Even then the rigging is taking a lot of wind out of its sails before it wakes you up. Lets be honest most this stuff we use is really dang strong, wayyy stronger than we need. Ill hang anywhere on my own gear .
    ...in it for pics.

  9. #9
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    I've long thought of using 1/8" amsteel for my tarp ridgeline. While it can't provide guaranteed protection, it certainly can increase your safety factor with a very tiny weight and space penalty. Even a limb that breaks the line will have lost a lot of energy in doing so.

    It's more fun to talk about bears but I'd guess that falling trees and branches are the biggest danger out there. Maybe someone has some data.
    Knotty
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Festus Hagen's Avatar
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    I like to use a trucker's hitch for my continuous ridge line, so I'm not too sure the Amsteel is for me.

    I do think the 1/8" polyester? cord I use affords more protection than a tarp without a continuous ridgeline would. Also think that paracord isn't useless either, 550 lb break strength is nothing to sneeze at (a little better than the polyester cord I use, I think) and it's kinda stretchy which might help (engineers?)

    <ETA> to answer your second question, I haven't had any significant branches hit my tarp.

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