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  1. #1
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    Tautline Hitch ?

    Hello, I have a UL HH and notice after lying in it for a while the lines stretch out and need to be re tightened. I was wondering if anyone has tried using a taut-line Hitch to tie off their HH to make those adjustments easier and how easy or hard it was to untie after sleeping in it for a night verses the directions on the bag. And should I be tighting these lines this tight? Am i going to break something ? I am new to these hammock thing if you can't tell.

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    The stretch will go away a little after awhile. I moded mine when I used a hh to use webbing instead. It is easier to me to work with. There is a pic of it in my gallory. Might be worth checking out.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  3. #3
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richnmcc View Post
    Hello, I have a UL HH and notice after lying in it for a while the lines stretch out and need to be re tightened. I was wondering if anyone has tried using a taut-line Hitch to tie off their HH to make those adjustments easier and how easy or hard it was to untie after sleeping in it for a night verses the directions on the bag. And should I be tighting these lines this tight? Am i going to break something ? I am new to these hammock thing if you can't tell.
    The stretch you are getting isn't from the suspension ropes. It's from the fabric of the hammock body itself stretching. That will diminish with more use.

    There have been MANY MANY different approaches do dealing with the HH suspension, if you go back through the archives of this forum. It boils down to personal preference for most. I find that replacing the HH suspension entirely is a better method. YMMV

    The danger with pulling your HH suspension super tight isn't in getting a good hang, but in placing undue stress on the hanging supports (trees) and the structural ridgeline of the hammock. Quite a few people have reported ridgeline failures after repeated extremely taut hangs. That is of course easy to fix, but it should be noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by hammock engineer View Post
    ...I moded mine when I used a hh to use webbing instead. It is easier to me to work with. There is a pic of it in my gallory. Might be worth checking out...
    For more info on the webbing conversion, read this thread. It answers a lot of the 'getting started' questions about HH suspension changes.
    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

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richnmcc View Post
    Hello, I have a UL HH and notice after lying in it for a while the lines stretch out and need to be re tightened. I was wondering if anyone has tried using a taut-line Hitch to tie off their HH to make those adjustments easier and how easy or hard it was to untie after sleeping in it for a night verses the directions on the bag. And should I be tighting these lines this tight? Am i going to break something ? I am new to these hammock thing if you can't tell.
    I believe most of your issues can be resolved by attaching your hammock at a height where you do not initially pull the suspension lines taut.

    When you start off with the suspension lines on your empty hammock taut and with a near-zero angle with the horizon, they will not stay that way when you load your hammock by getting in it. That is because of the tremendous stress that arrangement initially puts on the hammock suspension when you put weight in the hammock. That causes the hammock to drop and end up closer to the ground; it does that because something stretches under that load. The distance it drops is proportional to a lot of things and can be difficult to predict. When the hammock drops, the hammock suspension lines will have an angle relative to the horizon.

    If you simply tie your hammock up higher with an appropriate angle on the hammock suspension lines to get the hammock at the height you want, it will not drop nearly as much when you put weight in the hammock. It doesn't drop as much because the stress, or forces, on the hammock suspension are much less, so you get less stretch to begin with and the additional length caused by any stretch does not result in as much of a vertical drop because of the geometry involved. This allows for more of a what you see is what you get setup and requires less readjustments. This won't totally eliminate stretch but you might limit the hammock to dropping 6 to 12 inches that way, certainly much less than if you start with the hammock suspension taut and a near-zero sag angle. For your hammock I would try tying it about shoulder high when the span between the trees is around 12 feet, head high for a 15 foot span, and as high as you can reach for spans of 18 feet or longer. The attached sketch might help and understand that these are just my recommendations.

    Once you get this under control and get the hammock hanging at the height you desire, you can move on to some of the other fine points of hammock hanging. Those are centering the hammock between the supports by using equal lengths of suspension lines on both ends of the hammock and raising the foot end to balance your center of gravity so you don't slide towards the foot end of the hammock.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Youngblood; 03-21-2008 at 10:10. Reason: grammer
    Youngblood AT2000

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hector's Avatar
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    Excellent explanation there, Dave, and coincides exactly with my own experience. I never hang a hammock with tight suspension lines. Extra sag is then guaranteed, so it makes no sense.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the compliment.
    Youngblood AT2000

  7. #7
    Senior Member mataharihiker's Avatar
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    I use the taut-line hitch on most lines with the exception of the ones that attach the hammock to the trees...

  8. #8
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    I liked the Trucker's Hitch when I setup mine to test. It makes it easier to adjust than the knots the Clark included in the instructions and I'm not sure I'd trust the Taught Line with my weight... I don't know that for certain so it may be fine.

  9. #9
    yeah, that was a good explanation. i would like to add, and you can see this in the pics, an easy way to tell if your lines are at the right angle (natural sag angle or whatever you want to call it), is to just remember that the lines should run at the same angle as the last foot or so of hammock fabric to put zero load on the ridgeline, this would give the absolute minimum drop. looks like youngblood figured in a little force on the ridgeline in those setups but it will be minimal due the fact that the angles are only slightly off from one another.

    this would of course only matter if you have a ridgeline, if not, the lines will always run the same angle as the end of the hammock fabric. the ridgeline can be useful if you have to span large gaps, (and to hold up the hh bugnet), but the more descrepency there is between the angle of the suspension lines and the angle of the end of the hammock, the more force you put on the whole system and the more inital drop you wil experience, this is a big drawback of ridgelines that no body ever seems to mention.

    as for the knot, the hh lashing could be letting line slip through as it tightens, as long as the ridgeline is still fully stretched, this should cause no change in the lay of the hammock as the sag should be the same no matter how loose the suspension is, that is unless it is so loose that the ridgeline sags, meaning the ridge distance has shortened, i doubt this is happening though.

    as for the knot, there are many better options than the hh lashing. i am a big fan of the slippery sheetbend. the single slippery sheetbend is probably the fastest suspension knot to tie, (you make any knot slippery by just finishing it with a bight instead of the end, it makes it faster because you don't have to pull the whole line through the knot, just a bight.) a single slippery sheetbend might hold without slipping, it sometimes slips with the owf webbing and uncovered spectra and vectran, i bet a covered line like spyderline would not slip at all. so, since it does sometimes slip with the uncovered line, i simply tie the single slippery sheetbend, then pull a second bight of slack through the first, that's it, no problems with slippage, still slippery. i made this knot up (maybe others have too) so it may or may not be as secure as the slippery double sheetbend, but it's faster to tie and it hasn't slipped yet. (i've timed myself, and it takes right at two seconds to tie) the slippery double sheetbend would be your other good choice here. these knots are good because they are fast to tie, and come untied with a pull on the free end, this makes adjustments quick and easy.

    the tautline might work, i have gotten a friction knot to hold, basically just wrapped line up and then back down the line and finished with sticking one end through the other. it tightened down so tight it was difficult to loosen enough to move it up or down the line, it also let out alot of line as it tightened. did not try the tautline, it may be different, you may need to tie it with extra wraps to get it to hold though.
    Last edited by warbonnetguy; 03-21-2008 at 23:20.

  10. #10
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    Brandon... you have to be careful what knots you use on the hammock suspension line. Not only do you have to worry about the knot holding under the load, you have to worry about it releasing after being under heavy tension all night, with it getting wet etc. I had trouble a few times trying to release a slippery bow line knot when I had a HH Ultralight Backpacker Hammock and that was because of the particular rope involved. The slippery bow line releases easily in most ropes and webbing that I have used, but not all of them. I have seen Ed Speer use a small stick in a hammock knot to make it easier to release the next morning but didn't pay attention to exactly where he placed it in the particular knot he was using. While the Hennessy figure 8 knot takes a minute to wrap and unwrap, it does hold securely and release easily every time with the rope they use... there is something to be said for that.
    Youngblood AT2000

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