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  1. #1
    Senior Member robv60's Avatar
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    Im new please tell me about amsteel

    I guess my first post should be in the Introduce Yourself section but what the heck. Ill post there to . Ive been toying around with hammock camping. Have been for a while. Long story short, Im considering DIY or buying an inexpensive setup like the Hammock Bliss No See Um... and modding it. Im going to need some decent cordage for the suspension mods, i.e., some sort of ridgeline, quick setup via garda hitch and some way of getting the netting off my face. Tarpage and what not. Ive been reading a lot about amsteel and am wondering what it is that maks it the (seemingly) preferred thing to use rather than say....heck i dont know, climbing rope, cheap polyester rope or paracord?

  2. #2
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robv60 View Post
    what it is that maks it the (seemingly) preferred thing to use rather than say....heck i dont know, climbing rope, cheap polyester rope or paracord?
    Climbing rope and paracord are nylon, and are designed to stretch. That's very undesirable for hanging purposes. And paracord is way underrated for suspension use anyway.

    Some polyester rope would work, but the diameter of rope needed for safety purposes is heavy and bulky.

    Amsteel (a coated dyneema cord) is small diameter, light, extremely strong, spliceable (no knots!), and durable. It's just a better choice than your other listed options on all counts.
    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
    Detail Man's Avatar
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    For it's size (7/64") and weight it's very strong, rated at 1600lbs. It's a hollow braided line so it can be easily spliced, thus retaining most of the rated strength. The hollow braid also lends itself to making adjustable loops (whoopie slings) because the line can pass thru itself, and when tension is applied it will constrict on itself, thus holding fast. Amsteel won't stretch either, at least not enough to notice. Nylon does stretch and isn't preferred for a suspension.

    When choosing a hammock suspension, you need to find a line/rope that has a working strength at least 4X your weight. This is due to the physics of hammock hanging and making it safe. Paracord simply isn't strong enough for a suspension.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
    Senior Member robv60's Avatar
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    Pretty darned good straightforward and well argued replies. Better info than I have found by reading through countless threads. Thank you. Really.

    However I am a habitual "why?" person so bear with me.... if im not concerned about weight (mostly car camping at this point) and am not planning on making whoopie slings, would amsteel still be my best choice as far as price and strength? I weigh 145 and am 5'3"....surprisingly enough I do not bear a "ring of power". Sorry for the bad joke. So....arguably I should only NEED around 600 lbs working strength, right? Would Amsteel be a little overkill or is it cheap enough that the real question should be "who cares?" Id like to try the "quick setup" option where you use two climbing rings and a garda hitch. Seems like Ive read some where that Amsteel doesnt hold knots well because its slippery which also doesnt lend itself to being good for a garda hitch setup. Am I wrong on this?

  5. #5
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    You're not wrong.

    Garda hitch setups are generally not favored because they compress the cording and over time cause a lot of wear. Amsteel is particularly bad for that, as it flattens easily being a single braid.

    Then again, most cording doesn't hold up well to garda hitch use over time. Only the strongest sheathed cords resist the wear for any length of use.

    If you want simple, and don't care about weight or bulk, look at an adjustable webbing suspension. Quick, strong, cheap. Just stick to polyester webbing.
    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

  6. #6
    Bubba's Avatar
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    The forces on hammock suspension can vary depending on the angle. There are also dynamic forces caused by movement to consider. If you were to set up you hammock very close to parallel say at 15 degrees then your 145 lbs would equal approximately 280 lbs on each end. At 30 degrees, the forces are equal to that of your weight on each end and it is a good starting point for a comfortable amount of sag.
    I have seen people say they like a safety factor of 4 or 5 so if you were to get some suspension that has a breaking strength of 1000lbs, then that would equate to a safe working load of 250lbs. This is by no means a tested standard, rather a rule of thumb that some adapt. You can choose any safety factor you want but remember that it may not be life or death but consider your safety when selecting the strength of the suspension you end up using.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  7. #7
    Senior Member robv60's Avatar
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    Adjustable webbing setup? Is that basically the same as the garda hitch setup but with the webbing woven through rather than the cordage? You guys know to much for my own good.

  8. #8
    Senior Member robv60's Avatar
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    Id definately rather be safe than right on the edge. A little more peace of mind is much better for relaxing.

  9. #9
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robv60 View Post
    Adjustable webbing setup? Is that basically the same as the garda hitch setup but with the webbing woven through rather than the cordage? You guys know to much for my own good.
    yep. Either garda style with a safety half hitch to keep it all in place.
    Or ..several folks offer a buckle that the webbing can travel thru for adjustability. There are a couple different designs. But the principle is the same.

    Welcome to the madness.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  10. #10
    Senior Member robv60's Avatar
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    Yeah Ive seen the buckles but dont know where to get them. Im thinking at this time buying an inexpensice single or double hammock and sewing a cheap bug net is the way for me to go. I just cant spend too much on this whole thing. The hammock bliss no see um on gofastandlight.com is a good price but the shipping kind of sucks. what to do what to do....

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