1. The reason that it's not recommended (aside from the stretch factor) is that you want something in the 10x your weight break strength range. Most folks average 150 to 200 lbs, and Amsteel Blue 7/16" is rated to 1,600 lbs--1/8" to 2,500 lbs. That gives a comfortable safety margin.

The reason you want that safety margin is because it isn't just your weight acting on the suspension; any movement in the hammock increases the dynamic forces on the suspension. I'm not a physics or math guy, so I can't give you the exact equations, but it makes sense. Figure you have a beer can. If you just put thirty pounds (number drawn out of certain orifices; don't quote me on this) on top of the can, it's likely to take the weight. Now, if you drop that weight down on top of the can from a couple inches above it, it's likely to crush the can.

The other reason is stretch. You don't want to find out just how much nylon stretches--especially when wet--by winding up over some sharp object on the ground and ripping your hammock fabric. Not fun at 3 AM when you're miles from the trail head.

Anyway, those are the reasons. Theoretically, you could use any line rated to about 10x your weight. Amsteel just happens to be the most commonly available and lightest weight.

Edit: What pgibson said, too.

2. I think this is thread #4,857 on this topic

3. Another reason not to use paracord relating to the stretch is it's service life. Much like a climbing rope paracord can't maintain it's strength after being stretched 4-5x, it may hold 550# when new but after being stretched just a couple times it retains approximately half it's tensile strength. Most nylon types of rope rely on the fibers aligning under tension (think chinese finger trap) for their load rating, obviously a hard fast jerk like that of a parachute opening combined with a more or less static load this works. In hammocks when tired camper#01 gingerly climbs in for the night the fibers creep quite substantially, elongating and thinning the core. It doesn't take long before your 550# load rope fails at around 200# even if you're cautious.

4. Originally Posted by Pag
Another reason not to use paracord relating to the stretch is it's service life. Much like a climbing rope paracord can't maintain it's strength after being stretched 4-5x, it may hold 550# when new but after being stretched just a couple times it retains approximately half it's tensile strength. Most nylon types of rope rely on the fibers aligning under tension (think chinese finger trap) for their load rating, obviously a hard fast jerk like that of a parachute opening combined with a more or less static load this works. In hammocks when tired camper#01 gingerly climbs in for the night the fibers creep quite substantially, elongating and thinning the core. It doesn't take long before your 550# load rope fails at around 200# even if you're cautious.
Definitely the explanation I was looking for - thank you.

5. Originally Posted by taylo
I think this is thread #4,857 on this topic
It's not to the OP.
He is new here and we are all about helping the new guy on the block.

6. Thanks OutandBack - I always TRY to find stuff through searching the forum first Hoping to grow out of newbi-ism soon

7. Don't feel bad Tom. The search function here is difficult as best. Ask questions. It's how you learn. We were all new at one point.

8. I use google search, "(search terms) site:www.hammockforums.net" it does a better job for me.

9. Originally Posted by packeagle
I use google search, "(search terms) site:www.hammockforums.net" it does a better job for me.
+1 on that - a lot easier than using the HF search function.