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  1. #1
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    Suspensions & tarp ridgelines for newbie UL hangers

    Hi there,

    I have a couple of newbie questions that I would appreciate some feedback on. I should add that I actually have read dozens of threads across the forum to find this information for myself, only to come up with so many options that simply asking seems like the best way to get measured/sensible advice from those with much more experience than me in this area. So, apologies for that!

    I'm a tropical field botanist and have been working the rain- and montane cloud forests of SE Asia and E Africa for over a decade; my set up has always been the UL one-man tent/bivvy route, and I'm only now trying to get into hanging having recently seen a few Aussie upstarts using hammocks on recent expeditions.

    I'll be in the US for a wedding in a few weeks, and given that it is the cheapest place on Earth to get high quality gear, I've managed to order a discounted HH Explorer UL and hex tarp that I can pick up on arrival (thought about WBBB, but ultimately price/convenience won out).

    My questions relate to hammock suspension and tarp ridgelines.

    1) Is the standard HH suspension setup the most convenient for very regular use, bearing in mind that I will be using the UL with its thinner ropes? I was rather hoping to use a quick/adjustable Garda hitch with carabiner and 2 abseiling rings, as I have for other applications, but gather that the thinner lines can slip and even shear with this setup. Any recommendations/alternatives from personal experience (idiot-proof explanations may be required!)?
    2) Is it worth having a separate ridgeline for the Hex tarp, or to use the standard HH setup, which as I understand it involves clipping the tarp to the hammock's ridgeline? My research takes place in some of the wettest environments on earth, and separating the tarp from the hammock seems like the most sensible thing to do. If so, what sort of setup might you recommend (I'll be dropping in to REI whilst in New Mexico, so any equipment that can be easily sourced there would be helpful)?
    Thank you in advance for your thoughts; the forum seem to have a very supportive (fanatical ) community and I look forward to learning from you!

    Cheers,
    Alastair.

  2. #2
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    Welcome. To address your second question, it depends on how often you move camp. Using the same suspension as your hammock means that your tarp moves up/down with your hammock which can lead to loose sides that flap in the wind and let in rain. If you stay in one place for a few days in a row then the fiddle factor of getting it dialed in to have a taught tarp wouldn't be too bad, but if you move every day it is simpler and quicker to use a separate ridge line for your tarp. I can't address your first question as I have always used whoopie slings and tree slaps to hang my DIY gathered end hammock.
    Good luck.
    Hammocking, car camping, backpacking, kayaking, and mountain biking. Getting in touch with nature is getting expensive. Good thing I can DIY!

  3. #3
    SwinginIt's Avatar
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    I'll tackle the first question: No the standard suspension method is not ideal, although I would now recommend against using the rappel rings method. I've read a lot of people saying it can damage and eventually break your lines. And after inspecting mine I can say this is true. I've noticed that the polyester outer has been worn to the point that the spectra is coming through and beginning to show signs of wear in at least one spot. It's a real bummer because that is such a simple method. If you still want to use that method then I suggest using webbing instead of the stock suspension. Just attach the rap rings at the hammock end and use long webbing that acts as your tree strap and is long enough to reach the rings. 15'-ish on each end.

    That or do what all the cool kids are doing and switch it out to whoopie slings.
    "As a well spent day brings happy sleep, a well spent life brings happy death." -Da Vinci

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwinginIt View Post
    And after inspecting mine I can say this is true. I've noticed that [...] beginning to show signs of wear [...]

    That or do what all the cool kids are doing and switch it out to whoopie slings.
    Thanks for the insight. It sounds like damage is inevitable. I've not used whoopie slings, but I've worked with Amsteel and know how they're made, so that is a straightforward possibility. In that case, I guess all I need is a carabiner to stick on my stock HH straps to attach the loop on the whoopie sling to? Sounds simple enough, assuming I'm not being dense about how the HH straps are configured!

    it depends on how often you move camp [...] but if you move every day it is simpler and quicker to use a separate ridge line for your tarp.
    Local expedition style is usually a different camp, day to day, especially if exploring an unclimbed mountain/massif. Fortunately, if you follow wild pig or tapir trails, they invariably end up in open areas/wallows that are great for hammocks! I guess that answers my question - I'll carry an extra 20-30' of dyneema and try out a few configurations before our next run!

    Thank you for your input!
    Alastair.

  5. #5
    SwinginIt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alastair View Post
    Thanks for the insight. It sounds like damage is inevitable. I've not used whoopie slings, but I've worked with Amsteel and know how they're made, so that is a straightforward possibility. In that case, I guess all I need is a carabiner to stick on my stock HH straps to attach the loop on the whoopie sling to? Sounds simple enough, assuming I'm not being dense about how the HH straps are configured!
    Yes you can do it that way, or if you have small enough trees, or longer straps you can do it with a toggle and a marlin spike hitch. Hennessey stock straps are pretty short, if you're likely to encounter larger trees you're gonna want longer straps.
    "As a well spent day brings happy sleep, a well spent life brings happy death." -Da Vinci

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwinginIt View Post
    Yes you can do it that way, or if you have small enough trees, or longer straps you can do it with a toggle and a marlin spike hitch. Hennessey stock straps are pretty short, if you're likely to encounter larger trees you're gonna want longer straps.
    My straps are 96"/8 ft - I usually camp in upper montane and cloud forest, but wanted to be safe should lowland dipterocarp (giant buttressed trees) be necessary. I'll look up that configuration now. Thank you!

  7. #7
    Bubba's Avatar
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    If you know how to splice, you can make whoopie slings with a fixed eye long enough to replace the stock HH suspension. Here is a video about how to swap out the stock suspension for whoopies. Doing this will and using a MSH for the webbing using a trail stick will give you the lightest possible suspension.

    For tarp set up, I'd consider setting up the tarp separately. First, since you are in a wet environment, I would think it useful to be able to set a a tarp first to have a dry place to set up your hammock and keep your gear dry. Second, I think you can get more taut pitch which is better to protect you in a wet environment IMO.
    Last edited by Bubba; 08-19-2012 at 20:14.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  8. #8
    olddog's Avatar
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    Checkout BearChaser's thread on his SLS (single line suspension). I've been using a modified version for a year now and love it. My only mod was to make the alpine butterfly loops only an inch long and clipping my tarp whoopies and hammock whoopies into the short loops. http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=32421
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  9. #9
    Mullach' Abu XTrekker's Avatar
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    I agree with SwinginIt. If you like the simplicity and neatness of the Ring Buckle, just swap out the cordage with 1" Polyester Webbing. It is a quick and easy setup and take down. Also I would Rig the tarp up separate. I bought a HH Explorer Deluxe Side Zip and I did the same thing. If your trying to go UL then Whoopies makes more sense.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ninjahamockman's Avatar
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    I have seen repel rings be useful to hang a structural ridgeline. Also oppies company who makes whoopie sling suspension system uses rapel rings in his all in one system. They are not that bad.
    Oh if you are going to make a tarp ridgeline you want to make it continuous they make me happy.
    Bacon and Camping makes me happy.

    "When life gives you lemons throw them back"
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    I camp in bear country and I am a bear Burrito.

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