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Thread: Soft shackles ?

  1. #1

    Soft shackles ?

    I've been reading some of the post regarding Soft Shackles. My question is would a slip knot( Tautline Hitch ) on one end and a large knot on the other end then attached to your Tarp then secured to a prussic on your RL. I know it doesn't look as good but it looks like it might work. Your thoughts thank you

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    Bubba's Avatar
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    Not sure I understand but a soft shackle is an easily opened and closed and is very secure when closed. A tautline hitch would have to be undone every time.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Not sure I understand but a soft shackle is an easily opened and closed and is very secure when closed. A tautline hitch would have to be undone every time.
    I was under the impression from what I've read that the Soft Shackle was used to replace a piece of hardware for clipping a tarp on and off its RL. Maybe I need to go back and read the post again.

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    A soft shackle is basically a caribiner made from amsteel, lash-it, etc. Lots of people (me included) use a soft shackle prussic on their tarp ridge line...I also use soft shackles on my tree straps vs a biner.

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    silentorpheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldNWay View Post
    I've been reading some of the post regarding Soft Shackles. My question is would a slip knot( Tautline Hitch ) on one end and a large knot on the other end then attached to your Tarp then secured to a prussic on your RL. I know it doesn't look as good but it looks like it might work. Your thoughts thank you
    The quick and dirty answer is, yes, this most likely would work for the purpose you're intending it for.

    I definitely wouldn't trust it in any important load bearing applications. Then again, I wouldn't trust a soft shackle in those situations either. But for attaching your tarp tie out to your ridgeline, it should work just fine. One of the benefits to a soft shackle is that if they are made correctly the adjustable locking loop section won't pull out/through. Your described method has a good chance of pulling through - but it's easily retied.

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    silentorpheus's Avatar
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    The larger question, I think, in this situation is why would you want to do this? Let me explain my reasoning - and understand that there are many means to an end, and you should feel free to try any of them you decide. This is just my personal ramblings on the idea. I'm bored, and have nothing else to do for the next few minutes.

    People use hardware to replace knots. The benefit to using, say, a carabiner to attach your tarp is that you don't have to tie a knot. It's quicker to set up and take down, and requires no knowledge of knot tying. The trade off is that it weighs a touch more.

    People use 'soft'-ware (like a soft shackle) to replace hardware. You get the same quick-release benefit of hardware, without the weight penalty. When made correctly using the proper materials, soft shackles can have similar weight bearing capabilities of a traditional carabiner. Would I trust my life with it, say, on a safety harness? Not a chance. Would I trust it to hold my hammock up? Sure. Plus, a lot of us have material like amsteel or zing-it laying around, and actually find splicing 'fun' - all perfectly good reasons to consider using soft shackles.

    Consider the more traditional application of a soft shackle: sailing. When attaching sheets to the clew of a jib sail, you could tie a knot. Or you could use a metal shackle. But by using a soft shackle, it makes it just as strong and secure, but a little less dangerous. If the sail is whipping about in the wind, and someone were to get smacked by that connection point - a metal shackle becomes a dangerous object. It could split your skull open, or cause other serious life threatening damage. By using a soft shackle, it'll still hurt if you get whacked, but it probably won't do any permanent or life altering damage. Makes sense for people to want this as a replacement for the traditional metal alternative.

    In this case (what you're suggesting) you are in essence replacing the 'soft'-ware with knots. The 'soft'-ware was a replacement for hardware, which was in turn a replacement for knots. So you've come full circle. Once you get to that point, might as well just tie the sucker on, and be done with it.

    Again, none of this is meant to dissuade you from experimenting and finding your own solution. Sometimes it's more fun to use something simply because you like it, or because it gives you a sense of pride because you came up with it on your own, or figured it out. Or you may just like to experiment. Heck, the whole reason I got into hammock camping was because my wife got me a cheap cotton hammock for Christmas a few years ago. I went looking around online trying to find out what kind of knot I should use to tie it up between two trees, found this forum, started reading and experimenting, and stuck around for the past 2 years. Hehe.

    In the end, whatever works for you, do it. Just food for thought. Hang your own hammock (or tarp, in this case).

    Cheers!

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    fallkniven's Avatar
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    Here's what I used that helped me, another neat way to make them...
    http://l-36.com/soft_shackles.php?menu=3

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    CrankyOldGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentorpheus View Post
    ... you are in essence replacing the 'soft'-ware with knots. The 'soft'-ware was a replacement for hardware, which was in turn a replacement for knots. So you've come full circle. Once you get to that point, might as well just tie the sucker on, and be done with it.
    Brilliant! (And well said.) I haven't delved into splicing, but I find that I like learning and tying knots.
    "A bore is a man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company." Gian Vincenzo Gravina (1664 - 1718)

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    Senior Member ibgary's Avatar
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    I tried making a soft shackle (ss) last month and decided to change the end knot. The (berry) I thought took to long, and was a pain in the glutinous maximums. Instead I started with a back splice and then went back through the tip of it to make a simpler faster berry. Then I made the rest of the shackle. I tested it for about 3 weeks on the back yard hammock with no trouble.
    This week I made a diy hammock and put the ss through the end channels.

  10. #10
    SteveJJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentorpheus View Post
    I definitely wouldn't trust it in any important load bearing applications. Then again, I wouldn't trust a soft shackle in those situations either.
    I made my first one and used it between the whoopie and toggle to set the knot. Slept a week that way before I remembered it. The knot is rock hard from the "trial" and it never let me down!

    It's amazingly simple and effective, but is a two hand operation, not the simple one handed operation of a biner.
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