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  1. #1
    Member Jungle Jim's Avatar
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    Webbing on Trees - How Much?

    Hi Folks

    To date I've only used the 1" webbing that came with my HH Hyperlite. Most of the trees I use for anchors allow two wraps of the webbing around the tree which makes for a very secure hold on the bark, even for slick barked trees like cottonwoods and aspen. I do not use any hardware on the webbing at all - its a straightforward Hennessey lashing to the webbing.

    The times I have hung on pines and spruce trees I have noted that there is sometimes a very minor disruption of the bark. I imagine damage to bark could be a problem with other webbing systems that use carabiners or other hardware against the bark. Relatively minor damage to the bark may not be a big issue in wilderness areas where there is basically no limit to the trees available to use, but in some campgrounds, I imagine there are many trees that get a lot of repeat business from hangers because of their size, distance apart, orientation and view. Here, any damage will accumulate and be less tolerated.

    Having watched with great interest Professor Hammock/Grizzly Adams working on the lightest possible suspension system, my question is: how wide and long does webbing have to be to get a good purchase on bark without causing any damage to the tree?

    I'd like to get by with a lot less webbing (one ounce a piece for a tree hugger is just too heavy for me!) but I don't want to risk damaging trees. Does anyone use anything other than webbing (ie tumpline shaped panels of fabric) to wrap around trees? is there any lightweight 2"-4" wide webbing out there?

    Jungle Jim

  2. #2
    Bubba's Avatar
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    One inch polyester webbing is pretty much the most popular choice here. I use it with only one wrap around a tree and have never had it slip. length depends on what kind of suspension you use. If you use whoopie slings then 4 to 6 feet should be enough. For all webbing anywhere from 12 to 15 should cover it.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  3. #3
    Member Jungle Jim's Avatar
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    Webbing is too heavy, even 1" polyester at 8g per foot. Why would I use 15' of webbing at over a quarter pound when I could be using a single strand of something like Dynaglide at 9g for the same 15 feet with just enough webbing to protect the tree? The question is how much webbing is enough?

    Jungle Jim

  4. #4
    crisis's Avatar
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    I believe Bubba answered your question.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    If you use whoopie slings then 4 to 6 feet should be enough.

  5. #5

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    Multiple Wraps

    I carry enough to wrap it at least 2 x around a tree. If its a small tree I go 3x's
    around it.

    I do this for 2 reasons:

    1. I spread out the stress on the straps over a larger area, which means a longer life to my straps and

    2. Spread out the stress on the bark over a larger area, resulting in healthier trees and less bark damage.

  6. #6

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    The issue is tree damage not slippage. 1" is about the minimum for that. OTOH with 6 ft whoopee's I have to wonder about straps longer than 4-6 ft unless you are in an area with really big trees.
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

  7. #7
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    I still have my first Hennessy and it came with 2" tree straps. They are very thin material more like 1960's seat belt straps than webbing. Nope never weight them I travel on 2 wheels instead of my tired old feet so it never mattered.

    An idea does come to mind, what if 6-8-10 in wide material (not sure exactly what kind have not thought it out that far) was wraped around the tree and amsteal fassened to each end making a mini tree strap hammock?
    It would not hold up like straps but should be cheep and easy to replace. It would spread the load over a wide aeria on the tree and also being material it would conform to the irregular texture of tree bark thus not squishing the high spots as bad.

    As for weight I dont have a clue I carry big heavy straps in case I need help pulling my bike out of some where I did not intend for it to go.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Jim View Post
    ...Relatively minor damage to the bark may not be a big issue in wilderness areas where there is basically no limit to the trees available to use, but in some campgrounds, I imagine there are many trees that get a lot of repeat business from hangers because of their size, distance apart, orientation and view. Here, any damage will accumulate and be less tolerated.

    ... how wide and long does webbing have to be to get a good purchase on bark without causing any damage to the tree? ...
    From my experience, it ain't gonna happen. There is nothing that can be attached to a tree repeatedly and hung from that will not cause "relatively minor damage".

    I mountain bike and build trails and have seen how quickly tree bark gets "polished" in places where riders tend to touch a tree with their hand to take a brief break without dismounting.

    Anything we use to attach to trees in a campground scenario, will quickly polish the bark (which admittedly is only cosmetic damage).

    I'm not saying we shouldn't be allowed to hang, just that there will be visible signs we were there.

  9. #9
    Member Jungle Jim's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the comments. This seems to be an area where a little experimental research might benefit the community.

    Jungle Jim

  10. #10
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Many people use all webbing and don't mind the extra weight and bulk especially if they canoe or car camp. Some don't trust the small diametre lines whereas others prefer the ease of set up with cinch buckles.

    Since you really only need webbing on one side (far side) of the tree you could even go as short as 2 to 3 feet depending on the size of trees you will be encountering.

    One way to eliminate tree straps is to put your line around the tree and place several trail sticks evenly spaced between the line and the bark. This works to distribute the force of the line so the thin line diametre line will not damage the cambium layer under the bark.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

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