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  1. #11
    Member Jungle Jim's Avatar
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    Bubba et al.

    I had considered doing that but I'm concerned that someone might not take kindly to me
    "strangling" a tree should the sticks fall out. Certainly partial webbing or tumpline on the backside of the tree is the way I'm leaning.

    I'll be doing some experiments to see what is the least I can get away with that works safely. I have a fair bit of fabric on hand and some more on order, along with both 2.0mm Dynaglide and 2.5mm Amsteel.

    For me it will be about the challenge of coming up with the lightest safe option available. I will definitely be going through GrizzlyAdams' posts with a fine tooth comb...

    Jungle Jim

  2. #12
    alpineLounger's Avatar
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    I totally appreciate your concern for ringing trees. Hangers in my area have gotten a bad rap for not using or incorrectly using tree straps. So to hear your concern over minor bark damage is encouraging. Thanks

  3. #13

    Join Date
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    One way to minimize tree damage while saving the couple of ounces a tree saver strap weights would be to make a 2-3 foot 1 inch strap with loops on both ends, and then close the ends with dynaglide/amsteel etc it will pretty much be a sling at that point. You'll save an ounce or two and you'll still keep the line from cutting into the tree. You may have issues with slippage on slick barked trees.

  4. #14
    Senior Member
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    One thought, and I apologize in advance if this comes across as rude.

    Considering how difficult it's been to get hammocks allowed in so many places due to tree damage by previous hangers who didn't care about the trees, it might be considered worth the extra few ounces to carry tree straps that won't cause a ranger to freak out about possible damage to the trees.

    Is it worth shaving an ounce and risking the future of hangers being able to enjoy that location in the future?

    Again...this isn't any kind of attack or insult...just offering a different perspective.

  5. #15
    Member Jungle Jim's Avatar
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    Owl

    I appreciate your point and I do not think it rude. There are many more factors besides webbing length that contribute to damage to trees by hangers.

    Is the webbing polyester, polypro or nylon? Is the webbing laid out flat or is there a twist in it? Is the tree marginal in terms of size (ie too large or too small for the strap)? Is the distance between anchors such that undue compressive strain will be placed on the strap (just because a strap can take 1,000-2,000lbs doesn't mean the tree's bark and other tissues can)? Is it spring (when the sap flow is most critical and the inner bark most vulnerable by my reckoning) or is it the depths of winter (when the tree is least vulnerable)? Is the tree deciduous or coniferous? Smooth barked or rough? Hardwood or soft?

    As hangers, there has been a lot of thought, words and energy put into debating the relative breaking strength of various suspension cords but darn little put into the webbing and its effects on the trees we use for anchors. Rather than just throwing more webbing at the problem because we think park rangers will be less likely to be offended, how about some critical thought on the matter to determine what the acceptable lbs/sq inch is?

    I think many here have seen the hammock force calculator and how changing the hang angle a few degrees can increase the force applied to the suspension. I suggest that minimizing this force may help reduce the amount the webbing "cuts into" the bark and inner bark but what does that do to the vertical component of the force and what is its effect on the bark on the backside of a tree?

    Jungle Jim

  6. #16
    Senior Member
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    I can appreciate the idea of taking a scientific approach on this.

    If you want to approach it that way, I'd suggest engaging a botanist who can help you figure out what the true effects of wrapping anything around a tree will be. They'd probably be able to help you come up with a method for testing the damage done to various types of trees (hardwood, softwood, bark types, etc...) in various conditions (frozen, blooming, etc...).

    Once you understand those effects, you can determine what the most effective way to disperse the forces created by hanging across the widest/most appropriate area to protect the tree. (I don't view LENGTH of strap as a nearly a critical factor as WIDTH of strap, for example).

    For example...would it be possible to skip using webbing altogether, and instead use a much wider section of material, like the nylon used in a tarp, to wrap around the tree trunk and displace that force evenly over a much wider area, reducing the possible damage?

    It would stand to reason that the remaining factors...those calculated by the 'hang calculators' out there, would demonstrate the best angles to hang at to minimize the amount of force generated by a hammocker. So, setting that 30deg angle and minimizing movement in the hammock to reduce static spikes in force would be another way to work on this.

    Maybe some kind of shock absorber/tensioner built into the suspension to reduce/prevent transmission of those force spikes to the tree? Like an extremely short/strong section of shock cord type material (think bungee) that would only stretch under forces greater than the normal forces when someone hangs still?

  7. #17
    Senior Member Floridahanger's Avatar
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    You might want to check out mule tape. It is strong enough to hang from and not as wide as webbing. Less material = lighter material(but still has strength). It is light enough to have a length of mule tape to wrap a few times around a tree to avoid slippage on slick trees and avoid a single "choke" point and disperse the force on the bark.

    A properly used carabiner should not touch the bark along the length of the carabiner. Using Dutch clips is even better(lighter) and only touches the straps. If you don't want hardware, you can choose a variety of softer items like soft shackles, etc. Or you can just use the loop at the end of strap to feed through itself.
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  8. #18
    Acer's Avatar
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    Not trying to flame,,but I guess I will be the one to argue with everybody on the stress of a tree. When I use some of my climbing tree stands for deer ,,I am ripping the bark off a "shag bark or soft maple" type tree,,even sycamore trees,,and using screw in tree steps,,and using the same trees every year sometimes in the same places to hunt. Trees are very resilent and can take alot more abuse than the tree straps we use. I have been hunting now over 45 yrs or longer and abused alot of trees never seeing them die from my abuse. Or a farmers for that fact of nailing fence into trees ringing them with barbed wire or fencing as the trees will grow around them. Talk to loggers, as they won't cut a tree that has had nails in it, or fencing, as it ruins their saws especially the large saw blades of their mills. Tree straps are the best thing for us to use. Most in the forestry service will concur,,trees are very sturdy and can take all kinds of abuse. When I am doing TSI work on my forests, (Timber Standing Improvement) and ringing the undesirable trees with a chain saw..I still cannot kill it unless I have sprayed the ringed area with poison, The bark will just grow back. Yes,,we should set a example for everybody to follow. Yes, we should work with Nat. Parks and Rangers in educating them using our straps. Yes, I agree with everybody in previous postings and just wanted present a couple of different viewpoints and not trying to upset anybody as to my hunting abuses of tree stands and farmers.

  9. #19
    Member Jungle Jim's Avatar
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    I'm with Owl on this one; its the width that's important (provided a safe load handling rating is maintained). Narrow tapes like Mule tape, while light weight, do the opposite of what I am trying to achieve in terms of effects on the tree.

    Since the smallest tree I generally use is 6" in diameter, and the largest is 12", a "tumpline" shaped strap 6" wide in the centre and tapering to 1" on the ends by rolling/folding with sewn loops and a total length of 20" should about do it. So, a strip of woven fabric 7" x 24" gets folded along both sides to create a hem and furthermore to produce a taper on each end, to produce strong loops which are sewed in place. Such a piece is 0.1296 sq yds of material. So long as the fabric I'm using is 3.9 oz or less per sq yd, I figure I'm ahead of the game over 1" polyester webbing, which will weight about 1/2 oz for a 20" length.

    1.1 oz fabric comes in at 0.142 oz. 1.9 oz fabric comes in at .249 oz. 1" webbing has 20 sq inches for the same 20" length while my "tree tumpline" would have an area at least 60 sq inches for a straight taper. This could be doubled depending how slowly I taper the ends. The question remains, can fabric as light as 1.1 or 1.9 oz hemmed and folded as described hold up to the strain imposed by a loaded hammock suspension? As with all attempts to create light weight options, we will be giving up a degree of durability in favour of light weight. If we decrease the force on the tree by a factor of 3 to 6 while reducing the weight of the suspension by half an ounce, I see that as a positive step.

    Jungle Jim
    Last edited by Jungle Jim; 03-18-2013 at 18:08.

  10. #20
    Member Jungle Jim's Avatar
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    Acer

    You are correct, trees are pretty tough, but it varies by species, climate and pests. By virtue of the fact that they are parks, tolerance to damage is lower than it is in a managed stand of timber.

    My goal is to find a lighter way while maintaining or reducing the impact of the anchor over the standard 1" webbing. Webbing is the single heaviest component in any hammock suspension in my estimation. Hardware is the second heaviest component (and the one most responsible for wear on the other components - but the convenience makes it worthwhile for many).

    Jungle Jim

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