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  1. #1
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    Figure-9 Tensioners + Parachute Cord= Not New?

    Probably not a new idea but my search didn't turn up any results so... just in case this is new, here's the gist of it

    use real Parachute Cord - the 7-strand core stuff- for the hammock suspension cord. use a NiteIze figure 9 (large) tensioner (not the carabiner one) at each end of the hammock where the cord is tied to the nylon. run the para cord from hammock, out to the tree (or whatever anchor point) and back to the figure 9. run the cord thru the figure 9 according to their instructions but do it twice and finish with a half hitch on a bight.

    the cord is rated for about 500 lbs but the figure 9s are only rated at 150 each. I weigh about 200 naked, plus a 1lb bag, about 8 oz of clothes and plus the 8 oz hammock. the figure 9s show no signs of fatigue yet and it's been two years of near daily use (that's a whole other story about why in sleeping in a hammock in my bedroom...)

    ive used this suspension system on an ENO Single Nest, a Pro Nest, and a Grand Trunk Nano with the same results. this setup also saves A LOT of weight that gram weenies like me obsess over.

  2. #2
    dangerous's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you found something that works for you. Sounds pretty simple and straight forward. I"ve found parachute cord to strech to much for my liking and since amsteel is pretty much the same size with around a 1500lbs break strength but pre-stretched so it won't sag, I use that. As for the tree attachment I endorse tree straps so the thin cord doesn't cut into the tree. Also alot of the places that I hang require the straps to protect the trees.
    -Jon-
    Beware of the man who owns one gun, he probably shoots it well.

  3. #3
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    I used to worry about sag and tree damage too but I haven't experienced either. trees around here are mostly hardwoods with good thick bark (oak, hickory, mad maple) maybe that has something to do with it but even beech hasn't shown any cutting marks.... and my para cord is as tight in the morning as it was in the evening.

    i reckon others mileage may vary

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rolloff's Avatar
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    P-cord also does a great job of wicking water. Which makes it much harder for drip lines to do their job. Inside, not so much of a problem for sure. Outside? Wrong application if you have much of a chance of hitting bad weather.
    This place you say your lookin' for
    It might have washed out with the rain
    Might not be there anymore
    Might not be the same

  5. #5
    WV's Avatar
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    Some suggested safety factors for rope and hardware run as high as 10 to 1, but I feel comfortable with 3 to 1. Paracord doesn't measure up under either standard, and the figure 9 is way off. It's too bad, because from the standpoint of ease of use they are great choices. Ropes deteriorate with use, so you could reduce your safety factor if you plan on replacing your suspension fairly frequently. Explore some alternatives, and you may find some you like just as well.

    Tree damage, like wear on ropes, is cumulative over time and doesn't necessarily show on the surface. Tree straps can be convenient, as well as good for the trees.

  6. #6
    Senior Member jbrescue's Avatar
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    The 150# rating on the figure 9 is probably their safe working load. It will most likely hold between 450 and 1500# depending on the safety factor that they worked in.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JohnSawyer's Avatar
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    Please be kind to trees by using straps. The consensus around here is 1" tree straps are sufficient to protect the tree.

    Be careful, as a perfectly 30-degree hang will result in your total hammock weight (Hammock plus occupant) will be pulling on each suspension line. . .

    For me, that's roughly 220lbs, and I'd never trust a 550lb Breaking strength dynamic line at that load...

    John
    "Do or do not, there is no try." -- Yoda


  8. #8
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    As mentioned by others, you must have an angel on your shoulder that you haven't had an accident. I use polyester straps (1500 lb. breaking strength), Amsteel 7/64 (1600 lb. breaking strength), and Dutch Whoopie Hooks (1000 lb. breaking strength). I weigh 165 lbs., so the straps give me a safety ratio of 9 to 1, the Amsteel nearly 10 to 1, and the Dutch Whoopie Hooks 6 to 1.

    Your paracord gives you a 2.75 to 1 safety ratio, and the Figure 9s a negative .75 to 1 safety ratio, by my calculations. Your suspension system ignores basic safety ratios, has subpar components such as stretchy paracord and Figure 9s basically designed for tarp suspension (not human), and absolutely no protection for the tree cambium in the form of minimum 1 inch tree straps.

    The figures you mention for breaking strength are for static loads, to my knowledge, not the dynamic loads one would encounter in the woods. I'm kind of assuming you haven't used this suspension system out in the wild much, because the paracord will stretch, especially when wet. As others have mentioned, it will wick moisture towards your hammock making for a damp hang when raining.

    If you are indeed wrapping paracord around trees, this is the quintessential type of irresponsible behavior that the majority on this forum try to avoid so that we are viewed as friends of trees, not enemies.

    As for your UL claims, I don't doubt that omission of tree straps will make a lighter suspension, but I doubt 550 paracord is lighter than 7/64 Amsteel or 2.0 Dynaglide.

    Just my opinion.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jbrescue's Avatar
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    I am using figure 9's for my tarp right now. You have made me want to get these tested for what you are using them for. I have a guy in my area that does break testing on climbing and rescue gear. If I get a chance, I will see when he does the next test if he will do some testing on them.

  10. #10

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    Exclamation

    I would have to agree with the crowd on this. In my eyes it is an issue that you have had luck with in your house. I dont think you would get the same results in a out in the woods hang? besides the obvious that your working load ratio is way to low like 1 member noted your in the negative on the figure 9s. just seems unsafe to you and the trees. remember without the trees we cant hang, and parks and rec. areas will prob start to blacklist us hangers because of a few unfortunate times that trees get damaged. my 2 cents.........

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