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  1. #1
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    Can you just use paracord as a suspension system?

    Hello everyone, my friend recently purchased a Grand Trunk Ultralight hammock, and instead of using tree straps or other suspension methods, he insists on just directly hanging the hammock between the trees by tying some paracord that he replaced the original cordage with directly to the trees.Though I have a very limited knowledge of hammocks, I've never heard of anyone doing this before so I was wondering what everyone with more experience thinks of this method. Basically, he replaced the original cord with 550 paracord, and plans on tying this directly to the trees without any webbing or anything. Will this work? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Working or not, it is a terrible idea for the tree. That kind of pressure on such a small surface really damages both bark and the outer layers of the living tissue.

  3. #3
    doogie's Avatar
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    In addition to being harmful to the tree it is a bad usage for paracord. Paracord, while strong, is designed to stretch, a property that is not desired when suspending a hammock. Please try to get him/her to change to tree straps. People doing things like this give all hammock hangers a bad reputation and the reason why some states and parks have banned their use to protect the trees.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    The answers above are correct: Your friend is going to damage trees and wake up with his butt on the ground when the paracord slowly stretches overnight.

    Not smart! Please gently point out to him that it is a bad idea.
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  5. #5
    Mr. Arrowhead pgibson's Avatar
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    Paracord is also under half the strength generally recommended for hammock suspension. There are a lot of folks here that have tried to use Paracord in their suspensions and have ended up on their butt.

    There are folks that feel Paracord is some amazing rope, and it does have a million uses. But it's really not a good choice for hammocks. From the relatively low strength, to the stretch to the fact that it will weaken with use and time it's just not a good choice.
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  6. #6
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    What they said.

    Generally speaking, for life-rated lines, you want 5x to 10x the person's weight as the break strength. Paracord is rated to 550 lbs. If your friend is ~100 lbs soaking wet, well, I suppose (s)he could get by with it as a suspension. I still wouldn't recommend it; I prefer a little more backup in anything that is going to be between the back of my head and rocks.

    On the other hand, paracord is specifically designed to stretch under load. This helps keep parachutists from being injured, as it acts as a shock absorber when the 'chute deploys. However, in an hammock, this is going to leave one brushing the ground overnight unless the cord is tensioned so tight as to be in danger of snapping (the less angle between the hammock and the tree, the more tension is on the suspension lines; this is asymptotic as one approaches horizontal).

    Finally, there are many places in the US where hammocks are banned from campgrounds. Here in Florida, it was illegal to tie anything to any plant in a state park until last year. Only through education and the use of proper tree straps for LNT (Leave No Trace) ethical protection of the trees was the state persuaded to allow hammocks in state parks. I would, personally, be very put out if things were to go back to the old rule of "nothing tied to anything" in the state parks due to the actions of a few folks who didn't think to use tree straps.

    Please encourage your friend to use tree straps when on property that does not belong to him or her; it will help to allow the rest of us to continue hanging.
    "Just prepare what you can and enjoy the rest."
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  7. #7
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    Before I knew of other suspension methods and long before I knew of HF, I hung from paracord. I weigh 210, and it held me up fine, with that being said, it will damage the trees, it will stretch, and the knots tied to hold up a hammock will take you a long while to untie. So yes it can be done, but it's not the best option. Some straps and dutch cinch buckles can be had for a very reasonable price. http://dutchwaregear.com/cinch-buckl...uspension.html

  8. #8
    New Member saharrison67's Avatar
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    I use a piece as a ridge line but yes it does stretch, a lot !! I have it adjusted now that after it stretches its the perfect length. I really only use it to hang my ditty bag and headlamp.

  9. #9
    Mullach' Abu XTrekker's Avatar
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    Some have done it in the past and claim to have no issues but haven't heard from them since about their successes or failures. I doubt I would ever use it just because it would fail pretty fast and stretch really badly, especially when wet. Not to mention it would mark up the tree pretty bad and possibly do some damage to it depending on diameter and species. Its just not a wise idea IMO. I would probably go with something stronger with less stretch like heavy duty polyester webbing that has little stretch. The 1500lb breaking strength poly webbing still stretches some so 2500lb+ is what I would recommend.

  10. #10
    Senior Member OldRagFreeze's Avatar
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