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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rug's Avatar
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    Regarding treehuggers and 'biners.

    First I want to add a little disclaimer; from the instant I saw the Hennesy Knot, and saw the video of the rope being pulled through the loops on the treehuggers, I knew a better way to do it.

    This is before I found this group, and before I saw any other videos or pics. I spoke outloud to my computer screen and said:

    "That's the dumbest thing I ever saw, why don't they just use carabiners?"

    I have a few questions (some I have seen half-answered in other threads).

    1) Assuming there is no "curving-pressure" placed on the biner by being forced against the bark of the tree, is it safe to hook one loop to the biner and pull the other end through the biner creating one large slip-hitch?

    2) If used in the above manner then 100% of the hammock load is placed on one loop, is the stitching strong enough? Or should you always have the 2 loops on the treehuggers attached to the hammock (thus each loop only needs to support 50% of the total load)?

    3) When tying rope to biners, what knot style is the best? (The hennesy?)

    Any suggestions would be welcome.

  2. #2
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    I put the biner through both loops and used the Hennessy knot on the biner, when I still had my HH. Did not have a problem with the stitching. Not sure what you mean by forcing the biner against the bark of the tree, my biner never touched the tree. You can get longer straps ordering from a variety of sources, like strapworks.

  3. #3
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    Hi Rug,

    Welcome to the forums! I'll try to answer your questions as best I can, but I wanted to include a few things as preface.

    This is a friendly forum, full of people who are both innovative and generous with their knowledge. There are lots of differing priorities here, which leads to a real variety in hammocking approach. What looks dumb to one person may be a carefully-reasoned best practice for another person.

    I was a bit taken aback by the tone I inferred from your post. I'm mentioning it not to criticize you--it's your right to post however you want--but to explain that it might work better to take a different tack. If you're a beginner, which it sounds like you are, you'll get better results if you don't come in spraying your belief that you already know a better way to do it. If you already know it's better, why bother asking?

    A better approach might be to spend some time thinking about why someone might choose the "dumb" approach even though there are so many better options available. Keep thinking until you get a better answer than "because they're idiots."

    The Hennessy lashing has its place. I used it for my backpacking trip last weekend, because it's light, foolproof, and requires no additional gear. Given that I was doing a 50-mile trip, it was relevant that it was light and didn't need anything else. Suit the tool to the project, you know?

    To address your questions more specifically, I'll assume that you already have some species of Hennessy hammock and are familiar with its use.

    1) The term you're looking for is "cross-loaded", which refers to the situation where a carabiner is loaded while pressed laterally against its gate. Most biners are noticeably weaker in this configuration, but they may still be strong enough. I'll assume that you're planning on using a biner that's UIAA-rated for rock climbing; if so, you'll find a stamp (usually on the spine of the biner) that lists three strengths: gate closed; gate open; cross-loaded. As long as it lists a cross-loaded strength greater than about 3 kN, you're probably good.

    Now, there's a secondary question about whether a biner will even see cross-loading when used around a tree. The configuration you're talking about is very popular with hammockers; Warbonnetguy even sells it as an option with his adjustable webbing suspension system. So there's strong anecdotal evidence that the system is "strong enough".

    I think it's pretty unlikely that you'll get serious cross-loading in the hammock setup unless you change the direction of pull so that the webbing or cord doubles back on itself. Otherwise, there won't be any force vector to pull the biner against the tree, which is what concerns you. In any case, if you're using a UIAA-rated biner, the amount of cross-loading force is still going to be a small fraction of bodyweight.

    2) I assume you're talking about stock Hennessy tree huggers here. Unfortunately, I haven't tried them in this configuration, so I can't speak from direct experience. I would guess, though, that if your weight is within tolerances for the hammock, you won't have a problem with the bartacks blowing out. They're pretty beefy. In any case, they don't always end up with a 50/50 distribution anyway, since the tree huggers don't always get a perfectly-centered placement on the tree.

    3) This one is entirely up to you. The Hennessy lashing will work just as well with a biner as it does with the tree huggers, but you feel that's a dumb solution, so we'll keep looking. Many people like to use a slipped buntline hitch, and that's probably where I'd advise you to start. You could also tie a figure eight on a bight, though that wouldn't be adjustable; you could also do a slipped clove hitch.

    Different tools for different purposes. Everyone has different preferences. Good luck in figuring out yours, and welcome to the Forums.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rug's Avatar
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    Slight missunderstanding.....

    Quote Originally Posted by adkpiper View Post
    Hi Rug,
    This is a friendly forum, full of people who are both innovative and generous with their knowledge. There are lots of differing priorities here, which leads to a real variety in hammocking approach. What looks dumb to one person may be a carefully-reasoned best practice for another person.

    I was a bit taken aback by the tone I inferred from your post. I'm mentioning it not to criticize you--it's your right to post however you want--but to explain that it might work better to take a different tack. If you're a beginner, which it sounds like you are, you'll get better results if you don't come in spraying your belief that you already know a better way to do it. If you already know it's better, why bother asking?

    A better approach might be to spend some time thinking about why someone might choose the "dumb" approach even though there are so many better options available. Keep thinking until you get a better answer than "because they're idiots."
    In my post I was only referring to Hennesy using a rope-on-rope lashing system. It looked to me like it would wear out very quickly. All of the posts I have read on this forum have been extremely intelligent, well thought out and reasoned. I know nothing about this niche, and am learning bucket-loads from all the posts.

  5. #5
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    I have cut my stock HH ropes short and have gone to a ring buckle system instead of using the lashing at all. I used it for a while but found my fingers do not respond well to knots or lashings. (Part of an on-going disability) The issue of cross loading the biner has not been a problem for me. The lashing system does not put a lot of abrasion on the ropes because there is minimal slipping once the lashing is set. I personally would not lash to the biner due to the small turn radius of the biner. I was rasied and professionally trained to use thimbles in any loop of rope that was being asked to hold any weight. Admittedly that was many years ago and using natural fiber ropes as opposed to synthetic. But I still don't like full loops around a small bar from a wear and tear perspective. I like my webbing to ring buckle system. Fast simple and stays attached to the hammock from point A- point B on the trail.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  6. #6
    New Member AndyB's Avatar
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    Rug -

    I use a biner that is in-between my webbing and my hammock. I tie one end of the biner to the hammock using a double-looped hangman's noose (the rope will fail before the knot does) and the other end to the webbing that is wrapped around the tree. Look in my gallery and you'll see a couple of pics showing how I do it. I got the tubular webbing straps at a rock climbing store. It's absolutely indestructible stuff. I have to have something I can trust so it's worth every penny. If you want me to send you other pics of the knots I use, lemme know.

    I agree with you about the biner cross-loading drama if you don't wrap the strap all the way around the tree twice first, it seems risky to me personally.

    BTW - I have an HH and I kinda didn't go for the Hennessey knot, either. After looking at U-tube vids on it, I decided I didn't want to spend time memorizing the knot so I could lash up my hammock in a downpour. Many hangers use it, but it just wasn't right me so I figured out something else. Hope this info helps you.

  7. #7
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    Heya Rug,

    I'm really glad to have misinterpreted, then! That's the issue with the internet, I guess.

    I'm with you on the concern about nylon-on-nylon wear; it's one of those things that the climber in me hates. I can put your mind at rest on that one, though.

    Assuming that you tie the lashing properly (wasn't hard for me, at all--just do figure eights around the supports), there's no flexion that's sufficient to cause much motion along the rope. When you're stringing up the hammock, there's almost no weight to produce tension, so there isn't a ton of friction there.

    So: it's not gonna trash your system.

    That said, I prefer ring buckles these days! The webbing straps on my new Blackbird are great so far.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ekul's Avatar
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    I wasnt fond of the HH lash either. Ive been using descending rings from REI or a local climbing outfitter. 2QZQ as well as some of the other DIY guys here use cinch buckles. can be purchased from http://www.onrope1.com/store/index.php. I think im gonna give the cinch a try being I do have some difficulty releasing my webbing from the ring if taunt. GL

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