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  1. #1
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    This first 9 posts for this thread were copied/split from 3 other threads. The discussion of using rope/cording tree huggers deserves it's own combined space.
    ----------------
    .....
    Also interesting was mention of a huggerless arrangement -

    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    ...if you want you can ditch the webbing altogether and use rope huggers and the method that Turk explained somewhere and you have lightened your load and have the nicest suspension system that I have used. Using the rope huggers and Turk's method takes more time for setup, but saves a lot of weight over the webbing huggers. If Turk is browsing, maybe he can be induced to expand on his method. Using the rope huggers I can drop the hugger weight from 2 oz to approximately 0.5 oz.
    I went and found the original post that was referenced -

    Quote Originally Posted by turk View Post
    I should clarify. I am not opting out of treehuggers, and just ignoring tree damage, rather i have found ways to protect trees that involve no weight penalty. 10 finger sized 1/2" diameter sticks picked up off the ground stood vertically between my amsteel and the tree. this spreads the load perfectly.

    I have yet to snap a twig, or mark a tree using this method. it adds a couple of minutes to my setup time, but saves a few ounces in my system weight.
    Very interesting application, for the lightest possible suspension. I think that this is a good solution if something happened to a tree hugger (lost or damaged), but I don't think I will rely on it as a primary means, for myself.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  2. #2
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    AngrySparrow - I like Turk's rope hugger idea.

    Like you say I'm still not sure about using it exclusively yet, but am still open to it.

    My AS-78 huggers are only 0.65 oz as compared to 2.15 for my equivalent length Harbor Freight webbing huggers. I imagine for a dedicated SUL person, it is a good swap - weight for time.

    I could even increase my AS-78 huggers to 10' each to handle about any tree encountered and still only have 1.6 oz in the pair.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    I like his idea, too. In fact, I've just been outside hanging via that method and seeing for myself. It does seem to work nicely with no marks on any of the trees I used. Finding suitable sticks was no challenge either, but getting them into place does add a few minutes to setup. I'll have to ponder whether the convenience is worth the weight to me.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  4. #4
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    I'v been using 42" and 60" Harbor Freight huggers. Also have strapworks 1" and 1.5" seat belt huggers which are, I think 6'.

    Like AngrySparrow, I've been toying with Turk's method of using rope huggers. The more I use the method, the better I like it. I'm getting the same results as Turk and AngrySparrow on various trees - no damage done to the tree.

    My rope huggers are made from AS-78 and use a 2" steel toggle in place of the stick in the Marlin Spike that I use on webbing huggers. The huggers are Whoopie Slings made from 13' 3" rope and the finished hugger is 70+" and so can handle a tree up to 1' 10" diameter. Can be easily extended to handle a greater diameter. Rope to extend the rope huggers is light at 0.80 oz per 10' and the 10' extension would increase the usable tree diameter by slightly over 3'.

    I find that with practice, I'm getting better at Turk's method and so am seriously considering making it my hugger method of choice. Less bulk and less weight. My 60" Harbor Freight huggers weigh 3.35 oz for the pair. My longer AS-78 huggers weigh 2.4 oz for the pair and are less than half the bulk of the webbing.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    ..Like AngrySparrow, I've been toying with Turk's method of using rope huggers. The more I use the method, the better I like it. I'm getting the same results as Turk and AngrySparrow on various trees - no damage done to the tree...

    ...I find that with practice, I'm getting better at Turk's method and so am seriously considering making it my hugger method of choice. Less bulk and less weight...
    Do post any tips you come up with for using the sticks.

    I'm still using different stick diameters and trying it on various bark types. Still no visible damage after hanging for a while.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  6. #6
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    Do post any tips you come up with for using the sticks.

    I'm still using different stick diameters and trying it on various bark types. Still no visible damage after hanging for a while.
    First tip: find as many sticks with forks. The forks make it even easier to keep things in place

    Also, try to keep the stick diameter fairly consistent. Sticks that are too much smaller tend to just fall out for me.

    Rough bark, like pines, is easier for me. Smooth bark takes more patience and practice.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

  7. #7
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    AngrySparrow - what are you using for your rope hugger experiments and how are you connecting the suspension to the rope hugger?

    I have been using Amsteel, Amsteel Blue and now AS-78. All have the Samthane coating. That is both a blessing and a bane. Great for UV protection and knot and splice holding power, but for the huggers it isn't working as well.

    If I use the Marlin Spike like I do with the webbing, the marlin spike pulls tight and with a few hours under load the Samthane becomes one with the steel toggles I use. One time I had to cut the rope to undo the knot. I had been using the hugger in the basement for a few weeks. That's why I switched to the Whoopie Sling with the AS-78 for the rope huggers. Works really well, but if I don't need double the rope, that would be better.

    I pulled a 50' length of Yale 1/8" Vectrus from my pack and am currently testing to see if the coating that Yale uses is any better for this.

    I could use SpyderLine, but don't feel like going back to double braid unless I have to.

    If I can get the Marlin Spike or pile hitch to work as well as it does with the webbing, then I can cut in half the weight of the Whoopie Sling huggers. 2 10' huggers @ 1.6 oz is appealing.

    If the Yale Vectrus coating doesn't work any better than the Samthane, I'll just stay with the AS-78 and the Whoopie Slings. Super simple to adjust for tree diameter.


    Test Results already in on the Yale Vectrus: the coating on the Yale vectrus gave the same results using both the Marlin Spike and the Pile Hitch as the Samthane. I'll just stay with the AS-78 Whoopie slings
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    AngrySparrow - what are you using for your rope hugger experiments and how are you connecting the suspension to the rope hugger?
    I've tried 1/8" Amsteel Blue, 5/32" Spyderline, and some 5/32" polyester rope. None of those are ideal, but they are what I had on-hand. In each case I've used the same method as with the webbing (cording as huggers and a variable number of wraps around the tree, tailing end tied into marlinspike hitch upon which I hang the whoopie sling loop).

    In the case of the Amsteel Blue, I tied a bowline on one end and used it to create a choker around the tree - and the bowline slipped smoothly apart under load. So, I had to re-tie it, and backed it up with a couple of half-hitches to stop the slip. That worked, and I have used the same method on each of the cord types.

    I have not experienced the issue you have with the Amsteel coating fusing to the toggles, but my longest hang on the rope huggers so far has only been about an hour.

    A word about the rope huggers and toggles - As is obvious, using the marlinspike hitch on a rope hugger puts a tremendous amount of force on a small surface area of the toggle, far more than when using webbing. I had grown accustomed to getting double-use from my tarp stakes by using them as toggles with the webbing marlinspike hitch. But as soon as I used the stakes with rope, they failed immediately upon being weighted. I haven't replaced them with a more robust toggle yet, and have taken to using a biner as a toggle on the rope huggers in the interim.

    Quote Originally Posted by TeeDee View Post
    I could use SpyderLine, but don't feel like going back to double braid unless I have to.
    I'm in agreement with you on that, for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is that I would greatly prefer to carry only one type of backup cording.

    Some pics below - sadly, i only took pics of Amsteel Blue from my first few attempts with rope huggers, and only using one wrap around the tree.



    I suspect that there may be a better way to attach the whoopie sling to a rope hugger than using a marlinspike hitch...it just hasn't come to me yet.
    I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt. - Cormac McCarthy

  9. #9
    Frawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    I suspect that there may be a better way to attach the whoopie sling to a rope hugger than using a marlinspike hitch...it just hasn't come to me yet.
    You might try pushing a bight through the (bowline) eye and locking it with a toggle. Here's how I've done that before with a strap:

    - Frawg

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  10. #10
    Senior Member TeeDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    I have not experienced the issue you have with the Amsteel coating fusing to the toggles, but my longest hang on the rope huggers so far has only been about an hour.
    In my experience, the problem would probably show up in the one hour if it is present.

    So I infer that the problem isn't present using the biner.

    My conclusion, maybe erroneous, is that the Samthane doesn't adhere to the surface of the biner like it does to my stainless steel toggles. The biners are most likely anodized and that may prevent the adhesion or maybe the AL of the biner is what prevents the adhesion.

    Now to find some AL toggles and test. A biner like you are using may be a good start to test with. Will have to do some searching and testing to satisfy myself that an AL toggle will hold the forces.

    Hmm - Titanium may work also. I don't have TI bar or tubing available unfortunately.

    Will have to start researching other metals.

    Quote Originally Posted by angrysparrow View Post
    A word about the rope huggers and toggles - As is obvious, using the marlinspike hitch on a rope hugger puts a tremendous amount of force on a small surface area of the toggle, far more than when using webbing. I had grown accustomed to getting double-use from my tarp stakes by using them as toggles with the webbing marlinspike hitch. But as soon as I used the stakes with rope, they failed immediately upon being weighted. I haven't replaced them with a more robust toggle yet, and have taken to using a biner as a toggle on the rope huggers in the interim.
    Yep - with webbing the loop can be very easily set so that the webbing is taking the force of the hammock and the only force on the toggle is a compression force. This is possible with extreme caution with the rope, but not a safe assumption. You will most likely have the full force of the hammock on the toggle.
    Those who sacrifice freedom for safety, have neither.

    Do not dig your grave with your teeth. (Unknown)

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