How strong does my ridgeline rope need to be?

Discussion in 'Hammocks' started by Knifeguy, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Knifeguy

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    I know my entire body weight won't be put on it, but how strong should it be? I've got some rope from wally world that is rated for 30 pounds. Is that enough? I'm pretty new to hammocks and I'm trying to figure it all out.
     
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  2. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter

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    I don't think it necessarily needs to take your weight, but 30lbs is a bit lighter than I would have confidence in if there were any chance of strong winds. Paracord or #36 bankline would be a huge improvement.
     
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  3. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    Good question.
    I see guys on YT saying to test your cooking tripod with your body weight... to what? Hang a bush pot from it? That's all I see them doing :confused:
    Surely there is some flexibility in how strong something actually needs to be. Especially if it's just for short term.
     
  4. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine MOA #22 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Are you talking structural ridge to adjust the hang of the hammock or just a ridge for your tarp?
     
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  5. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Nope, thirty pounds isn’t strong enough. You’re stretching that line between two trees tight enough to keep it straight and level then you’re hanging a tarp. From it and staking it down tight enough to keep it taught. When I pull the ridge line tight I’m putting some serious “umph” into it.
    I’m not a ridgeline expert but I wouldn’t go any lighter than 550 paracord and the ridge line I use is three of them braided together.
     
  6. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine MOA #22 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Also, apart from taughtness, a tarp ridge will face wind loads, loads from being wet, possible snow loads, or a combination of all of these. The 950 lb technora offered by BCO is inexpensive and a good option. Braided paracord is a good option as well. Often a single strand of paracord may work or even heavy bankline just be mindful of the weather and what forces are going to be at play.

    If it’s a structural ridge on the hammock itself, it carries weight load from you being in the hammock. I use 4mm dynema. It’s available from marine supply stores. It’s inexpensive and strong. Most importantly though it will not stretch even under load. It’s designed this way for use in sailing. The reason that’s important for a structural ridge is that the ridge sets your hang. You don’t want your structural ridge stretching while you’re in the hammock and changing the way it hangs and causing the need for constant adjustment. That would defeat the purpose of the ridgeline in the first place.
     
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  7. Knifeguy

    Knifeguy Tracker

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    Thanks guys. I'll find something stronger, I'm looking for something with less stretch than paracord. And yes I mean a structural ridgeline to adjust the hang.
     
  8. Luchtaine

    Luchtaine MOA #22 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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  9. Knifeguy

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  10. Carbonmated

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  11. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Some of us hang tarps over hammocks with no ridgelines at all... just the tieouts.
     
  12. Knifeguy

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    Yep I've found hammock forums, more information than I can process is right! I'll eventually get through it all, right now I'm want to try out sleeping in a hammock as cheaply as possible (I already have the hammock and suspension). If I like it I'll upgrade to go lighter weight.
     
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  13. Carbonmated

    Carbonmated Guide

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    I do not use a continuous ridge line on my tarps either, just the tie outs and the guy lines.
     
  14. Carbonmated

    Carbonmated Guide

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    You do not need to go expensive. You are asking about the structural ridge line in the hammock that goes from gathered end to gathered end? If so try the hammock with out it first, you may be comfortable depending on what type of hammock it is. If not I can get you dimensions for an appropriate sized ridge line so it is the correct length for your hammock. I had a hammock many years ago with no ridge line and I was fine in it.
     
  15. johnspenn

    johnspenn Scout

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    FWIW I don't even use a ridgeline on my hammocks.

    There are two variations as well, structural ridge line (SRL) which as mentioned above sets the "sag" and will be under some load while you're in your hammock, and adjustable ridge line (ARL), which can be tied on with prussick knows or something similar, and adjusted to be taught after the hammock has been hung from the suspension. ARLs are usually so people can hang stuff like a headlamp or possibles type bag to keep certain items handy while in their hammock.

    Neither SRL or ARL are necessary for comfort in a hammock, although a properly fitted SRL will help with a consistent hang and lay.

    Your 30# line would be fine for an ARL but probably not an SRL.

    Good luck and happy hanging!
     
  16. 1066vik

    1066vik Guide

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    how long a piece do you need?
    I have some "zing-it" throw line rated for 400 pounds I could put 15-ish feet of it in an envelope and send to you.
    it's a coated dyneema cord (same stuff as amsteel blue only with a wear resistant coating added)

    or you can buy a 180' spool of it for $25-30 bucks from a variety of retailers.
     
  17. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I just re-read this all, and I think I have gone in the wrong direction. Hammock tarp ridgeline, no... doesn't matter if you use one or not.

    I have a Hennessy with an integrated/pre-made/factory install ridgeline to "set" the end to end distance, and yes, this probably should be more than 30lbs... as suggested, amsteel is good. I have no idea what they used for mine, but it's strong, thin, and light.
     
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  18. Unistat76

    Unistat76 Nerd Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have been using Everbilt 3/16" pink and white diamond braid polypropylene cord from Home Depot. It's rated for 70# and I have had no problems with the in three season camping for the last 4-5 years. I also use it as a ridge line in my home hammock that I sleep in 2-3 nights a week.

    I do a bowline on one carabiner and a taught line hitch on the other carbiner. I do another "loop" on my taught line hitch before crossing over to cinch it, if that's clear. It makes the hitch much harder to adjust, but also slips less. So far so good. I weigh 165 lbs.
     
  19. GGTBod

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    I've stopped using a ridgeline altogether for my tarps, i now use heavy duty bungee with a caribina on each end on each toggle, these easy link to end toggles and around the tree or post and lock onto themselves, i also bungee to my ground pegs, now when the wind goes mental or some numpty trips over my 'guylines' everything just springs about and flexes back into shape
     
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  20. Broke

    Broke I found my hat! Supporter Bushclass I

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    Tarp ridge line does not equal hammock Ridgeline.

    I use dyneema for my structural ridgeline. It is under a lot of pressure, more so from me do to my weight.

    I use Dyenema for my tarp ridgeline too, just because it is light and easy to use.
     
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  21. Knifeguy

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    Yes, a structural ridge line. I am going to try it both with and without. As for expensive, I meant for the hammock/suspension. I always like to go lighter, so if I find that the hammock is comfortable to me to sleep in, I don't mind ponying up a little more for a nicer/lighter one. Right now I'm just playing with a $10 one that has huge, heavy carabiners on the end.
     
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  22. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

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    I like the Dutchware ARL’s, lets me dial in the sag. My Dream Hammock needs a ridge line to support the bug net and over cover. My Dutchware hammocks have standard ridge lines made of Zing it.
     
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  23. Broke

    Broke I found my hat! Supporter Bushclass I

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    Op, you can swap out the big bones with dyneEma continuous loops, then use either whoOpie slings or tree straps with marlinspike or with a biner or with buckles.
     
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  24. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    he means a structural ridgeline to adjust the sag in his hammock.

    I use Lash-it (gray Zing-it ) which is 1.75mm Dyneema. this has 440lbs breaking strength but weighs next to nothing -- https://www.amazon.com/Samson-Cordage-Lash-1-75Mm-180Ft/dp/B003X499OI
     
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  25. Swarvegorilla

    Swarvegorilla Guide

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    As above I use 450kg breaking strain dyneema (its my random emergency rope) and it weighs almost nothing. Reason I went with something some stupidly OP is the hope it will deflect any crazy widow maker branch that tries fall on me. Its not much insurance..... but its something.......
     
  26. IzaWildman

    IzaWildman Grey Dog Supporter

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    The following was taken from: Rope Inc. - https://www.ropeinc.com/ropetensilestrength.html


    "The tensile strength is the load at which a new rope, tested under laboratory conditions, can be expected to break. Rope strength is the approximate average for new rope tested under ASTM test method D-6268. To estimate the minimum tensile strength of a new rope, reduce the approximate average by 20%. Age, use and the type of termination used, such as knots, will lower tensile strengths significantly.

    Please find below a table of tensile strengths from New England Ropes, one of our manufacturer supppliers. Contact Us to match your rope needs to the strength required."


    "Interpretation of Rope Strength One area of misunderstanding that needs to be brought to the surface is the proper interpretation of rope strength, appropriate usage and care. Let's start by defining two important terms: "tensile strength" and "working load". Tensile strength is the average strength of new rope under laboratory conditions. This is determined by wrapping the rope around two large diameter capstans and slowly tensioning the line until it breaks. The manufacturer's recommended working load is determined by taking the tensile strength and dividing it by a factor that more accurately reflects the maximum load that should be applied to a given rope to assure a comfortable safety margin and longevity of the line. Of course that factor varies with the type of fiber and the weaving construction. There are however always exceptions, most notably the fact that rope is susceptible to degradation and damage in numerous ways that are not controllable by the manufacturer.
    It may surprise you to find out that the working load for most kinds of rope is between 15% and 25% of the tensile strength. Now consider the fact that any time you tie a knot in a rope you effectively cut the tensile strength in half. The knot when tensioned cuts the line. While certain kinds of knots damage the line less than others, the 50% loss of tensile strength is a good general rule to live by. Research has shown that the figure 8 knot reduces the tensile strength by approximately 35% instead of 50% for other common knots tested. "
     
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  27. Knifeguy

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    I appreciate the offer, but I have a couple of boating stores nearby that I am going to check today. I will look for dyneema.
     
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  28. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    Exactly! I don't need 440lbs to hold up my tarp but I did have a wrist size branch fall and break right across my ridgeline once. it put a little tear in my tarp but that was all the damage.

    with two of those Dyneema ridgelines above me, it gives me a small sense of security. I don't know what the odds are of this happening exactly in a way that a ridgeline would protect me but I'll stack those odds on my side if I can...
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  29. Brian_T

    Brian_T Supporter Supporter

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    MADNESS! ;)

    I often use Zing-It for my ridgeline but that's because I'm a splicing junkie. I just whipped up two 50' ridgelines yesterday with paracord and some 95-pound test accessory cord for the prussiks. Two toggles and a trucker's hitch and I can have my tarp hanging in well under a minute.

    B
     
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  30. Wolf427

    Wolf427 Scout

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    I've been using 4mm static cord for my structural ridgeline as well as my tarp ridgeline. I believe the breaking strength is 750+ lbs. You can find it at your local climbing/outdoors stores. I believe the brand was Mammut.
     
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  31. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    KNIFEGUY, the structural ridgeline and suspension systems for hanging have rather convoluted geometrical ramifications

    the HAMMOCK FORUMS website has a pictorial display and explanation of the forces which my feeble mind did not care to contend with BUTT the resulatant forces add up to substantially more than just body weight :-O

    DYNEEMA/AMSTEEL BLUE is a double braid product that is reasonably priced when you factor in the rude awakening involved w/ suspension failure during the night...

    the accepted minimum for FLY TIE OUTS is 1.75mm - 2mm(ZING-IT a/o LASH-IT)

    the accepted minimum for HAMMOCK SUSPENSION COMPONENTS is 7/64ths(AMSTEEL BLUE a/o DYNEEMA)

    these dimensions are tried & true and have saved many a good night's sleep for hangers

    these products do not play well with knots butt are quite easily spliced and DUTCH offers several titanium widgets, gidgets & gadgets that work well with them

    knot to mention DUTCHWARE is an excelent source for ALL THINGS HAMMOCK

    https://dutchwaregear.com

    THE WHEEL HAS ALREADY BEEN INVENTED, no need to try to re-invent it

    HENNESSEY HAMMOCKS(to name just one commercial producer/vendor) provides their hammocks with nice well suited properly sized and very substantial structural ridgelines which produce a proper hang angle a d thusly a good safe night's sleep

    goto

    https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/content.php

    and get to reading
     
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  32. Carbonmated

    Carbonmated Guide

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    Zing it is all I use on my tarps along with some Dutch bling, fast easy set up and it will not stretch when wet. Smaller diameter than paracord and lighter.
     
  33. Rarrapuda

    Rarrapuda Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I have always used paracord or #36 bankline for my ridge lines.
     
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  34. johnspenn

    johnspenn Scout

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    Do you find that the paracord stretches after time, causing sag in your tarp?
     
  35. Rarrapuda

    Rarrapuda Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Somewhat, but nothing too crazy.
     
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  36. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    Here's how I look at both structural and non-structural ridge line strength and other properties:

    First-Numbers aside it needs to stop any widow maker from any decent height.
    Second-It must hold your weight plus a 50% safety margin
    Third-It must be reasonably pack-able in the given/requested length (not bulky as all get go)
    Fourth-It should offer no excessive stretching
    Fifth-It should be light in weight
    Sixth-It should offer abrasion resistance so as to not fray easily and/or wear my gear out by rubbing (ridge line under tarp)

    Suggested cordage: Zing-It (1.75mm/ 1/16th in), Lash-It (1.75mm/ 1/16th in),& Amsteel (7/64th)

    Don't use the wal-mart/home depot 550 cord that is rated for 160 lbs only. There are many types of 550 cord and even some 750 cord out there.
     
  37. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter

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    I use 2mm accessory cord. It’s perfect. If you get the decent stuff, it’s still pretty strong.
     
  38. Broke

    Broke I found my hat! Supporter Bushclass I

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    I use 7/64 dyneema, I don't expect it to stop a window maker, I just expect it to perfect my hang. Shrug.
     
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  39. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    A more accurate description might have been to deflect a widow maker.
     
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  40. GGTBod

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    550 paracord as my ridge line snapped a huge dead birch tree that fell on top of my camp, all of my knots were melted together but the tree snapped over the line and saved my kit from total destruction, tarp was shredded but all my gear under it undamaged, pay close attention in the video and you will see my fluro green paracord ridgeline still intact, the video is shot seconds after the tree fell and i am in shock and do not notice this whilst shooting the video but you can see it repeatedly in the frame if you are looking for it, my apologies for the adult language if you can't handle it don't watch, i'd just had a near life experience as 2 mins previous i had been sitting where the tree fell drinking coffee so i think my reactions were quite normal

     
  41. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    I'm not a hammock guy, so I don't get all the SRL/ARL talk. Sounds like the 30# isn't good for your SRL by the previous posts. But if we can talk about the ARL, it sounds like that would be equivalent to a regular Ridgeline for hanging a lightweight synthetic tarp? For regular synthetic tarp I'd say 30# is probably sufficient in most cases. Maybe opt higher if you expect strong rain and wind. I usually carry a light and medium duty twine for temporary camping uses. Using Paracord and other super high strength cordage is overkill for the vast majority of camping related uses we put it to, if we are being honest with ourselves. BUT...the other way to look at it is if you carry just the Paracord or other high strength cordage you are going overkill for 90% of the applications, but you have it handy for the 10% of the time when a high strength cord may be necessary or prudent for the task. So if I had to pick only one cordage to carry for everything including Ridgeline I would opt for Paracord or other high strength cordage. If you are talking a separate cord just for ridge line then in my opinion, yes, 30# cord will cover you most of the time, and if conditions are severe, then you have your medium or high strength cordage available as a backup if necessary. Others have pointed out strong Ridgeline is said to help deflect a falling branch etc that weaker cord would snap. I believe that is true, but it's important to look out for that in camp site selection in the first place and avoid it. If you can't, then maybe you'd opt for a stronger line in that particular case. But I'd still say 30# is usually sufficient if you're aware of conditions where you set up camp. And the alternate side of that coin is that a very high strength cordage, depending on how one ties it as a ridgeline and what it's tied to and wind conditions etc, can also contribute to the anchor point to failing without breaking the cordage if high winds or other forces put enough stress on it. That's another "camp set up selection" awareness factor to consider. A lighter line would snap before the anchor point fails, which could be seen as an inconvenient sacrifice for greater safety. There are 2 opposite ways to think about it, and both have their merits...it all depends on YOU and your judgement of the conditions when you're setting up.

    I usually carry multiple cordage for various applications. Natural biodegradle twines for temporary light duty work. Synthetic twine I use for light and medium duty work where line sag could be a problem (fibers like cotton swell and dry out with moisture, so a cotton Ridgeline will loosen up and sag with morning dew or rain--not a good time to have to get out and adjust it--so synthetic twine like Mason line or bank line is better for light and medium duty tie outs). I also carry Paracord and thicker rope for hosting applications etc.

    If I had to carry only one for everything, ridgeline and all, I feel like Paracord is the most "multipurpose" and pack friendly. But I choose to carry multiple cordage types and match them to my task.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
  42. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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  43. Leshy_apprentice

    Leshy_apprentice Scout

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    As for that video, hopefully those guys were testing on private land with permission. I don't know of any federal or state public land where "curiosity" or "testing" is sufficient cause to drop a tree without a permit, live or dead. Interesting to see nonetheless. I wouldn't post the evidence to YouTube myself if it was public land though, haha!
     
  44. grey mouse

    grey mouse Scout

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    Excellent video and point taken.
     
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  45. dub

    dub Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Atlas straps for the hammock and 2 strand twist 750 cord for the tarp ridge line for me.
     
  46. Chili

    Chili Supporter Supporter

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    I use 2.2mm dyneema on both mine and my wifes hammocks for our structural ridgelines. Mine is fixed, hers is adjustable so I could help her find her best lay. I got hers here: https://shop.whoopieslings.com/Adjustable-Structural-Ridge-Line-ASR.htm

    For my tarp I use by braided 550 cord I made for bushclass (just because I have it), for my wife's I just use a single line of 550. Tarps are attached with prussiks, also made from 550.. (real 550, btw..)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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  47. Avohei

    Avohei Supporter Supporter

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    Lots of great suggestions in the thread. Best part of this forum is having different options that are tried and tested to work.

    For my hammock this year I'm using ENO Eagles Nest Outfitters - Atlas Straps, Hammock Suspension System. :)

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K30H3O8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Edit: I should note that I'm also putting up a tarp above it with a ridgeline just for that and hanging gear. I'll be using 1.8mm spectra cord from sgt knots for that and all the tie outs.
     
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