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#113857 - 11/27/07 11:54 PM Paracord suitable to string up a hammock?
kevingg Offline
Addict

Registered: 10/21/05
Posts: 442
Loc: NH
Do you think Paracord is suitable (strong enough, durable, abrasion resistant etc) to string up a hammock? I weigh about 150 lbs. Thanks.

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#113861 - 11/28/07 12:14 AM Re: Paracord suitable to string up a hammock? [Re: kevingg]
big_al Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 586
Loc: 20mi east of San Diego

If you use true parachute line or cord commonly refered to as 550 cord there schould be no problem, But I would double it anyway. That way you don't have to cut up small lenghts and you can reuse it latter. smile
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#113862 - 11/28/07 12:41 AM Re: Paracord suitable to string up a hammock? [Re: kevingg]
DougM Offline
Newbie

Registered: 11/03/06
Posts: 48
certainly, learn your knots first though,( and doubling the rope won't hurt anything).

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#113865 - 11/28/07 01:15 AM Re: Paracord suitable to string up a hammock? [Re: DougM]
Be_Prepared Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 530
Loc: Massachusetts
I've fallen asleep in a hammock hung by 550 cord, woke up still above the ground. (Regretfully, I'm a little more than the 150 target weight you have in mind... so that's good news, you have an extra margin of safety!)

Both ends were doubled, and went to straps that go around the tree. This was real 550 cord. There are plenty of cheap imitations that I wouldn't want to use to support a human... Also, the static capacity wouldn't be an issue, with even one line, but, the shock capacity if you, ah, dropped into the hammock might be an issue, especially if you had any abrasion. The straps around the tree seem to help.
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#113871 - 11/28/07 01:48 AM Re: Paracord suitable to string up a hammock? [Re: Be_Prepared]
climberslacker Offline
Youth of the Nation
Addict

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 603
Ya, i do it all the time! I just double it (I go around two times)

-jace
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#113881 - 11/28/07 03:20 AM Re: Paracord suitable to string up a hammock? [Re: kevingg]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Negative. Big, cussing, dripping, stinking negative.

I used to use paracord for this. Then one night, I set up in swamp. About three in the morning, the 550 line snapped at a knot, and dumped me and my hammock and my polypro into the swamp. Needless to say I was cussing, dripping, stinking and very negative about that.

Knots kill strength, and it is cumulative. Square knot costs you about half the strength of a line, most others do the same or worse. So two knots in a length of 550 cord turns it into 175-ish cord! Try 1" or wider nylon webbing- that has a rating of at least 4000 pounds (two tons). If that breaks, you either have annoyed some gremlin, you've got a fun hammock, or you are a REALLY big guy. smile

Better, have an industrial stitcher (an upholstery shop can usually do this) sew loops into the ends. Or just use a tow strap. Actually, you need two. Wrap them around the trees several time. Use climbing 'biners to clip the ends and the hanging loops on your hammock together.
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#113913 - 11/28/07 01:14 PM Re: Paracord suitable to string up a hammock? [Re: ironraven]
jdavidboyd Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/20/06
Posts: 78
Loc: Saint Petersburg, FL
But, how do you get around putting a bend in the paracord? It seems to me that no matter what one does, in order to attach the paracord to almost anything, there must be a 90 degree or greater bend, with subsequent loss of strength? No?

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#114033 - 11/29/07 05:41 AM Re: Paracord suitable to string up a hammock? [Re: jdavidboyd]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Exactly. That is why you don't use it to hold yourself up.

You have the same problem with webbing. But, half of 4000 pounds is still a ton. Half it again, and a third time, and it is still 500 pounds, and if that won't keep you off the ground you've got a bigger problem. And that is for the weaker end of 1" webbing, you can get a LOT stronger if you go up in grade and width.
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When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#114058 - 11/29/07 01:45 PM Re: Paracord suitable to string up a hammock? [Re: ironraven]
Hacksaw
Unregistered


Tubular webbing tied with a tape knot is one of the strongest ways to go...by far better stronger than any reasonably sized rope with a knot in it.

And don't forget there are creative ways to get around putting too many load bearing 'bends' into a rope.

Here's an interesting bit of web information about failure testing done by a search and rescue team:

http://www.xmission.com/~tmoyer/testing/pull_tests_11_98.html

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#114133 - 11/29/07 09:14 PM Re: Paracord suitable to string up a hammock? [Re: ]
RobertRogers Offline
Survivor
Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 198
It breaks on me from time to time, I weigh about 220 lbs clothed.
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