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carabiners or knots - tech in camping

I have at least on hammock that included a carabiner in the setup and since then I have been trying to get rid of it. I have tried a number of webbing, whoopie sling and paracord solutions. My current plan is 1000lb paracord with tubular webbing to protect the section that wraps the tree. The hammock happens to use webbing on the gathered end and any of the solutions would work fine. And so I am stuck between efficiency, reliability, weight and practicality.

  • biners of any type are mechanical and subject to failure. Many have been successful but I'd rather rely on the knot. Besides the biner does not pack well and the cord or web does
  • whoopie slings are complicated and difficult to field replace especially if the setup is biased to whoopie. (complicates the gathered end.
In a moment of weakness I decided to look for a biner that could be used to make my paracord setup as easy to adjust as a whoopie sling. I found the camjam.

It does not look scary yet there are more moving parts than a typical biner. The interesting news is that it'll support the necessary weight limits and cord sizes. And as I sit here writing this post I desperately want to include this device in my configuration because it'll make tensioning my lines as easy as whoopie slings but a little less reliable. One possible positive side effect is that having the biner on the inside could make the ridgeline easier to install base on the 90deg orientatino change that a biner would provide.

UPDATE:  It's a cool biner but after a single paramax shakedown I realized there is too much stretch in a single strand of paramax. In order to get this to work I'd need a double strand and that's not going to work well or be cost effective.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I've been experimenting with the paramax and it's time to throw it in the garbage. Even though a single strand is supposed to have 1000lbs strength it still stretches. Doubling the rope reduces the stretch because it's being distributed but it's a pain.

I've also been experimenting with tubular webbing. The model I've been using is very slippery and quite heavy. It took a while to get the right length and then get the knot right as it kept slipping and until I got the becket just right and even so there was some roll in the know.

POSSIBLY MY LAST UPDATE: I tried a marlin spike hitch. It held but there were some complications. The single strand webbing made a lot of noise and it seemed that there was a lot of slipping and compression. Early experiments showed that loop on the tree side of the suspension seemed to fuse as did the cord. I did not have any knot slippage on the tubular webbing side.

The knot compressed and flipped

The knot head fast
I think the reality is... if you are in the median weight range of the hammock and suspension capacity then there is a good chance that the paramax, camjam, and many of the different knots I've tested will work fine. However, if you are on the other end you simply need a different solution. As I started to accept that I needed to add the carabiner to keep things simple and without exotic knots or materials I have accepted that I have to return to mainstream.

As a result I've ordered a new set of straps for Yukon Outfitters. Parker has been a great help as I've been working through this shakedown.


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