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wmw999

Stretchiness of dacron vs. Spectra

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A friend of mine is planning on using parachute cord to hang her camping hammock, and is wondering whether 1500-lb (which is what she wants) dacron or Spectra will be better. I know dacron stretches some, and I'm pretty sure Spectra is more slippery. Use involves wrapping it around a tree, and tying it off with a series of half-hitches. Half-hitches work because you never know how far apart the trees are going to be.

I'd love to be convinced that one or the other is better, so that I can tell her authoritatively one way or the other.

Thoughts? Thanks

Wendy P.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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I've made my own hammock and spent quite a bit of time researching options. I used and most sites seem to recommend spectra cord. Dacron is indeed stretchier and stretchy is not a good quality for suspending the hammock (gives too much sag).

Also I personally attach the line to a carabiner, and then use webbing around the tree. The webbing is a little easier on the tree and a little easier setup, although people who are using their hammock for minimalist backpacking would probably want to go with the half-hitches solution (I would have to think hard whether a different knot would be better but half hitches should certainly work).
"What if there were no hypothetical questions?"

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Spectra doesn't holds knots well, they tend to slip out. I would suggest Dacron. I highly doubt the difference would even be remotely noticeable for this application. Dacron will also be easier to untie once the knots are loaded, since its a thicker diameter.
"As soon as you're born you start dying. So you might as well, have a good time."
-CAKE

I'm crazy not stupid. There is a difference.

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Boogers

And if it does stretch a little over time, how hard is it to just re-tie one end?



Not hard at all. The truckers hitch (3:1 mechanical advantage w/ an inline knot, usually a butterfly knot) was secured with two half hitches or a clove hitch and they could easily be untied to tension. The hardest part is getting out of the hammock to make the adjustments.

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