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View Full Version : How to setup hammock in backyard w/ no trees?



Verlager
2004-09-23, 03:43
The last of the landscaping of my property is cutting down the two trees (ghastly looking stumps, actually) that I used to hang my hammock on.

As a replacement, I will need to dig two holes, fill them with cement, and place a metal pole in each hole before the cement dries.

How deep should the holes be? What diameter should the metal pipes be? The anchor point to each pole will be about 6' from ground level.

I can probably do this for <$50, I guess.

Any hardware related suggestions are welcome.

brian
2004-09-23, 20:53
Im thinking that two 4" square wooden posts would work better than a metal pole. Your knots may slide down a metal pole, but if you do go this way, make sure that you choose at least 1.5" pole (dont take this as an exact #, I say go for wood!)

Brian

youngblood
2004-09-23, 21:09
Why not build a frame for a yard swing that can double for a hammock stand? I built one years ago using 3 treated 4x4's ten feet long, with one as a cross member at the top to hang the swing from. I used the three 4x4's, quickcrete, about two foot deep holes, notched the ends with a saw to form an overlapping joint and used a couple of wooden dow rods to hold it in place. I could un-hang the swing and set up a hammock if I wanted... but my hammocks will hang in a ten foot space.

Some folks also use a strong stick or 2x4 to hang their hammocks from one fixed support.

Youngblood

Verlager
2004-09-24, 00:02
Im thinking that two 4" square wooden posts would work better than a metal pole. Your knots may slide down a metal pole, but if you do go this way, make sure that you choose at least 1.5" pole (dont take this as an exact #, I say go for wood!)

Brian
I like your idea, but note that my knots might elongate, but they would never slide down the pole. Poeple proficient with ropes can routinely risk injury, but the average person shouldn't, so you are absolutely right! Don't do what I do, unless you can tie an icicle hitch perfectly, every time.

However, your suggestion of using 4x4 pressure treated lumber is wonderful. I would enjoy the natural feel and ambience of a wood post. It could also double as a flogging post, couldn't it? I could add a ring, and give the wood an aged look with stain, and even distress the wood to make it look .. huh? Oh. Oh, yeah. -Sorry!

If I go with this wood post idea, I will place an 8' 4x4 post 2' into a hole filled with quickcrete, and put a >6" threaded eye-bolt thru it, for convenience sake. Note that it's hard to tie a knot around square 4x4's, knot won't hold well enough or reliably.

Sgt.Krohn
2004-09-24, 02:11
I have hooks screwed into my fence at an angle and one screwed into the 4x6 support post for my workshop's porch roof

http://www.watertribe.org/Magazine/2001August/JackKrohnHammock1.jpg

http://www.watertribe.org/Magazine/2001August/JackKrohnHammockB.jpg

I thought I'd add this photo. This was my first experience of living in a hammock in the weeds. We double decked a lot to keep the unit tite.
Hammock, mosquito net, poncho liner & poncho for a fly.
I couldn't sleep in a regular bed for months after I got back to the world.

http://pic12.picturetrail.com/VOL433/1045515/1957272/67867228.jpg

BTW- The guy in the hammock- Sgt.David Malpass, our platoon sergeant, has/had a civil engineering degree from the Univ.ofOregon, grew up on a farm in Eugene, Oregon and now builds those big expensive hotels in LasVegas.

Lanthar
2004-09-24, 08:47
nice pics!

BTW - pardon my ignorance, but what are those clips you're using? I've not seen them before

Sgt.Krohn
2004-09-24, 13:09
what are those clips you're using?
Lanthar- they are made for the cheap blue tarps- they have a round area at the inside of the jaws for the cord that runs around the tarp's edge. they sell them at the home centers for .99
I use them all over the place. They're great when you need to hold down the tarp and there isn't a grommet at that spot on the tarp.
You'll notice that to get them to work on a plastic sheet I had to wrap over a piece of duct tape so they would have something to bite to and not slip off.

Lanthar
2004-09-24, 14:56
Lanthar- they are made for the cheap blue tarps- they have a round area at the inside of the jaws for the cord that runs around the tarp's edge. they sell them at the home centers for .99
I use them all over the place. They're great when you need to hold down the tarp and there isn't a grommet at that spot on the tarp.
You'll notice that to get them to work on a plastic sheet I had to wrap over a piece of duct tape so they would have something to bite to and not slip off.

Hmmm... I may have to find me some of them... sounds extremely useful... kind of like the cable clamps that I found one day... do they lock? (they look like they do...) what other uses beyond tarps have you found for them?

btw - I found them on homedepot.com (http://www.homedepot.com)
search "tarp clip" and Notice what else the search brought up... :confused:

brian
2004-09-24, 15:46
...and put a >6" threaded eye-bolt thru it, for convenience sake. Note that it's hard to tie a knot around square 4x4's, knot won't hold well enough or reliably.


I don't like the idea of having eye-bolts holding the weight of the hammock. Not from the strength of the bolt, but of the wearing of the support ropes that is a side effect from always hanging it on the same place.

Thinking more, that wouldnt be a problem as long as you set up the hammock at a different point along the post. One day, have it 4" from post A, 12" from Post B, the next 8" from Post A, 8" from Post B, etc etc.

Brian

Sgt.Krohn
2004-09-24, 15:59
I don't like the idea of having eye-bolts holding the weight of the hammock. Not from the strength of the bolt, but of the wearing of the support ropes that is a side effect from always hanging it on the same place.
Brian
Brian- another way to do it is to tie a loop of rope to the metal hook/eye or to the post and then tie the hammocks rope through the loop of rope. You can always replace the loops as they wear from the stress against the metal hook/eye.

Verlager
2004-09-26, 00:55
I don't like the idea of having eye-bolts holding the weight of the hammock. Not from the strength of the bolt, but of the wearing of the support ropes that is a side effect from always hanging it on the same place.

Brian
I place a carabiner in the eye-bolt, and use the Official Hennessey Hammock Lashing Method to tie in to the carabiner. Then I just clip the carabiner into the eye-bolt. The gentle curves of the HH lashing are kind to the rope. Anchoring directly to the eye-bolt with an anchor bend would not allow for easy adjustments.

Also, the nautical rope that I use is about $1 / ft., -not likely to wear much. I don't pinch pennies in critical situations.

Verlager
2004-09-26, 01:16
Brian- another way to do it is to tie a loop of rope to the metal hook/eye or to the post and then tie the hammocks rope through the loop of rope. You can always replace the loops as they wear from the stress against the metal hook/eye.
I once saw a H.A.T. (High Angle Technologies) rope rescue video which demonstrated how easily moving nylon against nylon breaks. I always use a carabiner to bridge or join between ropes when pitching a hammock. Sgt. Krohn, as part of a light infantry unit, needs to travel light, and saves weight by not humping a dozen carabiners.

I once used a cheap-ass (the 3/8" brown rope with flecks from Home Depot, cost <$10 for 50' bundled) as an anchor rope for two (2) years, and it failed one day and the hammock and I fell about 3'. I was lucky that I didn't break my neck.

Such is life. -Ned Kelly

Sgt.Krohn
2004-09-26, 16:49
Verlanger- I understand your point but I wasn't talking about sliding one nylon rope through/past another. We're talking about a standing line situation. Brian was concerned about the possible wear of the hammocks primary line against a hard object and I was only suggesting a substitute.

Yes- we were trained to repel from Hueys in full battle gear on a carabiner.
But- after of a full year in a Search&Destroy team south of DaNang I never had to repel once. If we came into a hot LZ we usually jumped face first out of the side of the Hueys into the rice patty. The Hueys never stopped- they'd slide along on the skids for a couple of feet in a big swoop and we would leap out in mass and hit the mud- hopefully behind a rice patty levee.
The Hueys would make a very quick exit!!!

bird dog
2004-09-26, 20:07
Nice picks Sarge. Ive never seen the clips, but Im headed to Home Depot tomorrow!

Verlager
2004-09-26, 20:45
Verlanger- I understand your point but I wasn't talking about sliding one nylon rope through/past another. We're talking about a standing line situation. Brian was concerned about the possible wear of the hammocks primary line against a hard object and I was only suggesting a substitute.

Yes- we were trained to repel from Hueys in full battle gear on a carabiner.
But- after of a full year in a Search&Destroy team south of DaNang I never had to repel once. If we came into a hot LZ we usually jumped face first out of the side of the Hueys into the rice patty. The Hueys never stopped- they'd slide along on the skids for a couple of feet in a big swoop and we would leap out in mass and hit the mud- hopefully behind a rice patty levee.
The Hueys would make a very quick exit!!!
To rappell from the Huey en masse into a rice paddy with just a single carabiner, would likely involve this Carabiner wrap (http://storrick.cnchost.com/VerticalDevicesPage/Rappel/CarabinerPages/Carabiner2.html).

1. Isn't there a rapelling method built into the M-16, maybe using the handle? I bet it would work in an emergency.

2. Using the single carabiner wrap, does the brake hand really work well enough to generate enough friction to stop the fall?

bird dog
2004-09-26, 21:50
Verlager,
I havent rapelled from a Huey, but I have several times from a blackhawk (AKA-Crash Hawk). As for the braking, it slows you down as much as a parachute does.....It's more of a controlled crash than a landing!

Sgt.Krohn
2004-09-26, 22:42
In our situation it took too long to repel from a chopper into a hot LZ. When you do an air assault in a Huey they carry 6 troops. 2 stand on the skid and sit in each door and 2 sit inside back to back on the floor. It only takes a couple of seconds for all 6 to clear the bird. Many times we jumped the last few feet coming in or the two inboard had to jump the last few feet as the Huey was trying to get out of there.

Which brings up a bad story...
We were running EagleFlights off of our fire support base outside of HiepDuc and we came into a hot LZ. One bird(the lead) had already been shot down and the other pilots were having a hard time finding the guts to get us close enough to the ground for us to get into the LZ.
I was in the 4th bird with part of my squad. A guy in my squad named Whitey was sitting inboard and didn't scramble to and out of the door fast enough and fell out of the door from about 10' as the Huey was making a very hasty retreat. He landed on his tailbone and broke it. We were taking fire in a crossfire and they had us pinned down out in the rice patty.
Whitey was hurt from the fall and 3 other guys were hit. It took us about 10 minutes to lay down enough cover fire to get the platoon out of the patty and secure the LZ.
While all this was going on, a deserted water buffalo, standing in the rice patty during the fire fight, was freaking out running all over the place. For some unknown reason he managed to run over Whitey and stomp on him in the mud and then try to gore him while we were trying to get a medivac chopper in to pick up the wounded. Lot's of crazy goin' on!!!

That night we set up an ambush overlooking the same rice patty. The guy on guard with the 60(M-60) was scanning the patty with a starlight. The water buffalo was standing out there in the middle. The LT had our guy with the 90 recoiless load a round of beehive(flechetes) and smoke the buffalo. There wasn't anything left but hamburger. Whitey would have been proud ;)

Verlager
2004-09-27, 01:15
Verlager,
I havent rapelled from a Huey, but I have several times from a blackhawk (AKA-Crash Hawk). As for the braking, it slows you down as much as a parachute does.....It's more of a controlled crash than a landing!
I once showed an arborist/deck builder buddy how to rappell from a tree, using a Petzl Stop, a kind of bobbin. Everything was real nice, I was able to stop in the air and chat with him with perfect comfort and control. But, about 5' off the deck, I forgot to let go, and I accordianed (crumpled up) and I hit the ground fast, -embarassing and painful for about 5 minutes.

Military jump school teaches soldiers how to fall without breaking their legs or doing what I did. How do parachutists avoid injuring themselves in a fast rappell, like from a carabiner rappell? Why are jump boots used? Is the idea to not land flat footed and solid, but rather to land off balance and then instantly fall to one side?

Regardless of complexity or risk, I think it is worthwhile to know something about harnesses and verticle rope work, even if it's just to tie in to shovel snow off a slippery roof. Or lashing the lawn mower handle down. Or tying stuff to the truck. Or bundling sticks. Endless uses for rope.

Verlager
2004-09-27, 01:29
The water buffalo was standing out there in the middle. The LT had our guy with the 90 recoiless load a round of beehive(flechetes) and smoke the buffalo. There wasn't anything left but hamburger. Whitey would have been proud ;)
Milk a cow and you'll get about 3-4 gallons of milk; milk a bull and you'll have a friend for life, -... a friend for life!

Sgt.Krohn
2004-09-27, 01:30
Verlanger-
In jump school you're taught to keep your feet/ANKLES together and your KNEES bent. And you are told to roll with the fall and not try to land standing up. Of course that was 35 years ago with a standard chute on a static jump. I have no idea if they teach free-fall techniques?
Yes, jump boots make a huge difference on protecting your ankles.
There is nothing like three weeks at SandHill &the black hats!!!
Hooah- Ft.Benning!!!

bird dog
2004-09-27, 18:38
Sarge and Verlager,
Nothing has changed on sandhill. Although the black hats were different when I went through 8 years ago, Im sure they are the same as they were when you went Sarge. Techniques is still the same for a successfull PLF. Hit the ground and roll. As far as free fall goes, they jump with the "cadillac" of chutes and land standing (wasnt HALO qualified, but thats what Ive been told). Though the black hats were harder than reinforced woodpecker lips, I think the hardest I had was with an air assault instructor in Korea. I was an E-6 and SHE was an E-5. Maybe she felt as if she had to prove something, maybe she didnt like guys with tabs, but SHE DIDNT LIKE ME. Almost missed my dope on a rope wings because of her!