Introduction: Paracord Hammock Anchor Cord

Picture of Paracord Hammock Anchor Cord

     As an avid Boy Scout, I have spent a lot of time camping out in the woods.  About the age of 13 or so, we started hiking , and I decided to escalate my awesomeness to Hammock camping versus Tent camping.

     After a while, I got bored of tying, untying, retying, etc of the common tree anchor, which usually consists of a knot to the hammock end, looping the tree, and a taut line hitch.  This usually doesn't take a lot of time, but I am a little bit lazy, and enjoy making new things.  That's when I decided to up my game, and make a device to save me some time.

     To be honest, this is inspired by the Eagle's Nest Outfitters Slap Strap System.  So...this is also a DIY/Poor Man's solution to another more expensive solution.  Plus it's pretty simple and on a fairly basic level, so fear not!

     The basic concept is a single cord that has loops on either ends, and regularly spaced loops in between.  The cord goes around the tree and through one of the end loops to tighten on the tree.  Then the hammock is attached to the loop in the middle that produces the desired height of hammock off the ground.

     The finished length of my cord is ~5 ft (60 in) from end loop to end loop.  I've found this will fit around most trees, but you can make your cord to any length (I like to have a few extra feet, just in case).

PS. This is being entered in the Paracord contest which is on-going, vote me up!

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

1. Paracord -> ~100 inches (over 8 ft, 13 in from the last knot per number of sections, I have 8 loops total, which means 7 sections)

2. Lighter, or Matches, or other Flame Source (don't hurt yourself...)

3. Sharp object for cutting the cord to length (again...don't hurt yourself...) I used a folding utility knife that takes razor blades that I got from (insert local name) hardware store.

4. Load-Bearing Carabiner (~ 2x $3 I think) -> I have 2 8mm 350lbs test Snap-Link Carabiners.  With two, it should be strong enough to keep me and possibly another up off the ground.

5. Hammock (~$15 for a cheap-ish one)-> To use with your awesome new hammock anchors.  My hammock is a lightweight travel hammock that I picked up from my local camping store.

     Don't hurt yourself in the making of this, I am no way responsible for your mistakes.

Step 2: Anchor Knot

Picture of Anchor Knot

     After fusing the ends of the rope, the first step is to tie a bowline, which is one of my favorite knots.  This knot is good for creating a loop that is extremely strong and will not pull loose accidentally.  That is what makes this the perfect anchor knot for this.  I'm not gonna lie, I kinda tie this knot by gut, and thus can't teach it very well, but I will do my best.  If you can't understand my instructions, try this link, or google how to tie a bowline (my knot looks a little bit different, but its the same knot, just on a different side). 

Bowline:

1. First, take about 11 inches to make a loop.  Make the loop at the 11 inch mark.

2. Take the bunny (end of the cord) up through the hole.

3. Go around the tree (rest of the cord).

4. And back into the hole.  Tighten.

Move on to the next step!

Step 3: Sections

Picture of Sections

     Decide how many sections you want in the final product.  I went and took some informal measurements around some random good-sized trees, and decided that about 5 ft was a good length.  I also arbitrarily decided that i wanted around 7 inches between every knot, to give me enough options when hanging the hammock.  With that in mind, make a loop with the middle of it at 13 inches from the previous knot (anchor knot for the first sections).  By the way, I chose the figure eight knot because it is a very sturdy knot that won't pull loose, and is usually easy to untie if needed, even if it has been pulled tight and stressed.

Double Figure Eight Knot on a Bight:

1. Take the loop you just made (at 13 inches), and start  with a loop like you were tying an overhand knot.

2. Instead of crossing the lines once, as in the overhand knot, we need to cross them twice, so continue taking the end around another half rotation.

3. Pass the free end(s) through the loop to complete the knot.  You'll notice that this knot looks like an eight (8) that has the cord going through both loops.  Hence the name...For a more detailed guide, check this link, or again, google it (the procedure is the same, but with two strands).

4. Repeat until desired number of sections is attained.

     For the last section, trim off the excess and fuse it close to the knot.  Another suggestion is to tie a half-hitch as a closing knot, and fuse the end near that.


Step 4: Test

Picture of Test

     Go out into the beautiful outdoors, hook up your hammock (a load bearing carabiner and an anchor cord on either side) and hang out.  You can also use this to hook up your hammock practically anywhere.  On the Eagle's Nest Outfitters website, there is a place for users of the hammock to submit their own pictures.  I've seen anywhere from under waterfalls to under bridges, and even wackier ones.  Have fun and be adventurous!

     To attach the hammock, run the cord around the tree, and pass the bowline end of the cord through the last double figure eight knot.  Attach the end of the hammock to the hammock anchor cord to achieve the desired height off the ground.

Enjoy!

PS. This is being entered in the Paracord contest which is on-going, vote me up!

Comments

ksturkie (author)2016-02-18

Before I read this, I quietly spoke'th to myself: "gotta be some bowline and figure 8 combo." I clicked on this, questioned myself, albeit swiftly, then made two rope-knots for my own personal Hammock hanging hobbies. Much appreciated.

chewy3939 (author)2012-05-27

Great ible man. I just made some and they work great I used 2 strands just for extra security and to protect the trees. Thanks

repeet13 (author)chewy39392012-06-03

Thanks! So far this hasn't let me down (if you know what I mean!)

2 strands should spread out the load for the tree, but in the grand scheme of things, one or two nights in a hammock won't really harm the tree in a real way. If it was a permanent installation, much more important. Trees are awesome because they are so resilient.

7nation (author)2011-07-06

Would using two strands of para-cord increase the weight limit of the cord? Also would two strands of cord be easier on the tree?

repeet13 (author)7nation2011-07-06

Yes it would raise (though probably not double) the static weight limit (still can't do a flying leap into the hammock). It would be easier on the tree us, but I would still recommend some sortof load spreader (like the above mentioned sticks) to spread out thepoint of contact

SeniorShizzle (author)2011-06-02

It's a great instructable and the idea is great. Personally I use the Slap Strap Pros on my eno hammock. My only problem is the poor tree! You're a boy scout, so you must remember that you're never supposed to put any sort of cord or rope onto a tree directly because you will slice through the bark and injure the tree. Especially with potentially hundreds of pounds pulling on such a thin rope.on the type of hard-barked tree you're using this on it's less of a problem, and I appreciate that, but on most other trees, like cedars and most pines, and most other trees one will encounter it's Best to use a simple barrier between the tree and the cord. This is a perfect solution for hammockers everywhere and I used something similar before the slap straps, but please do Something as simple as laying two sticks vertically (parallel to the tree) between the paracord and bark. This simple thing could save a trees life by preventing it from getting a beetle infestation or disease through its cut bark and trunk.

I'm sorry, I'm not trying to put anybody down here or anything, I'm just trying to offer helpful suggestions so that people can be respectful and show proper stewardship when using this paracord device. they do work really well, I made one!


Im sure you guys all know this but Cord has a very small surface area, almost infinitely small on paper because it's a cylinder. Force is a distributable property in the sense that the same force can be imparted over smaller and larger surface areas, so each square cm will receive less force. So the same mass over 3/4 inch or larger webbing (like most hammock users use) is going to have a LOT LOT LOT less force on any given point on the tree. Try doing a pull up with paracord, then try it on 1" webbing. Your hands can't handle your weight on such a small surface area, but the webbing is fine.

sokamiwohali (author)2011-01-20

Actually there is a specific knot used to make a bowstring specifically named the Archer's "Bend" or Archer's Knot. the bowline is a knot used primarily used for makeshift rescue ropes.

repeet13 (author)2010-12-01

Thats cool, I didn't know that. It's a good choice because it is a simple knot, but it won't come loose or slip. Thanks for looking!

lordduckx (author)2010-04-10

 dude that helps so much

thanks!!!

pacowarabi (author)lordduckx2010-04-12

It sounds like we have the same idea about hammock camping.  I love the freedom of just clicking the biners into place without worrying about tying any knots.  If you ever feel you need a beefier set of cords, you can double the strength by doubling the rope.

Like this https://www.instructables.com/id/Sew-What-Hammock/step5/Tie-your-Tree-Huggers/

Nice work!

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