Tom's Rope Lashing
Recommended Lashing to Secure Webbing Straps
Above: Tom's recommended lashing technique. Easy, quick, it never jams, and it protects the rope.
Watch us tie the lashing by viewing the video above!
If you learn this lashing you'll never have a jammed knot, your ropes will last a long time, and you'll save time. Wrap webbing straps one or more times around the tree and bring loops together in line with the opposite tree. Pass rope ends through webbing loops. Adjust the hammock until it is centered and the ridge line is level and under light tension. Wrap the loose rope end completely around the tensioned support rope and then drop rope end down into the space between the webbing loops and the tree.
Tighten any slack in the lashing. Repeat lashing at least three more times in this "figure 8" pattern and tie it off with two half hitches leaving at least 6"/15 cm of rope. Entrance should be at chair height under tension of your weight.
For foul weather, adjust your rainproof hammock width by changing the angle of side elastics.
Other Methods of Tying Up the Hammock May Cause Damage to Suspending Ropes
Tom has been following with interest all the cool new ideas on the forums like the rap rings.
He has sailed a big sailboat for 40 years and knows what makes ropes wear out and break. When he designed the Hennessy suspension system, he had to consider many factors such as long term life of the ropes and the safety of HH customers. The HH system avoids any metal parts. This reduces weight and cost, and eliminates corrosion. Any system which point loads the rope creates a point of failure. Tom prefers to spread the load with multiple wraps in a figure eight pattern. Attachment of the ropes directly to the soft webbing straps also eliminates abrasion to the ropes. One HH customer hiked the Appalachian Trail twice with his little dog Pumpkin and slept in his hammock at home every night for eight years. The ropes were still OK!! Tom traded him for a new one and put the old hammock in the HH museum.
As a designer, Tom is always looking for the simplest, cheapest, lightest, fastest, and safest way to do anything. He expects to improve the HH whenever possible but the present lashing system allows for some error and still works. The last thing he wants is for one of his customers to fall. Some of the new systems are great for the DIY guys and Tom wants to encourage them to keep on innovating — especially when it comes to finding ways to make their systems a little more foolproof.
Tom is also fascinated with the idea of clam cleats which he had used on his boat. He rejected them because of their tendency to point load and weaken the rope. Some people are looking for an adjustable attachment so that they don't have to untie the lashing and retie it. Tom has played around with double or triple taut line hitches — two seems to be enough.
If you look at the website set-up videos you will see a video showing the lashing that Tom recommends to attach the rope to the webbing straps. The beauty of this system is that the rope is tied to the soft webbing which prevents wear because it allows multiple wraps against the smooth surface of the webbing straps.
Tom also likes the idea of carabiners and wanted to sell them as hammock accessories; however, when he inquired about purchasing them for sale on the HH site, he was told by the manufacturers that they would only guarantee them for climbing purposes and they wouldn't sell them for any other purpose because their insurance wouldn't cover them. Inexperienced people using carabiners can use them in the wrong way which would be unsafe. If the carabiner is set up sideways instead of pulling in the correct direction, the gate could rip out and the hammock could fall.