Just Jeff's Hiking Page

"Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose
we came from the woods originally."

- John Muir

Ring Buckle Supports

I like the idea of buckles...it adds little bit of weight, but the convenience of setup can justify the weight. But the Crazy Creek buckles were kinda tough to loosen when I pulled them tight, they took a bit longer to set up than the rings, and the webbing had to be removed each time...so there were two extra pieces to keep track of. The two-ring buckle system has been talked about on several forums, but TeeDee's thread on Sgt Rock's HikingHQ is what finally convinced me to order the parts.

I used this setup at Mt Rogers and it worked really well. Setup took about 30 seconds...just wrap the webbing around the tree and clip the biner, then tighten the buckle. I didn't feel it slip a bit on either night.

Ring Buckle Supports at Mt Rogers

Here's the breakdown:

  • 2 Descending Rings per side (10 kN min strength)
  • Caribiner (10 kN min. strength)
  • Strong Cord (1000lbs test min), ~12"
    • I used BPL Air Core Plus rated to 1109 lbs (.04 oz listed weight...didn't register on my 2 g scale)
  • 1" webbing, low-memory stretch, 600+ lbs working load

Total weight per side 1-7/8 54 g (plus webbing, since the length can vary)

Instructions
The gear needed for one support.
  • Two descending rings
  • One biner (optional)
  • A length of strong cord with bights at each end
  • 1" webbing with a loop sewn in one end, ~6' needed (not shown)
  • Matchbook just for size comparison
One of the bights at the end of the cord should be 2-3" long. Put this bight through the middle of the two rings.
Run the working end of the cord through the loop to form a larkshead to hold the rings.
With the bight at the other end of the cord, I make a larkshead around the hammock. This generally holds the hammock tight enough that it doesn't slip, and doesn't put any pressure on the whipping (or the zip-tie in this case).
I add the ridgeline (the cord to the right) onto the support cord. It's just a bight that wraps around the support.
1" polypropylene webbing with a loop sewn in the end. I used a double box stitch to hold the loop.
Put the biner through the loop.
The other end of the webbing is just plain...I seared the ends to prevent fraying but there are no loops or anything.

Just like an old-school double-ring belt buckle. Put the webbing through the center of both rings...

...then put the end of the webbing between the rings. When you pull it tight, the friction will hold it in place.
The completed setup. The hammock and all support pieces are connected so there are no extra parts to keep track of.
To hang the hammock, just wrap the webbing around the tree, clip the biner to the webbing, and adjust the buckle to the desired tension.

As I get more field use, I'm going to pay extra attention to whether the biner puts pressure on the tree. If it's right against the tree, it may damage a thin-barked tree. Maybe an extra wrap or two around the biner when I clip it in would keep the biner away from the tree, though.

And if the webbing gets wet overnight, I can just slip it out of the buckle and store it separately from the hammock.

Discuss this project on the Ring Buckle Supports thread at HammockForums.net.

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