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  1. #1
    Phantom Grappler's Avatar
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    Tangled lines, spontaneous knots

    Some lines-rope-cord are more prone to tangle than others
    Some people are more likely to have tangled lines, jamming knots, and spontaneous knots appear in their cords——even more likely to have this mysterious malady than other hammock campers, who are using the exact same cords!

    How can this be?!?!?!

    A spin can be imparted onto the line when coiling line for storage
    The spin or twist can happen when removing cord from a spool. If the line is unrolled and the spool is allowed to “roll”—this is ok. But if line is pulled off one side-end of spool and spool does not unwind—each circumference of spool unwind adds a twist to line

    Also when Siberian hitch is tied by a common method, a twist is imparted to the line. This causes hitch to have increased chances of jamming when attempting to release when you pull on ripcord or loose end.

    Twisted cords more often than cords not twisted often have spontaneous knots appearing in the line! Overhand knots and figure8 knots mostly

    Prevention

    When removing cord from a spool, unroll cord from spool rather than pulling cord from one side of spool.

    I accordion wrap my guylines for storage, wrapping back and forth in accordion style rather than coiling. I do secure this cord by finishing with a short coiled wrap.

    When I tie Siberian hitch, I stabilize it with a daisy chain or monkey braid. This reduces chance,of the spin I added when I tied hitch, from getting jammed.
    There are ways to tie Siberian hitch without imparting spin on cord inside the hitch. But I’ve not learned that method. Instead I add daisy chain or monkey braid at end of Siberian hitch

    Occasionally start from one end of cord. Pull cord through fingers and thumb that squeeze the cord.
    Pull cord all way through to other end. Sometimes twists that are in cord can be chased off end of cord.

    Good luck

    If I got paid to tell lies
    It just wouldn’t be as much fun

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    hey Phantom,

    i think this is a good reminder. it's quite interesting and not immediately obvious, perhaps it helps to remember that cord has the peculiarity that it only "reacts" in two dimensions (or rather 1 and a half dimensions): lengthwise, along the cords axis (but only pull, not push, so half a dimension), and twist, around the cords axis. if you try to deform it in any other direction, it will comply without protest. twists are particularly interesting, because they tend to propagate a bit like waves.

    i actually use twists to tie some knots (like the butterfly), and to make two strands twist around eachother so they stay compact (basically a two strand twisted rope).

    i think it's worth noting that there's hardware which imparts twists to the cord that goes through it, due to the 3d geometry of the piece of hardware. (for instance, something like a loop alien might do that, depending on how it is used). some knots might do too, but it's less likely to "escallate" during use.

    some people here claim they just don't bother to wrap their guylines anymore, and stuff them with the tarp. i've been doing that too, with snakeskins, and while it's not perfect, i can hardly justify spending the time to wrap guylines, it really is good enough, and less prone to tangling.

    for hanks of cord, i prefer figure 8 wrapping, but i won't claim that to be perfect either, it does avoid twists because of the alternating bends, but it's not bulletproof. i have yet to find the perfect coiling method, which always works, is accessible from all directions, doesn't come undone or tangled in a pack or pocket, and it's easy and fast to make (i think being able to break a topological rule here and there might come in handy, for this purpose, i'll have to keep working on the time-space bending skills)

    the most tangle prone and knot-heavy (or, rather, knot-avoidant) field i was active in is probably paragliding: there's a lot of lines, and "unauthorized" knots cannot be tolerated, for various reasons. when you have so many thin lines, and rather long too (typically in the 5-7m range, 15-20ft or so), and of different diameters too, to make the salad more varied, you really really don't want to deal with a tangle. when the lines are unsheathed (like pure dyneema or kevlar), it's usually the worse (they are much more happy to bend and knot then double braided ones). i found, especially after switching to a glider with unsheated lines, that the humble chain sinnet is very effective and dependable to keep the lines neat together and tangle free. it might help perhaps in some cases with tarps, for people who don't like to use snakeskins, and can't tolerate "randomly distributed lines" (it's gotta be neat)
    Last edited by nanok; 10-01-2021 at 14:49.

  3. #3
    Phantom Grappler's Avatar
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    Nanok, you have new , to me, information. Paragliding can be a deep rabbit hole, with becoming accustomed to your equipment

    There are lots of ways being used by hammock campers to pack up their tarp guy lines

  4. #4
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    As a HAM radio operator, storing and deploying wire antennas can be a pain, and tangles or knots can be a nightmare. Using the figure 8 method of coiling up the wires is the best method to reduce tangles. I use it for all the lines, it is just habit now.

  5. #5
    cmoulder's Avatar
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    Good tips, Phantom Grappler. Could save some time for folks just learning the fine points of hammocks and tarps, wondering why their cords are always tangled!

    Generally, very small diameter and very supple cords are much more prone to tangling. Atwood Micro cord (1.18mm) has both these characteristics and must be handled very carefully to avoid nasty little rat nests.

    With the method I used to fold and roll my tarp, the tarp itself serves as a spool and the cords do not get twisted.
    Five Basic Principles of Going Lighter (not me... the great Cam Honan of OZ) Instagram (me!)

    “To equip a pedestrian with shelter, bedding, utensils, food, and other necessities, in a pack so light and small that he can carry it without overstrain, is really a fine art.” ~ Horace Kephart, 1906

  6. #6
    ObdewlaX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmoulder View Post
    With the method I used to fold and roll my tarp, the tarp itself serves as a spool and the cords do not get twisted.
    Same here, however, I prefer the figure 8 method for storing my bear bag line & my tarp ridgeline... works very well.

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