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  1. #1
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    Para-cord vs amsteel for tarp ridgeline

    I've been using para-cord for my tarp continuous line but it loosens over time especially on rainy days. Does anyone have experience using Amsteel? I always thought the extra stretch of p-cord would be beneficial. Any thoughts?


    Mike

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pop_Eye's Avatar
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    Hey Mike, welcome to the forums. Lots of great info here can be found with some searching.

    Amsteel will work, but it is a bit of overkill.

    Some tarp fabrics will stretch. Fabrics like silpoly don’t have a lot of stretch when wet. Tarp stretch will sometimes make it seem like your cordage is stretching. That said, paracord is stretchy as well.

    Lawson equipment has some great products. I use Lawson glowire 2mm and it’s stronger than needed for guylines and ridgelines.

    Lash it and Zing it are great choices as well and they do not stretch.

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    Thank you for the help

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    Senior Member Pop_Eye's Avatar
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    One thing I forgot to mention with Amsteel and lash it / zing it. It’s coated with something very slippery. It can be difficult trying to get a prussic knot to remain tight to keep your tarp tight if you use a CRL.

    The Lawson Glowire is grippier and tend to work better with knots.

  5. #5
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    offthegrid, Paracord is almost never used for the reasons you cite - it is stretchy. I can understand the idea the a little "give" is a feature, but that can be achieved in other ways - like using a little shock-cord as part of the guyline setup.

    There are several ways to string the tarp up. Two main ways are to use a split line or a continuous line. With the Split Line, each end of the tarp has its own line that is tied to a tree. That makes the tarp part of the suspension. If anything falls against the ridgeline, the tarp itself has to absorb it. With a continuous line, the cord is strung straight across, from tree to tree. and hang The tarp is hung under that line, allowing it to be moved into place with some variety of prusik knot or hardware like NAMA Claws. It might use imore line than what is used in the "split line" setup (so it's a teensy bit heavier) but I think it protects the tarp more if something should fall against the ridgeline.

    The sides are often guyed out with non-stretchable cords in the 2 - 2.5 mm size range. But some people put some light shock cord/bungee between the guyline and the tarp. It has two features. It keeps the tarp taut - in shape - if there is a little stretching (mostly silnylon tarps). It allows the wind to deflect the tarp momentarily to spill a little wind load that could build up against a side.

    The bungee/shock cord is weaker than the guyline material so some people also attach the guyline with the shock cord so the guyline limits the shock-cord stretch range and also maintains a connection to the trap if the bungee breaks.

    My side guylines are not Amsteel but they are not stretchable either. My ridgelines are small diameter (1.75 - 2mm) Amsteel or other brand names (ZingIt, LashIt) of woven cord. Note that these woven cords seldom are tied into knots. Loops and such are expected to be spliced. There are many YouTube videos showing how to make loops, dogbones, eye splices, etc.

    Browse this website and YouTube videos - also vendor videos like those at WarBonnet, DutchWare, HammockGear, etc. And you will see lots of variations.

    There is no "Right Way" but there are plenty of "My Way" examples.
    Last edited by cougarmeat; 10-18-2022 at 17:34.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Rolloff's Avatar
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    I use braided mason line for my prusik knots. Bites well into both AmSteel and the other Dyneemas. Cheap buy it anywhere.

    Extra wraps also help slippage.
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    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Somehow I almost entirely missed the paracord craze. I remember using it once 50 years ago to construct a wilderness shelter, but have never personally used it since. While it's a versatile, durable and cheap cord, I have never seen any place I would use it in hammock camping. Thirty percent stretch is too much for hammock camping.

    I don't like any cord that stretches, which is why I use 1.75 mm Zing-it for guylines and ridgeline, and Amsteel 7/64 for suspension. Plenty strong, with minimal stretch. Amsteel and Zing-it aren't good with knots, but that's okay because I hate knots. In my experience, Amsteel and Zing-it are darn near indestructible. They are relatively affordable, so I have never seen any reason to try cheaper cord.

    I will admit that Amsteel whoopie slings and prusik knots don't work all that well in freezing precipitation, but I don't see that kind of weather too often. I'm talking below 10* F with ice and snow.
    Last edited by SilvrSurfr; 10-18-2022 at 22:27.
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    As SilvrSurfr mentioned, knots don't work well in Amsteel and Zing-it. If you're making your own ridgeline, you'll want to plan to splice loops in the ends, depending on what type of hardware you're using with it. I have zing-it for my tarp ridgelines.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rolloff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilvrSurfr View Post
    Somehow I almost entirely missed the paracord craze. I remember using it once 50 years ago to construct a wilderness shelter, but have never personally used it since. While it's a versatile, durable and cheap cord, I have never seen any place I would use it in hammock camping. Thirty percent stretch is too much for hammock camping.

    I don't like any cord that stretches, which is why I use 1.75 mm Zing-it for guylines and ridgeline, and Amsteel 7/64 for suspension. Plenty strong, with minimal stretch. Amsteel and Zing-it aren't good with knots, but that's okay because I hate knots. In my experience, Amsteel and Zing-it are darn near indestructible. They are relatively affordable, so I have never seen any reason to try cheaper cord.

    I will admit that Amsteel whoopie slings and prusik knots don't work all that well in freezing precipitation, but I don't see that kind of weather too often. I'm talking below 10* F with ice and snow.
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  10. #10
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    Para-cord vs amsteel for tarp ridgeline

    I have used 1.75 Zingit, and have had trouble seeing and working with knots in 1.75 Zingit
    But 2.2 Zingit works great with knots—certain knots, that is!
    Siberian hitch is perfect for a quick tie for guylines to a tree. I always stabilize Siberian hitch with daisy chain, (has many other names, monkey braid among them)
    Three stitches of daisy chain helps stabilize Siberian hitch. It’s important to tighten Siberian hitch around standing part of line before adding daisy chain stitches.

    Some hammock campers want a tight ridgeline for their tarp. I get a tight ridgeline for my tarp that holds without getting slack—And in morning can be untied easily without jamming.
    A variation of tensionless hitch is used on trees.

    First I tie a Siberian hitch with added daisy chain stitches on first tree
    Then on second tree I first pull ridgeline tight from behind tree, before wrapping. About three wraps around tree, and finish with one half hitch, followed with one slipped half hitch. Topped off with three stitches of daisy chain. This is easily released in morning, even after wind and rain—with absolutely no jamming.

    I realize this is time consuming
    I like knots
    But hardware is much faster
    Last edited by Phantom Grappler; 11-23-2022 at 21:13.

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