Just Jeff's Hiking Page

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

- John Muir

Garda Hitch on a Hennessy with No Modifications

I've been experimenting with the Garda Hitch aka Alpine Clutch because of its simplicity and adjustability. (HF thread) I wanted to use it on my HH without modifying the hammock, but I wanted my whole support system to remain in one piece for setup and teardown. And I wanted the rings to be under the tarp in case I need to adjust during the rain. These pics are of the Backpacker Ultralight Asym (BULA) with the thin Spectra cord for supports.

Discuss this project HERE.

Rings Clove Hitched to Hennessy Spectra
This is probably the simplest method. Just clove hitch the rings to the Hennessy support. To connect it to the tree, you can either use a biner like I did or just run the line thru both of the hugger's sewn loops.
Add a Prussik Adaptor to Hennessy Spectra
You can also add rings to the HH by using a prussik adaptor.
  1. Get a piece of cord smaller than the hammock support. This needs to be strong enough to support your weight including an allowance for knots. I used BPL Air Core Plus. (Actually, the force on the support will be cut in half because the biner will act as a pulley...but I'd still go for about 1000lbs safe load.)
  2. Tie loops in each end. I used a piece of cord that was already tied into loops and I didn't measure before I put them on, but...
    • One loop needs to be big enough to form a larkshead around the rings. A double larkshead (just wrap it around twice) would keep the rings more stable but it's probably not needed.
    • The other end needs to be long enough to make a prussik on the hammock support.
  3. Put the double larkshead around both rings.
  4. Put the prussik on the hammock support right next to the hammock...I use a variation close to this. You'll have to feed the rings through the loop for this step. If the loop isn't quite big enough, just feed some of the hammock support through to give you some more room to work with. Now your rings should be hanging from your support line, completely connected.
  5. Feed the free end of the hammock support into the rings and form the Garda Hitch. Tug it tight, and now the hammock support Spectra should create a big loop.
  6. Clip a biner on this big loop.
  7. To set up the hammock, just wrap the tree hugger around the tree and clip it all together with the biner. Pull the Garda Hitch tight and you're done!
I'm pulling down on the rings to show how the whole thing fits together. The white is the Air Core Plus...prussik on the right and rings on the left. The biner would go all the way to the left where it loops around the hammock stand.
Here's what it looks like when it's all in line.
Rings on Tree Huggers

Putting the rings on the Hennessy tree huggers is another way to use the Garda Hitch without permanently modifying the hammock. This is probably as easy as the clove hitch method but it's not adjustable from under the tarp. Instructions for this method are below.


Step One - Thread the hugger thru the rings

Step Two - Thread the other end thru the sewn loop

Step Three - Tighten the hugger down on the rings

Step Four - Form the Garda Hitch

Step Five - Clip the biner around the tree to the hugger
...and you're done!

Photo by TreeDweller
If you don't want to use the biner, just thread your cord thru one sewn loop and over to the rings. This will also help when the hugger isn't big enough to fit around the tree...just make sure the rings can't damage the tree. This way means you'll have to separate the hugger for each setup and teardown, though.
Other Methods

Photo by TreeDweller
There are other methods of attaching rings to a hammock, of course. TreeDweller shows one easy method to the left. The rings won't fit thru the loops on the stock HH huggers, but adding a small loop will let you run the hugger around the tree and thru the cord, then garda hitch the support to the rings. (One note - don't use 550 cord b/c it's not strong enough. This isn't 550 cord even though it looks like it.)

And once you're comfortable with the system and are ready to make the mod permanent, just cut the spectra ~8" away from the hammock and tie on the rings. Tie the leftover spectra to the tree hugger, or tie a loop and use a biner, and now you have the support to garda hitch thru the rings.

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