Author Topic: Non-jamming webbing hitch  (Read 10950 times)


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Non-jamming webbing hitch
« on: February 10, 2012, 05:15:39 AM »
I am looking for a hitch to tie in webbing.  I set up a primitive slack line occasionally, and the exercise in practical knots is almost as rewarding as walking the line and it is a lot less dangerous.  Such a cool application of the versatackle, especially when it locks itself off.  See the link below to see what I am talking about.

Putting the line up is a breeze, but taking it down isn't, which makes me think everyone is using the wrong hitch. The carabiner at the end of the line jams tight, but a hard pull on the lazy end will usually suffice. The clove hitch in the middle of line is the real problem.  In the diagram he only uses one carabiner, which I have tried, and wished I had a marlinspike with me after.  We use 2 carabiners that we pry apart to break the knot.  It works, but I am looking for a hitch that would eliminate that second carabiner. 

Any ideas?  The clove hitch ties really nicely in webbing, it doesn't bunch up, maybe a pile hitch would too? I am looking for suggestions to test. And don't worry about disclaimers, because, like always, I slackline at my own risk.

Some background.

I use the clove hitch because it was what was recommended by the guys who taught me how to set up the line, as well as in the diagram, but I also know people who use a cow hitch.  The cow hitch may be easier to untie, its not much easier if at all, but some people say specifically not to use it.  Why isn't clear to me.  Any thoughts?

I also am aware of the "line locker" method of hitching. See link below if you aren't familiar.

I made some to try out, and they work great. Elegant and simple, but it requires a link of chain, need I say more?

One last thing, we use a water knot to make a ring of webbing that wraps around the tree/post/pole (red in the diagram) and would like a knot that doesn't jam for that too, if anyone has any ideas. Anyone tried a zeppelin bend in webbing? Or a double dragon (to make end loops)?


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Re: Non-jamming webbing hitch
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 06:48:58 PM »
I misread the OP the first time. The problem is with the middle Clove Hitch.  Here are some options:

You also said you don't like the Water Knot to form a sling. A Zeppelin Bend or a Carrick Bend would work. However, for the first base (left tree in your diagram), you could attach the blue rope straight to the tree. Use Round Turns & Two Half Hitches. Tie as many Round Turns as necessary for friction on the tree. You're basically tying a Well Pipe Hitch (ABOK #504).


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Re: Non-jamming webbing hitch
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 08:39:05 PM »
I am looking for a hitch to tie in webbing.

Perhaps, but really you're looking for relief from a current
system you find challenging with regard to untying --and
maybe a different structure is a better solution than some hitch!

Such a cool application of the versatackle, especially when it locks itself off.

Realize that the locking-off aspect comes at a price
--friction, that greatly diminishes mechanical advantage.
But, it it's adequate for your application, great.

Let me suggest a change to the overall slackline structure
that will eliminate not only your added carabiner but will
rearrange the others:

A) Attach one end of the line directly to the tree, using at
least one full wrap --maybe two is better-- and then maybe
clipping a 'biner (tied to tail) around this line (else, lose the
'biner and finish like a timber hitch dogging the tail under
some wraps after turning it around the 2-B-tensioned line.

B) With the slackline tied to a 'biner in its other end
(and your suggestion of trying a pile hitch I think is good),
anchor this end to the tree by running the sling bight
through the 'biner, and then conjoining ends of this
sling with the versatackle tensioning structure.  Thus, you have
some pseudo-2:1 hauling advantage (less, via friction) added
to that of the versatackle's --and you can work that with
cord, and tie off the cord easily, in various places.

Now, your slacklne as sketched above --i.e., that piece of tape
(or rope) on which you're walking-- has 'biners in both *ends*,
one of which will need to be adjustably placed (unless you work
the same two trees always); the one that could be replaced
with a timber hitch will be the one with much less load on it.

One last thing, we use a water knot to make a ring of webbing
that wraps around the tree/post/pole (red in the diagram) and would like a
knot that doesn't jam for that too, if anyone has any ideas.

Here, again, one might back up a little and consider the entire
system and how it's used, to seek a solution.  Let me suggest
that you tie off with the offset fig.8 bend --what might be warned
against (as an abseil-ropes joint) as the "EDK-8"-- such that
you carefully place this knot as the bight-tip of a pile hitch
to one 'biner (of my above system).  And *slip* the knot, for
both some aid in untying, and in giving extra bulk for the
stopper.  So, you'd join your sling-tape tails with this knot
and position it at just the right point of a pile hitch to a 'biner,
with the 2nd 'biner (for you tensioning versatackle, as described
above) simply clipped into the sling.
(But, in the usual case --as your first URLink shows--, one could
still tie off the tails in this way, to the LONE 'biner, and then
just clip in the opposite end of the sling atop this.)
((So, this way of closing the sling entails a 'biner, either way,
and isn't a general solution.))



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Re: Non-jamming webbing hitch
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 10:36:47 PM »
Thanks for the great ideas.

Knot4u, I would never have thought of the span loop, or the butterfly in webbing, I am going to try all three  and see how they dress, load, untie, and then try them out. I will post the results, hopefully this weekend, but depends on if I get out there or not.

As far as tying the the non-versatackle end straight to the tree, many people do, but we generally haven't because of possible tree damage.  Apparently, a line can girdle a tree by cutting the bark all the way around the tree, potentially killing it.  Never heard of an actual case, but as a precaution, I got out some 2 inch tubular webbing, ran the 1 inch through the middle, bunched the 2 inch webbing up very tight and use it as padding.  Other people use cardboard, which would work better with a direct to tree method, but like I said in the post, we generally tie directly to poles right now, so we could tie without any padding.  Of course, when we use trees, I could bring some padding and try the well pipe hitch (similar to the tensionless hitch used in SAR) or maybe a modified anchor hitch with extra turns.  My main concern is the line wont lie flat upon exiting the hitch (a tilted slackline is the equivalent of a poorly dressed knot).  Some consumer lines use a sewn loop at one end though, so I imagine there must be a way to get it flat.

Dan, a timber hitch in webbing sounded wild to me at first, but after some thought, it may dress really nicely, and of course it would be easy to untie, I will definitely give it a try. I take your point that maybe a hitch isn't the solution, I am going to try some loops like knot4u suggested.  I plan on tieing the line really low, getting it really tight, then trying it out.  Volleyball courts generally have low consequences.

And you are correct, the versatackle system introduces ALOT of friction, which of course is good when you let go and it stays put, but bad when you are pulling.  It use to take 3 of us to get the line tight, then I thought of adding a handle (an old mountain bike handle bar), which worked well solo, but with two people, having one person on each side, the knot acted as a pivot and the bar became a seesaw, dropping both people if they werent really careful or at least crossed hands to each grab a side of the bar.  Then I was inspired by the poldo tackle and tied a slip knot, held on to the free end, and used my body and arms to pull, and a high leg to push off the tree/post.  Done this way I can get the line tight alone. Of course, its a lot of work, which is why many consumer slacklines come with ratchets, but i'd rather do something clever with the webbing I have already then rely on a ratchet.

Thanks again and I will try to post a report soon.


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Re: Non-jamming webbing hitch
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2012, 01:41:26 AM »
If you really want to add some mechanical advantage and if you have a long webbing, then a cascaded Trucker Hitch (not a Versatackle) is the way to go. It will give you 9:1 nominal mechanical advantage (MA). In theory, you could keep cascading to increase the MA by factors of 3 (e.g., 3:1, 9:1, 27:1, etc.). If the webbing is not going twice through any carabiners, then the MA will be closer to ideal than not.

See the 9:1 Trucker Hitch below. For comparison, note the 3:1 Trucker Hitch is the most common setup. By the way, I have used a 9:1 Trucker Hitch when I really needed to crank down on something. For the particular application, I could have easily broken the rope, when the same rope would have been difficult to break using a 3:1 Trucker Hitch.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 06:05:00 AM by knot4u »


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Re: Non-jamming webbing hitch
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 12:47:34 AM »
Anyone tried a zeppelin bend in webbing?
I have.  If you are very careful about how the webbing is folded, it can make a very clean-looking knot.

Overall, I think the system could be simplified by making the components more modular.  Your tensioner can be separate from the main line, and thereby allow for easy end connections.   See the first diagram here.  It also would allow you to use rope instead of webbing for the tensioner.  A sewn end loop would be all that the main webbing needs.

Keep in mind that the fewer metal parts you have, the less risk of ballistic damage if something were to suddenly break.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 05:05:52 AM by roo »
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