Is it safe to use a hammock like this?
By - EnfaxFuzzy
What I would consider is removing that rope from the bunched end, and sliding it over the carabiner as the bunched portion. Then use that rope as the loop to hang it. Prevents the lateral stress on the carabiner while keeping it short enough for your space.
Here’s one I did like that: https://imgur.com/a/lMzVqiG
Just the rule of thumb, don’t hang higher than you’re willing to fall, in case it does fail!
I would be a little concerned. None of those things were built or installed with lateral loading considered, the post supports a vertical load, any idea the length of the railing anchor . everything could be fine or I think if anything the railing will rip off before you pull the post over. But you never know. It's not as easy as dividing your weight in half. According to the hang calculator a 200 lb person can put 172 lbs of lateral force on each connection. That all said people do it all the time and live
172 lbs is the weight of literally 260.85 'Velener Mini Potted Plastic Fake Green Plants'.
I was going to say that
In all honesty, I'd assume me laying in it multiple times now would have made some kind of noise before total failure... These beams I'm not worried about on the second floor of my apartment, the railing is what I'd be scared of going first... That or the cord. Another person mentioned the carabiners are made for lateral forces and not side loaded so another potential point of failure, although again I'd assume there'd be a "stretch" or groaning noise preceding any type of failure. I'd figure there'd be warning signs rather than spontaneous failure on any part.
Don't assume this. Metal fatigue happens over time and can lead to sudden failure. Wood might be more likely to grain, but what will destroy a system isnt static forces, but dynamic. Such as when you sit down into it, usually you won't do it super slow, and some force greater than your weight will shock load the system briefly.
I should add that the 'biner isnt likely to be the thing to break here though. Yeah the loading isnt ideal but it's not across the gate or anything truly bad. (For example my 40kn major axis biners are rated for 9 across the gate). The force is 'just' pulling to the side a bit. Your wood will most certainly break first assuming your biner is rated and not some chinesium crap.
I can confirm that this is a official Eno hammock I bought about 5 years ago, and I've been camping with it before (around trees with atlas straps of course) but this is just a chill spot for me in my new apartment on my balcony that conveniently has extended space for something like this... And I never would have thought I'd garnish such detailed responses from people on how safe/unsafe this one picture could be. I'd post more photos showing the actual setup in replies if I could.
By derailed I sincerely hope you don't feel attacked. That's definitely not my intent. I've got some experience with rope rescue through SAR that has taught me about safety factors of carabiners and ropes. So I just wanted to share what I can take away from the pictures provided.
I mean it's not like you're gonna fall 100 feet to your death if something DOES break so there's that.
Anyhow, take what you will from my advice and just be sure that you are personally comfortable with the risk factor, then enjoy your hang!
I apologize that was my auto correct... I meant to say "Detailed" not derailed haha. I edited it now, but I never noticed it first time around
Lmao ok. Glad to hear it! Take care.
172 lbs is 78.09 kg
As an engineer, this is unsafe. You might be lucky, but my guess is that you're exceeding the lateral design load of the guardrail by a fair bit.
That's not to say it's guaranteed to fail, but if the wrong anchor point breaks in the wrong way, you're now on a slide that slides you off the balcony.
A hammock stand costs ~$100, how much do you value your life?
Yea, a software engineer
Yea, a beta game tester.
This looks reasonably safe, but it’s good to remember that carabiners are designed to take load inline. When they are loaded from the side (or pulled up against the railing like this), it will have a reduced load capacity. Over time, using it like this may stress the carabiner and can eventually lead to failure. If you plan to use your hammock in this spot frequently, it might be worth figuring out an alternative method for securing it.
That's really good to know and good advice. With that said would you happen to know any immediate solutions to this?
The carabiner loading is what I first noticed too. I do tech rescue for SAR and this would be a hard fail in one of our tests. There are many fixes though...
Look up a tensionless hitch. You basically make a bunch of loops around your anchor point then clip the loose end of the line back to the main line. That's never meant to be tensioned (hence the name) but is a safety measure in case it slips.
It's not as ideal on smaller diameter things but might work for you. Or get some hammock anchor straps to throw around the post.
Or get some 1" tubular webbing and tie an appropriate knot (many ways to do this) to create an appropriate anchor for your hammock so that you can use the 'biner in line.
You could get creative with your atlas straps (or other webbing) and make a soft anchor for your hammock, since it doesn’t look like the ropes at the ends of your hammock are going to be long enough to go around the railing on their own. It’s not very clear in the picture how much space you are working with or whether you could wrap your straps around the painted wood. If possible, wrapping the wood a few times would be more solid that the railing, as railings are generally not built to withstand the amount of lateral force a hammock will apply.
AnimatedKnots is a great resource for learning a few different ways to use your ropes and webbing, especially in circumstances like this where you aren’t able to get the “perfect hang” that most strap systems are designed for.
Cool! I'll have to give it a look and see what I can come up with, thanks!
I'd be happier extending the rope (or using webbing) and sending it around the timber post instead of over the railing. The anchor holding the railing to the post will fail before either the railing or post themselves do, so better to eliminate that from the equation, and the longer distance around the post will make it easier to load the carabiner correctly.
Also, I do agree the carabiners or the cord itself might wear from rubbing so I'll keep an eye on it. If anything I'd figure there'd be warning signs of wear and potential failure, I'm more worried about this causing spontaneous instant failure... Which so far does not seem to warrant concern.
To add to what was said above, this is dangerous for multiple reasons.
1. That carabiner is gonna rub on its gate and spine which will cause catastrophic failure.
Carabiners are not meant to be side loaded which could be a problem in your current scenario
2. That larks head knot reduces the strength of the rope to a certain degree.
3. What is the weight rating on the railing bolt?
Is the railing bolt rusty underneath the paint? Sure paint can protect things from getting rusty, but it also hides rust, cracks, defects etc.
The wood also seems to have a crack forming near the bolt which could instantly fail.
How thick is that steel? Do you trust the integrity of the welds?
4. MOST IMPORTANTLY
with all the problems above
& the concept of “Critical Angles”
do you really trust your current system to be a bomb proof anchor system?
Source: I earned an A grade in a professional rope rigging community college course that went over rope mathematics, rigging systems and taught students how to rappel from highrise buildings.
if that breaks do you fall to the floor or off a balcony?
A couple inches to the floor at worst
Prusik your Atlas straps around the railing a few times?
I may do that now with how much controversy this photo has stirred up lol
As a guy who doesn't sit around an office all day drawing up hypothetical bullshit, like the 'engineer' guy, but has ties loads onto thousands of shits, probably.
There are two things the alleged engineer clearly didn't address, which make his comment dubious at best.
* The top rail bolted to the wall, is it bolted to an opposing wall off to the left?
If so there is zero concern for lateral pull on the wall.
* It's difficult to tell, but it appears to me that the angle between the top rail and the pull of the hammock is pretty small.
The smaller that angle, the less concern for pulling out to the right / toward the camera. That is a 90 degree angle to the rail would have the greatest pull sideways, a 15 degree angle would be negligible.
You should be able to get a good idea by grabbing the top rail and applying some force of how sturdy it is. It should be quite sturdy as it's purpose is to prevent a tumble over the edge.
Agree with others on biner. Get a piece of good cordage and tie a loop to the rail and clip biner to that.
If that guy is an engineer, he is a very much overpaid one. I can't imagine why he thinks your patio is angled down like a slide. Or whateverthefuck he was trying to say. That made no sense whatsoever.
Is the bottom of the railing like the top, bolted to the wall? Or is it bolted to the floor in multiple paces.
I'd be comfortable either way, but especially if bolted to the floor by doing this.
Get a 10' piece of electrical conduit or something similar, set it on top of the rail and lash it down. Support it on the other end with a tripod or something. Hang hammock from that. This will give you downward force only. Well, very very little other from moving around in hammock.
You make many good points, and I just wanted to address a few things to clear things up.
1) This is a railing bolted top and bottom, on two sides (so not a 90° angle bent "floating" railing). It is one singular railing between two solid pieces of lumber.
2) Where I took this photo, yes I could easily wrap a atlas strap around the post and use that, although the paint is slippery and I'm worried it would slip because I don't have the tree bark for it to bite into.. Plus, atlas straps and 90° angles of lumber don't equate equal weight distribution across the strap like they would around a round tree trunk (as most people use it).
3) To answer the "engineer" guy... I did two years of civil engineering college courses (basics that all engineers take) and I understand what he's getting at, but also you're right that with the shallower angle the lateral force would be very low. I think what they meant by me "sliding off" the balcony is that if the railing were to detatch, it would more than likely fall outwards off the balcony and drag me with it.
1) I meant to ask if it was bolted on the back side, and forgot while typing. That should be plenty solid enough. .Like I said though, I would just grab it and push/pull to get a feel. I'm very confident in my ability to test in this fashion.
2) Get a piece of accessory cord and tie it around where you have your attachment in the pic with a fisherman/double fishermans knot. Good to go. Clip biner to that.
3) Ya I was just busting his balls mostly. If it did pull loose, it would be toward the house though, right? It would likely come loose at the top and only twist partly loose at the bottom, still attached over on the other end or maybe that top coming loose too. Very confident the bottom would twist, but remain attached to some degree. Leaving you under the mess with a headache unless that is your foot end. Not fun, but not deadly. All highly unlikely in my humble opinion.
The typical factory handrail (only context I know, maybe your residential is different?) is designed for a 200 lbs force in any direction along the top rail. Steel rusts over time, losing strength, then can fail in a variety of manners.
If your handrail fails while the other end of your hammock is still firmly suspended, your hammock becomes a slide pointed towards the now-fallen rail.
Sure, you can spend money to reinforce your solution and calculate the forces involved, but at that point isn't it less effort to order a purpose-built stand?
Hope that clears up where I'm coming from.
200 lbs is the same weight as 141.84 'Double sided 60 inch Mermaker Pepparoni Pizza Blankets'.
200 lbs is 90.8 kg
> If your handrail fails while the other end of your hammock is still firmly suspended, your hammock becomes a slide pointed towards the now-fallen rail.
Thanks for that, I get it now.
So you'd slide the whole foot down to the floor. Got it.
I wouldn't be so cavalier about "working at heights", it's a leading cause of death for construction workers, many of whom spent their final moments overconfident in non-regulation solutions they've used 100 times before.
But at the end of the day I'm glad we both agree on the general use of a hammock stand, even your DIY conduit version is better than nothing!
I put mine in more sketchy places. Just make sure you’re keeping an eye on it
Yep! It might slide toward you once you're in it which wouldn't be super comfy, but nothing unsafe here.
Good! I was worried and had to ask others if it's safe to hang the hammock from itself since the space I have it in is perfect like this, but too small for atlas straps 👌🏻
Thats how i use my camping hammock at home. Dont worry