Texas State Parks and 2 inch straps
Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:10 am
Recently it was discovered that Texas State Parks have put a rule into place (or maybe it's just a suggestion) that hammock need to be hung using 2 inch straps. This caused some people on the Texas Hammock Hangers FB group to declare how this is a terrible, really bad, no good rule. Here are my thoughts on it.
Rant time regarding the TPWD rule requiring 2 inch straps.
Some people on the other thread are sounding like they want to "fight the power" when it comes to this rule, and I want to come out saying that is a bad idea. The reason we recommend tree straps vs rope is because with a strap the pressure exerted on the tree's cambium layer is lessened because the force is dispersed over a greater area. So, if a 1 inch strap disperses the force over a greater area than rope, would it not also stand to reason that a 2 inch strap would do a better job than a 1 inch strap?
If that is the TPWD position, I am good with that. If they are saying "hey, we are ok with you guys enjoying our State's natural beauty, but we just want to protect the trees", then I am ecstatic. Because of the boom in hammock use, many places are outright banning hammocks. I don't want Texas parks to go that route. I have publicly refused to go to a group hang in a Texas State Park where the superintendent was telling the organizer that hanging would not be allowed and stands would have to be used. I have stands. I just refuse to give my money to a park that is basically telling me I am not welcome there. At last month's Butt Bake, I saw eye rings screwed into a tree. I saw an MSR groundhog type stake that had been DRIVEN into a tree. At Fairfield this summer, i saw nails driven into trees, and heard yesterday from a reliable source about mule tape wrapped around hanging branches in places where removal would necessitate a ladder.
Some who read this are going to react negatively. Some will respond by saying that their hardware is designed for one inch straps. You're right it is. Here are 2 solutions. Make a 2to1 strap (a section of 2 inch strap sewn onto a section of 1 inch strap), or just make a 4-6 foot long, 2 inch wide tree hugger (strap with loops on both ends) and larkshead your existing one inch strap onto that. Some will then respond, but Scuba i dont want to give Dutch almost $8 for a pair of 4ft long tree huggers. I totally understand not wanting to give Dutch any money, and in that spirit I will make you a pair of 4ft, two inch tree huggers for $5 a pair plus shipping to you. I am not in the hammock gear business, but will do this to help out my fellow Texas hangers at basically no profit.
Some people aren't going to take me upon my offer, and they might be hanging at a Texas State Park and have a ranger tell them they have to use a 2 inch strap or remove the hammock. They are then going to argue with the ranger about how they know better, and one inch straps are sufficient, at least they aren't using rope, etc... That is what TPWD is going to use as an excuse to ban hammocks from their parks. Please don't.