1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ridge line and Prusik knot

Discussion in 'Shelter & Sleeping' started by Sub5mango, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Sub5mango

    Sub5mango Tenderfoot

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2019
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    East Anglia
    Hi, I am buying cord for a ridge line onto which I'll attach a tarp with prusik knots. I believe prusiks work when they are of thinner cord than the cord they are attaching too. So I was thinking to buy 550 paracord (5mm) for the ridgeline and kombat paracord for the prusiks (3mm). Is this a good idea?

    I have read posts here about using small diameter dyneema etc line for ridgelines, like 3mm, but then do people use 2mm dyneema for the prusiks? That seems very small?
     
  2. Sundowner

    Sundowner Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    258
    Location:
    Northumberland
    My 4x4m tarp works well with same diameter Prussik knots, just a different colour
     
    Sub5mango likes this.
  3. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    4,083
    Likes Received:
    898
    Location:
    W.Sussex
    I just use standard 3mm paracord and have never had a problem with the knots slipping. 100 feet of cord should give you enough for the ridge line, some tieouts, and the prussik loops.
     
    Sub5mango likes this.
  4. Sub5mango

    Sub5mango Tenderfoot

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2019
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    East Anglia
    Thanks Sundowner and Nice65 :)!
     
  5. Ruud

    Ruud Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    Belgium
    You can make the prusik (made with the same cord that you use as a ridgeline) less slippery by adding "fingers". So instead of taking the ends through the loop twice you can add one or more passes through the loop. Each finger will increase friction on the ridgeline remarkably. Does that make any sense to you? My native language is dutch. :)
     
    Sub5mango, Nice65 and Mark Baigent like this.
  6. Sub5mango

    Sub5mango Tenderfoot

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2019
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    East Anglia
    Thanks Ruud, yes that does make sense. What cord do you use for the ridge line?
     
    Ruud likes this.
  7. bopdude

    bopdude Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2013
    Messages:
    2,846
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    Stockton on Tees
    Sub5mango and Ruud like this.
  8. C_Claycomb

    Mod

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    455
    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Sub5mango likes this.
  9. Ruud

    Ruud Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    632
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    Belgium
    I use a Hilleberg tarp which has guylines attached to all corners and and on the sides, so I don't use a ridgeline anymore...
     
    Sub5mango likes this.
  10. Broch

    Broch Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    2,212
    Likes Received:
    1,492
    Location:
    Mid Wales
    To be honest people get far too technical/pedantic about all this ridge/guy stuff (and a lot of other 'Wilderness Skills' stuff) - use what's to hand. I've used everything from clothes lines to climbing rope for a ridgeline when I've needed it and garden string to paracord for Prusik knots.

    Part of the fun of this whole subject matter is to 'have a go' - learn the principles and then try different things out. As long as it's not 'life threatening' the lesson of problem solving is more important than learning things by rote IMHO (note, before I get shot down, that doesn't mean I don't think training is useful or necessary).
     
  11. C_Claycomb

    Mod

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    455
    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Broch,
    Seems like you and I have fairly opposite ideas about questions, learning and what is fun ;) The forum works best when both sides are presented. Some presenting the options that work for them, and others reminding everyone not to get too hung up on specific gear and techniques :D

    I do agree that it is important to learn the principles, not just by rote, and I have seen plenty of folk on Hammock Forums discussing tarp lines where it appears they all just buy the ZingIt stuff (or similar) sold by their hammock/tarp purveyor of preference, then swear by it.

    However, for some of us there is fun in the technical pedantry of optimising our equipment. We ask questions so that we can learn from the experiences of others and do not ourselves need to re-invent the whole wheel. Sure, one can use anything, for ridge lines, sharpening stones, clothes and cookware, endless options, but some do perform better than others, or at least there are pros and cons. None of us can know how someone is going to learn best when they ask a question.

    If someone has a mind to learn, they will learn, whether they start in with old clothes line and mason cord, paracord, or Dynema super braid. If they don't have the mind to learn, they are as likely to carry on forever with paracord or mason line as with Excel Pro or ZingIt, whatever did the job for them to begin with.

    Sub5mango.
    Your idea of using paracord for the ridge will work, just not as well as a lower stretch cord (ie polyester based). Nylon stretches, stretches more when wet, and Paracord's construction is designed to stretch. By all means give it a try, if you don't like the result, there will be plenty of uses you will find for the paracord :D It won't be money wasted.

    2mm isn't too small for Prussic or taut line hitches on a 3mm main line, might seem so, but isn't. I don't think that Dynema is really worth the price, really, certainly not when you are starting out. I bought some ZingIt and while it is incredibly light and compact, it really doesn't work as well with knots as the 16-plait polyester lines I was using before. I can set up and take down my tarp faster with knots on the thicker line than I can with hardware on the ZingIt. If I had started out with the Dynema braid and hardware, I would not have learned the knots, and would not know how quick and easy they could be...
    (I know, you can get Dynema core with 16-plait polyester braid, in which case all you are gaining is strength, not a significant reduction in weight or bulk, and more strength isn't needed just to hold up a tarp)

    Best of luck

    Chris
     
    #11 C_Claycomb, Oct 16, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
    Sub5mango likes this.
  12. Sub5mango

    Sub5mango Tenderfoot

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2019
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    East Anglia
    Thanks Chris, I've bought a length of paracord for now, coz it's cheap and to just get out there :)
     
  13. Broch

    Broch Full Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    2,212
    Likes Received:
    1,492
    Location:
    Mid Wales
    I don't think so Chris, and I was certainly not getting at you; I was just pointing out there are alternative ways of looking at this stuff :)

    Definitely all for learning from others experience!
     
    Sub5mango likes this.
  14. Insel Affen

    Insel Affen Settler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    77
    Location:
    York, N Yorks
    I also seem to remember reading somewhere that it was better to use a smaller diameter cord for prusik knots than the ridge line cord diameter as it grips better. Not sure if this is the case as I've always just used paracord, although I did toy with the idea of using dyneema for the ridge line, but as there's not really a weight issue, only a bit of stretch I didn't bother and I can't say it's really ever mattered.

    This a variation on a theme. clicky
     
    Sub5mango likes this.
  15. C_Claycomb

    Mod

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    455
    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Definitely better to use smaller. For a time I didn't, using double paracord with the core removed to grip 4mm 8Plait and 3mm 16plait ridges. Started noticing a pattern, that if there was any wind and I was using the thinner ridge, I ended up with a slack tarp; the taut hitches were slipping. Changing down in cord size solved that at a stroke.

    There is a gentleman who attends the Bushmoot with his family who works for Marlow ropes. He has put together a very clear demonstration workshop of the differences in cords and the disadvantages of paracord for carrying tension.
     
    Insel Affen and Sub5mango like this.
  16. Deekin

    Deekin Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Messages:
    1,261
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Scotland
    Interesting reading this thread. For a ridgeline, purely through habit as it's the most common knot I've used on a daily basis, I've always used a kinch/sows lug/truckers hitch, with a double loop. It's easy and quick, and works well on small to large diameter cord/rope. Whatever works best for the individual I say. One thing I do when using new cord, is give it a good stretch before using it in "anger".
     
    Sub5mango likes this.
  17. Sub5mango

    Sub5mango Tenderfoot

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2019
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    East Anglia
    Thanks Chris, do you have a link for that demo by any chance? I tried googling it but nothing came up.
     
  18. C_Claycomb

    Mod

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    5,320
    Likes Received:
    455
    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Sorry. It was live at the Moot, not something filmed for Youtube. A pulley system anchored to a tree to stretch or break cords. Think it measured load to, but not sure.
     

Share This Page