Hammocks seem to be all the rage these days. A lot of the interest seems to have been generated from the light weight backpacking community trying to come up with innovative ways to find a better night’s sleep in the woods with the least amount of weight. Most lightweight components involve the use of nylon for the hammock and the tarp, lightweight but heavy duty cord (e.g. amsteel or dyneema) and various clever suspension systems that range from simple use of carabineers to whoopee slings. A brand name hammock system can be cost prohibitive for the fruglar, but if weight is not your concern like it is for me or perhaps you are more of a car camper, there is a smarter way.
Here is what you’ll need – A large thrifty shop in town (it will basically have everything you need at bargain basement prices, well almost everything; I had to buy rope from eBay… )
Once inside the shop look for the following –
- Belts made from webbing x 4 ($2 each)
- Heavy Duty Curtains (I got 2 for $25)
Rope (You want something with a breaking strength of at least half a ton – In my case I bought 50m of Telstra rope on ebay for about $15)
Add all the above together and here is what you want to achieve –
Don’t worry about the clamps, just pretend it’s two trees J
You will need to know how to make a bowline… if you don’t know how, just google it.
Cut 2 pieces of rope about 50cm and make a bow line at each end.
Scrunch each end of the curtain and with the bowline you have made, wrap it around the curtain twice and take one bowline through the other bowline.
At the tree end, wrap your webbing around the tree and through the buckle and find a stick somewhere on the ground and make a marlin hitch.
Now get another piece of rope and wrap a bowline around the marlin hitch and with the free end, thread it through the bowline on the hammock and tie it off! You’ll need to adjust it a bit, but the right hammock position is about 30 degrees to the horizontal. See http://theultimatehang.com/2012/07/hammock-camping-101/ . As a rough guide you can just make a right angle with your thumb and index and sight it against the hammock in the background.