Homemade hammock camping
I am sure that all the things I want to know are online somewhere, so I am going to just ask you guys where. I want to make a hammock, tarp, underquilt, and overquilt. Now, just so you have all the details to point me to the right places, I am 6' 235 (probably closer to 240 or 245 right after the holidays). I do not hike/camp when it is winter here in the south. I never see myself going any further north than VA. I usually hike/camp here in the southern Appalachians from March until college football season starts. Thanks in advance for all the help I KNOW i am fixing to get.
This would be a place to start: http://www.speerhammocks.com
Most things that you can DIY for hammocks can be found at Just Jeff's site
And a DIY Blackbishop's tarp here
All the best
John, It took me a while to realized it too, but I ended up making my own hammocks (after I had spent money on some I ended up not liking as much as the ones I made). You can do this. I do have a Claytor that I like and the last one I made was a copy of it. Whatever you make, check out making it ten feet long, you probably won't be sorry. One of the main reasons I like the Claytors is that they are only four feet wide (and ten feet long). You don't get that fabric WALL coming up around you and blocking your view that happens in 5 foot wide hammocks. And they are double bottom hammocks so you can put a mat between the layers and it will work much better. These are just my preferences but I wish someone would have told me to check out the Claytor designs as well as the other good hammocks I was pointed to. Good luck on your projects, there are some fantastic DIYers on this site. Mule
welcome to HF John.
the links they gave in the above posts are a great place to start. then if you have more specific questions, just ask away. ...tim
Welcome John! Glad you found your way here from White Blaze! I am nearly your same size, though about 20-30 lbs heavier. I am new to the site, & to hammock camping & found the site looking for info on camping on the cheap. :) After looking around I decided that I was going to give DIY a try. I am not a DIYer, I suck at all of that... but I think I can do this, & save myself a good bit of cash in the process... and I learn to sew! I think the cash saved on any single project will be somewhat minimal... but overall I think I will save a bundle. After adding up the cost of the hammock, bugnet, quilt, etc etc I will definitely come out ahead. I just have to invest the time. The other big factor was that apparently different hammocks lay differently. If I buy one hammock & dont like it, I am out the cash & have to buy another. With DIY, I should be able to rewhip my hammock until I find something I like.
The hardest part of DIY is sitting down for your first project. Once you've done that, and learned how to work the machine (easy), everything else is pretty simple.
Biggest savings will be on quilts, tarps and hammocks. Speer-style hammocks are probably the easiest thing to make...it's just a rectangle with hems, and you don't even have to cut to width. Standard rectangle synthetic quilts are super-simple to make, too - just an oversized pillowcase, really. It's not much tougher to make one from down, just more tedious b/c you have to sew the baffles. And it seems to me that a standard rectangle tarp is only a little more complicated...just gotta get the ridgeline and tie-outs right (I haven't made a tarp yet).
So start with a stuffsack just to get the machine down, then move to hammocks and quilts.
There's nothing like hanging in your own gear...for lots of us, being in the woods is about self-sufficiency. DIY is one way to take it to another level. You can't really explain it to someone who doesn't understand...but after your first night in your own gear, you'll get it.
Good luck on your projects.
Especially when someone asks you where you got your hammock, or quilt, or tarp, or pack, or rainwear, or down jacket, or gear cover, or........!
PLUS, they make really great gifts! Total cost is less than I would normally spend on a gift anyway and the uniqueness of a homemade hammock is tough to beat.
One thing that attracts me to making gear, is that I am sure to have extra gear around, if a non camper wants to tag along.