After my last solo dirtbike/hiking trip through a large swathe of Australia, I came to the conclusion that I'm just completely over tents. It seems like I spend half my time putting them up, taking them down, drying out my gear after the rivers appear in them at Cradle Mountain etc etc. I was looking at bivy sacks, but after stumbling in here have now decided to try my hand at a DIY hammock. Still very early stages though, and at the moment the idea bubbling round in my head is along the lines of a double skin top loading HH asym copy, but I really like the Clark Jungle Hammock idea of having both a bug net and a weather shield (maybe an under pocket or two as well). All the same, the idea of multiple zips or velcro for attaching them has the potential to drive me nuts too.
So, I'm starting to wonder about the feasibility of use a few small rare earth magnets to do the attachments instead. If sewn into the hem of the hammock and separate netting and weather panels, they should pretty much centre themselves if you get them roughly in the right place, and by stacking the magnets one panel should just clip straight over the other.
The only problems I can see (apart from having your credit card wiped every time you get into it :) ), would be in getting the right strength magnets to balance holding strength with easy entry/exit. Also not too sure how the weight would work out since you're potentially using three sets of magnets, closely spaced enough to seal properly.
So, all opinions will be gratefully accepted - I'm still in two minds as to whether it a brilliant idea or just impractical (ie stupid :) ). I'll probably have a fair bit of time to mull it over before I actually have a base hammock and tarp to play with anyway - got to get to it and order some fabric.
Magnets are heavy. Zippers sometimes fail or jam. Hook and loop tape has its issues as does snaps, bra hooks, buttons, toggles, etc. You take your pick using something that will do what you need and hope you can live with its shortcoming. I don't think there are any perfect fasteners.
hey, somebody is making magnetic fasteners to replace buttons on shirts, theyt are probably just the right size, can't remember who makes them though.
Cool, the shirt fasteners sound like a great idea - I need to research the whole thing a bit more, but if it works on clothing, should work on a hammock.
I've just realized how many potential details there are to play with in a hammock design - great fun!
I certainly like the idea.
There are tiny magnets that don't weigh much and are very strong.
I've seen some STRONG magnets that are pea sized.
However, they don't come apart easily.
So, like you said getting the right strength could be tricky.
Let us know if you have any luck
here you go: www.romag.com
oh, I like that!
I see potential here.
All the 'issues' youngblood mentioned with other fasteners, could be evaded with these, if they aren't too heavy.
Think of it for an underquilt. That would be an easy attachment.
You could put another set about to inches lower to 'open the windows'
Yeah, I think there's enough potential there that I'm going to give it a go. I'm leaning towards trying out some of the smaller rare earth disc magnets - have found bags of 100 online for generally about AU$15 and under. The only thing I can't find is good info on their weights. Oh well, I guess I'll just have find a local supplier, and turn up with some ripstop and some scales :)
I have used REM's before...They are great but can be devistating on fabrics if they are allowed to "Slap" together. There strength is sometimes their weakest link...the ones that are very strong cant be "Pulled" apart...but can be "Slid" apart very easily. These I used would pull the color from a TV screen and cause blood blisters and some nasty pinches if you got two of them to close together in your hand. I still have some in my shop...I hang drill bits from my drill press with them...The ones I use were slightly larger in dia. than a #2 pencil.
I think that if the REM's were placed in a double layer "pocket" of material and then sewn into the hem that it would reduce the chance of damage.
Just my 2 cents.
Good point - from what I've read the magnets can be brittle and can corrode easily, so that would also protect the magnets themselves. Having slightly bulkier than normal seams between the attracting magnets could also have the side benefit of better sealing the gap between adjacent attachment points.