A couple of years ago on an AT section hike I saw my first HH. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I had a US Army surplus jungle hammock. Seeing that HH hammock on the AT made me green with envy, but I'm too cheap to spring for a couple of C's for something that I haven't even tried. After too many years and too many uncomfortable nights on the ground in Boy Scout tents and AT shelter wooden platforms, I decided to DIY.
Not much on the web at the time...
So.. I went to the store, bought 3 yards of rip-stop nylon (60 inches wide) (4.29 per foot), tied an over hand knot in each end, cut up some 1" nylon webbing I had in the garage from a different project, and created 2 - 2 foot loops by tying a square knot in each, made a lark's head (?) knot, slipped them over the knots in the hammock body, and tied them to trees with some more webbing. Voila! a hammock without a bug net or tarp.
Walmart has/had 60" mosquito netting. 3 yards ($1.99 per foot), plus a parachute cord for a ridge line, paper clips for closing, and the bugs are held off. In the deep south, in the summer, night time bug protection is more critical than temperature management or water repellency!
In a new housing development I talked some workers into selling me a couple of feet of Tyvek for a couple of bucks. Add stakes and cords to the bugnet ridgeline and we now have protection from the rain! (Used wooden decorative dowel ends/ screw hole covers / something like that (about the size of a used wad of chewing gum) plus slip knots in the tie downs to hold the tyvek.. no holes or tape in the tyvek)
It looks like "who'd a thought it", but it works, is infinitely more comfortable than 2x4's in an AT shelter, is light weight, and was cheap!
Since then, I've probably spent more than the cost of a HH on trying out various upgrades, etc. but it's been a fun trip (except for the sewing frustrations.)
Next step, buy Ed's book.