I got into hammock hanging for several reasons. One of them was the dynamic and creative DIY spirit that pulses through this community. To date, I have made every piece of hammock equipment that I own.
One area that many hangers seem to have some trouble with is rain water running down the tree, onto the suspension system and flowing right down into the hammock. There have been a number of solutions, some much more successful than others at diverting the flow off of the suspension before it can reach the hammock and soak it. The general solution has been to larkshead a shoestring or a strip of terry cloth onto the suspension. This has the effect of slowing the flow and providing a path for the water to drip off. Others have tried using carabiners, Dutch hardware or rings for the same ultimate goal. There is a very informative video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0-uOekjcU0) that shows tests conducted on many of these setups. He states that the string dripline solution works 100% of the time. While the string works, there may be times, such as was shown with the mechanical breaks, where rotation of the setup allowed the water to run right past it.
The idea that rotation of the drip break device could present a problem got me to thinking and I came up with an idea. What about a conical dam on the line that redirects all pf the water away from the line and hammock and works equally well regardless of the rotation? After a number of unsuccessful attempts to make one I came up with a solution. It is based on a new material called Sugru. This is a moldable material that comes in a variety of colors that adheres very well to almost everything and cures to a flexible, rubbery state in around 24 hours. Just as with any other design, there are limitations. This has been designed for application on Whoopie Slings and other cord suspension systems. One could conceivably adapt this design for application onto strap suspensions.
Here are the steps for making your own Drip Lip water break.
Gather the following items: 3 packets of Sugru in your favorite color, Saran wrap, popsicle sticks, Xacto knife and a rolling pin
Open the Sugru and massage it well. I found that it took 3 packages to make 2 Drip Lips. Sugru has a work time of about 1 hour, so plan your time accordingly so that you can finish within that time frame. (Note: Once opened, the Sugru must be used immediately as the curing process has begun).
Place a piece of Saran wrap on your work surface, flatten out the Sugru and place it about 1/4 of the way from one of the short sides of the wrap, place the popsicle sticks on either side of the Sugru and fold the wrap over onto itself.
Take the rolling pin and flatten the Sugru to a uniform thickness of the two popsicle sticks.
Cut out a flat cone shape using the Xacto knife. For this sake of uniformity, I made a template of a circle with a 1.75" O.D and .25" I.D. with a wedge cut out.
Cut a rectangle out of the flat Sugru that is approximately .35" x 1". Wrap this around your Whoopie sling approximate half of the distance between the fixed eye loop near the hammock and the adjustable tail. Mold this onto the line into a cylinder of approximately .25" O.D. Taper the end of this cylinder that points away from the hammock. This will help the water to come off of the Whoopie sling easily. Place the cone shape at the midpoint of the cylinder and gently bring the straight edges together and mold them to form a cone with the opening facing away from the fixed eye end. Mold the cone and cylinder together where they meet.
Take a minute and gently form the cone into a clean symmetrical shape. The Drip Lip does not need to be made perfectly to work perfectly. Once the shape pleases your sensibilities, hang it up and let it cure for 24 hours. The finished piece is small, light, flexible and completely effective.
The Drip Lip is effective for several reasons. It is made from a moldable silicone material which water does not adhere well to. It makes solid contact with the Whoopie sling and prevents water from passing under it. The conical shape makes the water reverse flow direction and flow away from the hammock. The lip of the cone lets water drip off clear of the line and prevents it from redirecting back to the line. Like a squirrel on a telephone wire, it simply cannot get past this obstacle.