I'm not exactly a noob. I've been a member here since 2007, was reading the forums since it first started and have been lurking for all these years, plus I've spoken with a number of you in the past, like JustJeff and Sgt. Rock, and I've already made quite a few hammocks over the years. I've been hammocking since 2000. But this is my first post to the HF. Mostly I hang out at BPL and some of you may know me from there. I've been meaning to post for a long time, but as people progressed here I just felt more and more inadequate in being able to say anything useful. So I've remained silent.
I stopped hammocking for a while after I found that I wasn't quite comfortable with the setup I had and could never get the issue of cold under control. But this was back when Risk was posting on his website and my last hammocks were all Risk-like designs. A lot has changed since then, amazingly so.
Recently I've been rethinking how I want to incorporate hammocks into my ultralight backpacking system, thinking that a hammock would make a fantastic solution to finding campsites on the very steep, rocky slopes of Japan, where space is a premium and shelters with big footprints often mean you have to sleep on uncomfortable sloped ground while all the smaller spots have been claimed by someone else. The problem is that sometimes it isn't practical to find two trees or boulders that would make good hanging points in the usually alpine regions where I hike here, so I have to quite often go to ground. I've been tarping a lot over the last few years, using a shaped tarp (Gossamer Gear SpinnShelter or MLD Duomid) and a waterproof/ breathable bivy (MontBell UL Bivy). It's light, versatile, and safe even up high.
What I've been wracking my brain over is the possibility of making a bivy/ hammock, that works well as both a bivy and a hammock. Since hammocks are essentially the same thing as a bivy, just that they hang, I thought it would be a good additional utility to my kit, allowing me far more choices in where I take shelter when in the mountains.
I've looked all over the forums for threads on this topic, but am confused by which keywords to use, since using "bivy" and "hammock" just produces too many results. I'm thinking of making a hammock out of two layers of light grade Tyvek, so that I can get a waterproof breathable fabric (Tyvek breathes quite well), and sandwiching between them two, foot-wide strips of 1.1 ripstop nylon to give lateral strength to the fabric. The top Tyvek fabric would have a slit at about face-level to allow the hammock, when used on the ground, to open up like a bivy, but when lying in it as a hammock, both layers would be underneath, giving the hammock the strength it needs to carry my weight (I'm not heavy, only 70 kg).
This part I think I can work out on my own, but it's the new suspension systems that have sprouted over the last few years that is really confusing me. I'm not sure what kind of end attachments to use, gathered, knotted, line through end channel, bridge style... Or whether to use a Whoopie Sling, UTC, or simple knots. Or what kind of line to use, Amsteel Blue, Dynaglide, or that other yellow one that Grizz mentioned in one of his videos. I'm even unsure whether I should make these myself (is a Whoopie Sling difficult to make... I've watched the videos, but wonder if I should trust my life and weight to something like that that I make... my sewing skills are quite good... I've made a lot of hammocks and tarps). There is so much information that I'm overwhelmed and feel I've been away for so long I've lost touch with the latest developments in hammocking.
I basically want to go as light as possible, but still be comfortable and somewhat durable, want the set up to be as simple and non-fiddly as possible (after climbing in the mountains all day I just don't have the energy to deal with a whole array of knots and lines), and I'd like the construction to be easy enough that it is difficult to make a mistake.
WOuld anyone be able to offer any advice? If this is another noobie thread start that annoys long-time posters here, forgive me. I have to get started somewhere.
eyes to see, hands to touch, legs to walk, and head for the clouds