So I took it out last week, then again this weekend. Here's a couple of pictures, and the hang report.
I bought some Spyderline to do my temporary suspension, since I figured it was a good compromise between cheap and strong. I tied up all my suspension triangles with taut-line hitches (threaded through some webbing pockets (similar to TeeDee's) that I made out of 1 1/2" polypro webbing from Strapworks). I had a separate line for each attachment point; I joined each triangle together with a Zeppelin bend and larks-headed the result through the steel rings I was using.
At the head end, I have two separate suspension triangles, each one toggled around a steel ring. There is a rope connecting the two steel rings; this is to prevent the triangles from getting pulled out of shape if the trees aren't precisely in the right positions. At the foot end, there is just one suspension triangle, with an amsteel whoopie looped around the steel ring and attached with a fixed eye to the support webbing in the center of the hammock.
The three steel rings I used (two at the head end, one at the foot end) were attached to 3 6' whoopie slings that were attached to toggled tree straps. I plan to upgrade those to dutch buckles when time & money permit.
All well and good, right? Well, unfortunately, it seems that I underdesigned a few things. When I got in by myself, it held me just fine. However, when my lovely (and much lighter than me) wife joined me, there were a few critical failures. Thankfully, nothing structural in the hammock. I was initially using some carbon fiber toggles that I made from an old arrow a friend gave me. Word of advice - carbon fiber arrows don't do well being used as toggles.
After the second one failed on me, I gave up with them and went and found some big 1" diameter sticks to use. The second failure I had came from the Spyderline; the line connecting the two head rings snapped on me. Altogether, I only got dropped three times, none from very high up. Still, not fun, and it sent me to the store for some better rope (amsteel) and a needle to start splicing.
After a few busy days of splicing, I got all my slings made. Currently, the hammock has short whoopies for all the suspension triangle ropes (6) and ridgelines (3), as well as for the three attachment points to the tree straps. I also upgraded my steel rings to more robust rappel rings from REI - better safe than sorry, and I don't think I should even bother trying to make the first one ultralight
. I also upgraded the rope on the foot end of the hammock to 1/4" amsteel - probably overkill, but I'd rather not get us dropped and convince my wife that hammocking is suicidal.
This weekend I took it out for a second test; you can see below that it holds me and a friend, as well as me and my wife together.
No breaking or ominous creaking; the amsteel (unsurprisingly) seems quite a bit more robust than the first suspension. One thing that I wasn't expecting; the two ridgelines running parallel to the two hammock bodies didn't perform at all as expected. Basically, when one person is in the hammock, the opposite ridgeline gets taut, and the hammock hangs *very* diagonally. You can see in the pictures that I replaced the two red ridgelines with a test version - just a white polypro rope that I had on hand. It's hanging loosely; getting the ridgeline working is the last thing that I think I'll need to do. After that it'll just be tweaking suspension triangle lengths, then making some endcaps and adding a bugnet, then actually (gasp!) trying it out
What do you think?