You can hang on a toothpick if it remains perfectly in column. The problem occurs when lateral forces exceed vertical ones. That is when buckling occurs. The ability to transfer loads from multiple and disparate directions in the field (one one extreme on in the case of a hammock) is a function of the column's working diameter and countervailing forces in the opposite direction. Hammock's hang from trees! How does one recreate a tree in the desert? The working diameter of a painter's extension or a piece of portable scaffolding is more in the range of what you want than Kelty tent poles. They are too nice for their intended use compared to an experiment as a hammock stand, risking breaking them.
Last edited by MDSH; 08-29-2012 at 19:28..