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  1. #1
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    DIY bridged hammock for full-time hammock sleeping?

    I've been hanging recreationally for a couple of years now. No overnights or camping trips--just getting out into nature during the day and relaxing in a nice spot. The wife and I have really been enjoying doing that this summer.

    This experience has got me thinking of trying out hammock sleeping in the home. I've got a couple of gathered-end hammocks (one a tablecloth DIYer) I could use for that. But we're pretty short on space--being only able to get about 10.5' in which to stretch a hammock. The space issue, plus what I've read about bridged hammocks being a flatter lay, has caused me to consider trying a bridged hammock in the home for a full-time sleeping experiment.

    An initial issue I've run into is that ready-made bridge hammocks seem all to be made for campers/hikers, coming with bug nets, lightweight materials, and rain flys. For an indoor hammocker, none of those things really apply. Which leads me to think along the lines of a DIY bridge hammock.

    I've watched the excellent video at https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...Bridge-Hammock and read another in-depth thread about DIY bridge hammocks at https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...Bridge-Hammock. Those could certainly prove helpful and are inspirational. But, like the ready-made bridge hammocks I could buy from a catalog, those DIY versions are also hiker/camper-centric. For example, they also use lightweight materials while, for an indoor hammocker, the overall weight of the hammock is not an issue, since there will be no need to tote it around. I had even begun to wonder, becoming aware that what I have in mind differs from the plans I've seen in that it is not intended for camping/hiking, whether a bridge indoor hammock would even require the spreader bar that is part of nearly all bridge designs I've thus far encountered: you've got a wall to which to attach your hammock indoors (this is a former carpenter speaking, who has plenty of experience hanging heavy weight from walls), and you could just run the webbing along the sides of the hammock long, right to the wall to four attachment points. There's no need in such a scenario for it to terminate at a spreader bar.

    Then, I ran across a DIY write-up, which seems to offer a plan for pretty much the exact bridge hammock I've been contemplating. See https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/...ock-(pictures), except the foot end shown in the picture would not come together but be spread apart like the head end.

    Given the direction I'm going here, then, a couple of questions. First, are there any other full-time hammockers here who use brdige hammocks? If so, I'd be interested to hear about your experience and what sort of hammock you're using. Second, regarding hammock construction, given that my scenario does not dictate that I use lightweight fabric in the construction of this hammock, what other options are there in terms of fabric I could use for this? Input on this matter will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gargoyle's Avatar
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    I believe its what your looking for as far as design.

    Hanging+Bed.jpg
    And this..
    6.jpg
    Google "modern hammock bed" for more design images.

    Fabric can be most anything as long as it doesn't have stretch. Painters canvas, sailcloth, ripstop nylon are all good choices. Since the fabric wont be exposed to outdoor elements, you aren't limited to just ripstop. But don't dismiss ripstop, it is a fine option, and you can go with heavy duty rip since weight isn't a big deal indoors.
    The four corners can be tensioned to your wall mounts eliminating the spreaders. And with the proper design, you should be able to hang in your allowed span. Gravity will still play a factor and force two occupants towards the center...which can be good or bad.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

  3. #3
    V_Allen's Avatar
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    I sleep year 'round in a hammock. I split the time between my diy bridge and gathered end. I find them both comfortable, but not for the same reasons - but your asking about a bridge. Properly constructed, it should last you years. I'm not able to sleep in a regular bed anymore due to a lifetime of damage to my body. The hammocks ease my aches and pains and I'm able to get a good nights sleep in either hammock. The bridge provides total body support for me.

    With the arrival of HyperD and Hexon materials, you can have a fairly light weight and comfortable hammock. They're both very soft, like cloth.

    Vince

    Or as Gargoyle said -------
    Last edited by V_Allen; 09-01-2015 at 13:02.
    V_Allen Bridges For Bigger People v_allen@mail.com

    www.bridges4biggerpeople.xyz

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies, gargoyle and V_Allen. This is an experiment I would first try on just myself, gargoyle, so I'm not envisioning a 2-person bridge hammock. If my tests prove successful, I'd then make a separate hammock--but with whatever design improvements I might think up while experimenting with the prototype--for the wife. So if we decide we prefer this sleeping arrangement, we'd be sleeping side-by-side, but in separate hammocks. That said, the pictures you've posted are right on target as far as hammock hanging/attachment points are concerned.

    My next question for you, V_Allen would be whether you use an underquilt or pad on your bridge hammock? I would imagine it would be necessary during winter months in your area (as it is likely to be in mine). The plan I ran across calls for a single layer of ripstop, but I'm inclined to go with two layers so I could put a sleeping pad between layers when the weather--and along with it our inside temperature--gets cooler. I've even arrived at the notion that the inside layer could be a different fabric than the outside layer: maybe 1.9 oz. ripstop on the outside, as the plan calls for, and something like muslin on the inside.

    Still kicking around ideas, as you can see.
    Last edited by wayover13; 09-01-2015 at 16:04.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Another angle to consider would be a frame, footprint the size of the hammock basically. Only difference is that you don't get the gentle sway of a hanging bed.

    I did a 'portable' version once, cannot find the thread now but I did find some pics in the HF gallery.

    bridge-stand-assembled-1.jpg
    Grizz
    (alias ProfessorHammock on youtube)

  6. #6
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    Thanks much for the reply, GrizzlyAdams. That picture shows pretty much exactly what I'd like to do, though I'd probably end up hanging from walls rather than using a frame. Still food good for thought.

    One question on that design: the design I initially ran across uses just a stitched hem at the head/foot ends, while it looks like yours has webbing all the way around. I've wondered whether webbing across the head and foot hems might not be more desirable. Can you explain why you opted for webbing around the entire perimeter rather than just along the long sides?

  7. #7
    V_Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayover13 View Post
    Thanks for the replies, gargoyle and V_Allen. This is an experiment I would first try on just myself, gargoyle, so I'm not envisioning a 2-person bridge hammock. If my tests prove successful, I'd then make a separate hammock--but with whatever design improvements I might think up while experimenting with the prototype--for the wife. So if we decide we prefer this sleeping arrangement, we'd be sleeping side-by-side, but in separate hammocks.

    My next question for you, V_Allen would be whether you use an underquilt or pad on your bridge hammock? I would imagine it would be necessary during winter months in your area (as it is likely to be in mine). The plan I ran across calls for a single layer of ripstop, but I'm inclined to go with two layers so I could put a sleeping pad between layers when the weather--and along with it our inside temperature--gets cooler. I've even arrived at the notion that the inside layer could be a different fabric than the outside layer: maybe 1.9 oz. ripstop on the outside, as the plan calls for, and something like muslin on the inside.

    Still kicking around ideas, as you can see.
    Well, I'm one of those who sleeps cold. I use a 20 degree synthetic uq year 'round - I just open the ends and hang it looser in warm weather to vent. Oh yeah, in winter I use a full length synthetic rated for 0 degrees. Even in the house I use an uq (when I sleep in the house). A pad pocket is a good idea - use a dual layer and keep one end open for pad insertion. Make sure the fabric can handle your weight.

    Vince
    V_Allen Bridges For Bigger People v_allen@mail.com

    www.bridges4biggerpeople.xyz

  8. #8
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayover13 View Post
    Thanks much for the reply, GrizzlyAdams. That picture shows pretty much exactly what I'd like to do, though I'd probably end up hanging from walls rather than using a frame. Still food good for thought.

    One question on that design: the design I initially ran across uses just a stitched hem at the head/foot ends, while it looks like yours has webbing all the way around. I've wondered whether webbing across the head and foot hems might not be more desirable. Can you explain why you opted for webbing around the entire perimeter rather than just along the long sides?
    There's no webbing on the ends (although you cannot tell). No need. That's black bias tape.
    Grizz
    (alias ProfessorHammock on youtube)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyAdams View Post
    There's no webbing on the ends (although you cannot tell). No need. That's black bias tape.
    Thanks for the clarification, GrizzlyAdams. So, bias tape across the head/foot ends and webbing--like in Refreshing's design--along the long edges, right?

  10. #10
    Senior Member GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayover13 View Post
    Thanks for the clarification, GrizzlyAdams. So, bias tape across the head/foot ends and webbing--like in Refreshing's design--along the long edges, right?
    Like every bridge design I've ever seen (except one very experimental one where I was trying to pull the corners apart without spreader bars, and needed something other than fabric between the ends.)
    Grizz
    (alias ProfessorHammock on youtube)

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