My dad got ahold of a surplus "HAMMOCK, JUNGLE, COMPLETE" with a March1945 tag in it, in the 50s, and I used it extensively in the 80s. I had to replace all the lines after smacking the ground because of dry rot, and just this month replaced those with 550 cord and the main lines with tubular webbing.
I actually though about using it during my time on active duty in the military, but decided not to, mostly due to the condition of the roof, and the fact that we many times trained where there were no trees strong enough to support it.
The waterproof portions are made out of what I believe to be oilcloth. Several years ago, I removed the roof, and bought a camo nylon tarp. I lightly tacked the tarp on, and only used it a few times. My kids each spent a night in it a few weeks ago during spring break. I slept in an ENO that was commercially purchased and issued by my reserve unit.
The original roof was really the only problem area. I am thinking of sewing mosquito netting on as a roof, and using the tarp above only when I expect rain. I do have an old issued "mosquito bar" which is the military's term for net that I plan to cut a piece out of for that. I think I may incorporate some pieces of wire into the roof panel to hold it out.
Also, the way the lines go from what is called on the tag the bridle ring to the hammock itself seems unusually unstable. There are 10 grommets, and originally, the 5 lines each went from one grommet through the ring, to another grommet. 1 to 6, 2 to 7, etc. This allowed self equalization of the weight on each line, but a sleeper better not turn over too far. It appears to work best when the middle lines are little longer than the outer lines. When I replaced them the first time, I knotted 10 equal length lines at both the ring and the hammock. This time, I went back to the original 5 to 2. I'm not sure if I'll stick with it.
I am just looking for ideas and suggestions from people who know more than I do. I am also curious how many people are still using the old stuff like this.
Thanks in advance.