So, it's taken a lot longer than I expected (funny how kid #3 and a new house can do that to ya), but I finally finished putting my hammock kit together. Well, we all know that's never true, I've still got a list of other things to add, but the basic kit of what's needed for hanging in these parts is done.
I know, pics pics pics, they'll be coming at the end of the post, some back story first. You have my permission to skip to the pics if you really don't care. I started this journey almost two years ago when I made my hammock. Simple piece of 120"x60" ripstop, hemmed edges, w-folded and gathered, whipped. Man was I impressed with how comfortable it was. At the time I was using it to hand on day hikes for lunch stops and such, and some lounging at the family cabin. The kids (two of them at the time) loved it, and demanded their own. I was happy to comply, adding one for my wife as well. She was pregnant at the time, and was amazed that she could nap on her side or her back with no discomfort at all.
I really wanted to add to the kit a tarp and bug net, but then number three arrived and all schedules went out the window. Anyhow, the tarp eventually got done. I followed some great advice here and managed to pull it off. It's a 10'x10' cat cut 1.9 silnylon tarp.
Lastly, the bugs can be brutal around here, so it took some time, but I finally go that part done too. Ordered some noseeum from OWF, sewed it up into a tube, added channels in the ends for drawstring. Took it all up to the cabin to try it out for the night. Now my wife started to get freaked out, we're out in the woods, there's all kinds of animals lurking behind every tree ready to pounce, right? In her eyes anyway. She was worried a bear would get me. I tried to reassure her, and explained I'd rather do it here with animals that are not used to people, rather than in the backyard at home with all the raccoons we've seen lately. Those things have no fear and I don't want to mess with them. Anyhow, set up, and got in. Brought the bug net up around me and tried to tighten the drawstring. Note to those thinking of making a bug net: learn from this one. If you're making a bug net tube, measure the length of the tube to match the length of the hammock, not the ridge line. I did the ridge line, and as I pulled the drawstring tight, the net came up under me and pulled tight against the bottom of the hammock, it was short. The curve of the sag in the hammock is longer than the ridge line.
Anyhow, as it was it worked and finally after two years I got to spend my first night in my hammock. I had my sleeping bag opened up as a quilt and some blue foam under me. At first it was warm, so I just slept on top. Around 4am I finally felt cold enough to pull the bag on top of me. Everyone in the cabin had blankets all night, just the bug net was enough to keep me snug for quite a while. I got up around 8am, mainly cause it was my turn to make breakfast, but I could've stayed for much longer. I couldn't remember the last time I woke up and wasn't sore somehow. Now I do, it was Aug. 1st, 2010. Next time will be the next time I sleep in my hammock!
After that I got some ideas on fixing the bug net issue. I cut the ends down on an angle, added velcro closures at the ends, and a zipper to get in and out, as per some have done before. I went and tested the new bug net for fit today in the park (no trees in the yard, and I haven't built a stand yet). The new setup is near perfect for me. The attached pics are of the new setup.
Some quick notes, I know the tarp was rigged low, it was just a test so I didn't bother trying to set it higher. The tarp also isn't centered in the pics, so it may seem that there isn't enough coverage on one end, but when set up right there's lots of coverage. I've got it set for fair weather, and then after pegged it lower for bad weather. As you can see, there's still a fair amount of room under for the hammock and stuff. Just gotta get out more now.
That's my boy helping me out by modelling it for ya'll.
Thanks to everyone here that has posted their own experiences to help gumbies like me to figure things out and get my own kit up and running!