I've been thinking about how hammocks could help the homeless. What's the cheapest hammock/tarp/suspension system for homeless people you could build that would keep folks dry and warm? Should we have a contest to build the ultimate homeless hammock?
What got me thinking about this was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Veronica Scott, a woman who developed a cheap coat/sleeping bag for homeless people:
These coat/sleeping bags sound like the bomb. They weigh just one lb., and you get to multipurpose! Maybe she should sell them to Hammock Forums members? At least she could send us some to field test.
Veronica takes "synthetic quilting used in industrial clothing and stitches it to an outer shell of Tyvek." She says she and her friends "have been able to sleep in 17-degree weather, in the snow, and stay warm." She says the coat/sleeping bag costs $7 to 10 dollars to produce.
So what do you say, hammock hangers? Will you take the challenge to produce a hammock for the homeless, but also for the extremely frugal among us on this forum?
I think, for a truly affordable hammock system for the homeless, you have to have a target price of no more than $50. This ain't Cadillac hammock hanging all pimped out with Titanium doohickeys. Oh, no! This is down and dirty - a get-off-the-ground survival system for po' folk. And there ain't nothin' wrong with bein' po.
So here's a suggested criteria for rating homeless hammock weather shelters:
1. Price - the cheaper to produce the more people it will help.
2. Durability - If the price is low enough, durability may not be that important. I could even see disposable, bio-degradable materials being used. Disposable hammocks! Can you imagine? Remember to pack your disposable hammock out of the campsite and leave no trace.
3. Adaptability - the urban environment presents different challenges, since there may be no trees. Therefore, an adaptable suspension system seems to be a pre-requisite of the homeless hammock challenge.
4. Availability - products to make homeless hammock shelter should be readily available.
5. Complexity - Minimize. For example, less sewing is probably better.
Not sure how to weight these categories.
Let the homeless hammock challenge begin!