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  1. #1
    New Member cjnelson's Avatar
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    Wink This is how the ghetto girls and boys hang A.K.A. DIY

    Hello Everybody!
    Last night was my first official hammock hang on my DIY hammock! Needless to say, if I ever had any doubts about hammocking, they have all been expelled! As you may be able to tell from the pictures, the materials I used were not exactly ideal; however, I have ordered some better suspension and some material to make a proper tarp, so I hope to have some better gear in the future. But for right now, lets take a look at my first (slightly ghetto) hang:

    Temperature Highs of 35 lows of 27
    Hammock DIY Double layered, gathered end hammock. Thanks to diygearsupply.com, Just Jeff's hammocking instructions, and Hancock Fabrics for providing instruction and materials!
    Insulation I used a big, cheap sleeping bag unzipped as an underquilt; I actually attached the ends to the ridgeline, which made it almost like a pod. I then stuffed my Slumberjack 30 mummy bag into my 30 military issued jungle bag (part of the Military Modular Sleep System) and used a Grabber All-Weather Blanket as a top quilt. You may think this is a bit overkill, but I just moved to VA from Hawaii, so I am not used to the cold!
    Tarp This is where my set up starts to move into the realm of ghetto. I used a big, see-through piece of thin plastic that I believe is supposed to be used for painting. I then attached it to the ground by tying the ends to some unidentifiable cord I found under my bed and secured it to the ground using some stakes I scavenged from a tent. It was loud, but it was proud! And I'm sure had there been any precipitation, I would not have been as soaked as I would have been had I not put it up!
    Here is a picture from inside the tarp:

    Suspension This is the part where all the experienced hammockers start to cringe! My "ridgeline" consisted of a lovely piece of frayed, slightly torn nylon webbing that I found tangled in a bush two years ago on the Clark Fork River and a piece of very, very stretchy rope of unknown origin that I used to use to tow kayaks. I also used 550 cord, shoe string, and the aforementioned piece of unidentified cord I found under my bed! In case there are any hammockers reading this that are even more beginner than I am, this is not an ideal suspension set up!
    Here is a picture of my "suspension":

    Although my setup was a little less than ideal, I absolutely enjoyed my first hammocking experience, and I look forward to learning and hangin' a lot more! Here is what I learned from my experience:
    1. DIY is loads of fun and a lot easier than I thought! I don't think I've ever even used a sewing machine before, but I was able to quite successfully make a hammock. It is far from perfect, but I am very happy with it! (And besides, who really cares about dimensions and proportionality anyways?)
    2. It is possible to hammock in the cold! I know 27 isn't exactly harsh, winter temperatures, but I still thought it was cold enough to make me a little nervous! I was very impressed with how warm I was able to stay in the hammock, and with some better insulation, I think I will be quite comfortable!
    3. Wow, condensation, like, actually exists! Even though I had read about condensation, I was still very surprised to find a thin layer of moisture on the underside of my All-Weather blanket. I slept with a balaclava over my mouth (I think I learned that from Shug), and I do think that probably helped collect a bit of condensation.
    4. And last, but certainly not least, making hammocks can be lonely; bring a friend!


    I'd love to improve on my hammocking experience/design, so if anybody has any comments, criticism, words of wisdom, sarcastic remarks, questions, musings, advice, etc., please feel free to let me know! I do have a couple of questions in particular:
    1. I found that I kept sliding down into the middle of my hammock, so that my feet were really close to the whipping at the foot end, but my head was a good 3-4 feet away from the top. Does that mean I have too much sag?
    2. I'm sure this is a very simple question, but how do you stay flat in a hammock? I have been trying to lay diagonally in the hammock, but I felt like the center line of the hammock was really tight, and it was making my knees uncomfortable. Does this have to do with the whipping?

    There are a lot of people here on Hammock Forum that helped me a lot through their threads and posts, so I'd like to say a big thanks to all of you! Really, you don't know who you are, and I don't remember who you are, but if you have ever said something useful here on hammock forum, thanks for sayin' it!

    Stay Hangin'!
    -Nelson

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Can you measure the angle of your suspension ropes? The photo with no one in the hammock looks pretty flat. If you get some weight in it (a friend) and check the angle, it should be around 30 degrees. At least that is a good starting angle. If you can't lay on the diagonal, you may need more sag.
    I love the unimproved works of God. - Horace Kephart

  3. #3
    Notare's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Austin,tx
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    Hey you got out and you enjoyed it. Thats all that matters. Welcome to a slippery slope.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Great start. The tight center line can be worked around. I find I have it sometimes and sometimes I don't. When I have it, I try and have my butt slightly to the side of center on the side my head will be on. My feet are almost and sometimes are even a little out of the hammock. My hammock is diy gathered and I have marks on the sides at midpoint and 26 inches either way. My underquilts are a bit longer than that and I attach them to prussik loops on my ridgeline. My feet are slightly hanging over the edge right inside where the cords are for the underquilts. My head is right beside the opposite cords. It takes alot of fiddling to get it right.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cookie's Avatar
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    To answere question 1. You probably need to hang the foot end slightly higher than the head end...by about 3 or 4 inches. This keeps you from sliding down into the foot area. It seems counter intuitive but it realy is more comfortable.
    "Sometimes only nature felt real, while all human monuments and actions seemed to be the settings and the plots of dreams"

    "So many people live in the past or the future and betray the present."

  6. #6
    Bubba's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    I love it! I especially like the origins of some of the gear...found under bed...found tangled in a bush. It's great you had fun. Welcome to the hanging world!
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  7. #7
    Member Jumpin Joe's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
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    Doing is more than saying. Ghetto or not using what you have to, to get the job done and hangin.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bigbamaguy's Avatar
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    Good job and congrats on making it through the night. With experience and better gear will make a great Virginia convert cold weather hanger!!!!!!
    Par Si Vis Pace Para Bellum

  9. #9
    Moderator
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    Nice...but my first thought was...my mama taught me not to put my head in plastic bags.

  10. #10
    BlazeAway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjnelson View Post

    I'd love to improve on my hammocking experience/design, so if anybody has any comments, criticism, words of wisdom, sarcastic remarks, questions, musings, advice, etc., please feel free to let me know!

    Welcome and a great hang there cjnelson.
    One thing I noticed that you might be missing is a pillow (or some clothes that you don’t use) under your knees. It will add a lot of comfort to your lay.
    Best,
    Blaze
    Last edited by BlazeAway; 01-17-2012 at 14:05.

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