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  1. #1
    Senior Member GvilleDave's Avatar
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    King of the Jungle Hammock

    OK so the title is a little bold & there is plenty of room for improvement but here's my take on the jungle hammock. Whether its the Claytor version, the Clark or the Switchback most folks that have one seem to really like it. One thing I've noticed though is the commercially produced jungle hammocks all tend to the shorter & more narrow in size. I had two goals in mind with this project: build it bigger and build it with a structural ridgeline.

    Sizewise the KOTJH is 11' long x 62" wide. I made it from a double layer of olive 1.1 oz ripstop. I kept the monochromatic color scheme going with olive mosquito netting and light green grossgrain reinforcements. The spreader bars are cut from a couple fiberglass rods I found at Home Depot but you can either leave them out (see my first pic) or you could use trail sticks to save a few oz. I may attempt a DIY pack that incorporates the spreaders as pack stays but that is down the road.

    The suspension consists of poly straps through the channels sewed to a pair of cinch rings at each end. Between the straps I have an amsteel ridgeline attached to the rings. I could slim down everthing and use whoopies instead but the eases of the rings and straps won out. Also my thought is that by running webbing through the channels instead of an amsteel loop the hammock will be more free to slide in the channel as I adjust position in the hammock. Also I think the straps in the channel will cause less wear than an amsteel loop would and prevent damage and wear to the channel ripstop.

    The netting is sewed on along both ends and both sides are zippered. this lets you exit from either side and / or tie up the netting similar to the Switchback. I thought about attaching the netting at the ends w/ velcro to make the net removable but didn't...

    The big drawback to this design is that 2 layers of RS and a full layer of mosquito netting and straps / rings etc... including a blackbishop style stuffsack weigh in at 2# 12.1 oz.

    Performance wise it lays very flat and is certainly comfortable. I started with a ridgeline length of 120" between the rings but have since lengthened it to 130" and found the hammock more comfortable. I may continue tinkering with this length to dial things in.







    Last edited by GvilleDave; 03-20-2011 at 13:30.

  2. #2
    Knotty's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with what makes something a jungle hammock, so please excuse the dumb questions.

    -What's a jungle hammock?
    -What does the spreader bar do?
    -Could you save weight by replacing the webbing with more Amsteel?

    Keep us posted.
    Knotty
    "Don't speak unless it improves the silence." -proverb
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    That's pretty interesting how you used the straps through the channel, I don't think I've seen that before. It seems like it would eliminate some side flap automagically.

  4. #4
    in it for the naps oldgringo's Avatar
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    Knotty, the second pic down shows the spreaders. They hold the net open, Claytor style.
    Dave

    http://www.uark.edu/misc/xtimber/rna/pattonsbluff.html

    It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming.
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  5. #5
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    The Hennessy Deep Jungle is 11' x 5', dbl bottom and netted so meets all of your criteria to be KOTJH methinks. Personally, if I was going deep into equitorial jungle, I would prefer the fail-safe character of a zipless system such as the Hennessy safari, or any of the other bottom entry HHs. I hike in the White Mountains in NH, so am happy to have the convenience of a zipped side entry hammock as the bugs here are nowhere near as dangerous as those in the jungle. Perhaps someone like trekkingnut who regularly goes tropical could comment?

  6. #6
    Senior Member GvilleDave's Avatar
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    I was trying for a DIY version of an end channel hammock like the Claytor only longer and wider. The HH stlye whipped end hammock is different from this type and I have built several longer (12' long) by 62" wide HH style hammocks and I like those alot. I was bored and felt like playing around with a different approach. The style I was copying here has a large symetrical, rectangular mosquito net the same size as the hammock body that must be hung up above the hammock body. Most of the similar hammocks accomplish this with separate lines that attach to the netting and tie back to the tree or the hammock suspension. The result is a very open interior.

    I have never layed in one before and was intrigued by the number of fans they have so I thought I would give it a go. Ultimately I think I like the asymetrical, smaller netting design of a HH or a WBBB style better but it is always fun experimenting...

    Also in a gathered end or whipped end hammock the structural ridgeline is level with the whipping. With this style jungle hammock the ridgeline must be hung from a ring farther up the suspension which raises the height of the ridgeline and thus elevates the netting higher. The result is a more open interior but requires much more netting.

    Here are a few pics of the Claytor JH that inspired my DIY: http://www.mosquitohammock.com/junglehammock.html

  7. #7
    Knotty's Avatar
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    Thanks for the explanation.

    Can totally relate to the "but it is always fun experimenting" comment. Glad you're having a good time making gear.
    Knotty
    "Don't speak unless it improves the silence." -proverb
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  8. #8
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    Experimentation is always good and this is a time consuming venture for an experiment. I hope that useful information comes from it. I guess the height of the ridge line will mean that the fly will be well above the hammock. I wonder whether that would be a good thing during tropical downpours?

  9. #9
    Senior Member GvilleDave's Avatar
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    Overall height of the netting is only say 12" or so higher than a gathered end or HH style hammock. I don't think I will have to pitch my tarp any higher. If I pitched my tarp down low against my HH hammocks I would have to al most crawl to get in so that should not be an issue here.

    Unrelated - but another feature I have found on this type hammock is that by flipping the hammock over w/ the net underneath I can have an open top for lounginging etc... I will try and shoot a pic or two of this set-up.

  10. #10
    Senior Member GvilleDave's Avatar
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    So after making this hammock I found there were a few things I do not like. First, my suspension was not removable. As such I can not use the JH as a bivi as the design allows. So I reworked the suspension into what I think would be a good option for anyone with an original Claytor. Here's a link to the thread:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...806#post468806

    I also did not like the way the bug netting was loose and there was lots of extra netting. To fix this I removed 2 ea 4" wide strips of netting from the width and 2 ea 4" wide strips from the length of the netting. This dramatically tightened the netting and it now has a better shape.







    I also added assymetrical tie outs on each side to help open up the interior. These were placed 15" away from the centerline on opposite sides.

    The last thing I changed was the ridgeline. Since this is my first DIY Jungle Hammock and it is a custom length and width I wanted the ability to adjust the ridgeline length and play with it to find a sweet spot. I installed a whoopie sling that adjusts from 100" to 132". The RL connects to each cinch buckle and then peirces the netting at each end.

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