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Thread: Buy or Build??

  1. #1
    Senior Member miisterwright's Avatar
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    Buy or Build??

    I've been hanging around the forum for a while now trying to learn as much as I can before abandoning the tent this year. So far my experience with hammocking has been with a Byer Amazonas parachute that I picked up at REI and always carry with me when I go camping. I use it just to relax and nap in. It's not really ideal for a shelter though.

    I was set on getting a HH ULB, but I really think I want to build a DIY ( like maybe a Hennessy Clone like Headchage built) My question is do you think for a "first" hammock I should buy something or build? I like the Hennessy, but don't really care about the bottom entrance. I'd rather have a removable net. Also, I'm 6' 1" so I think I'd need the Explorer size. ? I'm not sure how much difference it'd make. It sure weighs more though. I wouldn't want to sacrifice comfort though.

    My concern with a DIY, especially the HH Clone is that I wouldn't know how it should feel, since I've not used a HH. I figure I could get comfortable though, right? a DIY would be much less expensive and maybe I could try out a few styles of hammock. Any thoughts or advice?

  2. #2
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    noobie to camping & to DIY here. I decided to go with making my own stuff, for a variety of reasons.

    1) I am broke

    2) I wanted to learn how to use a sewing machine, because I think the DIY applications are numerous

    3) I wanted to try several differnt styles of hammocks, & because of reason #1, the best way to do that is by picking the brains of the incredibly friendly & generous fellows here.

  3. #3
    the hh is just an end gathered rectangle, same a an eno/trecklite, the whipping is different, but i don't believe it really effects anything anyway. other than that, it just has pull tabs on the sides and a structural ridgeline.

    first, pick a size, like 60"x10'. now, play around with different ridge distances, see what length you prefer. the easiest way to do this is to use an adjustable structural ridgeline, adjust to your liking and then measure that distance, you will need this number, b/c your netting piece will need to be the same length.

    after you find the hammock dimensions and ridge distance/sag you like, add pull tabs. use grip clips or something non permanent so you can try a few different locations, i like mine farther toward the head and feet than an hh.
    play with location till you are satisfied.

    now just cut the netting to fit your custom hammock, the end to end distance is the ridge distance you chose, theoretically, the sides of the netting will need to be the same length as the side of your hammock, but due to the stretchiness of the netting, the sides of the netting should be a couple inches shorter to compensate for the stretch even when you try not to stretch it at all.

    install the pull tabs after you sew the netting on, that way you don't have to try and "hit" them when putting on your netting.

    use wash away wonder tape to get the netting aligned properly before sewing, the tape stays sticky, and you will probably need to peel it back (netting) and re-do it a couple times to get the ends of the net to match the ends of the hammock, but once you get it on right with the tape, sewing it is easy.
    Last edited by warbonnetguy; 02-02-2008 at 00:00.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Preacha Man's Avatar
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    Wow, What Warbonnet said. I have never bought a hammock, I have always used the ones that I made. I like making them because you can have so many choices without really hurting yourself. Have fun, and if you need help, just ask.

    Dwight
    Psalm 19:1-3 "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

  5. #5
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    What they said.

    If you throw a tarp over your hammock and get some bottom insulation, it should work as well to give you an idea of what you want.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  6. #6
    Oh-No's Avatar
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    You have been given some good advise. I will only add that
    for me length = comfort = more weight. I suggest making your
    first hammock at least 11' and sleep in it at least 3 nights for a
    couple of reasons.
    The first time I slept in a hammock I didn't like it, but
    now I'd rather sleep in a hammock than in my bed. So give yourself
    a few nights to get used to it.
    If you make a long hammock and decide, this is longer than it needs
    to be you can easily make it shorter and thus lighter. But you
    can't safely make a short light hammock longer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member miisterwright's Avatar
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    good point about length, Oh-No. I think I'll start with 110" x 66" because that's what the explorer is and see what I think. I think I might go pull out my Byer and see how big it is, since it's the only thing I've used before.

    I'm definitely going to make a tarp, quilt and underquilt. So I might as well make the hammock too. I'm thinking of and blackcat type tarp. I've been reading up on this stuff for some months now but really haven't actually made much gear yet. I'm really not sure what kind of underquilt to go with, but that's all dependent on what the hammock ends up being, so first thing first.

    Thank you all for the input.
    Last edited by miisterwright; 02-02-2008 at 11:49.

  8. #8
    Senior Member miisterwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh-No View Post
    I suggest making your
    first hammock at least 11'
    11' would be 132". That seems quite a bit larger than anything I'm looking at. What am I missing?

  9. #9
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    I think the idea was to start with something crazy long and start testing. You can shorten it as you go until you find what works. I started with 14' when I started testing. The extra length was so that I could knot the ends for faster adjusting. I came up w ith 10' works the best for me and I am 6'4".
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  10. #10
    Senior Member miisterwright's Avatar
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    Thanks, I understand about starting long. And I realize now, after a little looking, that I wasn't looking at the fabric dimensions. I guess i was seeing finished product dimensions.

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