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  1. #1
    New Member
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    First attempt. Tips and suggestions?

    I've recently become interested in hammock camping from my motorcycle. As usual, I dove in head first. I ordered a Hennessy and have napped in it a few times, but haven't camped yet. I've researched a ton and decided I'd try to make a couple DIY's for the back yard, loosely modeled after the Hennessy, and a multitude of others I've seen on the forums. Here's my first attempt...







    Ripstop from Walmart. No idea what weight. It is not coated and breathes. Believe it or not, I found some navy blue coated Silnylon at my local Walmart the day after I bought material to make my first one. i'm going to use it to make another one and a tarp eventually. I have lots of paracord, some climbing carabiners and webbing on hand, so I used that on my first one rather than going shopping. I teach Rope Rescue Systems for the fire service so I know a little about knots. I used double loop 550 cord with double overhand on a bite loops with 400lb mini carabiners on the inside of the whipping. I used 550 cord with a bootlace tied around it in a Prusik knot for an adjustable ridgeline. I also had some mosquito netting so I cut it out and hand sewed some seams and loops to hang it. It is completely removable and I will be weighting it to keep it draped when needed. The ridgeline runs through the rings on the mosquito netting. Using materials I had on hand, and buying only material, so far I have enough supplies to make two lightweight hammacks and one waterproof hammock and tarp, for a total cost of around $25. Big thank you to the kid in Mountain High Outfitters on hwy 280, Birmingham Alabama. I didn't buy the Hennessy there because it was $200. Ordered on Amazon.com for $126, free shipping. But, the kid suggested I DIY it. Not a great sales tactic, but his willingness to help a noob guaranteed I'll shop there again for gear I can't make myself. Thanks bro!

  2. #2
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    Cincinnati, OH
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    Your motorcycle got you interested in using a hammock? That's cool, my motorcycle never suggested anything to me.
    Are you sure you want to make a hammock out of silnylon? I think most people on here would say you want your hammock to be breathable and not waterproof. I'd use the silnylon for tarps, stuff sacks, etc, but not the hammock.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2012
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Mummy bag for now.
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    Very hard to tell but looks like a DR and an XT? My bikes often speak quietly of new adventures including camping! It just recently discovered tent camping and has egged me enough to order the Hennessy tonight.

    In the past I just used tents with everything from R6's to VFR's, KLR650's, and now a DR400s. Greetings from TN!

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Jun 2012
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    St.Louis, MO
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    Nice hammock. I have descending rings too. You know you might be able to eliminate those carabiners attached to the rings. Since that is a loop you could larks head it onto the rings. Then you could use the carabiners for something else. Just a thought.

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Yeah, my bikes do speak to me...

    @Adventure Myk
    The bikes are a DR650, DRZ400, and a CRF250R.

    @SweetLou
    Would silnylon not be better for cold weather? I already have some more breathable ripstop for a second hammock and did consider using the silnylon for a tarp for the first two, but then I thought it might make a better hammock for colder wetter situations. Although, colder and wetter situations might force me back into my tent setup.

    @guitar
    The 550 loops are two short sections, tied in loops and connected inside the hammock, through the whipping so I'm not sure I know what you mean about the larkshead through the rings. Can you elaborate? I actually designed it to be used with, and probably will use a Marlin spike hitch and eliminate the carabiners altogether, but I'd like to know some other options. Just curious, would a clove hitch on a spike work just as well as the Marlin?

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iGuitar93 View Post
    Nice hammock. I have descending rings too. You know you might be able to eliminate those carabiners attached to the rings. Since that is a loop you could larks head it onto the rings. Then you could use the carabiners for something else. Just a thought.
    O.k. I see what you mean by the larkshead on the rings. I just had to actually do it for it to make sense. Good suggestion. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Mikeinajeep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Vancouver bc
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    500
    I'm a paracord freak myself, BUT don't hang from it! As a fellow adventure rider, trust me buy some amsteel or the like. People will debate this forever but parachutes have 30 plus cords and work for 20 minutes life long. Paracord is great for everything but your butt!
    Carpe noctem!!

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Yeah, that's a tweek I'm working on, just haven't picked any up yet. The rings in the pick are not actual climbing rings so that's another tweek on the list. Thanks for the tips guys. It's unbelievable what information is instantly available these days.

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Jun 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmlstewart View Post
    O.k. I see what you mean by the larkshead on the rings. I just had to actually do it for it to make sense. Good suggestion. Thanks!
    You're welcome. And diygearsupply sells very nice aluminium rings.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    550 cord failures

    I understand that 550 cord is not ideal for suspension systems due to stretch and saturation issues. I am working on aquiring some Amsteel. But, I am curious about the failures.
    Looking at the post about the stretch test. The tester got about 1" per foot after saturation. And, a few people have had failures.

    Using two loops of 550 cord, tied in loops with a double fisherman. The loops being about 6", makes four 6" strands per end. Stretch should be only 1/8". Four strands would have a tensile strength of 2200lbs. The double fisherman is only part of two strands, so even if I calculated a 50% reduction due to the knot that would be 550 on one loop and 1100 on the other. Theoretically, 1650lbs total per end. As long as there is no abbrasion or damage otherwise, I wouldn't really think it would fail, or stretch would be an issue.
    What I'm wondering is, in the instances of failures, were the systems single strands of 550 cord? And is it possible the cord was 300 instead of 550? They're essentially identical other than the number of core strands. Just curious. I am hanging a DIY in my basement and figured since it will not be exposed to weather, rain or UV, that I'd be pretty safe with the 550 cord I've got on hand rather than using the good stuff on it. Any thoughts?

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