Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Philadelphia, PA/on the Road
Hammock: GT Ultralight Skeeter Beeter
Tarp: WL Tad Pole tarp
Insulation: CCF pad
Suspension: Whoopie slings
Idea for all-in-one hammock/shelter. Would it work?
This is something I was pondering last spring during my long days of hiking in silence on the Israel Trail. I know there are all-in-one hammock setups already (combined hammock, bugnet and tarp) but none really qualify as "ultralight." I figure weight can be reduced by having the hammock be of the smallest size and lightest material that the user's size and weight permit (in my case, 5'9", 140 pounds so I can be comfy in quite a small hammock), by reducing the size of the tarp, and by reducing the amount of bug net that is present.
So, start with a basic gathered-end single-layer hammock. Around the edges (and I'm not sure exactly how this would work on the ends) sew about a foot-wide strip of bug mesh - along one side have a zipper between hammock and net to allow entry. The top of that strip of bug mesh would be attached to a smallish silnylon tarp - enough to cover the hammock from a storm, and provide a minimal amount of "porch" space in lighter/non-windy rain. A diamond or rectangular shape could do - or maybe even a diamond shape on one side and rectangular on the other, to keep weight low while allowing for the aforesaid porch. The tarp would be relatively low and close to the hammock, so it wouldn't have to be quite as big to get everything covered.
Everything is one piece, and if wrapped up the right way, the tarp could then be deployed first and then have the hammock released from it to just drop down, at which point you'd put up your tree straps and take the whoopie slings that are attached to the hammock (since nobody but gram counters would use this setup, I am assuming whoopies) and hook them up. Voila, the hammock is hanging and ready to go.
My mechanical aptitude is definitely not the best, which is why I'm sure there are things I haven't thought of that would pose problems in either making or using this contraption - or even problems in my basic conception of it. I want to hear if you can spot any of those, or your ideas of how/if this would work.
The first thing that comes to mind is that, since the bug netting would be sewn to the silnylon tarp, that would compromise the waterproof-ness of it. Would seam-sealing be enough to rememdy that or would you need to put additional strips of silnylon on and waterproof THOSE seams somehow?
There are also some obvious drawbacks, the first one I can think of being that having the tarp integrated and low means you always have to have it up, and it blocks the view pretty much. Same with the bug net - your view from the hammock is definitely diminished and distorted by tarp and mesh. This is why I assume nobody but weight-fiend backpackers would consider using a setup like this. But I think I might, for backpacking or bike trips only obviously, if I could make something like it.
So - your thoughts?
Also, I wish I could draw to save my life so I could sketch up an idea of how this would look, but I can't. If my description isn't clear, I can try to clarify.
|all-in-one, hammock/shelter., idea, work?|