• Making a Hammock

    3 metres of lightweight nylon or polyester- between 70 and 120 g/sq.metre. Uncoated is best as it allows body vapour to pass through, though if you may want to use it as a ground sheet go for something with a PU coating. I used Ripstop Pertex 6, but you may want to choose a heavier fabric if you are a bit bigger build.

    Whipping twine or very thin cord. I used Dacron kite line as it was laying around at the time.

    20cm of lightweight webbing or grosgrain ribbon.

    40cm of 3mm shock cord

    4m of Lightweight cord for guylines

    3 metres of 5mm climbing cord or sailing rope (polyester braid on braid)

    6m plus of 40mm webbing.

    All the fabrics are available from www.profabrics.co.uk or www.pennineoutdoor.co.uk The cheapest place I’ve found for climbing cord is www.upandunder.co.uk

    The fabric needs to be a metre longer then you are tall to allow for the taper at the ends. If you are the same height as me this should allow you to cut a strip off the end to make the stuff sack for your hammock at the end- If you have some other material or a spare one that you can use then no problem, use the whole piece!

    Hem all round the edge, turning the raw edge under to avoid fraying.

    Lay out the fabric and taking one end, fold the two corners in to the middle. Keep folding so that you end up with a tight bunch of fabric that you can hold between your thumb and forefinger.

    Now use your whipping twine to put at least 25mm of tight whipping around the bunch. Leave a couple of cm of fabric sticking out, just to be on the safe side.


    Repeat for the other end. This will give you your basic hammock shape.

    In use I’ve found that as with the Hennessy Hammock side pulls help to keep the hammock shape open and make it more user friendly. Cut your lightweight webbing in two and seal the ends with a gas flame. Fold in half and stitch a piece on either side of the hammock at the mid point to form a loop on either side. Cut the 3mm shock cord in half, thread through the webbing on one side and tie in a loop with an overhand knot.

    Repeat with the other half.

    To fix the main ropes, cut the 5mm cord in half and heat seal the ends. In each piece tie a loop around 150mm long: use a figure 8 or similar rather than a simple overhand knot.

    Lay the loop on your work surface and place a hammock end on top. Bend the end of the loop up and around the hammock and bring the rope end up through the loop. The knot on the rope should pass through the loop to tighten around the hammock and form what is known as a lark’s head knot. The whipping should be just outside this knot.

    Lark's Head Knot

    Repeat for the other end.

    To make the “Tree Huggers” you will need to cut your 40mm webbing in half, hot seal the ends and form a loop in each of the four ends. If you are confident in your sewing then stitch the loops, otherwise tie figure eight knots etc.

    hammock under home made assymetric tarp

    These straps go round the trees and then you tie your hammock on to the loops. Make sure you use a knot that you can loosen even after it’s had a night of being loaded. Have a look at the www.hennessyhammock.com for lots of info. on this. There is even a nifty video showing how to do it.

    Your side guys attach to the 3mm shock cord and help to prevent the hammock from swaying from side to side and hold your hammock open. They can be pegged to the ground or tied off to the tarp

    When pitching your tarp its best to make sure the hammock is well up to the underside of the tarp. The best way of doing this is to actually fix the hammock higher up the tree than the tarp.

    To stop rain running down the tarp ropes, tie a handkerchief or other scrap of cotton cloth around the ropes.

    Hope that's all straightforward

    Sorry it's taken me so long to post this.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Hammocks started by Amelia View original post