Introduction: DIY Camping Hammock

Picture of DIY Camping Hammock

This instructable features how to make a "Do It Yourself" Camping Hammock- (This is my first instructable, so bear with me...)

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed

Materials Needed:
1.) Large peice of ripstop nylon - 3 & 2/3 yards - You can get this at most sewing stores: JoAnns, Michaels, even Walmart (if they have a sewing section).
2.) Sewing machine
3.) Paracord( any type of rope will do, as long as it will hold your weight. I prefer paracord for it's size and weight capacity). The length of the cord will depend on how far apart the trees you hang the hammock from are.
4.) 2 carabeeners or other type of clip, which must be able to hold your weight as well.

A.)  I have also seen people make hammocks out of bed sheets( perferrabley large ones)

Step 2: Length-wise "Clean Up" of the Edges

Picture of Length-wise "Clean Up" of the Edges

1.) Use a sewing machine to hem the edges of the hammock. This will keep the edges neat and prevent the fabric from fraying. 
2.) Folding the edge over as you sew, use a straight stitch and sew down the longer side of the fabric. (Not width-wise, but length-wise).

Step 3:

Picture of

Step 4: Width-wise "Clean Up"

Picture of Width-wise "Clean Up"

1.) Following the same instructions as the Length-wise "Clean Up" (Steps 2 and 3), hem the fabric's width.

Step 5: Making Space for Rope

Picture of Making Space for Rope

1.) Take the 2 short ends and fold them in to make space for the rope ( I folded the ripstop down 3 inches and stitched along that line). This leaves enough room for any type of rope or chord, large or small. It will serve as a "tube"  for the rope to lace through.
2.) Repeat on the other end.

Step 6: Insert Rope

Picture of Insert Rope

1.) Insert the rope into the space that you just sewed and sinch the hammock until it is tight.
2.) Repeat on the other end.

You dont have to do it this way you can whip the ends of the hammock and the benefit from this is that based upon the way you whip the ends it will change the way the hammock lays when you are in it.

This was a question put in by one of the viewers-

i don't quite understand the last step... what do you mean by: You don't have to do it this way you can whip the ends of the hammock and the benefit from this is that based upon the way you whip the ends it will change the way the hammock lays when you are in it. (what is a whip?)

lerickson  says:
Do you know when rope frays and if it is synthetic you can melt it to stop the fraying? Well if it is not synthetic rope then you have tto whip the ends of the rope. There are many other resources that can show you how to whip the hammock- here is one
this will show you how to do

Step 7: Hang

Picture of Hang

1.) Hang the hammock from two trees. (The two as pictured are about 25 feet apart. 13 to 18 feet would be ideal).

Step 8: Furnishing the Hammock

Picture of Furnishing the Hammock

1.) Add a rubber mat or some sort of insulation to the bottom of your hammock. This rubber mat is especially useful when the sun goes down and it gets chilly.
2.) You may also add a sleeping bag and lay it on top of the mat.


matmore74 (author)2012-01-26

Okey all, great things were said, But Nylon webbing works the best and paracord 550 type. Go to or go to you will see what I am talking about..

NathantheGray (author)matmore742017-03-05

Where can you find nylon webbing for cheap?

the straps? I got these at homedepot or lowes and they were just packing straps

applesaucemodifier made it! (author)2016-09-20

Grabbed the fabric and heavy duty thread on sale at Jo Anns and came out at less than 20 dollars. After everything sewed up I ran some red webbing and hung it up for a good night sleep. I added a draw string bag to one side for storage. Thanks for the 'ible

Awesome to see you liked the instructable!!! I have a drawstring bag too. Glad to know the ible is still going strong within the DIY community- even though it is so old and poorly written haha

Solomojo (author)2016-06-16

Ditch the paracord use hollow core 7/16 Amsteel. Its lighter, higher break strength (1600 lbs), and doesn't stretch. I just built a hammock using it and I'm quite amazed at the versitility. You can thread it through itself to make a loop that is held together like a chinese finger trap. Google continuous loops and whoopie slings to see what I mean. BTW, I made a paracord bracelet with the stuff too. Good luck on your hangs.

larslovespeace (author)2010-06-21

Also when I had hung the hammock from these trees they were over 20 ft apart so it really strched it out like you see but if you find trees fifteen feet apart then it will be much easier to lay in at angles.

Myklknife (author)larslovespeace2011-08-06

I built a hammock like this a few years ago and just decided to try using paracord (for pack size and weight considerations) instead of the nylon webbing I normally use. Never knew paracord was that stretchy. I tied the thing 7ft off the ground and it still stretched to the ground... If I preshrink the paracord do you think it will stretch less?

Poppa Chubby (author)Myklknife2015-06-28

You could also try using more lengths of cord for longer runs. Double, triple or even quadruple strands or more would reduce stretching.

larslovespeace (author)Myklknife2011-08-08

I dont really know. Paracord is built to be strechy and to make it non strechy would probley hinder the strength somehow.

Myklknife (author)larslovespeace2011-08-08

Perhaps... I don't know how much damage washing it would do though. I gave it a try anyway, I'll string it up later in the week to see how it works

sun damage is really the only thing you need to worry about with 550 cord. washing it shouldn't harm it at all, provided you dry it thoroughly enough to keep it from mildewing.

Myklknife (author)larslovespeace2011-08-14

Alright I just tried my washed paracord and it still held my weight (180lbs) just find and stretched far less.

larslovespeace (author)Myklknife2011-08-14

thats awesome that worked ill have to try it sometime

BennitoJuarez (author)2014-09-12

Just for clarity, the type of nylon that can be purchased at Joanne's is heavy duty ripstop nylon and is more than enough to be used for hammocks. The lightest possible that can be "safely" used is no less than 1.1 oz, (measured 1.1oz per yard. 1.1 oz is not recommended for anyone over 200 lbs, however.

1.7oz, or 1.6 oz seems to be the normal weight that people prefer for hammock making. I'm not sure what the exact weight of nylon that Joanne's sells, but it's well above 1.7 oz.

Drapes and other bedding type fabric should be avoided unless they are confirmed to be made of 100% polyester or nylon. Cotton or other materials can fail. Many DIY'ers use polyester taffeta tablecloths for hammocks as they're cheap, super strong, and already have edges sewn.

bigg.goocher (author)2014-08-22

I bought a single panel of old drapes at the thrift store... $5... then I tied very tightly knotted rope to each end, bunching the fabric accordion style. I attached my carbiners there. I use nylon ratchet straps to go around the trees and snap on at each end. Easy peasy. Been using in my yard for 2 summers now and still going strong.

walloon (author)2011-05-25

What type of ripstop nylon did you use? I just want to make sure the fabric is strong enough to hold an adult. Would any style of ripstop work?
I'm just having a *really* hard time finding the fabric that can work. I've tried all the usual fabric stores but they aren't sure if the fabric can hold the weight.
Any advice anyone?
Great instructable! keep it up!

cwebb11 (author)walloon2014-06-12

taffeta fabric works very well also. not as light but still very strong

larslovespeace (author)walloon2011-05-25

The nylon I used was a regular ripstop nylon I got at Joannes. I was very skeptical about a very thin piece of fabric holding my weight, but it seems to work. I have had mulitple people sit on it at once and it didnt break.

walloon (author)larslovespeace2011-05-26

I was skeptical as well. But, if all else fails, try try again. I bought some fabric at joannes as well, gonna give it a try myself. Cheers!

hammockguy (author)2012-05-23

I've heard about wrapping the sleeping bag around the hammock instead of using a pad. That way your not crushing the insulation in the sleeping bag. Has anyone tried this?

sidmarx (author)hammockguy2013-10-11

Yes, but not all night. The bag has to zip down all the way past the foot box so you can use its whole length. With bag slightly open at bottom, slip hammock clew thru it and connect to tree hugger (or unzip the bag, etc. what the hell) The problem was, the hammock exiting behind your head prevents cinching the drawcord around your face. So next i'll try using a smaller, inner bag as a quilt, and wrapping the excess over my head from on top (get it?)

aviator_60 (author)hammockguy2012-09-10

I recently went on a trip with my daughter and was caught by much colder than expected nights. I got up in the middle of the night and zipped my bag around my hammock and it was passable. I was still cold but that had more to do with being cramped into only the space the bag covered. I would go with a purpose built solution.

I believe thast is a called an underquilt. you can make them yourself and it is a very efficient way to stay warm.

nilnate519 (author)2013-08-08

What type of thread was used to sew the hammock? And what carabiners are used?

jamob (author)2013-03-02

Is this a comfortable hammock for sleeping without padding or sleeping bag? What caribeners did you use and where can I get them? Great instructable!

HAL 9000 (author)jamob2013-05-04

Any climbing-rated carabiners will work fine. I just got some little carabiners yesterday that are rated at 22kN, which is more than enough to support a hammock.

larslovespeace (author)jamob2013-03-03

I think it is very comfortable bra. I used some standard caribeaners no the cheapo ones but the screw tight ones. Id say for night sleeping you should use a pad just because the bottom of the hammock gets really cold. I guess it also depends where you live too

jamob (author)larslovespeace2013-03-03

Alright thanks! Me and some of my friends are making this hammock to go roughing it in Vermont for a weekend in April cause its simple and portable! Thanks for the help

milamber (author)2011-10-10

does anyone know if an old fly sheet would be strong enough??

50-50 (author)milamber2012-02-13

fly screen works great for this.
it has a special weave that stops ripps.

sokamiwohali (author)milamber2011-11-27

possibly but not likely. rain flies are not made for weight bearing, BUT its worth a try. why dont you make an IBLE trying this out?

hiddenartist (author)2011-12-05

briarwalker: I used much of your design to make a hammock for camping. It was great! so simple and so cheep compared to "store bought".
Bought the ripstop nylon at Joanne's on sales and with a coupon! I already had a pile of para cord. Then I recycled a set of webbed boat straps, (The straps no longer worked with my kayak or car.) Wha La.. a very comfortable and secure hammock. I will likely make a couple and give them to brothers and sisters for Christmas. Thank you!

Does any one have any ideas about other synthetics that are available that would serve the same purpose? I think it would be fun to do some stripes!
Again, thank you!

rentman (author)2010-09-01

Perhaps you could add a cross-bar to keep the hammock open. otherwise good design!

Myklknife (author)rentman2011-08-14

personally, I'm not a fan of stays to keep the hammock open when I sleep in one. the cocoon effect keeps you from rolling out if you toss and turn a lot.

brickman93 (author)rentman2010-09-04

yea, just get a thin aluminun rod and do a cobra stitch with paracord to pad it. thats my plan!

I was origanly thinking getting some rope and attaching to hammock and steaking into ground but thats a realy good idea.

larslovespeace (author)rentman2010-09-03

Great Idea! When I ended up camping in it the trees were much closer together and it was much more open ( specially if I laid in it at an angle)

Pointy Cactus24 (author)2011-03-25

i really like it but the funny thing is, the way he's laying in the hammock make is look like some sort bizarre coffin. but i guess that adds to some sort of effect, but idk what kind, however.

Back then I really had never slept in a hammock before... You would ussually sleep in a hammock this style where you body is at a 45 degree angle to the treee- allowing for maximum flatness.

eddems (author)2010-09-05

I learned about hammocks from soldiers in the Viet Nam War. They copied them from green Berets. My first one was a failure. I think this one might be too. The hammock needs to be 7 plus feet long. But the really important thing is to arch the ends where the rope goes. Abut 3 inches is nice. This keeps the sides of the hammock up so that you are cradled by it. Otherwise, there will be a tendency to fall out of it.

mikesnyd (author)eddems2010-11-24

Arch goes in what direction? Does it go into the rectangle or out of the rectangle? I was thinking about it and maybe adding a couple of twists in the rope might stop it from flipping. Both leads to the tree are twisted maybe four or five times. More depending on how long they are.

eddems (author)mikesnyd2010-12-01

the ends of the hammock where the rope goes should have some arch to it. The hammock will cradle you then.

lancealotx21 (author)eddems2010-11-27

I dont know dude the way I did it seems fine so me I have camped in it multiple times and I have never fallen out even in my sleep.

mbudde (author)2010-11-26

Hey, how wide is the fabric that you're using? Great Instuctable too!

larslovespeace (author)mbudde2010-11-27

it is 5ft wide which is 58 in. wide by 9ft long. the width is the width of the role of fabvric at the store.

jessejwk (author)2010-08-30

DId you mean to put 7 of the same picture on this step? Great instructable by the way.

larslovespeace (author)jessejwk2010-08-31

no I'll have to change that- woops

trupeteater (author)2010-08-26

Great instructable, instead of paracord you can use Amsteel-Blue, its extremely light weight and strong, not to mention cheap. You can also make a Whoopie Sling to make easy adjusting of the rope length

Fredock (author)2010-08-11

i don't quite understand the last step... what do you mean by: You don't have to do it this way you can whip the ends of the hammock and the benefit from this is that based upon the way you whip the ends it will change the way the hammock lays when you are in it. (what is a whip?)

About This Instructable




Bio: FOLLOW MY INSTAGRAM! @gnarfarian
More by larslovespeace:Make A Professional LongboardCall of Duty Zombies Perk Cola Bottles!!!Double size Bed Loft!
Add instructable to: