Camping is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. Growing up in Colorado, this meant long family drives to national parks with a pop-up camper in tow or treks into the mountains for weekend backpacking adventures, with surrounding views of the Rocky Mountains.
In Florida, most camping I've found is far from those picturesque peaks --overcrowded campgrounds full of satellite-tv-equipped trailers are peppered along alligator-ridden rivers--but the Sunshine State also has a beautiful network of spoil islands. These small, vacant refuges are accessible only by boat and are free for the nightly mischief of camping. One of my first times to the islands, my friend Rani and I canoed out with a boat full of firewood, beer, vegetables wrapped in foil for fire cooking, and the other trappings of camp life. While I was setting up the tent, Rani quickly hung up two super-cool Eno camping hammocks she had bought for the occasion.
The evening was spent laughing and telling scary stories while we swayed in our hammocks, and I knew that I wanted a comfy hanging bed of my own for return trips. Upon seeing the $65 price for an Eno Double-Nest Hammock like Rani had, I decided to see if I could make one for less.These instructions are suitable for anyone who can use a sewing machine to sew lines that are mostly straight. This is an easy DIY project and my total cost was around $25 (the fabric was on sale, yay yay yay). I'm sorry to say that I get bored of sewing rather quickly, so I make a lot of lazy shortcuts. Luckily this is a very forgiving project.
- Sewing Machine
- A book in your favorite book size
- 3.5 yards rip-stop nylon in main color (green)
- 3.25 yards rip-stop nylon in accent color (blue)
- 6 feet AmSteel Blue rope
- 2 carabiners with an adequate working load
- Glue Stick
- Thread (regular all-purpose works fine)
- Nylon webbing as needed to attach your hammock to trees (optional)
- Elastic headband (optional)
Real Eno hammocks are made with a nylon that is thinner, wrinklier, and can pack down a bit smaller than rip-stop nylon, but my local fabric store does not carry a wide variety of outdoor fabrics. They do have a half-dozen or so colors of rip-stop.I found AmSteel Blue rope, nylon webbing, and carabiners at a nearby boating supply store.