Instructables
After spending a night in a bunched end hammock and feeling a little cramped I decided to create a flatter hammock. This Instructable is the result of my efforts. The hammock was designed with my sleeping bag system (not yet published) in mind. When used in conjunction with my sleeping bag system it will have an attached under-quilt and a channel for a sleeping pad. The hammock can be used on its own as well. Feel free to simplify the design if you will not need the attachment points on the sides. Having the rope exposed only at the center point of each side should meet most people's purposes.

This project can be completed in one weekend.

This hammock can be set up using 2, 3, or 4 tension lines. Using 2 tension lines (between 2 trees)  will generally require at least 2 tie downs for stability while 3 or more tension lines will not. Attaching one end to a tree that is wider than the hammock width will also create a stable configuration (it's almost like tying at 3 points.). By using the rope access points on the sides, the hammock could be attached to a frame and used as a cot. 
 
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dizzle9762 months ago
you can actually weave that type of rope into itself to make loops instead of tying knots. a knot takes away about 1/4 of the strength rating. i use the same rope and i weigh over 200 pounds. weaves always hold
Todd Gehris (author)  dizzle9762 months ago
That's one of those things on my list that I haven't got around to trying yet. :)
ortho9 months ago
Great instructable. A coupling without the stop could reinforce the tube on the ends . Just leave enough sticking out to flare and roll over.
jahand10 months ago

This is a very interesting project, it should work fine. Jack

Todd Gehris (author)  jahand10 months ago

Thanks Jack.

The tube of PVC would be better suited to forcing the two sides apart rather than having the rope running through it. As the rope exits it will cut into the tube possibly causing failure.
Todd Gehris (author)  Scotty Von Porkchop10 months ago

Interesting, I had actually thought the tight corner on the rope would be more of a failure point than the PVC. I'll keep an eye on the ends. If there is a problem I'll have to come up with a solution and post it. If all goes well I will do the A.T. this summer but will probably not be using this hammock. Might get more long term testing after that.

Todd Gehris (author) 10 months ago

A big thanks to everyone who voted for this Instructable.

chokapi11 months ago
Nice. I don't think I'd mind a bit of sag in the hang -- looks comfy for a back sleeper. I have a simple channel-end hammock and have been considering spreader bars. There's a company that makes 'furniture-grade' PVC tubing with smooth connectors and end caps. It's a bit heavier, but stronger, and UV protected. See here: http://www.formufit.com/pipe
Todd Gehris (author)  chokapi11 months ago
I think I saw furniture with that stuff already. Thanks for the info, it may prove useful sometime.
byronmota12 months ago
The "Banana Syndrome". That is how I call the feeling after spending the night in a bad hamock without being able to lie diagonally and thus be able to keep the dorsal spine more or less flat. Clever instructable, anyways.
Todd Gehris (author)  byronmota11 months ago
How flat this hammock is depends upon the tension on it. I made note of this in the picture in step 14. I don't claim it is for everyone. The design can also be attached to a frame to make a cot so it is multi-functional. What type of hammocks have you tried and what design have you settled upon to use?
Try the woven (polyester?) sacking material used by builder's merchants etc free from dumpsters! I have found (nylon?) pallet strapping for loads of jobs. soften with CIG lighter to prevent knots undoing or in emergency just bite. Good for emergency dog collars/leads.
I'm not sure what you are talking about? Do you mean for tree straps?
to sleep well in an hammock, your shoulders should be near one side (left or right), while your feet should ben on the opposite side.
Todd Gehris (author)  Jean-Valéry Thoraval12 months ago
That really depends on the size and type of hammock. Not all of them are good for sleeping diagonally. Asymmetrical hammocks are better for laying diagonally than symmetrical hammocks. Bridge hammocks and narrow symmetrical hammocks you would lay along their axis. The hammock I felt cramped in was a fairly narrow symmetrical hammock. It packed up in a little sack to about the size of a softball. Great for chilling out for an hour or two but not so great for overnight.
you know more than i do on the subject...;)
the truth is i just made me a hammock, and even though i'm starting to get used to it, i've got to admit it's sometimes hard to spend a whole night straigth without waking up during the night or havin cramps.
the worst, is that, my first thought was to make me a hammock much like yours...

but didn't, tell that me your way of doing it is better, i might just make me a new one for next year... ;)
Todd Gehris (author)  Jean-Valéry Thoraval12 months ago
I don't know if it is better, It is just a different type of hammock. It has advantages and drawbacks. It does lay flatter but If it's tied to more than two spots you can't set up your tarp like a tent easily because the ropes would be in the way. A lot of people like bridge hammocks for backpacking. I think its just a matter of trying a few and finding what you like. It only took two days for me to make this and it didn't cost much. Couldn't hurt to try it.
hell i wish we could edit our messages after having posted them :(
*(be)
hdmotorc1 year ago
How much does it weigh and how small does it pack up? I use a DIY hammock tent. Packs real small.
Todd Gehris (author)  hdmotorc1 year ago
It was a little under two pounds with copper ends and the 215lb test rope. I roll it up. Imagine rolling up two 25 inch long tubes with a little material and rope wrapped around it and you can get an idea of how it packs. I'm sure there are lighter options. I am trying to strike a balance between how flat and comfortable I can get it and lightness.
Jobar0071 year ago
The failure of the copper tube is that it work hardens really easy. If it gets over worked, you get a fracture which in turn becomes a tear.

An alternative might be to make a plastic insert into the copper tube ends? It would allow you to have "meat" to grind smooth to allow the rope to pass through without the possibility of compromising your tube.

Where did you get your copper? If it was the hardware store, you might be able to find some thick walled (0.125") aluminum square tube. It would be sufficient to support the ends, but it would be noticeable if it rolled in the end while setting the hammock up. The corners might provide abrasion points though...

Well done. I like this idea a lot and I think that I'll run with it.
Todd Gehris (author)  Jobar0071 year ago
Thanks Jobar. Maybe I'll have to try heating the copper next time. It was my first time trying to do anything with copper besides regular plumbing.

I went through the exact same thought processes about an end caps and the square tubes. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what to cap the end with that would still be smooth enough for the rope to slide on. I even thought of encasing a steel rod with hoops on the end in pipe insulation. Unfortunately I lack welding skills. It's on my to learn list.

I would love to see what you do with it. Especially if you come up with improvements.
Just a thought if you are planning on making this. I sized the hammock to fit inside of a square sleeping bag. You'd really only need to put one hole in the bottom of your bag for a rope since the second rope should fit where the zipper starts. Then find a way to attach it at the head and you have a hammock with an under quilt. Slide a reflective pad on the hammock and maybe a fleece sleeping bag in there and it should be a warm setup.
rblee1 year ago
I think that the PVC pipe option may prove to be more practical as it's more difficult to put a bend in it - Normally it should rebound to straight. Copper will be OK until it get's bent, and then you're stuck with it until you return to civilisation.

Have you thought about using two lengths of wood, and either tie the rope to it using a clove hitch or similar, or just drill a couple of suitably sized holes in either end and either tie off the rope, or just let it lie along the wood? Chances are that there'll be a suitable piece of wood handy, if your photographs are anything to go by.

Nice Instructable - Looks comfortable :)
Todd Gehris (author)  rblee1 year ago
You are probably right about the PVC. Haven't had any long term trials to know if the copper would fail. So far it held up. I think the copper weighed slightly less so I figured I'd try that option.

I have tried a few configurations with wood. Most of the ideas I tried so far were difficult to set up. If I didn't get the tension exact on each side I would end up with rhomboids or parallelograms (meaning the ends would be skewed). Running the rope through the end of the hammock solved this problem because I could slide the hammock to a place that compensates for the vectors pulling on it. The one idea I hadn't tried was to screw an eyelet into each end of the wooden dowel so the eyelet was sticking out towards the long end of the hammock and then threading the rope that attaches to the trees through that. I think that would work as well as a tube.
rblee1 year ago
Sorry for double posting, but...

One of my sons is quite taken by this, but his suggestion is to use two wider diameter, but different PVC pipes, with one pipe being able to fit inside the other, and the other components able to fit inside the narrower pipe. Two end-caps and it's waterproof, tough, you won't lose anything, and it can be strapped to the outside of your pack without a care. The extra diameter should also prevent bending.

Of course, I don't know whether it's possible to get two sufficiently similar diameters of pipe to allow this, but maybe you could use the inner to store the ropes and guys inside, roll the hammock fabric around the outside, then put the whole thing inside the outer pipe, if you see what I mean. If you were lucky enough to find pipe with matching clamps you could put attachments on the outside to mount it on your pack, since PVC is smooth and slippery.

Just a thought...
Todd Gehris (author)  rblee1 year ago
That's not a problem. That is an interesting idea. If he has ideas he definitely should experiment with making things. The way it is set up now, I do not take anything apart, I fold it in half so the pipes meet, fold the rope in then it rolls up easily. I wouldn't use two size tubes because it would make the setup heavier and would require you to assemble and disassemble the hammock each time you set it up and take it down. A silnylon bag with a few loops on it would be lightweight, waterproof and be able to attach to the pack. I have been using a duffel bag so I just put it right in the duffel bag.