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.
Step 1: Materials and tools
1.5oz or stronger ripstop nylon.
I purchased the nylon in a fabric store. The width of the roll from the fabric store was 59 inches. You will need to order your material based on the length of your hammock. I bought 2.5 yards (90 inches) for a hammock that is 78 inches long.
2 pieces of 7/8 inch rigid copper tube slightly shorter than the width of the hammock.
The length of the tube will be slightly less than the final width of the hammock. You will need to get a length of tube about twice the length of the hammock. Initially I searched for aluminum tubing but did not find any so I settled upon copper. I like the copper now, It looks awesome and was easy to work with. Feel free to substitute aluminum or anything else you think may work.
2 pieces of 1 1/4 inch PVC slightly shorter than the width of the hammock.
Rope for frame:
You need something that will not stretch. (Paracord is NOT a good choice.) I used hollow braid polypropoylene rope that is rated for 215 lbs. A rating of around 115 lbs would probably work fine since the weight is distributed among the 2 ropes and 4 tie offs.
Cord for tie downs
I used a 40lb nylon and polypropylene cord as optional tie down straps.
Heavy duty polyester thread. This is often called outdoor thread.
Note: The size and strength of the rope and rods I used is based on a person near 150lbs. You may need stronger tubes on the end if you are a larger person. I have not tested it with a larger load than my own weight. I suspect it can hold a lot more but experimentation is recommended. If you place a piece of material that is the width of the hammock between two points and it can support more than half your body weight it should be fine to use.
ball peen hammer (for copper)
hammer (for copper)
knife (for pvc tube)