Hammocks are great fun. When out hiking or backpacking, it's a great feeling to take a quick nap suspended in air above the sharp rocks, on a steep slope, or even over a stream (yes, I've done all these). Plus, they're an excellent way to relax on a lazy summer day in your backyard.
But hammocks either cost money or take time and effort to make. There are a number of solutions to this problem – here's one possible method. This design can be done in an hour for around $10. This would make a great scouting project. If you want a compact, easy-to-build, cheap design, then read on.
And don't forget to vote for me in the paracord contest!
Step 1: Materials
The following materials should be readily available in your local community.
1 piece of fabric, 9 feet in length. You can either buy it at your local Wally-World (look at the bargain material at $1.50 a yard) or you can use a bedsheet. Fabric strength is not really an issue, so pick whatever material you like best, provided it's at least 48” in width (60” pieces are more comfortable). I prefer non-stretchy fabric, but feel free to experiment.
2 carabiners. I found these at my local Home Depot at a dollar apiece. They say they are rated for 150 lbs. While I wouldn't trust them with my life, they hold up just fine for suspending me a few feet off the ground. If you'd prefer something beefier, try stainless steel quick links. They weigh more, but are rated to much higher safe working loads.
35-45 feet of paracord. I know I'm going to get some flak for this one, but in my experience this stuff is strong enough for the way I use it. If you don't feel comfortable trusting your weight to 550 cord, climbing rope can be substituted.
Additionally, you'll need a pair of scissors or knife, and a lighter (optional).