Introduction: The Hammock Hut: a Easy to Make Hammock Rain-fly

Picture of The Hammock Hut: a Easy to Make Hammock Rain-fly

hammocks are great alternatives to tents. but what do you do when it rains

answer. the hammock hut a easy portable cost effective hammock rain fly

it takes about 10-15 minutes to set up and can be made using easily available materials (the only exception being the hammock itself also this is my entry into the epilog contest so please don't forget to vote!!

Step 1: Step 1; Gather Your Equipment

Picture of Step 1; Gather Your Equipment

for a successful hammock-based camping trip one must have some the following equipment but before I begin please remember that this Instructable is NOT about how to pack for a camping/backpacking trip but about how to use a hammock instead of a tent while camping/backpacking. Now moving on here is what you need...

1. a hammock and not the kind you have in your back yard (unless you are like me) you should have an actual backpacking hammock Eno and Hennessy make really nice ones which vary in price from $20 to $100+ they also sell very useful accessories which I will get to later I personally own a Eno single nest hammock which I consider to be one of the best camping related purchases I have ever made it cost me $54.00 (not including tax) and was purchased at REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated)

2. A single large tarp this tarp must be as long as your hammock and also be able to touch the ground while draped over your hammock (see pictures) this tarp should be (like all other tarps) water proof.

3. a SINGLE tent pole yes only one this tent pole will serve as a support for your tarp. also you can use a piece of rope or string.

4. environmentally friendly hammock straps such as the Eno slapstrap these straps are very wide so that they do not harm trees by damaging the bark also these straps are very important since some national forests/parks will not allow you to hang a hammock without the proper equipment.
this is my green component

5. finally you need tent stakes to keep the tarp from blowing around in the wind the only advice I can offer in this area is the lighter the stakes the better (I used sticks).

Step 2: Setting Everything Up Part 1, the Hammock

Picture of Setting Everything Up Part 1, the Hammock

inorder to set up your hammock you must first find two trees of reasonable distance apart reasonable distance being 10 to 12 feet depending upon you hammock once you have found a appropriate spot follow these steps.....

1. set up your webbing this is very easy especially if you have looped webbing like me all you have to do is follow the picture.

2. tie your extension ropes to the webbing depending upon what type of hammock you have the length of the ropes may have to vary from mine.

3. tie a loop knot (see picture) at the end of each extension rope and hook your hammock's caribeners into it if your hammock comes with them if not just tie your hammock to the extension rope.

you are now done setting up the actual hammock proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Setting Everything Up Part 2, Rain Fly and Tent Pole/rope

Picture of Setting Everything Up Part 2, Rain Fly and Tent Pole/rope

OK after you have set up your hammock take your tent pole or rope and tie it between the two trees that your hammock is strung between (also make sure the tent pole/rope is high enough for comfort) since I can't find my tent I am going to use rope in this instance. for a detailed picture of the tarp rope and tent pole please look below...

Step 4: Setting Everthing Up Part 3; the Tarp

Picture of Setting Everthing Up Part 3; the Tarp

the tarp as stated previously should be of appropriate length and width now all you want to do with the tarp is spread it equally (look at picture to see what I mean) over the tent pole/tarp line and stake it down (easy enough for you?)

then your done enjoy!!! :)


MasterF1reFoxx (author)2017-11-07

do you have a youtube channel?? Its a little hard for me to understand...

izraulh (author)2017-08-29

How cool would a bean bag hammock be!? lol

animal lover (author)2013-07-16

Seems simple enough, but i don't have a hammock. Can i make a makeshift hammock out of another tarp? (PS. THIS IS A REALLY AWESOME AND PRACTICAL DESIGN!)

cwebb11 (author)animal lover2014-06-12

I have recently just made my own hammock out of a fabric called taffeta. I went to a website that sold them as tablecloths. then I made a knot in the end of a rope doubled over and whipped the ends of the fabric over the knot. it cost me fifteen for the fabric. I had the other materials lying around.

NathantheGray (author)cwebb112017-03-13

is taffeta lightweight?

cwebb11 (author)NathantheGray2017-03-14

It can be. Depends on which fabric of taffeta you get. That was years ago. Now you can go on amazon and get decently priced hammocks for what i paid for that sheet of taffeta. I believe the brand is called yes4all. Look up ultralight hammocks.

woodswolf1 (author)2016-08-24

I have the Eno Doublenest and Eno Atlas straps for it (bug net too). I
got it as a whole package at REI. Its comfortable, well made. However, I
just got a Bear Butt hammock and their Kodiak Straps for way less. The
hammock is double and every bit as good as my way more expensive Eno.
The straps are as good as Atlas Straps and about $10 less.

gmyers2112 (author)2010-02-26

pretty basic.  pretty simple.  Not sure the concern for the trees is warrented.  Not sure what kind of trees you have where you camp, but our trees can handle a little rope.  I've seen trees that have grown around rope or cables or nailed on boards.  In fact, it's pretty dang hard to kill a tree.  Even fire doesn't always do it.  Outdoors is pretty sturdy.

The concern for the trees is warranted. Just below the bark exist two thin layers known as the Xylem and the Phloem. It is in this area that all conduction of nutrients are channeled. Even though the bark may appear to be intact, this system is sensitive and if compromised in a ring the tree will surely die a slow death. You may not care but stewardship should be a priority. Placing small branches between the wide net or rope will diminish the contact points and allow the tree to with stand a night visit from a human in a hammock.

NateHoy (author)gmyers21122011-08-25

Kill, yes. Harm? ... it depends heavily on the tree.

Running a thin rope with any weight in it could cause some damage to the tree, just by compressing the small tubes just under the bark that carry the sap up to feed the leaves. If you have a tree like a pine with a very thick bark, this is not much of a problem. But for trees like oaks or maples, this could cause some damage (especially if the tree is used a lot).

More importantly, a lot of campgrounds and areas will start noticing the cosmetic damage to the trees, even if the tree is not harmed, and start freaking out and banning hammock use on their lands.

Webbing is cheap, durable, and easy to use. It spreads out the pressure, minimizing damage to the tree.

I wrap my webbing around the tree a couple of times, then clip a carabiner to it. I have a drip ring on my hammock line that allows me to easily adjust the length of my hammock ropes. That way, putting up my hammock itself requires no knots whatsoever. Put up the straps, clip the hammock to the straps, use the drip ring slider to adjust the length of both hang lines, done. The carabiner and drip ring combine forces to drip all of the water off the line before it reaches my hammock. I've been out in torrential rain and stayed bone dry all night.

The rope ridgeline for my rainfly (550 paracord) is tied, but on the outside of the webbing.

Also, if you run a ridgeline all the way through your rainfly like I do, take a nut or washer or something, cut the ridgeline near where the rainfly starts on both ends, and tie the cut ends to either side of the nut/washer. The "break" in the line will allow water to drip off before proceeding under your rainfly and raining on you. Trust me, I learned that one the hard way. You can also just use the rainfly without a continuous ridgeline, but I like hanging small things under cover.

Blaaken (author)gmyers21122011-08-23

actually, if you cut a ring around a tree about an inch deep, about 3-4 feet off the ground, normally the tree will die. and this is the same concept with tying a rope around a tree and leaving it, the rope WILL kill the tree, although it takes a long time. but there is nothing wrong for having the rope around the tree for a night, or even a week or two.

HAL 9000 (author)gmyers21122011-01-02

Totally. The bark on those trees is at least an inch thick. If you're hanging your hammock there for a few nights I highly doubt that any harm will come to the tree. even on trees with softer bark, as you say, trees are tough.

tnjramos (author)2015-04-27

Tree-saver tip: you can still use a rope or string around a tree. Slip 2 - 3 twigs, at least 1/2" in diameter between the rope and the tree. This prevents the rope from directly applying pressure/friction against the bark. Make sure the twigs are sturdy so they won't break under the weight of the rope/string. Something I learned in a Leave-No-Trace class at BSA summer camp some years ago.

Ricardo30 (author)2015-04-26

Haha I got that same hammock at REI haha

Amelia makes stuff (author)2015-04-14

That's cool, the only thing I would add is a bug net or mosquito net (depending on where you're camping and when!)

gkern (author)2013-05-16

Some info on the type of knots you use would really round out this instructable.

treysommerfeld (author)gkern2015-03-15

two half hitches around the whole thing worked really well for me!

waynevanwijk (author)2009-05-01

I love the idea of hammock camping. I tried it once but the first night crawling insects left the tree, scampered down the hammock rope and made for a very uncomfortable nights sleep. One burrowed into my ear and it took me about an hour the next day to get it out. Any instructables on 1. keeping bugs out of the hammock and 2. getting them out of your ear.

get a $10 mosquito net and hammock under that OR splurge and get a hennessy hammock or something similar that has the mosquito netting built- in. much cheaper than a quality tent, and solves most of the tent-camping problems. Winter camping becomes tricky though.

where can i find a ten dollar net because all the ones i've found have bee around fifty dollars

dwray1 (author)Deadpunk2015-01-24

Sheer Voille (curtains) at Walmart.

or you can sew a mosquito net to one of the sides, and a zipper on the other side and also on the hammock, so it just zips up on the net. but make sure its sewn all the way down the side of the hammock. bad, bad scout camp memories......

dwray1 (author)indestructibleguy2015-01-24

At Walmart there are window curtains called "Sheer Voille" that even keeps the no-seeums out. So when you look online for mosquito netting you will be blown away by the prices. I would say the sheer Voille is even better than the netting specifically for hammocks. It also only cost 5 bucks for one sheer Voille curtain. You will need to buy two though in order to fit the size of your hammock. So $10 for the sheer Voille versus $35 bucks for the netting material online.

I've used sticky spider traps too keep them from getting past the straps onto the hammock. Turn them inside out and tape them around the rope closest to the hammock side so they will get stuck while making the journey. If there is heavy rain, you can situate them so they are under the rain fly so the water doesn't dampen the effectiveness of the sticky portion.

jtpoutdoor (author)waynevanwijk2009-05-29

1- agent orange ? 2- warm (not hot!) oil gently poured in will kill the insect and float it out (so I am told by someone who once had to go to the doctor's with that problem)

passerby06 (author)jtpoutdoor2009-11-12

1- AGENT ORANGE!!!   Oh, wait, I get it.  You're using hyperbole or exaggeration or whatever literary technique it is that you're using for comic relief or whatever.  Anyway, as a veteran of our little "Police Action" in S. E. Asia last century, I can assure you that Agent Orange would not be a good choice.  It's an herbicide, not an insecticide.

2- You're right: warm oil IS the method of choice for removing insects from your ear.  It will drown the insect, just like water would (or Agent Orange, for that matter) but, unlike water (or Agent Orange), it will not be absorbed by the dead insect, and allow it to more easily slip out of the ear canal.  Water, however, will first be absorbed - making the insect swell and be harder to remove - then begin dissolving parts of the body - making it break apart as you try to - gently - remove it with tweezers or forceps.  Lesson learned the hard way when my 9 yr. old son had a small beetle fly directly into his ear while on a camping trip (we were camping, not the beetle) and frustrated all attempts to remove it by crawling deeper into his ear.  After trying to flush it out with water, then driving almost two hours to the nearest ER (with a seriously agitated, scared  and vocal 9 yr. old), the Doc on duty gave us the oil instead of water tip.

It's been said that experience is the best teacher.  That's not true.  Experience is the ONLY teacher.  The best experience to learn from is frequently someone else's  experience.  Hope ours helps some of you.

efmiller3 (author)passerby062010-01-03

Another method is to point a flashlight into the ear.  My mom once told me that my grandfather did that with her and the insect came out after a few minutes.  Wouldn't hurt to try it should you ever need to get a bug out of your ear.

a.nony.mouse (author)efmiller32010-07-07

could work, the only problem is that different insects have different reactions to light. some, like flies, will instinctively fly or crawl towards the light. others will seek to get further away, and burrow deeper into your ear :/

Rainh2o (author)a.nony.mouse2012-03-02

If its one of the insects that move away from the light, maybe shine the light into the other ear?

Just Bill (author)Rainh2o2012-05-28

In that case, why not just blow in the other ear? :-))))))))) LOL!

waynevanwijk (author)Just Bill2012-05-28

your comment blew my mind.
BTW, have you ever tried to blow into your own ear?

sjb321 (author)waynevanwijk2011-11-13

If you want to keep bugs out of your hammock just smear some vaseline on a couple inches of the rope that will do the trick!

4 plastic lids punch hole in center slide on to the 4 extender ropes stick "fly guard" roll strips so any insect gets stuck

1 bug net it will stop the callers and the fliers

that just totally made me never even consider sleeping in a hammock outside. ever. i hate bugs with all of my life.

Halphinian (author)2014-10-30

And don't forget about a good bug net, for living in one of the United States main breeding grounds for mosquitos has really made me scramble to buy one. It may not be mosquitos, but bugs can really ruin a camping trip, and bug repellant does not always work.

roboman 92 (author)2012-10-05

awesome instructable

chrizby (author)2011-05-10

Great comments.
Remember that you can put your sleeping pad in the hammock, to help keep you warm. I did that on many a campout.
Also remember that if you gotta go, get up and go or you will get cold. Something to do with holding that extra bit of liquid close to your body

newscrash (author)2010-04-18

I honestly lived in one of these for a year back when I was homeless. It really kept me dry and warm, and that was in Oregon.

HAL 9000 (author)newscrash2011-04-13

Newscrash, were you the guy on Think Out Loud a while back? there was a homeless man who lives in a hammock. pretty interesting.

vader406 (author)newscrash2010-12-15

That's cool!

HAL 9000 (author)2011-01-02

Looks dry and secure. I made an instructable about backpacking with hammocks and far and away the number one concern was staying dry if it rains. I've never pitched a tarp over my hammock, and have never had any rain, but it's a valid concern. I do have a few suggestions: First, forget the tent pole and use a rope ridge line. Rope is lighter, cheaper, harder to break, easier to pack, and has more uses than any of us will ever fully know. Secondly, use a trucker's hitch and tie that ridge line tight! I have yet to see any damage come to a tree overnight from a lowly rope. Thirdly, use prussic knots to tie your tarp edges to the ridge line. You can really pull your tarp taught with these, they're secure, and easy to tie.

Thank you for addressing the concern that many people have with hammocking. Hopefully once people see how simple it is to ditch the tent and go for the light and comfortable approach they will be more willing to give it a try.

Dockbob (author)2009-09-11

A South American native gave me this hint. When sleeping in a hammock, sleep diagonally. It will force support more in a straight line and your back will not be as sore in the morning.

argentum86 (author)Dockbob2010-11-18

Thanks for the advise! Im argentinean and im planning a backpack trip to Brazil this summer, I'll give it a try!

charlie.nourse (author)Dockbob2010-11-04

I was told this by the person I bought my backpacking hammock from. This tip really does work!

yes most of brazil sleeps in hammocks

DireWolf369 (author)2010-07-21

Another idea is surplus military ponchos. Being retired military I have used these when in the field and used it rain cover over my field hammock I have used. Small bungee cords keep it taught. The hood is snugged down and tied off and laid so that it does not collect water. I am planning an up coming camping trip and my surplus poncho and left over bungee cords are on my packing list.

nobelium106 (author)2010-06-29

Its also helpful to tie a piece of string or rope so that it dangles in from anything tied to the tree, so that water doesn't drip along the rope or string under the tarp

eddems (author)2010-04-18

I learned to use a hammock from a friend who spent time in Viet Nam.  I learned (from him) to tie a garbage bag around the tree before tying the hammock ropes. Just wrap the bag around the tree first, and then fold the the bag down over the ropes, to cover them, and catch the drips on the tree and deflect them to the other side. Otherwise, rain will come down the tree and into your hammock. I used a poncho for a cover, and added garbage bags to extend that up to the tree.  I camped through many storms and stayed comfy that way.

TonkaDan (author)eddems2010-04-25

Everybody always forgets about the rain coming down the trunk .. good advice! .. I use ratchet straps with hook ends and carabiners to suspend my  hammock. They're adjustable for any distance between trees and the hooks make it easy to attach a rainfly. Another way to deflect water is to use a simple "S" hook and hang it from the same carabiner ... kind of like a drip loop on the exterior cables and wires that come you your house.

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