DIY Camping Hammock




About: FOLLOW MY INSTAGRAM! @gnarfarian

This instructable features how to make a "Do It Yourself" Camping Hammock- (This is my first instructable, so bear with me...)

Step 1: Materials Needed

Materials Needed:
1.) Large peice of ripstop nylon - 3 & 2/3 yards - You can get this at most sewing stores: JoAnns, Michaels, even Walmart (if they have a sewing section).
2.) Sewing machine
3.) Paracord( any type of rope will do, as long as it will hold your weight. I prefer paracord for it's size and weight capacity). The length of the cord will depend on how far apart the trees you hang the hammock from are.
4.) 2 carabeeners or other type of clip, which must be able to hold your weight as well.

A.)  I have also seen people make hammocks out of bed sheets( perferrabley large ones)

Step 2: Length-wise "Clean Up" of the Edges

1.) Use a sewing machine to hem the edges of the hammock. This will keep the edges neat and prevent the fabric from fraying. 
2.) Folding the edge over as you sew, use a straight stitch and sew down the longer side of the fabric. (Not width-wise, but length-wise).

Step 3:

Step 4: Width-wise "Clean Up"

1.) Following the same instructions as the Length-wise "Clean Up" (Steps 2 and 3), hem the fabric's width.

Step 5: Making Space for Rope

1.) Take the 2 short ends and fold them in to make space for the rope ( I folded the ripstop down 3 inches and stitched along that line). This leaves enough room for any type of rope or chord, large or small. It will serve as a "tube"  for the rope to lace through.
2.) Repeat on the other end.

Step 6: Insert Rope

1.) Insert the rope into the space that you just sewed and sinch the hammock until it is tight.
2.) Repeat on the other end.

You dont have to do it this way you can whip the ends of the hammock and the benefit from this is that based upon the way you whip the ends it will change the way the hammock lays when you are in it.

This was a question put in by one of the viewers-

i don't quite understand the last step... what do you mean by: You don't have to do it this way you can whip the ends of the hammock and the benefit from this is that based upon the way you whip the ends it will change the way the hammock lays when you are in it. (what is a whip?)

lerickson  says:
Do you know when rope frays and if it is synthetic you can melt it to stop the fraying? Well if it is not synthetic rope then you have tto whip the ends of the rope. There are many other resources that can show you how to whip the hammock- here is one
this will show you how to do

Step 7: Hang

1.) Hang the hammock from two trees. (The two as pictured are about 25 feet apart. 13 to 18 feet would be ideal).

Step 8: Furnishing the Hammock

1.) Add a rubber mat or some sort of insulation to the bottom of your hammock. This rubber mat is especially useful when the sun goes down and it gets chilly.
2.) You may also add a sleeping bag and lay it on top of the mat.



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60 Discussions


7 years ago on Introduction

Okey all, great things were said, But Nylon webbing works the best and paracord 550 type. Go to or go to you will see what I am talking about..

2 replies

Reply 2 years ago

the straps? I got these at homedepot or lowes and they were just packing straps


2 years ago

Ditch the paracord use hollow core 7/16 Amsteel. Its lighter, higher break strength (1600 lbs), and doesn't stretch. I just built a hammock using it and I'm quite amazed at the versitility. You can thread it through itself to make a loop that is held together like a chinese finger trap. Google continuous loops and whoopie slings to see what I mean. BTW, I made a paracord bracelet with the stuff too. Good luck on your hangs.

Also when I had hung the hammock from these trees they were over 20 ft apart so it really strched it out like you see but if you find trees fifteen feet apart then it will be much easier to lay in at angles.

7 replies

I built a hammock like this a few years ago and just decided to try using paracord (for pack size and weight considerations) instead of the nylon webbing I normally use. Never knew paracord was that stretchy. I tied the thing 7ft off the ground and it still stretched to the ground... If I preshrink the paracord do you think it will stretch less?

Poppa ChubbyMyklknife

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

You could also try using more lengths of cord for longer runs. Double, triple or even quadruple strands or more would reduce stretching.

I dont really know. Paracord is built to be strechy and to make it non strechy would probley hinder the strength somehow.

Perhaps... I don't know how much damage washing it would do though. I gave it a try anyway, I'll string it up later in the week to see how it works

sun damage is really the only thing you need to worry about with 550 cord. washing it shouldn't harm it at all, provided you dry it thoroughly enough to keep it from mildewing.

Alright I just tried my washed paracord and it still held my weight (180lbs) just find and stretched far less.


Just for clarity, the type of nylon that can be purchased at Joanne's is heavy duty ripstop nylon and is more than enough to be used for hammocks. The lightest possible that can be "safely" used is no less than 1.1 oz, (measured 1.1oz per yard. 1.1 oz is not recommended for anyone over 200 lbs, however.

1.7oz, or 1.6 oz seems to be the normal weight that people prefer for hammock making. I'm not sure what the exact weight of nylon that Joanne's sells, but it's well above 1.7 oz.

Drapes and other bedding type fabric should be avoided unless they are confirmed to be made of 100% polyester or nylon. Cotton or other materials can fail. Many DIY'ers use polyester taffeta tablecloths for hammocks as they're cheap, super strong, and already have edges sewn.


4 years ago on Introduction

I bought a single panel of old drapes at the thrift store... $5... then I tied very tightly knotted rope to each end, bunching the fabric accordion style. I attached my carbiners there. I use nylon ratchet straps to go around the trees and snap on at each end. Easy peasy. Been using in my yard for 2 summers now and still going strong.


7 years ago on Introduction

What type of ripstop nylon did you use? I just want to make sure the fabric is strong enough to hold an adult. Would any style of ripstop work?
I'm just having a *really* hard time finding the fabric that can work. I've tried all the usual fabric stores but they aren't sure if the fabric can hold the weight.
Any advice anyone?
Great instructable! keep it up!

3 replies

Reply 4 years ago

taffeta fabric works very well also. not as light but still very strong


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

The nylon I used was a regular ripstop nylon I got at Joannes. I was very skeptical about a very thin piece of fabric holding my weight, but it seems to work. I have had mulitple people sit on it at once and it didnt break.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I was skeptical as well. But, if all else fails, try try again. I bought some fabric at joannes as well, gonna give it a try myself. Cheers!


6 years ago on Step 8

I've heard about wrapping the sleeping bag around the hammock instead of using a pad. That way your not crushing the insulation in the sleeping bag. Has anyone tried this?

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Yes, but not all night. The bag has to zip down all the way past the foot box so you can use its whole length. With bag slightly open at bottom, slip hammock clew thru it and connect to tree hugger (or unzip the bag, etc. what the hell) The problem was, the hammock exiting behind your head prevents cinching the drawcord around your face. So next i'll try using a smaller, inner bag as a quilt, and wrapping the excess over my head from on top (get it?)