Intro: Hammock Tent
The Hammock tent. I gave up on backpacking tents with the constantly breaking poles, separate rain flys, and sleeping on the ground or carrying a pad just to be comfortable. There are several diagonal hammock tents available if you choose to pay several hundred dollars for one. Why diagonal? it allows you to lay completely flat diagonal to the direction of the support lines, it also gives space to store gear inside to protect from the weather.
I made this in three days for less than $50.
List of materials-
Ripstop nylon- Joann Fabric, $3.50/yard for four yards on sale
Netting- $3.99/yard for two yards
1 inch nylon webbing-$6.99 for 20 feet
Paracord- $0.00, leftover form previous project
6 mm Cord- $12.99 for 50 feet
40 weight thread- Joann Fabric, $3.50
1 inch cotton webbing- Joann Fabric, $3,99
Step 1: Layout and Design
This hammock is designed to be tied 6 feet off the ground to two point that are 15 feet apart. These dimensions put the hammock cords at 120 degrees minimizing the vector forces on the anchors. If it is tied at 4 feet, the angle is increased to 150 degrees and subjects the anchors to almost double the load in the hammock.
I planned on using a 60 inch wide piece of nylon but it is only available at 58 inches, close enough for me.
The length of 72 inches allows for pleating and gathering the ends with enough room for my 6 foot 2 inch height.
The anchor points are placed at one third of the length on opposite sides.
The dashed line is the planned sleeping arrangement.
The ripstop lines will be running the length of the hammock but run on the diagonal for the rain fly.
Step 2: Sewing the Hammock Base and Netting
Start by sewing a 1/4 inch hem around the entire perimeter to prevent fraying.
Sew 1 inch cotton webbing around perimeter, I sewed the entire perimeter to hold the inside edge, then lay the netting over before sewing the outside.
6 inch pieces of webbing were used to create anchor points and were zigzag stiched for additional strength
Step 3: Entry Point
After sewing the entire hammock closed, I realized I needed a way to get into it. I slit the floor away from the sleeping area, hemmed it, and sewed cotton webbing around to strengthen and support.
It hangs open but snaps shut with no gaps when you put weight into the hammock.
Step 4: Supporting the Hammock
This may be the hardest part. I use fancy knots because I am good at tying them and they come out looking very aesthetic.
The anchor point has a taut line hitch to hang the hammock and allow for adjusting tension on the hammock.
The other end of this cord is a fishermans knot which will not untie under load but can be untied to replace the cord. The fisherman knot is tied around one end of a piece of webbing tied in a loop with a water knot.
The water knot is tied in a girth hitch around the end of the hammock and secured with paracord.
Another piece of cord was tied from one end to the other between the webbing loops to hold up the insect netting and rain fly.
Step 5: Rain Fly
The rain fly is very simple.
By turning the nylon so the grain runs along the diagonal, a piece the same size as the hammock base extends beyond the edges so the rain runs off and you stay dry.
Sew a 1/4 inch hem around the entire perimeter and add paracord loops. The loops are sewn on using a zigzag stitch.
The loops are then tied to the anchor lines and support lines using girth hitches. This lets me tighten the rain fly above the hammock.
Step 6: Inside View
All that remains is to anchor the diagonal anchor lines into the ground and tighten the knots.
I climb in through the bottom and ready for a nap.
Note that the rain fly is tight and covers the whole hammock which has slack until you sit down in it.
Step 7: Packing It Up
I had about 6 inches of nylon left over so I sewed up two sleeves and slid them over the support lines.
To take down the hammock, you loosen all the knots, remove the stakes, and slide the sleeves over the hammock.
Untie the support lines and fold in half, then wrap the lines around it.
Step 8: Final Thoughts
I am very happy with this hammock tent project.
For a fraction of the cost of a commercial one, I have a hammock tent that holds up well to the elements,
This lightens the load to carry on the trail( the hammock tent weighs in at 2.5 pounds) and removes several hard objects from my pack(tent stakes, poles, etc.)