Saturday, January 7, 2017

Hand sewn hammock

Homemade Hammock

While attending the “Woodsmoke” gathering in Tetonia, Idaho a few years back. While I was sleeping off a drunk on night, I was “Birthed” from my Hennessey Expedition Hammock in the early AM. It was a pretty good tear; however I had been using this light weight hammock all over the world for several years and probably exceeded the expected usage of the product.

I tried to sew it up but the repair didn't hold so, I gave it away to a young woman who said she would patch it for her young daughter.

Needing a “new” hammock (play in Thai, and Duyen in Tagalog) I got out some fabric that was given to me by my lady friend Unitsa in Thailand. In fact, this fabric started out as a hammock but I took it apart to make a tarp for my Hennessey.

The fabric is about the same weight as Parachute material (1.1 ounce). Busting out my sewing kit, I selected a mid-sized needle and separated several feet of waxed nylon thread some folks call “artificial sinew”.

When using this type of thread, I have found that using a 3 foot (1 meter) length separated it into 4 strands (= 12 feet), gives me ample thread to sew just about anything.

I hung the fabric from an Elm tree to give me some tension and Drawing on sewing lessons learned in the Army and mainly those learned from my oldest sister Ruth; I began sewing making 9 stitches per inch. I first hemmed the ends to accommodate opposing drawstrings (2 on each end). Sewing the Hems took 12 feet of thread on each end. The length took 18 feet. Total sewing time was about 8 hours.

My hands and fingers were a bit sore when I was finished. I sewed into an open end bag shape to accommodate my sleeping pad. Once the pad is inserted, the draw string can be cinched tight and then tied into place.

The only string I had at my disposal was 30 feet of blaze orange & 30 feet of green type 5 nylon (550 cord to you commoners). I cut these into 15 foot lengths, burned the ends to prevent unraveling,  then threaded 2 into each end of the hammock. To make a stuff sack for my hammock, I took an old sleeping bag stuff sack and cut it down, then added my Philippine flag and Scout ranger patches to it

I like the finished product, it is light weight and easily packable.


See you on the trail!

                                                   The tarp before it became a hammock

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