I’m finally done with the primitive, heavy and inconvenient single rope system. My new hang consists of:
- A dogbone at each end (approx. 35 cm long).
- A whoopie sling at each end (50 – 240 cm), fixed eye larksheaded through said dogbone.
- Nylon straps to wrap around the trees (300 cm)
- Another whoopie sling (225 – 275 cm), serving as an adjustable structural ridge line
- A soft shackle (5 cm when closed) to attach the adjustable loop of the ridge line
The dogbones and whoopie slings were spliced from 2.5 mm dyneema rope. The soft shackle and ridge line are made of 1.5 mm dyneema. The entire splicing took one afternoon. Considering that it was my first time, I’m quite happy. Actually, when I spliced the first dogbone and figured out some tricks, it all went pretty smoothly.
The mosquito net
Ah, I’m a real mosquitophobe and so I was looking forward to having a total protection from those pesky insects. And since I like to switch between sleeping on the ground and in a hammock (and soon also in SE Asian hostels), I wanted my net to be usable in all those conditions, i.e., to have an opening in the bottom wide enough to fit an entire bed or at least a sleeping pad.
Luckily, no suitable product could be found so I got an opportunity for another DIY project. To my surprise, I couldn’t even find suitable fabric, so eventually I decided to buy a Dutch military surplus cot mosquito net just to scavenge the mesh.
Sewing the mosquito net was much more time consuming, for several reasons:
- it was my first time ever using a sewing machine
- there was no user manual for the machine and I pretty much had to figure it out on my own (it went much better once I realized you need to lower the presser foot)
- my first two designs turned out to be bad ideas and I had to test the prototypes in a forest and then start all over again in few iterations.
Finally, after two days of work I arrived at my final design:
- A two-layered rectangle. 300 cm long, 160 cm high
- At the bottom edge there is a zipper running for the entire length, with two opposing sliders.
- Each of the upper corners has a small hole for the hammock hanging ropes.
- Along the upper edge there are three small rings sewn in, in case I want to hang it without the hammock and its ridge line.
The bag that came with the original net now holds the entire set, except for the straps which are stored separately in case they get dirty from resin and such.
How it would perform in the field remained to be seen as I was about to start my trip to Balkans in just few days (spoiler alert; it worked great).
- The hammock: 20 CAD
- Nylon straps: 20 PLN
- Dyneema ropes ( 11m x 2.5mm + 4m x 1.5 mm): 31 PLN + 19 PLN shipping
- Original mosquito net: 50 PLN + 15 PLN shipping
- Tarp (not discussed in this post; 3m x 3m): 20 PLN
- Ropes for the tarp (also not disussed): 20 PLN
In total, my entire system cost 232 PLN or 74 USD, plus three days worth of work.
- Hammock with mosquito net and hanging ropes: 650g
- The straps: 100g
- The tarp and its ropes: 600g
In total: 1.35kg.
Quite a lot. I guess that’s what I pay for mosquito net versatility and the tarp more comfortable (bigger) than the required minimum (which in my case would be 2m x 3m).