Woah! Trippy Gear, dude!

So – After my initial success with both my mockup hammock chair and then my ultra-light version, I was out of “stuff” to make. However, I had a nice large piece of tie-dye fabric I intended to make a kilt from, that I bought from Trippy Gear on Facebook very cheap.

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The thing was, I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of it. The picture below was taken inside with an iPhone, it looked a lot better than the lighting made it out to be. I thought of making a kilt with it, but after folding it in half and folding some sample pleats, I saw it totally ruined the Tie-Dye pattern and just looked awful. So, what to do with a hammock sized piece of cloth? Make a hammock, of course.

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Below you see the pattern outside in the sunlight. First thing was to sew up the sides. Like my other project, the selvege edge (the edge down the long sides) was left on, so I simply turned it over a half inch, then again. I ran two stitches along the edge, both to keep it from unravelling and to make the edges stronger, then I cut the hammock to length. I checked with ENO, they make their finished hammocks about 9 and a half feet. I figured I would make mine slightly longer, so I cut off about a foot and a half on one end, and started with 11 feet. I turned the end over 2 inches, then 2 inches again, and sewed two lines of stitching, leaving a wide hollow channel about an inch or so wide, for the suspension rope.

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Using a piece of the extra fabric, I sewed a bag to be used on the finished hammock. Its always nice to have a storage bag hanging off the side, for little things like headphones or eye drops or your bear bazooka. The bag also doubles as a hammock storage bag. I wasn’t sure the finished size of my hammock, so I made the bag a little large, about 7 inches wide and maybe a foot long. Double stitched all the edges and turned inside out, and sewed to the hem along the side of the hammock right in the middle.

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The hammock was pretty much done. Now it was on to the suspension. I elected to use a toggle-less suspension just like I had worked out for my hammock chair. Using a 6 foot piece of 2″ nylon webbing, I folded the ends over twice and sewed them down in a boxed-X pattern (visible below). I then made two sets of whoopie slings from green Amsteel rope. The fixed end I put through one end of the tree straps. Then I slipped the other end of the tree strap through the fixed loop and pulled tight. Now I had a square knot formed from the whoopie sling and one end of the tree strap. Its quick to throw the strap around the tree, pass the free end of the whoopie through the open end of the tree strap, and it’s secure. No toggles or knots required! The nice thing is, once you have the square knot tied, the whole thing can be stored like that in the hammock bag.

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The other end of the whoopie is the variable end, and I decided to use a whoopie hook there. It makes attaching the tree strap and whoopie to the hammock end REALLY easy. The little hooks are about $8 EACH, since they are custom cut from titanium. But, they don’t rust and they are super light and strong. I know those ropes will hold up to 2500 pounds. I don’t know what the hook is rated for. My hand is in the background to keep the damn iPhone from focusing on the grass. those ropes are only about 1/8″ diameter.

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The other end of the yellow cord is looped through the wide channel on the end of the hammock. It stays in there all the time, but comes out pretty easy for washing the hammock, if necessary. It’s just looped through twice and pulled through itself, nothing fancy. The bright green line is my Ridge line, which is adjustable and helps stabilize the hammock and give you the lay that you want. It also functions as a bass guitar string is you’re bored and musically inclined. Nothing like laying in the hammock and strumming the theme to “Jaws”.

IMG_0736So, the hammock tested fine in the back yard. I was really surprised at the overall feel and length of the thing. I could probably cut off another foot and be fine. The yellow cords were too long, just over 2 feet each. Given the extra long straps and how I made my whoopies, my normal idea for tree spacing started to get a little short. I swapped out the yellow loops for blue ones about half that size. I’m looking forward to being groovy in the woods this fall, once the skeeters die off.

 

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