Just Jeff's Hiking Page

"Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose
we came from the woods originally."

- John Muir

How Do I Make My Own Hammock?

The internet is full of people talking about their homemade hammocks, and there are a few websites with bits and pieces on how to do it. I wanted to consolidate an full set of instructions so you can make your own hammock from scratch using only this page. Aside from the pride of relying on something you made yourself, the coolest thing about making your own gear is that you can customize it however you want to. So...these instructions just present some options for making a hammock. There are different ways of doing everything, and as long as it's safe, there isn't a right or wrong way to do it. So read these instructions in that spirit - you can follow them exactly or you can change everything to suit your needs.

In the following sections, I go into detail on each step but I don't provide concrete numbers for how to do it. In places, I offer what dimensions or materials have worked in the past, but there are so many options that there's no need to be specific. But I know that some people like specifics, so here's a quick snapshot of how to make the hammock, complete with dimensions.

  1. Go to the Walmart $1/yd table and buy 1.9 oz ripstop nylon, 120" long by ~60" wide.
  2. Put a rolled hem around all four edges.
  3. Gather and whip the ends.
  4. Get your supports - strong webbing or Spectra cord with tree huggers. 8-10' for each end.
  5. Attach the supports to the hammock with a larkshead.
  6. If you want a ridgeline, attach it now.
    • Get a cord with 200-300 lbs breaking strength and cut it to 100". Tie an overhand on a bight at each end to create loops. Thread the hammock supports through the loops at each end of the ridgeline.
  7. That's it...hang it up.

This will give you a Speer-type hammock without a bug net that's suitable for sleeping in long-term. You'll be surprised how easy it is, and the total cost is about $10. My first few took me an hour or two, but now I can throw one together from start to finish in about 20 minutes. After you get your first project done, the designs will start swimming in your head and you'll start planning your second hammock as soon as you lay in your first one! And maybe you'll start planning your own DIY Hennessy Clone like Headchange4u made!

Start out with a test hammock, and whether or not you upgrade you'll soon be doing this:

Photo by Dylan

Me in the Snow

Photo by Doug Frick

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