How do I Make Backpacking Hammocks?

How do I Make Backpacking Hammocks?Backpacking hammocks enable you to carry less weight while backpacking. Having one also takes the worry out of having to search for level campsites while lessening risks of back pain from sleeping on a hard surface. You can purchase a ready-made backpacking hammock or be creative and save money by building your own.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1.9 oz. ripstop nylon 120 inches x 60 inches wide
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
  • Cord
  • Suspension webbing or Spectra cord
  • 2 tree huggers
  • 2 carabiners (climbing rated)
Step 1
Take the ripstop nylon and hem the edges to prevent fraying. Do this by rolling the fabric over to hide the edge and use the thread and needle to straight-stitch all the way down.
Step 2
Set the nylon on a flat surface and fold in half lengthwise with the side you intend to lay in on the inside fold.
Step 3
Prepare tying the ends by gathering the fabric at the ends with one hand, starting from the end with the folded side.
Step 4
Hold the gathered ends and pull the long edges out for a few inches. This helps the long edges to stay tight by preventing it from loosening once you lay in it.
Step 5
Form a bight and wrap the cord's end around the gathered fabric. Start wrapping at the top of the bight and work your way down. Complete about five to six wraps while keeping the bight in place.
Step 6
Insert the end of the cord into the loop, or bight, at the bottom and then pull the other end at the top tightly. This strengthens and tightens the tie by forming interlocked loops in the middle of the wrap.
Step 7
Pull both ends of the cord as tight as you can while keeping the loops centered. Trim if the ends are too long when you are done.
Step 8
Repeat the same wrapping method at the other end of the hammock.
Step 9
Use the suspension webbing or Spectra cord for your hammock suspension. This connects your hammock to the tree. Attach the suspension webbing to your hammock with a lark's head knot.
Step 10
Put a carabiner on your tree huggers and attach the suspension webbing to the carabiner with a double slip knot. You now have a backpacking hammock ready for use.

Tips & Warnings

You can also use zip ties instead of cord.
Use pliers to pull both ends of the cord tighter.
You can use a sleeping pad to put inside the hammock for added comfort.
Choose a strong suspension webbing with a breaking strength of about 600 pounds.

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

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