A DIY bushcraft lightweight flat-lay camping hammock
Darko SavicJan 17, 2022
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A DIY bushcraft flat-lay camping hammock that you can build on the spot. Save money, space, and weight in your backpack. You only need a rope.
Camping hammocks are either banana-shaped, constricting, or expensive. They also add some weight/volume to your already full hiking backpack.
Travel light. Bring only a rope, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tarp. Use the money you saved on the hammock to buy a good sleeping bag instead.
How it works
This is the layout we are going to mimic. But we will do it with rope alone:
When you get to your camp, find or cut a few straight branches/ or thin logs to build a bed frame. Tie the corners together so that the shorter pieces are wedged tightly in between the longer branches.
Zig-zag the rope between the longer branches throughout the entire length.
Tie the frame to the main ridgeline rope that you strung between two trees.
Tie some rope in between the "bedposts" to prevent your inflatable sleeping pad from slipping out of position.
Put your sleeping pad on top.
Put a tarp on top of the ridgeline to provide cover from wind and rain.
To make everything easier the 2nd time around, you can leave the bedpost ropes on the ridgeline for next time. The bedpost ropes can slide back and forth using Prusik knots (shown below).
There's your comfortable suspended bed.
Birds' eye view of the bedframe with rope. An inflatable pad goes on top of it:
These are the knots you will need:
You would have needed a sleeping pad anyway, regardless if you slept on the floor or in a bought hammock. You would have needed a roof over your head. A tarp is easier to set up and more versatile than a tent. You can even make a fire under the tarp if necessary. To protect your hammock from wind on all sides, you can close the side flaps as well.
I will take a photo of this contraption as soon as I get the chance to make it. Feel free to beat me to it and post some photos below:)
I'm assuming that you're a pretty well-versed camper. I, on the other hand, am definitely not and will try to cut corners at every opportunity to ensure that I stay in as much luxury as possible. Do you think this kind of hammock is suitable for those that are less skilled in the outdoors? I love the idea, and after watching several Bear Grylls series I believe I could do a half-decent job of surviving in the wild. Being able to build complex contraptions from basic equipment is admirable.
I trust your judgement as to how easy this hammock would be to make, I'd have to personally give it a few practice goes before I attempted it in a real camping situation though!