Freestanding Hammock Design

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby MacGlenver » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:04 pm

I referenced this design that was mentioned somewhere on here and built a free-standing hammock: http://www.wikihow.com/Pitch-a-Hammock-Without-Trees

It was pretty straight forward, but definitely required some tight, strong guy lines and very solid stakes. Instead of aircraft wire and lag bolts I used 1800lb test 1/2" mule tape and 2' long rebar, hammered nearly all the way in (at an angle). It's cheap stuff, very strong, and doesnt require all the hardware described in the guide (just a few basic knots).

I eyeballed all my measurements, just to see how lazy I could be and still succeed. As a note, I'm 6'3", 225lbs (that's not me in the pics below, that's my 150lb friend).

Supplies include:
-two 5' pieces of 3/4" EMT (precut at Home Depot, yay)
-6 pieces of 1/2" thick, 2 foot long rebar
-two 1/4" thick, 2" long bolts
-a nut for each bolt
-about 60 feet of mule tape (or any non-stretchy, very strong line (paracord probably not sufficient).

1. I drilled a 1/4" hole about 3" from the top of each piece of EMT, through both sides, then inserted the bolt and put on the nut.
2. I hammered in 2 pieces of rebar vertically, about 10-12 feet apart (whatever distance makes sense for your hammock), then slid the non-bolted end of each piece of EMT over the vertical rebar (to prevent the bottom of the EMT from shifting around).
3. I took about 20' of mule tape, put a loop at the center (alpine butterfly loop), dropped the loop over a the top of the EMT, and resting on top of the bolt that i slid through earlier.
4. I then hammered in 2 pieces of rebar about 10 feet away from each piece of vertical EMT. The rebar should be positioned about 45 degrees from the line made by your hammock, and it should be hammered in at an angle away from the EMT.
5. With the loose ends of the mule tape (the center being looped over the EMT), I tie them down to the rebar that I just hammered in. I prefer using a trucker's hitch, as that allows a secure attachment, but easy adjustment. Taught line hitches dont seem to work very well with the slippery mule tape, but will likely work with better rope.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 for the other piece of EMT.
7. Use the remaining mule tape/rope to attach your hammock to the top of each piece of EMT. I put a bowline knot in one end, slip it over the EMT, then use another trucker's hitch through the end of my hammock.
8. Give the hammock a very ginger test sit and watch your guylines to see which ones arent tight enough. The EMT should not bend at all if you've got them tight enough. Adjust your lines as necessary to get it drum-tight, then do a few more careful test sits before you fully commit.

All the knots I mentioned above are very simple to learn. Take 20 minutes and learn them (lots of good Youtube videos out there) so none of these things slip on you (else you may get a piece of EMT on the face). The guide above recommends not hanging your hammock too high, which is probably a good idea in case something lets go and you end up on the ground :).

I found a few things in doing this build:
1. MSR Groundhogs pounded into a grassy lawn aren't anywhere near enough support for the guy lines (duh). They pulled out instantly, and likely will on the playa as well. Rebar or something equivalently strong is critical.
2. My two foot long rebar bent because the load for the lines was not perfectly distributed or the angle from the center EMT point wasn't perfect. It didnt help that the ground was so soft. They cut through the ground about 4 or 5 inches as they bent, but they held all day with various people sitting/swinging in the hammock.
3. If you're going to try to hold two people you will need to use some major anchors for the guylines. 1/2" rebar likely wont cut it for long
4. The EMT may not have been the best choice, especially in a soft yard, as it burrowed several feet into the ground throughout the day (requiring occasional tightening of my lines). Next time i use this in a yard, I'm going to get a 1" thick 4"x4" piece of wood, drill a 1/2" hole through the middle, then slide it over the rebar before I slide my 3/4" EMT over the exposed rebar end (so the EMT rests on a solid base instead of boring into the ground).
5. Mule tape is awesome, though not the best in the world for knots. It held the weight like a champ, however, and barely stretched at all.
6. The guide i referenced above suggests getting square aluminum rods, but I found those to be incredibly expensive compared to EMT. I think EMT would work very well on the playa, as it won't bore in as badly as it did in the yard and being able to slide it over the rebar ensures that the base won't move. In hunting around, I've seen people suggest using wooden dowels (1" at least, I expect) for the vertical support, with a screw/bolt drilled into the bottom to prevent it from moving. I think a wooden dowel would work as long as your lines are very tight so that it doesn't end up taking the load and snapping (or pivoting out of the ground).

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
User avatar
MacGlenver
 
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: I call this one 'Old Gregg'

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby twister5voy » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:48 pm

Thanks for the write up! I use a hammock instead of a bed and tentatively my plan is to do the same on the playa, between that wikihow and your experience i'm hoping it'll be fairly straightforward.

When you said EMT may not of been the best choice, was that just because of it being in a yard? Also, did it seem that the 5 foot length was high enough?
User avatar
twister5voy
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:20 pm
Location: Hoquiam,WA

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby International Incident » Wed May 01, 2013 12:03 am

MacGlenver wrote:I referenced this design that was mentioned somewhere on here and built a free-standing hammock: http://www.wikihow.com/Pitch-a-Hammock-Without-Trees




You sir, are a god. Thanks!
User avatar
International Incident
 
Posts: 1003
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:05 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: P6 - a Barbie Death Village production

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby MacGlenver » Wed May 01, 2013 6:13 am

twister5voy wrote:Thanks for the write up! I use a hammock instead of a bed and tentatively my plan is to do the same on the playa, between that wikihow and your experience i'm hoping it'll be fairly straightforward.

When you said EMT may not of been the best choice, was that just because of it being in a yard? Also, did it seem that the 5 foot length was high enough?


Yep, I think EMT will work fine on the playa since it won't dig into the ground like in the very soft yard I was in. 5' long EMT was plenty tall. I don't think I'd go any higher than that since the taller you go, the less stable/more bendable it will become. You could go shorter than 5' as well. In fact, my EMT sank about 2 feet into the ground, so at the end I only had about 3 or 3.5 feet sticking out of the ground.
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
User avatar
MacGlenver
 
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: I call this one 'Old Gregg'

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby BeeWeeDee » Wed May 01, 2013 7:36 am

Setting the EMT and rebar posts at a slight angle would help transfer some of the load off of the guy lines to the playa.

Some big honking washers might work in place of the 4"x 4" wood block (less moopy if the wood splinters).

But I can definitely see me in this in the mid day heat of the playa - sippin, smokin and swayin.
"If you embrace change you'll love it forever." - Ratty
User avatar
BeeWeeDee
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:57 pm
Location: rural wyoming
Burning Since: 2012

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby trilobyte » Wed May 01, 2013 7:54 am

Don't kid yourself, the EMT would definitely dig into the playa surface. Depending on the amount of tension/weight involved, it could go several inches into the playa. Either use a wooden base, or get a footpad for your conduit (here's a 3/4 inch conduit version of what I use for all the vertical conduit poles on the structures I build, they do a great job).
User avatar
trilobyte
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10628
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 11:54 pm
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 2004
Camp Name: Eridu Society

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby MacGlenver » Wed May 01, 2013 8:44 am

BeeWeeDee wrote:Setting the EMT and rebar posts at a slight angle would help transfer some of the load off of the guy lines to the playa.


I would say the key to this design is that the EMT (or whatever material you use for the posts) are perfectly vertical. If you were to angle them backwards (away from the hammock) to take some of the weight, I think they would surely bend. The post in this design can hold because the pressure is straight down on the cylindrical structure and there is no bending pressure (since it is being pulled equally in one direction by the hammock and in the other direction by the guy lines, effectively canceling eachother out). My EMT bent ever so slightly because I didnt have it perfectly vertical at first, and my lines werent tight enough. You dont want it to take directional pressure. I think a real slant would fold it right in half.

trilobyte wrote:Don't kid yourself, the EMT would definitely dig into the playa surface. Depending on the amount of tension/weight involved, it could go several inches into the playa. Either use a wooden base, or get a footpad for your conduit (here's a 3/4 inch conduit version of what I use for all the vertical conduit poles on the structures I build, they do a great job).


You may very well be right. I doubt it'd go as far as mine went into the soft soil, but it would likely sink. If i were taking this to the playa I guess I would bring some type of base. The washers that BWD suggested would be a good option so long as the opening is exactly 1/2" to allow the rebar thru but doesnt allow the 3/4" EMT through, and is wide enough that it really distributes the weight. Trilo - do those footpads that you referenced have holes through the bottom that would allow the 1/2" rebar through, or would you propose that you just nail/stake through the holes in the outer edge of the footpad. I think either would work.

Agree on moopiness of the wood if it splinters... something i'll consider, though I think the wood I have in mind will just gouge rather than splinter, though it may eventually split. Metal would be a nice alternative, just gotta find the right piece.
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
User avatar
MacGlenver
 
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: I call this one 'Old Gregg'

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby MacGlenver » Wed May 01, 2013 9:34 am

Here are some washers that may do the trick, though since rebar is not exactly uniform in its diameter, i could see it being tricky sliding the rebar through the hole. I'll tinker with it. Wood or Trilo's footpads may be the best bet in the end (tho the footpads are a little pricey). I also found that the clevis pins in the original design were nice, but those are also expensive. The bolts worked just fine.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/1-2-in-x-2-in-Metallic-Stainless-Steel-Fender-Washers-2-Pack-30701/202707664
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
User avatar
MacGlenver
 
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: I call this one 'Old Gregg'

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby FIGJAM » Wed May 01, 2013 9:41 am

How about T-posts instead of EMT?
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me
User avatar
FIGJAM
 
Posts: 7072
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby MacGlenver » Wed May 01, 2013 9:55 am

FIGJAM wrote:How about T-posts instead of EMT?


*looks up what a T-post is*. Oh yeah, those things! Yeah I bet that'd work very well.

A few minor issues I could see:
1. Hammering it into the ground/playa may be more difficult than a piece of rebar, though I've never done it, so maybe its not a big difference.
2. You'd need to find a way to attach the hammock and the guy-lines. Perhaps use the same drill/bolt method, or maybe there are t-posts that already have holes through which you could slip something to rest the hammock/guy lines on.
3. It is bulkier, but that may be a good thing since it will also be sturdier.

Good thought!
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
User avatar
MacGlenver
 
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: I call this one 'Old Gregg'

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby FIGJAM » Wed May 01, 2013 10:14 am

I was thinking that if you drove them in at a 45 degree angle you could use 2 ratchet straps on each end for guylines and it would be super stable. 8)
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me
User avatar
FIGJAM
 
Posts: 7072
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby twister5voy » Wed May 01, 2013 10:21 am

Do t-posts work well on the playa?
User avatar
twister5voy
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:20 pm
Location: Hoquiam,WA

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby MacGlenver » Wed May 01, 2013 11:02 am

twister5voy wrote:Do t-posts work well on the playa?


I believe they use them to secure the porta potties, so I'm guessing they do work well. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I know i saw the portos tied to t-posts last year. Is that the only "staking" that's done for the portos? If so, they must be very solid.

You'd likely have to get a post driver to get them in (whereas a small sledge would suffice for the rebar), which I don't have, but they appear to be only about $30.
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
User avatar
MacGlenver
 
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: I call this one 'Old Gregg'

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby FIGJAM » Wed May 01, 2013 11:06 am

People that use them love them.

The use that comes to mind is putting a T-post next to each leg of a carport and duct taping the legs to the posts.

That way they didn't need guylines. 8)

A 3' piece of steel pipe with a cap makes a great post driver.
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me
User avatar
FIGJAM
 
Posts: 7072
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby MacGlenver » Wed May 01, 2013 11:10 am

FIGJAM wrote:People that use them love them.

The use that comes to mind is putting a T-post next to each leg of a carport and duct taping the legs to the posts.

That way they didn't need guylines. 8)

A 3' piece of steel pipe with a cap makes a great post driver.


In that case, couldn't you just drill a 1/4" hole thru your carport leg and put a bolt thru (ie. no need for the tpost either)? Or is drilling thru those carport legs a bad idea? Perhaps not strong enough? Never used a carport, so I don't know its limits.
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
User avatar
MacGlenver
 
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: I call this one 'Old Gregg'

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby FIGJAM » Wed May 01, 2013 11:15 am

I think it acts as a "splint" to strengthen the leg to prevent "wind bend". 8)
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me
User avatar
FIGJAM
 
Posts: 7072
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby MacGlenver » Wed May 01, 2013 3:43 pm

No dice on the 1/2" washers. As expected, they won't fit over the irregularly shaped 1/2" rebar. Therefore, I'll be making some wood bases for my EMT to sit on, or looking into Trilo's EMT foot pads. If I had it to do again I might try out those T-posts, though the EMT does have a bit more of an elegant look to it and it packs small. I can even slide most of the rebar inside the EMT for compact transport!
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
User avatar
MacGlenver
 
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: I call this one 'Old Gregg'

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby twister5voy » Thu May 02, 2013 12:31 am

I think i'm gonna give the t-posts a try. i'll report back when I actually get it set up and try it.
User avatar
twister5voy
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:20 pm
Location: Hoquiam,WA

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby unjonharley » Thu May 02, 2013 8:11 am

All this driving post into the playa surface.. Those babies come out much harder than going in. The surface so soft to about 12 inches.. Then it becomes very dense.. I brought a T post puller..It broke on the first post.. It took a big bumper jack to pull the post.. My first year I used a hammock.. Had to keep taps the posts in.. At the end of the week I put a lot of sweat in pulling T post.. Now I have a six leg cot that makes a good hammock.. Maybe designing a (break down) span to hang the hammock would be a better
User avatar
unjonharley
 
Posts: 8790
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:05 am
Location: Salem Or.

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby SouthernExposure » Fri May 03, 2013 9:31 am

I am presently making a free-standing Hammock support system. It is made up of (2) tripod structures made of (3) 6.5' legs of 2"x2" pine bolted to a metal gate hinge. The hinge allows the assembly to be collapsed for easy transport and storage. There will be cord run through holes near the base of the legs to limit them from spreading. I will then have a 13' long, 2 piece metal tube from chain link fencing suspended from the hinges with eye bolts to prevent the tripods from pulling together or tipping over when loaded. The hammock is then attached at the hanging points at the eye bolts and adjusted for a comfortable hanging angle. I will also be bringing a synthetic underquilt, and a sleeping bag for insulation. The whole shebang will fit in my monkey hut/dome tent for sleeping and will be taken down in the morning and stowed to provide room during the days.

The lovely wackos at HammockForums (https://www.hammockforums.net/forum/sho ... hp?t=51787) have been perfecting the TurtleDog Stand design for a while and folks continue to tweak the design to suit there own criteria. This design is easier to setup and maintain than the tensile support system.

Check it out.

SE
User avatar
SouthernExposure
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby MacGlenver » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:18 pm

SouthernExposure wrote:I am presently making a free-standing Hammock support system. It is made up of (2) tripod structures made of (3) 6.5' legs of 2"x2" pine bolted to a metal gate hinge.


Pretty slick design. Plusses seem mainly to be the fool-proof, quick setup once you've got it built, and a smaller overall footprint (since you dont need to guy it out). Minuses would be cost, build time, and size when transporting.

For my freestanding design, you definitely have to get those ropes tied and tightened right or you'll be on the ground before long. I'm taking my hammock setup to a local burn here in GA, so we'll see how it holds up with a buncha dirty hippies jumping into it...
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
User avatar
MacGlenver
 
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: I call this one 'Old Gregg'

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby MacGlenver » Wed Jun 05, 2013 7:43 am

Also, with the freestanding design you don't have a rope/pole over your head. That said, I am always a little nervous getting into my freestanding design at first. I bought some of the solid steel 2' stakes to replace the rebar for guying out so that I dont have an issue with the rebar bending, so that will help.
"just two indecisive cowboys, trying to play a word game." - piehole
"Just apply intelligence and discretion and you should be able to get away with just about anything." - Ugly Dougly
User avatar
MacGlenver
 
Posts: 780
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:11 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: I call this one 'Old Gregg'

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby SouthernExposure » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:44 pm

The cost for the free standing design the way I am making it will come in under $40 all told. There is another design that uses 6.5' sections of bamboo lashed together with cord to make the tripods. This would get the price way down to pocket change. The tripod uses a 1-3/8" tube running between them to actually carry the compressive forces of the loaded hammock and this prevents the tripods from tipping over. The ends of the 2 piece swaged poles hang from each of the two tripods and the suspension of the hammock attaches at, or very near, this hanging point of the poles. I will ultimately make a carrying case for the entire setup.

BTW, the weight of the tripods, poles and associated hardware may come very close to the weight of your rig, if you factor in the weight of your stakes. The last time I went to BM, I actually attempted to set up a tensile support design for the hammock that was very similar to yours. I ran into trouble when the stakes proved to be just too short to get a good solid anchor into the playa. It almost worked, but I failed. I also found the design to be rather difficult to set up and get tightened down correctly, particularly by myself.

SE
User avatar
SouthernExposure
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby SouthernExposure » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:06 pm

Here is the self supporting tripod hammock stand that I just finished. It will support a crinkle taffeta gathered end tablecloth hammock with Amsteel lines larksheaded to the lashed ends of the hammock. It has a DIY Climashield underquilt and bath-puff snakeskins to make it easier to stow during the day. The whole shebang takes 2.5 minutes to disassemble and put away once I get up in the morning. I painted it because, well, just because it's Burning Man and I can, right? I made the tripods so that the height will just fit under a standard Monkey Hut.

Image

Image

Image

Cheers :mrgreen:

SE
User avatar
SouthernExposure
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: Freestanding Hammock Design

Postby Frizzboom » Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:13 pm

https://www.hammockforums.net/
Some awesome stuff here. I built a great stand with help from these geeks.
What does not kill me makes for great campfire stories.
Be Good,
Frizzboom Dinkdoodle
User avatar
Frizzboom
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:32 pm
Burning Since: 2012
Camp Name: Suggestions?


Return to Shelter & Camping

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests