ZHammock de Risk

Here is a new double bottom hammock for your building pleasure. I have been thinking about this one for more than a month and I am very pleased with how it has turned out.

I have taken lessons learned from the QuarterWeight hammock, the LiteHammock, and list discussion by Ray Garlington to build my summer hammock for the year.

It is called ZHammock (with a faux French accent) because all the stitching is done with the zig-zag stitch.

What it is:

This is a double bottom hammock made of 1.1 oz ripstop. I am 6 ft tall and I ordered 6 yards of material for the hammock. The ZHammock is 3 yards (9 feet) long.

The primary difference between this hammock and its forbearers is the method which holds the two pieces together. In this hammock, the two pieces, once cut, are sewn together along their long edges for the middle 42 inches. Then the hammock is turned rightside out, and the remaining long edge sections (8 of them) are hemmed with a single fold over hem (raw edge exposed). The ends are brought together and sewn with a rolled over hem so there are three layers of hammock (6 layers
of cloth) in the hem.

The ends are then whipped just inside the end hems and hammock webbing tie-ups are snugged up just inside the whipping.

Whipped End of Hammock

Why it is:

First, with long term use, I found a
weakness in my QuarterWeight hammock. Because I am always getting in and out of the hammock on the same side, after many months, I discovered that the entry/exit side of the hammock was hanging lower than the side with the bugnet attached. More and more, I began sleeping further away from the bug net edge, and this led to more stretching of the other side. It was beginning to look like I was going to get dumped out the edge at some time in the future!

The solution, of course, is to build a hammock in which I am equally likely to use the left or right edge of the hammock to enter or sit. In fact, I don't know which edge is the left or right. I did this with my LiteHammock and it has worked out very well.

Unfortunately, the LiteHammock is an ugly duckling. The band of material in the center of the hammock bunches up and gets caught under my shoulder. I enjoyed using it on my 185 mile section hike in May, but knew it was not a user friendly hammock. (It was very nice to have a pouch for the two pieces of closed cell foam sealed at the edges so they did not slip out.)

Z-Hammock has those same sealed edges in the center section, but the hole to put the pad in is along the long edge of the hammock between two equal sized 1.1 oz ripstop hammock pieces. Another advantage of this arrangement was pointed out on this list. The two full pieces of 1.1 oz ripstop weighs less than the LiteHammock's arrangement.

Attachment of Removable Bug Net

Z-Hammock borrows the same bug net arrangement and hammock tubes found on the LiteHammock. On my section hike, I discovered that the hammock tubes actually make a great seal at the troublesome ends of the bug net. I think the same thing would be true for builders of a standard Speer Hammock.

Hammock Tube seals the end of the bug net

Like all my recent hammocks, this one is 48 inches wide. I cut the cloth 50 in wide and then hemmed as described.

I ordered the cloth two feet shorter for Z-Hammock than for the QuarterWeight Hammock - the hammock cloth length is 9 feet. This makes the hammock a foot shorter and al little lighter, but it has just as much habitable space. I have done this by borrowing Ray Garlington's idea of whipping the ends of the hammock instead of tying Ed Speer's overhand knot. Ed's knots take 6 inches of material out of the habitable space each.

Sewing directions recapped
(from a hammock camping discussion)

Diagram for the directions below

This is how I sew the body of the hammock:

- cut two pieces of 1.1 oz ripstop 9 ft x 4 ft

- put them on top of each other and sew together along the 42 inch long red lines, just sewing the top to the bottom. If you have material with a right side and a wrong side, start with the wrong sides out.

- now turn the hammock right side out. The edges from the above step will be inside.

- Those 8 blue colored edges: turn each one in about a half inch and sew it down to itself to make a hem. Do NOT sew the top to the bottom.
- Now take the ends (green) and roll them until a hem traps the end. There will be six thicknesses of cloth (3 for the top and 3 for the bottom). In this step, I do sew the top to the bottom.

- Now I whip the ends together. The rolled over hem keeps the whipping from sliding off the end of the hammock.

- This makes it so that there are four openings to the inside of the ZHammock, two at each end. It is into any one of these openings that I slide the pad into (and later out of).

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