May 15, 2017

Car Camping - Hammock Stands

I have gone nuts for hammock camping, which is fine when backpacking where there are trees (which describes most places where I go backpacking). However, I live in southern Arizona and it is not at all uncommon to find myself car camping in areas without trees. The usual answer is to sleep on my cot, but it would be fun to be able to have an easy to transport and use stand to use alongside the truck. Apart from sheer amusement, a hammock stand that allowed a tarp to be easily rigged would be a great alternative to a tent in rainy weather.

This topic has not been at all ignored among the hammock afficianados. The current collapsible favorite seems to be the "turtledog" stand.

Even with 840 replies, the Bamboo stand thread repays the time to read from end to end if you are going to make one of these. The Turtledog thread forks off the Bamboo stand thread at post 576.

I am up to post 722 in the Turtle Lady Bamboo stand thread. I am up to post 327 in the Turtledog stand thread.

It all began with "turtlelady" introducing the idea of her bamboo stand. It is apparently possible to harvest bamboo in her area and get the 6 pieces needed for two tripods. The key to this stand is the 10 foot ridgepole. This piece acts entirely in compression, and it is critical to suspend it right at the ends where the weight of the hammock attaches. You can buy a 10 foot piece of pole itended for use as top bars in chain link fences. You cut this into two 5 foot pieces and then can use the built in telescoping ends to fit it back together.

Wherever you buy the pole (perhaps Lowes), you should be able to buy the end caps with "eyes" for a quick link. They had all this at Lowes in Tucson in May of 2015 and I got the 10.5 foot pole and the two caps with eye holes for $15.

People have tried 3/4 inch EMT conduit and it is not adequate for the ridgepole. The fence top pole has failed a couple of times when people have not supported the ridge pole right at the location where the hammock is suspended.

The following page should show when "olddog" introduced the concept of using a gate hinge. The hinges he originally used came from Home Depot and were described as 6" 'decorative tee hinges'.

Typically you have to buy 2x2 lumber in 8 foot lengths and cut then to 6 feet, as I will do so they fit into my pickup bed. Select fir, and avoid pieces with knots or defects.

The final refinement was made by "hppyfngy" by cutting angles on the 2x2 support legs. (post 377)

He cuts the two identical legs at 15 degree angles and eyeballs the odd leg at about 25 degrees. With 73 inch legs, the base of the tripod puts the "feet" 38 inches apart. Note that this design has a tall narrow tripod, which is critical. A wider tripod will need spread limiters as it would put greater forces on the leg tops.

People say that a 12 foot hammock hangs just fine from a 10.5 foot ridge-pole. Note that a standard hammock with whoopies can be used by connecting the whoopies in the middle with a carabiner.

A tarp when rigged will rub over the top of the tripod, and this needs to be padded somehow.

Pictures and diagrams

There are no end of pretty pictures in the forums, we are interested in pictures that help us with construction details.

First we have these diagrams that show how "hppyfngy" cuts the pole tips. This is from post 119 in the turtledog thread. He says for the two posts in the isosoles triangle, he comes down 4.5 inches. For the unique leg, he comes down 2.5 inches. He leaves the tip 1/4 inch thick so it is not fragile.

Here are photos from his finished stand (post 38 in the turtledog thread).

He says his tripods are 72 inches tall and the ridgepole hangs right at 60 inches.

Fancy ideas

This place sells telescoping metal tubing that some people have discussed using:
Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!

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