Redid my hammock shelter into a minimalist tarp!

SO like the previous post said, my attempt failed at an integrated hammock shelter/bug shelter/ under cover…….

so I took it all apart, and did a few sketches and made a plan; Bat-Wing Tarp designIts based off of Hammock Forums’ member Gargoyle’s Ogee Tarp; and built using just the 55″x144″ material I have on hand;

it is now a very light, compact tarp, I will need to redo my hammock suspension so that I can put the tarp closer to the body of the hammock..

Bat-Wing Tarp Design 1the tarp over my hammock, it looks like a bat wing doesn’t it!?Bat-Wing Tarp Design 2angled view of the tarp

Bat-Wing Tarp Design 3head on view of the tarp, yes it is narrow, and that is the door/beak corner system

Bat-Wing Tarp Design 4 Close Upclose up of the triangle parts, I have an extra tie out there in case I want to do a tent pole spreader mod so that it opens up more on the inside.

Bat-Wing Tarp and Hammock  belt kitthe whole system; I now need to figure out the stakes/guy line situation as to how to pack them without getting the hammock dirty..,might use an USGI M16 cleaning kit pouch? the pouch on the far right holds my tarp, yes that is right, it packs down ridiculously small! the SAW ammo pouch holds the hammock, and the other small pouch holds the suspension parts, these two small pouches were my prototypes for the SKS ammo clip pouches.


Hammock Shelter; SIlnylon and Ripstop and No See Um mesh….whoops!

Well here we go!

Sewn up another hammock shelter; this time out of 4 yards of Silicon impregnated nylon and 4 yards of Durable Water Repellent Nylon ; and two triangles of No See Um mesh; DSCN1841First hang; no weight in the hammock, it looks OK…a little IFFY on the triangle windows..

DSCN1842Triangle windows of no see um mesh. You can see the stress being put on the top of the triangle from the hammock suspension..and this is unloaded hammock.


so after putting SOME weight in the hammock, it ripped where one of the triangle windows were……SO…. looks like I will be taking the windows off, and then trying again and see if it will still work…..if not, then take it all apart and sew on another 4 yards of Silicon Nylon and make a 12 ft long rectangle tarp with no bottom parts or anything.



Acquired another commuter project! burgundy Sears Free Spirit bike

Got this from a guy out in the country….haggled on price and got it for a good price I feel…it’s an early 80s Free Spirit PhysioFit bicycle with 26″ wheels, 10 speed, Shimano Positron stem shifters and FH series derailleurs, Sugino 3-piece crank set, with double chain ring….the original steel wheels had bad axles and dry rotten tire casings, so I swapped the casings and SUMO 26x 1.75 wheels from my Coyote Brown Huffy “bug out bike” project; and spent a few hours with Ajax cleaner and water on the chrome parts….due to the knobbies, I am unable to use the rather nifty half- fenders, but I cleaned them up anyhow, since I anticipate that I will put Kenda K-shield tires on the SUMO wheels…. EDIT: apparently the Shimano FH Derailleur came out in 1982 according to

DSCN1825with knobbies put on, and with original half fenders still on; test rode and turns out that due to the knobbies on the shoulders of the tire casings, there’s a rubbing sound from the pinch in the fenders where there’s clearance for the MX brakes.

DSCN1835all cleaned up and fenders removed!DSCN1836Side view, I replaced the WAY TOO wide vinyl “cruiser ” comfort seat for the brown Troxel seat from the Huffy

DSCN1838Head tube with a funky add on decal, added by the previous owner… I like it so I’m leaving it….until I sell the bike.

DSCN1840Sugino chainring/crank set

DSCN1839Shimano Positron shifter; it shifts pretty smoothly even with the extra 6th speed cog in the rear!

DSCN1837DAT RACK. I’ve not seen another that employed 2 bolts to the brake bridge area without eyelets…its pretty sturdy, welded steel rod construction…it was caked with rust and scales….I’ve done my best…but honestly I think it’d be better sandblasted and coated silver…..still, its a nice sturdy rack.

DSCN1835quarter view, the cruiser bars allows for an upright riding position, and while the frame is a couple inches smaller than my former commuter Cycle Pro Oswego, it is still comfortable for me. The frame length is very similar, just shorter…Chain stay length is amazingly 460mm (or 18″), the same as the CyclePro Oswego…In fact, even though it is clearly meant to be a cruiser, I can see myself taking this around town for commuting and possible overnight tours…the frame, I am not sure who made it…..but it is a lugged brazed steel tube construction, and the lugs are pretty good….Heard that the Sears Free Spirit bikes were made by Puch of Austria, and Huffy, and Murray, among others… but I am not sure who made this frame, as it reminds me more of the Taiwan and Japanese bicycles….

Made my own tarp……learnt new things….


Sewn up the material I got from ebay, uncoated woodland ripstop…. after cutting it….well… i did a horrible job cutting it…

the original tarp plan called for an asymmetric hex tarp that used 18 ft of 64″ wide material, and has a 9 ft 9 1/2 inches seam…..with a 12+ ft ridge line…well, somehow I mis-cut somewhere and ended up with a nearly symmetric tarp with the 10 ft 6 inches seam..

Lesson 1; confirm the material’s length. I assumed 6 yards, clearly it is more than 6 yards if the 126″ seam is any indicator… it IS 64″ wide material though.

Lesson 2; get a proper cutting mat big enough and a big enough table……..

Lesson 3; use Catenary curves and cut to curves for maximum tension……
Lesson 4; measure twice, maybe thrice before cutting, and confirm the orientation of the end cuts!
DIY Hex Tarp 1

first set up with seam on diagonal; decent coverage….

DIY Hex Tarp 2quarter view; yes theres floppy edges on the tarp…

DIY Hex Tarp 3view inside…there’s room….its a little wonky looking thing though..

DIY Hex Tarp 4second set up…ridge line is way too long….less coverage too…hmm.

DIY Hex Tarp 5not as much coverage…..although..for the view, it can’t be beat!

DIY Hex Tarp 6Ah that’s more like it! shorter ridge line, 126″ seam, so 126″ ridge line….while theres less end coverage, it still covers the whole hammock, positioned right over the quick links of the hammock suspension to tree straps. And theres more coverage on the sides, so in case of hard rain, it protects more of the person in the hammock!

DIY Hex Tarp 7quarter view, you can see how much wider it is, and how much it covers the ground..

DIY Hex Tarp 8another view, with the black harness clipped to the tree strap. the brown pouch is what holds the tarp, the large green pouch holds the hammock.