Tightening the hammock:
On the other side, do the same, but without the two outer tension ropes. After you take the two ropes through the first bar, weave them through the edge meshes of the hammock and insert them through the second bar. Hang your hammock between two fixed points now and go in it. Make sure you distribute your weight as evenly as possible when you first enter the hammock. Before entering, it is wise to check the hammock if the mesh and mazes are even, and adjust them when necessary. When I worked with paracord I found that the knots were able to slide and move because of the slipperiness of the cord.
The hammock will now stretch out. Depending on the material you have chosen you will probably have to repeat it a couple of times. I use a Timber Hitch on one end and a Waggoner’s Hitch on the other. This last knot is described in Ray’s Essential Bushcraft book on page 168, and is ideal to put some tension to your hammock. Tighten the hammock again and again and put your full weight on your project until you feel the hammock is not getting any longer.
At this time be careful not to fall out of your hammock because the outer tension ropes are not in use at this time. When they are in use these ropes will greatly improve your ability to stay in your hammock. When you think your hammock has been stretched enough it is time to put the outer tensioning ropes to work. Connect the loose ends of those outer tensioning ropes with each other with a simple Reef Knot.
By tightening or loosening those outer ropes you are able to switch between different models of your hammock. Tightening those ropes will result in a model consisting of a bathtub, while loosening those ropes will result in a hammock like an ironing board. Now, check the rest of your hammock and remove any pieces of rope which are too long.
The finished Hammock:
Woodlore would like to thank John van Zanen for all of his hard work in putting this extensive guide together. You can expect more from this contributor in the future…
To everyone out there who has used this guide to make your own hammock, please let us know how you got on, and send us a photo to show where your hammock ended up!