Just Jeff's Hiking Page

"Going to the woods is going home, for I suppose
we came from the woods originally."

- John Muir

Hammock Sock

The Hammock Sock is meant to be a windblock for cold weather, and to catch all of the moisture on very foggy mornings so my underquilt doesnít get wet. Itís made from 1.9oz (I think) DWR Ripstop Nylon from the $1/yd Walmart bin. It is fitted to the foot end and has a drawstring at the head end. When not in use, it can be stored in the foot-end Python Skin. To deploy, just sit in the hammock, pull the Sock out of the Skin, and slide it over you. It stuffs to the size of a softball.

Background

One day I set up my hammock in the backyard, intending to sleep in it that night. I dorked around the house for a while, then went out to climb in the hammock after dark. Since I like to look at the stars while I fall asleep and wasn't expecting any rain, I didn't put up my tarp...but I didn't think about the dew point! The sky was completely clear, a blanket of stars, and my hammock and quilts were soaking wet! I immediately started to think of ways I could sleep without my tarp and not worry about dew wetting my shelter...and more importantly, the rolling fog we often get here in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

Thinking of what covers would work best brought to mind Risk's TravelPod and how I could create one of my own. I didn't want to use zippers or velcro to save weight, bulk and complexity, so I decided on a sock-type of DWR cover that would slide over the hammock. With the seam along the bottom, the Hammock Sock would provide a bit of protection against water...dew, fog, very light unexpected drizzle, etc. It also provides a good windblock and keeps my feet warmer. (I had gotten cold feet before while hammocking...I think it was caused by the wind blowing over the quilt on my feet more than over other parts of my body. The Sock helped this a bit.) You could also put WindBumpers along the sides to create even more insulation.

Hammock Sock Version 1

  • Hammock Sock v1 was simply a 120"x65" piece of DWR sewn into a tube with drawstrings at each end. I used 550-cord and small cord-locks for the drawstring.
    • Final Measurements were 117" long, 32" diameter, 7 oz.
  • To install, I slid the tube over the hammock support and tightened that end. When I got in the hammock and was ready to use the Sock, I just reached down and slid it over my body until I was comfortable.
  • I realized that it provided quite a bit of warmth on the bottom of the hammock. However, it wasn't quite long enough for the bottom of the Sock to cover my shoulders without compressing the insulation under the hammock, so I decided to make one with an insert on the bottom to provide extra space.

Hammock Sock Version 2

  • For Hammock Sock v2, I basically sewed another tube, except I made the foot end fitted and removed the drawstring, then added an elongated hexagon-shaped insert along the bottom seam to give me more shoulder room.
  • I've had few condensation problems, even when sleeping with the Sock pulled completely over my head in cold humid and cold dry conditions.
  • I measured more than 10°F of warmth from the Sock on my Foothills Trail hike. See SEHHA Pictures and FT Trip Report for details.
  • Measurements:
    • Ridgeline Length: 116"
    • Diameter at Widest Point: 46"
    • Weight: 8 oz
    • Cost: ~$4

    WarmHammock inside the Hammock Sock with no ridgeline. Notice the JRB Python Skins covering each opening.
    Detail of the head end of the Sock without ridgeline. The bottom side of the Sock is connected to the hammock rope so the Sock covers the bottom of the hammock, and with the drawstring open thereís just enough room to comfortably sleep with my head outside of the hammock.
    WarmHammock with ridgeline made from 550 cord.

    The Python Skin is tight on the left side because the Sock is stuffed inside it.

    When I get in and out, I don't stuff it back into the Python Skin...I just let it hang like this.
    Pulling the Sock over the hammock. It slides right out of the Python Skin and over the hammock.
    Inside the WarmHammock with ridgeline.
    Hammock Sock with ridgeline pulled up to my head.

    If I use the ridgeline, this is how I plan to sleep. If itís cold, Iíll remove the ridgeline to reduce condensation and increase the dead air below the hammock.

    Sock pulled completely closed. I wouldnít sleep this way because of the condensation.

    UPDATE: I've slept with the Sock pulled completely closed on several occasions and had no visible condensation, even in cold dry and cold humid conditions.

    See SEHHA Pictures and my Foothills Trail Trip Report for details.

    Also, I've measured 10+°F of warmth while on the Foothills Trail.

    Instructions

    1. Decide how long and wide you want your TravelSock.
    2. Use a rolled hem on the foot end. You only need to do about 8" in the middle, and don't worry about backstitching it.
    3. Fold your DWR in half lengthwise. The hemmed section should be right where the fold falls in the material.
    4. Cut a corner off to form the fitted foot end. Leave 4"-5" of the hemmed section connected. This will be the opening for the hammock support.
    5. Open the fabric up and it should look like the picture on the right.
    6. Decide how big you want your insert and cut it. Make sure the red lines of the insert are not longer than the green line on the TravelSock body or it won't fit. Set the insert aside.
    7. Fold the fabric back in half lengthwise. Be sure the hem on the foot end is rolled to the OUTSIDE of the fold.
    8. Start sewing the fabric together at the foot end. Be sure to sew over the ends of the seam holding the foot end hem in place since you cut off the backstitching earlier.
    9. When you get to the point where the insert goes, just stick it on there and sew it along that side.
    10. At the end of the insert, keep sewing the Sock body edges together until you reach the head end. Backstitch.
    11. Go back and sew the other side of the insert to the Sock body.
    12. Sew the drawstring channel. Just make a rolled hem with .5"-1" channel. Roll the hem to the OUTSIDE.
    13. Turn the Sock right-side out.
    14. Make the drawstring holes. I've found it's easy to just get a hot needle and burn two holes in one layer of the drawstring channel. Be careful you don't burn through both layers. I put the holes on either side of the seam so they end up on the bottom of the Sock. This is useful because you can use the drawstring to attach the bottom to the hammock, which keeps your back warm while allowing you to sleep with your head outside the Sock.
    15. Insert the drawstring, put on the cordlocks, and you're done!

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