Just Jeff's Hiking Page

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

- John Muir

Gear Hammock / Pack Cover

UPDATE: Jacks 'R' Better is now making Jeff's Gear Hammock / Pack Cover!
Theirs uses shock cord and has webbing loops in the corners.


Seuss said something that got me thinking: How could he make a gear hammock that would double as a pack cover?

I came up with a few ideas, but this is the best one I had because it's so simple. I just took a rectangle piece of silnylon and sewed a drawstring channel around the perimeter, leaving openings at the corners to pull the drawstring through. It works!

Final measurements are 47"W x 58"L, and it weighs 3.5 oz with the drawstring wet. I'll probably need 2 x 9' lengths of extra line to hang it as a hammock, though.

It could also work as a groundcloth to sit on, but it's not quite big enough to sleep on. I can lay diagonally across it if I don't quite stretch out.
I wrapped the drawstring around all four sides, leaving the corners open, then tied it back to itself. I'm going to add a cordlock here.
Here's what the other three corners look like.

It doesn't fit as tight as some pack covers, but it should function just fine.

Here's how it fits the backpack.
To use it as a Gear Hammock, I just pulled some of the drawstring out of each corner and attached the support line to it. When I cinched up the short side, it shaped itself just like a regular hammock.

I think I could rig it as a hammock undercover like this, too, but it would only cover the vitals.

By tying a goose-neck and wrapping the drawstring around, it forms a waterproof foodbag to hang. The long drawstring means I could carry less cord if used this way.
Works as a waterbag the same way...this is about a gallon.

Add an inline filter and plastic tubing and make it a Jardine-style "Hiker's Friend" gravity filter.

It also works as a vestibule tarp. I had to hook the lines directly to the hammock, because hooking to the drawstring caused the tarp to loosen and flap. In the field, I'd just put an acorn or pebble onto the silnylon and loop the drawstring around it to form a grommet.

Using the JRB version like this can be dangerous, though - putting a stake on a shockcord makes a dangerous slingshot!

Also, if I cinch up one end like the JRB quilt, I can use it to cover the foot of a sleeping bag. Gotta be careful of condensation, though.

Cinching up that one end, I could tie the cinched part around the hammock support line right at the hammock connection and use to to protect against the spray that comes under the tarp.

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