Just Jeff's Hiking Page

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

- John Muir

Stuffing Down with a Shop Vac

For my first DownHammock, I just grabbed the down out of the bag and stuffed it into the hammock. When I got smart(er), I put the whole bag into the compartment and turned it inside out, which helped. But I still had lots of down to vacuum up.

For Version 2, I knew there was a better way. I had read about using vacuums so I decided to give it a try. Much easier, and no mess.

You'll need:
- A small tube of bug mesh
- A rubber band
- A vacuum (I used a Shop Vac)
- An extension wand (the plastic tube that fits the end of the hose)

I sewed a tube from bug mesh...this is much bigger than it needs to be. Probably 4-5" would be plenty. Secure it with a rubber band. Then it'll slide inside the tube a bit when you connect the extension to the hose.

The down stays in the extension, not in the bug net. Stick the extension inside the down container and start vacuuming. The suction will decrease quickly when some down gets in the extension...just take your time, and you might have to push it in or shake the extension to keep it sucking up the down.

When it's full enough, turn off the vacuum. Remove the extension from the hose. Put the extension's open end inside your project, and blow through the bug net to shoot the down in. Hold the fabric tightly around the extension as you slide it out.

That's it. This extension holds about .25 oz of down for each fill.

Click the picture for a video. (41 sec, 7MB)

Just be careful when you move the containers, and it helps to keep the extension near the opening so you can quickly suck up any down clusters that poof out. I sucked some off the table, but when I was done with the project I only had about 10 clusters on the floor...very clean. And much more comfortable than sitting in a tent or locking myself in a bathroom. I don't have overhead vents in this room, but I closed the windows. Might be worth closing overhead vents if you have them in your work area.

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