Oh, please, flatter away! After designing and sewing three of my own tarps and two tents out of silnylon I can well appreciate now the effort that goes into making these things, and the frustration of trying to keep a straight seam (or worse yet, a curved, French seam in my Japanese apartment where I barely have enough room to stretch out!) along yards and yards of the slippery stuff. I've come to the conclusion that I DEFINITELY do not want to make tent-making into a business, so anyone who can benefit from what few ideas I might come up with is welcome to the knowledge.
Using the SpinnShelter for the hammock was actually a coincidence. I had taken my new hammock out to the nearby park to try out, but instead of the silnylon tarp I meant to bring I had brought the SpinnShelter, so I decided to see how it worked. The SpinnShelter is actually quite long, especially because the of the tapered peaks at either end. Unlike the Hennessey I attach the SpinnShelter separately to the trees, so that I can raise and lower it according to the weather.
I wanted a hammock that I could use in alpine conditions, which the majority of the good walks in Japan tend to have, so the hammock had to function as a bivy above the treeline. The hammock is based on Speer's and Risk's designs, with a 1.1 nylon inner and a silnylon outer, with the side hems of the hammock sewn along the middle portion, and the ends (up to the tips of the hammock) kept unsewn and open. I had concerns about the silnylon causing condensation, but I figured, how could it be any different from the Garlington Insulator? So, instead of a separate GI, I decided to incorporate the bottom layer of the hammock into the structure of the hammock, while providing a sandwich space for either a foam pad or an inflatable pad. For extra warmth I sewed two pad sleeves to the inside of the hammock (much like the Speer Pad Extender) into which I can slip either foam inserts or odd pieces of clothing or I can use as pockets for various items.
I like to be able to remove the hammock lines easily and wanted the attachment points to be bombproof, so I knotted them Speer-style, but, depending on whether I use the Speer polypropelene straps or the very light T-100 dyneema core 1/8" cord, I tie the lines using easily removeable knots. The polypropelene straps I have sewn a loop on one end to, just wide enough for the other end of the strap to pass through. This is then cinched tight around the hammock, using the width of the strap and the friction from the material to keep the hitch from coming loose. The T-100 line is simply attached to the hammock end in a Lark's Head hitch with a seizing to stop it from slipping. I've had no problems at all with the knots coming undone.
The netting is a bit hard to describe verbally. I have a length of T-100 line strung between two D-rings attached to the hammock lines. Over this goes the netting. The netting is composed of two parts, 3' in diameter at the widest ends, each sort of "windsock shaped", both of which are joined with velcro over the middle of the hammock, while the tips are held in place by the hammock end knots. The lower portions of the "windsocks" are cut away, since I don't need netting on the bottom of the hammock. The hem edges of both net pieces are sewn with elastic cord, allowing the nets to pull back to the ends of the hammock when loose, but tighten the edges of the net pieces along the sides of the hammock when pulled tight. This set up allows me to use the bug netting when the hammock is used as a bivy on the ground, but eliminates the messiness of velcro in the Speer system.
I still have a lot of work to do on the design. It certainly could do with some lightening up. I might narrow the bottom silnylon portion of the hammock to three feet in width and leave the remaining foot on either side of the inner 1.1 nylon free for more breathability. I'm also thinking of incorporating, similar to Bill's DAM, down-filled tubes into baffles sewn into the hammock bottom, thus eliminating the need for a ground pad. I also think that with the silnylon I can use a lighter fabric for the inner and together they would be strong enough, yet lighter than what I have now.
Okay, anyone want to have a go at an URBAN ultralight gear list? After all, we have to do something with our winter hours spent holed up in front of our computers!