Although we prefer the great outdoors for our hammock camping, from time to time it is quite nice to have the ability to enjoy a hammock setup right from the comfort of our home. When not out in the woods, a hammock camping setup can easily be used indoors to relax or even change up the routine and sleep in once in a while. Here are the steps we used to make an indoor hammock setup in < 15 minutes:
The picture below shows all the tools and materials you'll need for the job. Tools needed include an electric drill, drill bit, measuring tape, screwdriver, and stud finder. Take note of what you have on hand and pick up anything you don't already have at the hardware store in step 2.
While I'm sure a variety of hardware would work here, I can only tell you what I've used and had work for me. This step is pretty simple. Just go to your closest home improvement store (e.g. Lowe's, Home Depot) or a local hardware store like Ace Hardware, and look for closed eye lag bolts in the hardware section. This is what I got:
At ~170 lbs, these have worked very well for me. I'm fairly sure these will hold more weight but always use caution. If you're unsure about what to get, just find someone in the store and tell them what you're looking for and why. Be sure that the threaded portion of the bolt is long enough to screw deep into the ceiling beams for a strong hold. The threaded portion on these is about 2" long for reference.
All you really need to do here is find an area in the house where you can hang your hammock without any obstructions. You'll want to choose your space based in part on the length of your hammock. For my Original Appalachian Hammock @ 11', I ended up choosing an area where I could span 13.5' between the lag bolts. It will also make things easier if you don't select the room with the highest ceilings in the house. As an example, I did this project in the basement, which has ~6.5' ceilings.
Once you find the general area you want to setup in and determine your span, it's time to find the ceiling beams into which you'll screw the lag bolts. For this, you'll need a studfinder (anywhere from $10-$50, but mine was ~$15). Within the general area you want to put the lag bolt, use the stud finder to locate the closest beam. Scan across the width of the beam, marking the two edges with a pencil. Once you have the edges marked, simply find the midpoint and put an X to mark the drill hole. Now use a tape measure to walk off your chosen span and repeat the process for the other lag bolt position.
Using an electric drill, drill pilot holes through the wall and into the beam at the spots you marked for the lag bolts in Step #4. You'll want to use a drill bit that's slightly smaller than the diameter of the lag bolt. Also, try to drill the pilot hole deep enough to accommodate the length of the lag bolt. This will make things easier momentarily....
Now you're ready to screw in the lag bolts and get hanging! With your pilot holes drilled, it should be fairly easy to screw in the lag bolts. A handy tip is to stick a screwdriver through the eye of the lag bolt in order to gain some leverage and use 2 hands (almost like turning a wheel). You'll want to screw the lag bolts in past the threads and up to where the eye is close to the ceiling like so:
With your lag bolts properly installed, you now have strong points at which to attach each end of your hammock and complete your indoor camping hammock setup! Attach your preferred suspension (I just used a simple webbing and carabiner combo) and you're ready to hang! Here are some pics of my completed setup:
Recently I traded the monotony of everyday life and school for a week and a half of peace and relaxation, away from most of civilization. We started out in the Uwharrie National Forest, where we put the newly modified and up-armored jeep through its paces, on 4x4 trails ranging from beginner to extremely difficult. While it experienced a few off-camber situations, the Jeep passed every test with flying colors. After 4 days of off-roading, it was high time we took a break (and a hot shower, lol). We did both as we stopped in to visit family near Boone, NC for the night.
The next morning we descended back down into the foothills of NC to make the start of the annual PWYP gathering, hosted at Chestnut mountain proving grounds. Each year, like minded people gather for 5 days of primitive camping, trading, learning, zombie slaying, and this year, even the joining of a couple in holy matrimony. The event is hosted each year in April, by Mr. Terril Hoffman, a professional knife photographer. This is my second year of attendance, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it each year. At the outset of the event, it is somewhat of a frenzied scene with the myriad of campsites being erected by all the participants. If anyone needs a hand, you never have to look far at this place. Anyone and everyone pitches in to make sure all the individual camps are setup and ready to go for the week. Interestingly, I observed ~¾ of the total camps using some form of hammock in their setup this year. While the hammock camping movement has always been strong with PWYP attendees, this is a notable uptrend when compared to last year.
With all camps set, PWYP can now begin. The options on things to do are wide open, with a variety of both organized and impromptu activities/events going on constantly. Go for a hike, attend a class/seminar, or just sit around and talk to buddies you may only see once a year. Each year a variety of classes are held by people attending, ranging from knot tying, to edible plants, to off-road vehicle recovery. There is also a “trade blanket” each year, in which everyone brings out things to sell and barter for. Think of it as a kind of outdoor enthusiast yard sale. And last but certainly not least, is the now annual zombie shoot, in which you compete head to head with other shooters for the quickest time and the most headshots while trying to avoid being eaten by the bloodthirsty Chestnut mountain zombies (YES I’m excited about this one…).
With all of the things going on at PWYP, I look forward to it more and more each year, and so should you. That said, be sure to check out the PWYP section of knifeforums a few months before April for the dates next year, so you can make arrangements ahead of time and attend PWYP 2013. See you there!!!