Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe I've been overly influenced by those images of the dad in Calvin and Hobbes or Homer Simpson. Perhaps it's those memorable times I've spent in Latin America, where they really know how to use 'em. Or maybe - hopefully not, but maybe - it's all those completely and horribly generic Father's Day cards I have to pick through each June to find the right one for my dad.
But, I think a hammock is a damn fine way to spend a summer evening, and every man should have one.
And though it's not quite summer yet, it's time to get ready for the season to achieve maximum snoozing potential. I've seen the selections at the home centers and the garden stores, and, truth be told, most are super duper ugly and incredibly expensive. So, since this is a site dedicated to helping guys make the stuff they use every day, I thought I'd find a couple easy-to-follow tutorials that will help you whip up the exact style that works for your needs.
But first - if you're not inclined to bust out the ripstop, rope, or sewing machine and actually make your own, you can buy affordable hammocks designed for ultralight travel and backpacking at your local outdoor store for $30-60. Here's a well-reviewed option at Amazon.
1. [Pictured at top] A classic knotted rope design, created with an overhand knot. See the full tutorial by Jen Vitale and Laura Dart at Kinfolk.
2. A weather proof rip-stop option, that involves some basic sewing and seams.
3. This one's incredibly simple, using materials you probably already have: a blanket and some rope. Get the tutorial and links from Apartment Therapy.
4. A more permanent solution created from a dropcloth, chain, and other fixings from the home improvement store.
5. A framed option from Little Dog Vintage using heavy canvas, grommets, and some wooden stretchers. This one's a great option for two.
6. A primitive/survival style tutorial made from cordage and a tarp, a poncho, or even a bed sheet.
7. A size-customizable hammock using just a bit of sewing and some very affordable materials. This one's a great combo of both the basic and reinforced styles. See the full tutorial at Outside Mom.
8. Claire from CamilleStyles makes a more advanced design with a bit of knotting, some fabric, and hardware store parts. The fabric choices here are pretty feminine, but the technique is solid. Or, make one for a special woman in your life.
9. A reusable camping style hammock, complete with a mosquito net and double layer that allows you to include a sleeping pad. Find the tutorial at DIY Gear Supply.