Customer Project: Hex12 UL Tarp w/ Hammock set-up

by Dave Fowler

I've always been a hiker, but have no camping experience at all and I haven't sewed anything since a 7th grade home economics class. I got the bug to go on a long-distance hike. After a lot of research and buying and returning tents that didn't work for me (6'3"), I landed on hammocks and then on to DIY.

I bought an inexpensive sewing machine (refurbished brother LX2763) and ordered everything I thought I needed to make a basic hammock kit. To figure out how to use the machine, I first made a stuff sack for my cook kit, then a 1.7 Robic XL hammock with double ended stuff sack and ridgeline organizer (planned for 11', wound up with 10'9" due to user error), a couple of tree straps, then an open bottom bug net and then the 12 foot ultralight tarp kit. I also ordered 2 shanks of amsteel and made continuous loops and whoopie slings , and 2 shanks of zing-it to make a structural ridgeline for the hammock and tarp guylines.

I really have no experience with camping equipment or sewing, but with your materials, resources and help from hammock forums, I really had very little trouble. Making my own gear saved some $$ to boot!

Customer Project: Hex12 UL Tarp w/ Hammock set-up
Customer Project: Hex12 UL Tarp w/ Hammock set-up
Customer Project: Hex12 UL Tarp w/ Hammock set-up
Customer Project: Hex12 UL Tarp w/ Hammock set-up


4 yards 1.7 Robic XL Vader Blue
1 yard 1.1 Ripstop Nylon Royal Blue (for stuff sacks)
1" polyester webbing Black
1.8 mm drawcord
Hex 12 ultralight tarp kit Charcoal Grey
Hex 12 template
Zipper less bottom entry bugnet kit, .9 Fabric
2 shanks zing it
2 shanks 7/64 Amsteel Blue
Gutermann Mara 70 thread, Black, Charcoal Grey, Vader Blue
Related Products:

How do I make it?

I followed step by step instructions and videos for everything:

Round stuff sack for cookkit:


Double Ended Stuff Sack:

Amsteel Continuous Loops:

Amsteel Whoopie Slings:

Tree Straps:


The only challenges I had were - not sure how I came up 3 inches short on the hammock, obviously a measuring error on my part. Also on the tarp I put the reinforcements up to the edge and didn't leave room for the hem. That made it way harder to finish those areas. If I had looked closely at the pictures I would have seen the space. So again in my fault. Plus it was midnight, I was tired and should have taken a break and came back in the AM. But in all honesty everything really went smoothly. That being said, if you are reading this and planning on making a UL tarp make sure you leave space for the hems at the reinforcements!

One more tip - I decided I wanted to cut my own fabric so I ordered the Hex UL Tarp Kit and decided to also get the cat curve pattern. If I were to do it again or when I do a winter tarp, I would order the pre-cut tarp instead. Might as well simplify things!

I guess my next project will have to be a top quilt and underquilt and I'll be good to go.