Drifter's Loom

lightweight hammock stand bracket

Building the Ultimate Hammock Stand for Backpacking

My journey to build the ultimate hammock stand for backpacking started on a Scout campout with my son. He had ACT in the morning while I was helping with the service project. I went to pick him up, and the other adults and boys went to take the swim test.

When we returned, we still had an hour to burn before everyone returned. My son was doing some cleanup leftover from the service project while I was sitting in my hammock chair thinking.

Several Scout troop members have crafted their hammock stands for use during camping trips when suitable trees are unavailable or when attaching to trees is prohibited. They work great and are heavy-duty, but unless you are close to the campsite with your vehicle, it will take a lot of work to pack the heavy stands and set them up at the site.

So Begins the Concept for the Portable Hammock Stand

My mind kicks into gear, and I start thinking about what I can design and build that is lightweight and cost-effective. After about 15 minutes of thinking, I grab the sketchbook from my truck and put pen to paper. Sketch one, nah, scratch that. Sketch two, now we are shaping up and getting somewhere.

My son came over to sit and relax and asks what I am doing. I discuss what I am doing and now two brains are grinding gears as hard as they can to complete the initial concept.

We went deep down the rabbit hole and came up with some amazing ideas that I can’t wait to share. We discussed material, adjustment concepts, and configuration.

The Current Hammock Stand Market

With a little time left before the rest of the troop arrived it was time for some market research. Yes, we found several products.

There is a large market and plenty of available options when it comes to hammock stands for home but I’m not carrying a 20 plus pound frame on my back long distance. We did find a few there were designed for camping.

Option one camping backpack one side only, two pieces of wood, a bolt and some cord, $110. I’m comfortable we can do better than that.

Aluminum tripod for both ends and a full rod between the two with some ropes to keep the legs from spreading, $399. Reasonable price point and a good design but still 15 pounds is a good bit of weight to carry around.

The search continues until we get to an interesting concept that weighs about 8 pounds. Closer to backpacking weight but ouch $1,000 was a little pricey.

Pricing the Material Ideas for the Hammock Stand

It turns out that cutting weight is not cheap. Of course over 30 years hiking and camping I was pretty sure that would be the case. If it says ultralight plan to spend some money.

I have targeted some high quality material suppliers and believe I have a reasonable option for my initial material design and testing to move forward in the process.

Perfecting the Hammock Stand Bracket Design

After returning home from the camp out, getting unpacked, taking what always feels like a much needed shower, and settling in now it was time to draft it out in 2D AutoCad.

A few adjustments here, extend a little here, add some more curves and there you have it. Now that the 2D design was complete time to hire a 3D modeler on Fiver. I’m a little rusty in that department.

Current Progress on the Light Weight Hammock Stand

WIth the 3D design completed and some salvaged titanium tubing lying around it was time to get a 3D printed bracket to hold in my hands and do some fit testing.

All of the fit testing went well and it was approved by my son. We have entered into the first piece being made from the chosen production material and are awaiting delivery to stress and load test the prototype.

I will continue to update on the progress and add additional information once I have applied for the patent.

Possible Hammock Stand User Feedback

I am very interested in understanding and implementing the needs and wants of any potential users please feel free to leave a comment with suggestions on what you would like to see.

I am really debating if I want the poles in 4′ lengths or design at 2′ lengths. The 2′ lengths would mean more hardware required adding more weight. Thoughts?

Would you rather be lower to the ground and have less weight to carry or higher off the ground and more weight to carry? Possibly Model 1 and Model 2 option?

What is your price point to decrease the load you carry?

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your best and worst hammock camping stories.

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