My Portable Hammock Stands
2018-06-25 My plan was to use my hammock stand this past weekend at the ARRL Field Day. Thankfully I had another option. The problem came up when a fairly strong gust of wind hit it broadside while I was putting up my tarp. As the wind blew against it sideways and with no weight in the hammock it started to tip over. The moment a leg lost firm contact with the ground that leg began to move toward its opposing leg meaning it could not return to its right position which made the whole thing unstable and had I not intervened quickly, it would have totally collapsed. Granted, with a person in the hammock that probably would not have happened, but it was clear that if anything causes one of the three legs to begin moving, disaster is on the way!
I have two thoughts about what is needed. First, the legs need to be spread wider, giving the whole thing more stability. Second, the legs need to be rigidly braced to each other to avoid their "walking" in the direction of the tip. Back to the drawing board.
2018-03-28 As I mentioned on my 2018 Backpacking/Camping page earlier today, I decided to modify my rejuvenated hammock stand to make it so it can be taken in a car. The legs of the stand can be taken apart so they are approximately four feet long. The ten foot ridgepole section was the problem. I ended up cutting that ten foot section into two parts, each four feet and nine inches long. The ridgepole is made from 1-3/8 inch chain link top rail which has a roughly six inch long reduction on the end of each ten foot piece so they can be joined together by just slipping that smaller part into the adjacent pipe. The nested joint is a bit loose letting the pole sag more than I am comfortable with. So I cut a twenty inch piece of 1-1/4 id Rigid PVC schedule 40 electrical conduit to fit over the joint. That doesn't add much to the weight while strengthening it considerably. the final result is a ridge pole thirteen and one half feet long with two joints roughly equal spaced.
The final portable package is about four and a half feet long weighing just under 30 lbs. total. Each leg package weighs 13 lbs. So it is manageable. The legs are approximately 1-1/2 inches square. One minor concern, I think its minor, is that a rope keeps the legs from spreading apart (spread about 45 inches at the ground) but nothing keeps them from moving together. I can envision a collapse if something happened to start tipping one over. Once you're set up and in the hammock it seems very stable and solid. So I'm not terribly concerned.