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DIY Lightweight Recycled Tube Bug Net

I used this tube bug net on my 2008 traverse around Mount Timpanogos. The hammock is the Grand Trunk Ultralight under an OES MacCat tarp. The white strings are extra and are used for ground set-ups.

I originally drew this illustration back in 2008[1. The revised instructions were posted to in 2010] after making a hammock and bivy-style bug net from an inexpensive Mombasa bug net (or similar cot-style mosquito net). This project was an attempt at a low-cost, easy-to-make tube-style net that I could use both for lightweight backpacking with a tarp as well as hammock camping. It turned out to be a moderately-difficult project involving taking apart a cot-style bug net and then re-assembling the panels into a tube-style bug net.

At the time I made this bug net the Mombasa was only $11, which was less expensive than buying mosquito netting by the yard. Of course, you can make this style bug net very easily with no-see-um netting, just skip the disassembly section and purchase the netting to length. It is important to first measure your hammock ridge line to ensure the netting will be long enough to extend over the hammock. Add 12 in (30.5 cm) to the length and then double that for the total length of netting for your hammock. For example, if your hammock ridge line is 100 in (254 cm), the fabric length will need to be 224 in (569 cm).


18 thoughts on “DIY Lightweight Recycled Tube Bug Net”

  1. This was awesome!! I made 2 of these and they worked perfectly for me and my 7 year old daughter – when we slept bunk style in our hammocks. It was our first attempt at hammock camping and it was a huge success! Thanks so much – your book and website has been sooo helpful!!

  2. I (roughly) followed these instructions to make a tube out of .7 oz noseeum netting, and it came out great! I’ll be field testing it this weekend, and am psyched.

    I’m pretty new to MYOG type stuff, so even something this basic was beyond me without some sort of plans. Thank you for putting this together!

  3. My son and I were camping with scouts on a 4day canoe trip down Allegheny River in PA this past July. I had net for my hammock but he wanted one. I quickly looked up your directions and $16 later he had his own. His worked so well, I got rid of my original one and now only use your design. Thanks so much. Thought you might enjoy this photo of “hammock city” the boys built on one of the islands with all their hammocks stacked on top of each other.

    1. Yes. You can also make the netting longer to suit, but remember that a good hang has a good sag that shortens the overall length required to cover the hammock.

  4. I tried this with conventional bug net like noted in the instructions…. It didn’t work out so well. It was hard to cut the material, was extremely flimsy, and kept falling apart. I couldn’t even imagine how sewing it would go. I’m sure I could have done it better with better shears but what I prefer to do is the crypticCRICKET method from youtube. You just go to walmart, get 2 Mainstays Marjorie Sheer Voile Curtain Panels and sew them together. No cutting involved, the material is a bit cheaper and a heck of a lot stronger, it also keeps out no see ums. Just a suggestion for those scrolling through the comments.

  5. Just made this ready for a trip to my farm in Dominican Republic. The mozzies are ferocious out there hopefully this will keep them at bay. It came out really good, I’m well happy with it.

  6. Thanks for this article. I made two of these this week. I don’t have a lot of sewing experience, but I’m getting better. I must have skipped over the “a moderately-difficult project” as I somehow thought this was going to be easier than it was.

    We picked up two of the Coghlan’s Mosquito Nets as our base material. (As I get more comfortable with this stuff, I’d probably just get tulle or smaller hole bug net material.) I picked up a couple of stuff sacks on clearance at Gander Mountain because I figured I needed somewhere to store the nets. (I know I could make them, but at the time I decided my time was worth the $2/ea.)

    I made the first net following the base instructions above. I guessed on the draw cord length though. It ended up being about half the circumference of the opening. We’ll see if that’s enough.

    When I made the second net, I decided I wanted to try the alternate finishing instructions. I wasn’t sure about the size to cut the short opening. Then I remembered your post about converting a stuff sack into a bishop bag. I wondered if I could simply sew the net’s short end to the inside of the bottom of one of those (4″x9″) stuff sacks. Turning the sack inside-out, I put the corner of the sack’s square bottom at the end of the bug net’s top seam. I sewed the net around the rest of the bottom. I then just laid the netting on the floor and sketched an arc from the bag to the net’s bottom and made one long seam as you describe above. I used the button hole setting on the sewing machine and made a 1-1/2″ opening in the bottom of the sack. I fed the end of the hammock through that new hole and stuffed the hammock (GT Ultralight) and net inside. It’s a great fit and the loop/hook on the end of the hammock makes a convenient hanger for the packed setup. This also leaves the original hammock sack to hold a flashlight, book, etc.

    We’re planning on using the hammocks for the first time this weekend at cub scout camp. Wish us luck!

    Thanks again for your fantastic site and book!

  7. Hi! I’m just getting into hammock camping and want to try and DIY where I can. I was curious about the type of cord that you recommend, as well as the length I should purchase. I’m a little overwhelmed by all the choices out there. Thanks!

    1. I just used some cheap poly string I had lying around. Nothing too serious. I’ll sell you mine for $10 shipped usps if you want it.

  8. I had a day off today, so I made this for my wife. I hung it up in the backyard and it looks very good!

    We’re going to use it this weekend at the NOC for a BSA campout!

    I’m setup for DIY and it took me a leisurely 3 hours including a trip to WalMart for shock cord.

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