Another Lister sent: - <(b) I'm not a strong person and I don't think I could pull the ropes tight enough to avoid having a hammock.>
From: Jim Hart <conalohairt@...>
uses the magic of leverage...... A ten year old could do it.
takes maybe 15 minutes..... the first time you do it...... and you get faster with practice.
even faster with an helper.
AND you save the space the slats would be taking up in your car.
My lady and I have been using a rope-suspension bed since 2005 at SCA events. [We are aged 74 and 72 respectively, so I can't do the tensioning the way Master Terafan Greydragon does it, using pure muscle--power, because my "get-up & go, just got-up and went a while back] Working together, it takes us about 25 minutes to rope-up the bed and tighten the sisal ropes. With a third person doing the feeding and cross-threading within the frame, that comes down to about 15 minutes. I cheat of the final tensioning. I take a BIG
sash cramp with me in our support vehicle and use that to bow the side-frames inwards while we tension-up by first hand, and then with a bed wrench. When everything is tied-off, I release the cramp, and the side frames spring outwards, adding even more tension. [Fortunately our support vehicle is a converted Ford Transit, 17 seat, mini-bus - took out 11 seats, which leaves me with a 12ft-long cargo-space.]
Tensioning our rope-suspension-bed in this way, works pretty well for up to about five days camping onsite.
But the set-up and take down is getting to be a real drag, especially when there are only two of us doing it.
So I think we are going to convert the frame to use slats, rather than ropes. The bedframe is almost completely hidden under the bedding anyway, so the pleasure of having rope-suspension is a hidden thing - rather than a display thing.
Fortunately, I have my own joinery workshop, so converting the frame to use slats won't be a problem.
And on the matter of under-body insulation - we use "Space Blankets" between the mattress and the under-blanket, which is really effective..
In Service to The Medieval Dream,
[aka Julian Wilson in 2011]