Camping out? Enjoy the great outdoors while lying on a hammock. In this article, we give you steps and tips on how to hang a hammock, especially for beginners.
Ahh, summertime. The perfect opportunity to lie down on Mother Nature’s beautiful outdoors and enjoy a cooling breeze with an ice-cold drink, made all the sweeter by swinging in a hammock as you do so!
However… hanging one successfully is a lot more difficult than you might think, especially at first. But, equipped with this thorough guide to doing so perfectly, it won’t be so stress-inducing.
Below you’ll find all the advice and instructions you need to be swinging ASAP. If you’ve already got the perfect hammock for the job, then simply proceed to step one. If not, consider the following before you pick one out:
- Material: do you want soft, snuggly cotton, sturdy polyester or tough synthetic Olefin? Each has its own pros and cons, but makes a fantastic hammock, so it’s about personal preference here.
- Size: will you be snoozing solo, or is it hammock naptime for two? Got any kids who will absolutely be climbing in there with you? Make sure to pick out a product that’s suited to the number of people who will be using it regularly.
- Hammock versus chair: judging by the fact you’ve clicked on this article, you probably want a hanging hammock, but just so you know – it is possible to get a suspended chair that works in much the same way, only you can’t lie down in it.
How To Hang A Hammock
Step One – Find The Perfect Spot
Alrighty, you’ve got your dream hammock and now you want to go adventuring in it, so it’s time to figure out where you’re going to go! By the sea, up a tree, next to a lake, on your front porch, in your backyard… the possibilities are endless and it’s entirely up to you.
That’s the beauty of a hammock – so long as you have a solid, hard-wearing, and secure weight to tie it to, and it will definitely be able to safely hold your weight, you can put one just about anywhere, depending on which method you’re using.
When it comes to hanging a hammock in a tree, there are two things you need to consider:
In an ideal world, you’ll have 18 inches of space between your hammock and the ground, which is the average height of a chair, making it particularly easy to get on and off of it without hurting yourself. You want the method of suspension to be hanging at a thirty-degree angle, as this will offer plenty of force but not too much that it causes damage.
Distance Between Trees
Preferably, there will be approximately ten to fifteen feet between the two trees you want to suspend your hammock in the middle of. Depending on the style of hammock you’ve gone for, how long it is, how tall you are and how much tension you’re after, it’s worth experimenting to find out what kind of distance suits you.
If you find a space that’s far too long for your hammock to hang this way, it’s possible to get additional straps or chains to help secure and suspend it safely, but you don’t want things to be too taut, as lying down in it will be uncomfortable, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve!
Step Two – How’s It Hanging? Literally…
So, you’ve got your hammock and you know where you want to put it up, now the only question that remains is how to do so properly! There are four primary methods of suspension, each with their own pros and cons. Read through and decide which sounds right for you – check out Youtube for examples of how to use each one.
Specialist Hammock Hardware
From j-hooks, s-hooks, chains, and ring buckles, there are many different options when it comes to specialized hammock equipment – using this is much easier (and more dependable) than learning how to tie your own knots, but it is possible to harm trees if not done correctly, and once in there, they’re pretty hard to get out, so it’s not really a portable solution.
These can be easily purchased online or at your local sporting goods store, and they’ll probably show you how to work them too!
Tried, tested and traditional, the rope has long been used for securing hammocks on the go, but it’s dangerous when done incorrectly and requires a bit more skill. You first need to know how to tie a proper knot, one that’s going to be strong enough to hold your weight, but it’s not that difficult to learn and becomes second nature with practise – just ask the Scouts!
However, they are also known to cause damage to trees and their bark, so unless you’re only planning on hanging it there temporarily, you might want to get a kinder solution for future hammock hangs.
Being the easiest method of hanging a hammock, as well as one that won’t cause any damage to the bark of the tree or hurt its structural integrity, straps have quickly become a very popular method.
All you need to do is secure them up – they’re lightweight, portable and easily carried, as well as being adjustable to any distance. If you struggle with ropes and knots and other methods that require tools and/or being good with your hands, straps are definitely the way to go.
If you’re planning to keep your hammock as a permanent at-home fixture, you can’t go wrong with a stand! Although they’re not as easy to move as straps or rope, they’re usually fairly portable, if a little heavy and slightly more cumbersome to set up again.
They also look great as furniture in your yard, and it means that all you need to do to enjoy the quiet tranquility of lying in your hammock and relaxing is go outside! That said, they do take up quite a bit of space, so it’s not the best solution for a smaller set up.
Step Three – Enjoy!
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