Hammocks are the ultimate symbol of relaxation and comfort, providing you with an easy way to spend time in the outdoors and let nature wash over you. Whether you’re hanging out in a campground, going on a primitive camping trip, hiking, or just lounging in your backyard, hanging out in a hammock is one of the best ways to spend a couple of hours (or even a whole night!).
However, if you’re new to the world of hammocking, knowing how to hang a hammock might seem daunting. Don’t worry, I’ve been there, too. We all have.
In this article, I’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions to get your hammock hanging quickly, safely, and securely, so you can experience this method of relaxation for yourself. From choosing the right hammock to finding the perfect location and hanging it securely, this guide has got you covered.
So sit back, relax, and read these simple setup instructions to learn how to hang a hammock like a pro.
Choosing the Right Hammock
Before you can hang your hammock, you need to choose the right one. With so many different types and styles of hammocks on the market, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one will work best for your needs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a hammock:
There are many different types of hammocks, including Brazilian hammocks, Mayan hammocks, rope hammocks, and camping hammocks. Each type has its own unique features and benefits. For example, Mayan hammocks are hand-woven and conform to your body shape for maximum comfort, while camping hammocks are lightweight and easy to pack for camping trips.
Hammocks are made from a variety of materials, but many hammocks are either made from cotton, polyester, nylon, and Sunbrella. Cotton is soft and comfortable, while polyester and nylon are more durable and weather-resistant. Sunbrella is a type of fabric that is UV-resistant and perfect for outdoor use.
Hammocks come in a variety of sizes, from single-person hammocks to family-sized hammocks. Be sure to choose a size that can accommodate everyone who will be using it.
Too small of a hammock makes it impossible to spend time with that special someone, but too big and you’ll struggle to get comfortable without constantly feeling like it’s wrapping you up like a mummy.
Different hammocks have different weight capacities, so make sure to choose one that can safely support the weight of all users. It’s always better to choose a hammock with a higher weight capacity than you think you’ll need to be on the safe side.
You also want to consider the weight of the hammock itself. If you’re going to be hiking or backpacking, bringing a lightweight hammock is one of the best camping tips I can offer so you don’t wear yourself out any more than you have to!
Hammocks come in many different colors and patterns, so choose one that matches your personal style and preferences. There are color options that make you stand out, neutral options that fit right in at a campground or park, camouflage options for disguising yourself from wildlife and others, and more. In short, the style really just comes down to personal preference.
By considering these factors, you can choose the perfect hammock for your needs and preferences, ensuring that you’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come.
Choosing the Best Location to Hang Your Hammock
Once you have chosen your hammock, the next step is to find the perfect location to hang it. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best hammock placement:
Your hammock needs two sturdy and secure anchor points, such as two trees or wooden posts. Make sure that these points are at the right distance apart and at the right height. The ideal height is for your hammock to be about 18-24 inches off the ground with you in it.
Too high, and it’ll be tough (and dangerous) to get in and out. Too low, and you’ll practically be laying on the ground!
Look for a location with level ground that is free of rocks, roots, or other obstacles that could affect the stability of your hammock. Even though you won’t be setting the hammock on the ground or anything, you still want a flat, stable location so it’s safe while you’re setting up and getting in and out.
Watch out for things overhead that could potentially fall and hurt you, such as dead branches, other trees, and even beehives or wasp nests.
If you’re hanging your hammock outside, look for a location with partial shade. Too much sun exposure can cause fading and damage to your hammock. That said, I know all too well how great it feels to lay back in a hammock and soak up the sun.
Just be safe about it and make sure you use sunscreen while you’re out there working on your tan!
Wind can affect the stability and comfort of most hammocks, so look for a location that is sheltered from strong winds. In most cases when you’re just putting up a hammock for a quick day (or even an hour) of relaxation, strong winds won’t be much of a problem.
But if you’re installing one for long-term use — like on your porch — this is something to think about.
Consider the privacy of the location. If you’re hanging your hammock in a public space like a campground, park, or national forest, you may want to choose a more secluded location to avoid being disturbed.
With these factors in mind, you can find the perfect location to hang your hammock.
Hanging Your Hammock
Once you have chosen the perfect hammock and location, it’s time to hang it up. Here are some specific instructions for hanging a hammock on different types of surfaces (trees, porches, etc).
How to Hang a Hammock on Trees
Hanging a hammock from a tree is a popular way to enjoy the outdoors, whether in your backyard, at a park, or on a camping trip. To hang your hammock on trees, you’ll need two strong trees that are at least 10 feet apart and have sturdy trunks, as well as any hammock hardware (like carabiners or large S-hooks).
Here are the steps to follow to hang your new hammock on trees:
- Wrap a tree strap (ideally not a rope!) around the first tree, making sure that the strap is at least 4-6 feet off the ground, followed by the other tree. We don’t recommend using a rope in this section because it can harm trees! Recall that after you pull tight and get everything set up, you want the bottom to be 18-24 inches off the ground once you’re in it.
- Attach your hammock to each tree strap or rope using a knot or hook. A carabiner or S-hook is recommended to make the attachment process easier. After all, who wants to tie knots by hand every time they use their hammock?
- Adjust the height and distance of the hammock by sliding the tree straps up or down the tree until you find the perfect level. It is recommended that 30 degrees is the best angle between the trees and the rope or straps.
- Test your hammock by sitting in the middle and shifting your weight from side to side. If the hammock is unstable or unlevel, re-adjust the height or distance between the anchor points.
- Once you have found the perfect level, lie back and relax in your hammock, taking in the beauty of nature. And when I say relax, I mean it. Close your eyes and take it all in. There really isn’t anything else quite like it.
Hanging a hammock on trees is the easiest way to quickly set one up on a camping trip, while you’re hiking, or even during a day at the park. This is what makes a hammock such an awesome, versatile piece of equipment that any outdoors enthusiast should have!
Andrew’s Tip: Always use tree straps when you’re hanging on a hammock on tree trunks. Ropes or other straps that aren’t designed to protect trees can dig into the tree bark and cause long-lasting damage. By protecting the trees with actual tree straps, you’ll also be practicing Leave No Trace principles, which is something you should always do while out in nature!
How to Hang a Hammock on a Porch
While relaxing between two trees in nature is great, knowing how to hang a hammock on a porch or patio is a great way to create a cozy and relaxing outdoor space that’s easily accessible from your home. To hang a hammock on your porch, you’ll need two strong supports such as roof supports or beams.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Locate two sturdy anchor points on your porch, such as the roof supports or beams.
- Attach a hammock hook or eye bolt to each anchor point, which will act as the anchoring hardware for your hammock. Make sure that the bolts or hooks are secured with a nut or washer on the other side of the anchor point.
- Attach your hammock to each hook or eye bolt using a knot or hook. Just like when you’re using trees, a carabiner or S-hook makes it much quicker and easier instead of using knots.
- Adjusting the height of the anchor points is much more difficult here than with trees since you’re inserting bolts through the anchor points. This makes it much more important to measure twice before starting the installation of your hammock!
- You can test the hammock the same way as before — sit in the middle and shift your weight around. Ideally, you’ll be able to then adjust the way the hammock is attached to the anchor bolts using the straps rather than having to remove and reinstall the bolts.
- Once it’s sturdy and level, you’re all set. Any time you want to head outside to relax after a long day at work, just go to your own porch, get in the hammock, and you’re good to soak up the sounds of nature.
Hammock Maintenance and Safety Tips
Once you hang a hammock and you’ve enjoyed a few lazy afternoons lounging in it, it’s important to take care of it properly to ensure its longevity, safety, and comfort. Here are some maintenance and safety tips to keep in mind:
Cleaning a hammock is super easy. Just remove it from the anchor points and gently clean it with soap and water. If the manufacturer allows it — always check the tag — some can even be tossed in the washing machine to make it even easier. Then just hang it up in a dry, ventilated space and wait for it to dry out.
While I know you might be thinking about leaving your hammock up year-round since you plan on using it a lot, it’s actually better to keep it stored in a cool, dry place out of the rain and sun. If it spends too much time getting soaked (or soaking up the sun) it could lead to long-term damage or fading of the colors.
One of the most important things to know about your hammock is its weight limit. Make sure you don’t exceed its maximum weight capacity, especially if you’re sharing it with other people.
Too much weight could cause the fabric or material to rip, the straps to break, or something else that could potentially cause pain or injury to everyone in it.
Since the anchor points are the things that support the full weight of you and your hammock, it’s important to inspect them regularly for signs of damage, rot, or failure. If the anchor points fail, anyone inside the hammock is at risk of injury.
If you notice the anchor points wearing out over time, try to find a new place to hang your hammock. If you’re suspending it from a tree, it’s time to find another pair of trees!
Avoid hanging your hammock in extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or strong winds. This can cause damage to your hammock and create safety hazards for you and anyone else that’s using it.
Hanging your own hammock gives you the ability to relax like never before, and by knowing how to do it yourself, you can create your own little oasis of relaxation any time you want. By following the step-by-step guide in this article, you can choose the right hammock, find the perfect location, and hang it like the expert you are.
No matter if you’re hanging just one hammock or multiple hammocks, by implementing these top tips for maintenance and safety, you can ensure the longevity of your hammock and keep yourself and others safe while enjoying it.
So get out there, choose the best hammock for you, and hang it up like a pro. Once you’ve got it set up, you’ll never want to get out of it again.
Trust me, I’ve spent entire nights in my hammock before, and it’s one of the most surreal experiences of the great outdoors. Enjoy!