How to hang a hammock

Anyone looking for new ways to relax (especially people who deal with insomnia) will greatly appreciate a hammock. Hammocks aren’t just alternatives to sleeping bags for those who enjoy camping under the stars — resting in a hammock helps you achieve a deeper state of sleep since it naturally puts you in the ideal position. Plus, the swaying motion is pretty much enough to lull you to sleep.

With a hammock, whether a camping hammock or a parachute hammock, you’ll be able to relax outdoor time this summer with one. However, you have to know how to securely hang your hammock so you don’t have an accident in the middle of the night — or the second you climb in.

Not to worry! We’ve got you covered, and all you have to do is follow the steps below.

Pick a spot

Young woman lying down on a hammock, using her smartphone and relaxing.

First things first: Find yourself a nice, cozy spot to set up your hammock, whether that’s inside or outdoors. You’ll need it to attach to two wall posts or trees that are sturdy enough to carry your full weight. Its hanging distance should be about 2 feet longer than your hammock’s total length. Generally speaking, you’re looking for space where two posts are about 13 t0 16 feet apart from each other. That range should be more or less enough to stretch it out while maintaining an optimum height so it doesn’t dangle too close to the floor.

Select your hanging style and hardware

There are three ways to hang a hammock. You can opt to use tree straps or ropes with a portable hammock when camping in the woods, install mounting hardware, or go with a hammock stand.

  • Tree straps or ropes: While ropes are a considerable substitute for tree straps, it is advisable to purchase tree straps because they distribute weight better and in a way that doesn’t harm or dig into the tree’s bark and trunk. Tree straps are also more durable, but its always good to double-check their strength and the weight they can hold. The great thing about this method is that tree straps and ropes are not only lightweight but are also easily adjusted.
  • Mounting hardware: This is recommended if you have a permanent place for your hammock within the house, be it in the bedroom or by the porch. You’ll just need to drill a pair of hooks through the ceiling or go for a wall-to-wall or post-to-post installation. You’ll then have to calibrate the hammock’s tension before hoisting it up with carabiners.
  • Hammock stand: Some hammocks come with a compatible stand that instantly allows you to prop it up with little to no effort.

Hammock hanging tips

Regardless of which method you choose to hang your hammock, we suggest that you suspend the hammock by at least 18 inches off the floor. While it’s tempting to stretch out the hammock as much as you can to achieve a flatter sleeping surface, it’s better to create a 30-degree angle between the ground and the strap. A good way to determine if you’ve done it correctly is if the straps are four to six feet off the ground.

Test out your hammock

Since hammocks carry your full weight, it is perfectly understandable that those made from either cotton or rope will stretch out over time. It is always good to adjust the straps regularly and to check the sturdiness by pulling the hammock down before you fully settle in so as not to end up on the ground.

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