How To Hang A Hammock. A Guide With 14 Easy Tips. 3 Is The Best.

Hammock Fixing Kit

A 10 minute read

Read The Ultimate Guide To Easily Hang Your Hammock So It Is Secure And Comfortable.

You can listen to Henry(7) and Winston(9) read this article so that you don’t have to!

Firstly, relax! It is not difficult to hang up a hammock. If you have a decent hammock and use suspension equipment which is suitable for your chosen location, then it will be quick and easy to make yourself a bed in the sky.

The basic principles of hanging a hammock are as follows:

  1. You need two supports strong enough to carry all the people in the hammock.
    • The main tree trunk of a living tree is almost always strong enough. Branches are more risky. I would always go for the main trunk unless it is a really substantial tree.
    • If it is supporting a house, then it is probably strong enough. You can attach hammocks to interior walls or to the support for a pergola. The wall of a standard British garden shed will probably not be good enough. Fence posts are risky. You will know if it is strong enough. 
    • Street furniture is usually designed to withstand plenty of abuse. We have hung hammocks from posts at train stations, public railings and sign posts before.
    • The tow-bar or roof rack or your vehicle can make a useful second post. The tow-bar is often low to the ground, so that will usually only work if the topography is correct. Roof racks and roof bars should be carefully assessed on an individual basis.
    • It is possible to rig up a bi-pod with a guy rope pegged into the ground for one end of the hammock. This would be most suitable for a 1 person hammock, as it is not the strongest solution, but it does solve the ‘two-tree problem’.
  2. You need something tall enough to hang it from at a comfortable height.
    • If you look at all the photos of people laying in hammocks when they are between trees, you will see that the rope is at about 30-45 degrees. So depending on the hanging distance , extend that line upwards and outwards to your hanging point. I usually find myself attaching my ropes to a tree at about head height.
    • When we set up the hammock for children, we usually have it as low to the ground as possible. That means that when they fall out, nobody gets hurt. So you can take the hanging height into consideration. Remember that a brand new hammock will stretch a little on it’s first few uses, so you will want to leave some room for adjustment. It will also hang lower to the ground with more people or heavier people in it.
  3. You need to fix it to your supports in such a way that the attachment gets stronger when there is more weight in the hammock, but can be easily undone when the weight is removed.
    • An example of this would be hanging the hammock from simple S-hooks. It is very easy to remove the hammock from the hooks when it is empty, but when you have some weight in the hammock it is perfectly secure. There is no need for carabiners until you plan to be jumping around in the hammock. Even in that case it is hard to dislodge a hammock from s-hooks.
    • When you wrap a rope around a tree, getting in the hammock will pull it tighter and hold it in place. This principle works on even the smoothest trees. This means that if you simply wrap a rope twice around a tree trunk so that it overlaps itself and then attach one end to itself and the other end to the hammock, it will be stronger the more weight is in the hammock. I hope that was explained clearly.
    • You should stick to simple knots that are easy to undo. There is nothing less relaxing than having to spend an hour trying to untie a rope from a tree. Most hammock ropes are polyester which is strong, but it is also slippery enough that it is easier to untie knots. Tree straps with s-hooks make it easy to clip on to itself, so it is very easy to untie again once the weight is removed.
  4. Your hanging points should be a good distance apart. The range is quite big, There is a clear limit when the supporting objects are too close together. This is roughly 90% of the overall length of the hammock.

    For hanging points which are further apart, the limit is more down to personal preference. I would be quite happy with a hanging distance of about ten meters. You get a nice slow swing with a longer hanging distance. However, you need more rope and you have to attach the rope quite a lot higher.
  5. You need a hammock you can trust not to break.
Fix the hammock to any wall
Fix your hammock to a wall

Fixed vs Temporary Fixings

Are you planning to keep your hammock in one place, or even move it between two or three regular places? Maybe you want your hammock at one end of your deck or terrace in the morning and at the other end in the evening. If that is the case then I would suggest setting up fixings at each location. It is much better to simply unclip your hammock from one place and clip it on to another one without having to check and adjust a rope each time. In my ideal world, I would have wall hooks attached all over the place at just the right height and spacing.

If you are planning to put your hammock in it’s handy carry bag and take it off to the forest or beach then you will find ropes a much better solution. You could start screwing hooks into every tree you use so that they are there for future visitors. Most healthy trees will not be damaged by this, especially if you use stainless steel or other rust proof fixings. Most fixings are in this category. However you are probably looking to relax in your hammock rather than setting out on a minor DIY task.

Vivere Single Hook Set
This is an S-Hook

S-Hooks Vs Carabiners

Advantages of S-Hooks

  • Quick and easy to hang and remove your hammock.
  • Cheaper
  • Easy to adjust

Advantages of Carabiners

  • Feels very secure.
  • Is more secure, especially if children are playing in the hammock.
  • You could attach two things pulling in different directions without added risk.

Moving on from the mechanics of hanging your hammock, some things to consider when aiming for ultimate relaxation and comfort in your hammock are:

  1. It is more comfortable to have a hammock that is well balanced. The most balanced hammocks are the ones that self adjust. Does the hammock have strings which can slide through the loops at the end of the hammock ?

    The Colombian hammocks have an open loop design, which many people say  enhances balance compared to the closed loop design. In my opinion, the difference is very small. But they do look nicer and are easier to hang.

    ‘Cadejos’ are continuations of the main hammock bed fabric which are woven into plaits. Logically this would spread the weight perfectly and make the hammock more comfortable. I think the difference is small, but every detail is worth considering.

  2. It is worth thinking about the comfort of the fabric against your skin. Cotton feels nice. Polycotton, which is 70% polyester and 30% cotton feels very similar, but are more durable and weatherproof. Nylon doesn’t feel quite as comfortable against the skin, but the travel hammocks pack up really small and are really strong, so it is a trade off.

  3. Durability. A hammock kept indoors will last for as long as any other furniture. If it is going to be left outside to the elements, then it should be allowed to dry when it gets wet, and man made fibres like polyester or polypropylene will last longer than cotton.

  4. Portability: How small does your hammock pack up? Will you be moving it often ? The travel hammocks are the most portable, but a single cotton hammock only weighs just over a kilo and takes up about the same space as a wooly jumper in your luggage.
Elegance Double Hammock - Ecru
The Elegance is a beautiful HAMACA famiily hammock

Other factors to consider. Although this guide is more about hanging your hammock, so this is just a quick list.

  1. Price: You don’t have to pay a fortune for a good hammock, but really cheap ones are not the best value.
  2. Design: It feels better to lay in a beautiful hammock.
  3. Fair Trade: No need to feel guilty.
  4. Environmental concerns: From an environmentalists  perspective, for cotton hammocks , recycled cotton is the best, followed by organic cotton, followed by regular cotton.
  5. Opportunity cost: You could buy some Bitcoin instead.

I hope you found this guide useful. I intended to lay out the basic principles. It is not rocket science and as long as you check and test your hammock before diving in, then it should all be fine. Good luck and happy relaxation.

Hammock Heaven - Only the best Hammocks
Hammock Heaven – Only the best Hammocks

You can see our range of hammocks here, and you can see our extensive range of fixings and accessories here. We offer free shipping on most orders and you are welcome to call or email us with any questions. Hammock Heaven has been online since 2004, so we have learnt a thing or two about hammocks in the last 15 years!

This video is a reading of this article with a selection
of hammocks and fixings from our range.

One thought on “How To Hang A Hammock. A Guide With 14 Easy Tips. 3 Is The Best.

  1. Pingback: Guide To Measuring Hammocks – Hammock Heaven

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