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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.

Quick Hammock Guide

Deck Hammock XL

Comparing Different Hammocks

This quick guide will go from the smallest and cheapest hammocks up to the biggest and most expensive, then we will finish it off with some comments about hanging chairs, and some notes about hammocks with spreader bars.

Nearly all Hamaca hammocks are hand made in Colombia from recycled cotton. The cotton is soft, strong and comfortable and the colours and designs are gorgeous.

I will try to mention only the benefits and disadvantages specific to each type of hammock, and only when compared to other types of hammocks.

Nearly every Hamaca hammock has the following features which are an advantage over other brands of hammocks:

Hamaca Hammocks
  1. Cadejos – the stylish cotton chains at the end of the hammock which look great, but also help distribute weight perfectly.
  2. Handy matching carry bag, which is big enough for the hammock, but with room for a book a drink and some ropes. Many other brands you really have to squeeze the hammock in…
  3. Colombian style with an open loop at the end.
  4. Recycled cotton with Azo-Free Dyes, and transported by ship. I.e. This is the most eco-friendly type of hammock you can buy.
  5. Easy to wash in the washing machine.

Children’s Hammocks / Kids Hammocks  

Advantages

  1. Single rope attachment for child safety.
  2. Just about big enough for an adult.
  3. 2 x 3m ropes built in.
  4. Packs up small and light, so perfect for taking on holiday or to the lake.
  5. Low price per hammock.Transform a bedroom for £30 !

Disadvantages

  1. Small for an adult, so only one lying position (straight).
Cuadro Kids Hammock - Rainbow
Hammocks For Children

Travel Hammocks

Advantages

  1. 2 x 3m Ropes with Hooks built in to each Travock ( Travel Hammock ).
  2. Packs up small for travels. The 2 person XL size packs up to 20x12x12cm which is about  2.4 litres in volume. The 1 person is slightly smaller.
  3. Big hammocks, especially compared to the packed up size.
  4. Extra strong, made from nylon, like parachutes.
  5. A travel hammock will dry  very quickly if it gets wet.
  6. Price. At the lower end of the price range.

Disadvantages

  1. Cotton is softer and more comfortable than parachute silk.
Travock - Travel Hammock - Treasure
Travel Hammocks

Single Hammocks

Advantages

  1. The perfect size for an adult, a squeeze for two, plenty of room for kids.
  2. Packs up small and lightweight, so good for travelling or taking to the park.
  3. Inexpensive
  4. Cadejos, a carry bag and machine washable, as are all hammocks in the rest of this guide.
  5. It’s a single hammock, so you remind others of this fact for some peace and quiet.


Disadvantages

  1. I can’t think of any disadvantages, unless you want a bigger or smaller hammock.
Knit Single Hammock - Fuschia
Single Hammocks

Double Hammocks

Advantages

  1. Room for two adults.
  2. Same advantages as other size hammocks

Disadvantages

  1. If you want a different size hammock, choose that. Price and size…

It’s a short list for this one, but it’s one of our most popular hammocks. I just didn’t want to repeat the advantages of the single hammock.

Cuadro Double Hammock - Ocean
Double Hammock – You Can Sit Across it

Family Hammocks

Advantages

  1. Plenty of room. You can lay which way you like, or have lots of people in the hammock.
  2. Value per person, or per square meter of hammock area.
  3. Big hammocks look fantastic.
  4. Can fold the edges around you as a sunshade or even a cosy roof.
  5. Same advantages as other size cotton hammocks. Washable, bag included etc.

Disadvantages

  1. Not as portable for flights. Fine to take to beach or park, but maybe it takes up too much luggage space if you are just taking hand luggage.
  2. Our biggest hammocks are our most expensive hammocks, but they work out quite cheap per person or for the size.
Supernova Hammock - XXL - Kaleidoscope
Supernova Family Hammock – Room For Everyone

Hanging Hammock Chairs

Advantages

  1. Space saving, so suitable in almost any space.
  2. Easy to get in and out of.
  3. Sitting position allows typing etc.
  4. Brightens up a room.
  5. Cheaper than other types of chairs.

Disadvantages

  1. Can’t lay down, except in our denim hanging chair with it’s fantastic foot rest.
  2. Not as portable as a hammock due to the bar. It has a bag with a shoulder strap, so it is fine to take to the park or beach, but more difficult to take on a flight.
Knit Hanging Chair - Fuschia - Small
Hanging Chairs

Spreader Bar Hammocks

Advantages

  1. Fabric drys quickly if it gets wet.
  2. Easy to get in and out of.
  3. Looks great

Disadvantages

  1. Not as portable as a hammock without the spreader bars. It has a bag with a shoulder strap, so it is fine to take to the park or beach, but more difficult to take on a flight.
  2. Marginally less stable than hammocks without the spreader bar.
Deck Hammock XL
Spreader Bars

Conclusion

I hope this quick guide was useful. Please tell us your experiences with your hammocks. We woould love to hear from you. Contact us.