How to Hang Hammocks

Hammocks must hang taut when empty.
Hammocks must hang taut when empty. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Hammocks originated in Central America. Europe first came to know hammocks from Christopher Columbus, who brought them from the islands that now comprise the Bahamas. Over the generations, the hammock design has been translated from woven natural fiber net to cloth, canvas and synthetic materials. The original cocoon design has been modified to have spreader bars on each end for stability and comfort. The one thing all hammocks have in common, however, is that they need a place to hang.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammock stand
  • Hammock tree straps
  • Carabiners
  • S-hooks

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Hanging a Hammock From Trees

Measure the length of your hammock and the distance between two suitably sized trees, at least 38 inches in circumference, where you would like to hang the hammock. The distance between the trees should be about 1 foot more than the total length of your hammock.

Loop a hammock tree strap around one tree about waist high. An occupied hammock will hang down lower than the tree straps, so make sure to leave sufficient room underneath the hammock. The ends of the tree strap should be on the side of the tree trunk facing the other tree.

Link the ends of the tree strap through a carabiner designed for climbing. Link one side of an S-hook to the carabiner and the other side to one end of the hammock.

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the other tree and other end of the hammock. Now the hammock should be stretched taut and at a height that is easy to get into. Raise the height if the hammock scrapes the ground when you get into it. If the hammock must hang too high, then the trees are too close together and you should instead hang it on a hammock stand.

Hanging Hammocks From a Stand

Link one end of an S-hook into one end of the hammock stand. Hammock stands differ in their design, but common fasteners include large-link connecting chains and holes in the stand itself.

Link the other end of the S-hook into the end of the hammock. There usually will be a metal ring or grommet for this purpose.

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for the other end of the hammock stand. If the hammock stand has an adjustment method, tighten the hammock if it scrapes the ground when you are inside it. A common adjustment method is to attach the connecting chain to the S-hook by a different link, essentially shortening the chain.

Tips & Warnings

  • Buy longer tree straps if the trees are too far apart.
  • Avoid driving bolts into a tree to hang the hammock. You may damage the tree. Besides, the tree growth eventually will engulf the bolt.


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