There’s more than one way to skin a cat (apparently) and just like that, there is more than one way to hang a hammock!
Generally, most of us think of hanging a hammock as being a pretty straightforward affair with only really one option. You take your hammock, you find two anchor points (those normally being trees) and then you just hang the fabric in between them. Simple!
Except there are actually many more options, factors and creative alternatives that you can pick from – and some of these can really enhance your camping experience! Read on and we’ll look at some of the best ways to hang a hammock so that you really get the very most out of it…
The basic way to hang a hammock is indeed between two trees, which will serve as your anchor points. These should be about 13-16 foot apart and that will give you the perfect distance to get a nice ‘banana’ shaped dip in the middle of your hammock.
From there, you can then make sure that the straps are attached so that they hang at about 30 degrees from the trunk of the tree. All this will give you the strongest configuration for your hammock as well as hopefully, a very good night’s sleep!
That’s all good and well, but what if your gap is over 13-16 foot and you don’t have any other options? In that case you can always extend your hammock using a length of rope, which will then let you hang between larger gaps.
Or how about using a car to bridge that gap? This way, you only need one anchor point and then you can just drive your car up to it and use that to connect your hammock at one end. You can even park two cars opposite each other and thereby create a spot for your hammock right in the middle of nowhere!
If you don’t want to go to sleep but just want a place to sit, then you can hang a hammock to be more of a swing rather than a bed. Just find two anchor points that are close together and then attach the hammock high up on the trees.
This way, your hammock will hang and create a deep U shape that you can then sit in. It’s a great way to relax and also a very good way to hang your things.
There’s actually a movement at the moment called ‘extreme hammocking’ believe it or not! This includes things like hanging hammocks over huge drops, or in extreme environmental conditions. A little dangerous then and probably not for most people reading this…
But if you want to get creative you can still do so in a safe way! Why not hang your hammock over a stream for instance and that way you can sleep while listening to it babble. Or why not pick an area where you’ll have an amazing view to drift off looking out at? This kind of hammocking creates some truly memorable experiences and is very romantic.
If you find that sleeping in a hammock gives you a bad back (and this is a problem that some people do experience), then one solution is to hang your hammock at an angle so that your legs are lower than your head. When you do this, you’ll be getting more support for your back and you’ll be a little more upright as well!
A hammock stand is a piece of scaffolding that you can use to hang a hammock anywhere without needing two anchor points.
This of course means you have more to carry if you’re hoping on taking your hammock out for an adventure but it’s great for around the home… and as it happens you can also get folding hammock stands that are much more portable and allow you to erect a handy bed or place to rest anywhere.
You’re not really supposed to hang your hammock taut because it weakens it and makes it more likely to tear.
However, if you can find two low down anchor points and do the math to ensure the material is strong enough, then a hammock can be stretched out to be parallel along the ground (especially if it has a spreader bar) which is ideal for chilling without fear of falling off and while being able to easily grab things off the floor!