Hammocks are a lot of fun to use both inside and outdoors, but you need to know how to properly hang them. Otherwise, you risk falling and injuring yourself and the ones around!
Luckily, there isn’t that much science behind perfectly hanging a hammock. In fact, once you do it a few times, you won’t need to measure distances and calculate height; you’ll be able to find the perfect spot by just eyeballing the area.
So, before you can even think about buying a hammock, here’s how to hang it, regardless of location.
Choose the Right Hammock Hardware
The good news is that hammock aficionados are spoilt for choice. Today’s market is filled with all sorts of suspension methods from chains and hooks to straps and ropes.
However, the final choice should be made according to how you plan on using the hammock.
The best suspension choice for outdoors use is straps. These are specially designed pieces of durable fabric that can be wrapped around a tree trunk and used as an anchor point.
Straps can be found as a part of the suspension system (with S-shaped hooks and carabiners) or separately. Also, they are available in different lengths and sizes, so you can choose whichever fits your needs the best.
However, if straps and complex suspension systems are not your cup of tea, you can always use a rope to hang a hammock. But you should keep in mind that some types of rope can be harmful to tree bark.
Also, in order to use rope, you’ll have to learn how to tie one or two knots that support your body weight and can be unraveled without too much effort.
Straps and ropes are perfect to use on trees, but they’re also quite versatile since you can repurpose both systems as needed.
For Indoors or Backyard Use
Now, if you plan on installing the hammock in a fixed location (such as a stand), you can use more permanent options.
For instance, you can install eyelet bolts in walls/stands/poles and use a system of S-shape hooks, carabiners, and chains to create the suspension system.
On the upside, these systems are durable and easy to adjust, but you need to keep in mind their permanent nature. This means that once installed, the system is not easy to remove, and it usually leaves holes behind.
This is why it’s not recommended on trees or other surfaces on which you don’t want to leave a mark.
The Right Distance for Hanging a Hammock
Now that you have the right hardware, let’s talk about choosing the ideal spot for your hammock.
Basically, regardless of the fact that you install it indoors, on a porch, in the backyard, or in between two trees, there should be about 10 to 15 feet of distance between the anchoring points. Of course, the distance varies depending on the style and length of your hammock, and the level of tension you want to create.
For instance, a hammock with spreader bars needs to be hung between two points that offer the same amount of space as its length. For more tension, you can add a foot or two. However, a hammock without spreader bars can be hung in a smaller space, as long as it doesn’t touch the ground when you sit in it.
Now, especially in the outdoors, it’s difficult to find two trees placed at the exact distance you need. Usually, the trees will be further apart, so you need to get creative. This problem is solved using a longer suspension system, like a longer strap (or combining two straps) or chains.
As you can see, when you have all the necessary elements, it’s quite easy to hang a hammock. Still, we recommend doing the first try at home, where you can make mistakes that won’t cost you a cozy sleeping place under the stars.