How to Hang a Hammock for Camping the Right Way
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How to Hang a Hammock

Do you want to get a new hammock, but don’t know how to hang it up? We’ve all seen those videos of people jumping into a hammock, only to have the whole thing come crashing down. It’s funny when it happens to others on YouTube, but not so much when it’s your behind hitting the dirt. That’s what we are here for today, to discuss how to hang a hammock in various ways and from various locations. 

Hanging a Hammock – Various Methods 

There are various ways to hang them hammocks, and it all depends on what your needs are. You can hang a hammock between trees, and this can be done using various methods. You can also use a special hammock stand, or even hang a hammock in between cars, or on your porch as well. Let’s talk about various ways of hanging up a hammock and how to get it done with minimal trouble. One caveat – ensure your chosen camping hammock can hang in a manner you choose.

Hanging a Hammock Between Trees

Woman relaxing in a camping hammock

When it comes down to it, if you are hanging a hammock, chances are that you will be doing so outdoors, and moreover, you will probably be doing so out in the wild. Hammocks are a great way to relax while camping, and many people even use them for a full night’s sleep, especially in primitive camping scenarios. That said, there are various ways of hanging a hammock between trees, some which are easier or harder than others, and some which are more or less secure. There are three main tools or methods you can use to hang a hammock between two trees.

Rope

The first way to hang a hammock is by using rope. In terms of cost-effectiveness, this is the best way to go. Everybody has rope laying around, and even if you don’t, buying rope is not very expensive. Using rope to hang a hammock is also a good way to go because you won’t harm trees, like some other hammock-hanging methods.

All you need to do here is pass the rope through the hammock’s hanging loops, or even just the rope to the hammock’s hooks, then pass the rope around a tree, tie a solid knot, and you are good to go. As long as you choose a good height and applied a decent amount of tension to the rope, it should be fine. 

hammock hanging between trees

Do keep in mind that you have to choose a good knot and you have to tie it right. It can be somewhat difficult to properly secure a hammock to a tree using nothing but ropes, but definitely possible if you know what you are doing. 

Hanging Tree Straps

Another great way to hang a hammock in between trees is by using hammock hanging tree straps. Most of the time, if you buy a half-decent hammock, these will be included, so you usually won’t have to buy them on the side. However, some hammocks do not come with these straps, in which case you will need to purchase them separately. Either way, this is a really good way to go about it.

Hammock tree straps are usually always super easy to use. All you have to do is pass them through the loops of the hammock, wrap them around the tree, and then cinch them tight. They generally come with some kind of cinching mechanism, which means that you can just wrench them tight instead of having to tie anything. 

A big benefit of using these tree straps is that they are highly adjustable for tension, plus if you buy ones that are long enough, you can hang a hammock between trees that are of various distances apart. Really the only downside to these straps is that they can only be used on trees, not on walls, but if you are camping, this shouldn’t be an issue. 

hammock hanging strap

Hammock Hanging Hardware

The other good way to hang a hammock between trees is to use hammock hanging hardware, which includes 2 solid wall anchors (generally screw-in J hooks), 2 lengths of strong chain, and 2 large S hooks to connect that length of chain to the loops on the hammock. This is quite easy to do as you just have to screw in the hooks to the trees to which you want to attach the hammock to, making sure to select the right height. Keep in mind that to adjust the tension, you can simply move the screw-in J hooks up or down the trees. 

Now, simply attach the S hooks to the hammock loops, the chain to the S hooks, and the other length of the chain to the screw in J hooks you screwed into the trees. The tension can also be adjusted by using different lengths of chain. This is a very secure way to hang a hammock between trees, and it’s easy to adjust too. 

Just keep in mind that this hardware can be a little pricey, plus you will end up damaging trees. However, what is convenient is that this same hardware can also be used to hang a hammock from a wall. 

A Note On Hanging Hammocks Between Trees – Distance, Size, & More!

Before you get to decide which hanging method you want to use for your hammock, you also need to find the right trees for the job. For one, this means that you will need trees that are the right distance apart, which is generally between 10 and 15 feet. 

If you want the hammock to have the right amount of tension, a 12-foot hammock will need 13 or 14 feet of clearance between trees. If you want to hang your hammock between trees that are fairly far apart, you can always use extra lengths of chain or straps.

Moreover, you also need to select the right height at which to hang the hammock, which is usually between 18 and 24 inches off the ground. Remember that if you hang the hammock too low, your butt might end up touching the ground. 

Also, be sure to hang the ropes or straps at roughly a 30-degree angle for the best results. On the other hand, be sure not to make things too tight. If there is too much tension without you on the hammock, when you go to lay on the hammock, you might create so much tension that the whole setup comes crashing down. 

Hanging a Hammock From a Ceiling or Walls

Now, if you aren’t camping or out in your backyard, you probably won’t be hanging it up in between trees, which limits your options a little bit, although there are still good ways to get it done. People will often hang hammocks in between walls or from the ceiling. So, let’s go over a quick step-by-step guide on how to do this.

Hanging a Hammock From a Ceiling

camping without a sleeping bag

If you have a nice sunroom, a porch with a roof, or a cabin with a nice covered deck, you can always hang your hammock from the ceiling. It’s a pretty easy thing to do, and it’s quite secure, although you do need to be careful. The only way to hang a hammock from a ceiling is to use hanging hardware — those S hooks, screw-in J hooks, and chains which we discussed earlier.

One thing to keep in mind is that this method does require a good deal of space, because you cannot have the chains or straps hanging vertically, or else when you lay in the hammock, there won’t be enough horizontal tension, and you’ll end up being squashed in the hammock. This means that you need to attach the J hooks to the ceiling so that the chains or straps sit at a 30-degree angle. 

On that same note, because you are hanging the hammock from the ceiling, there will be lots of downward force, so be sure that the wood you are screwing into is very solid, and that the screws on the J hooks are about 2 inches long at least. 

Also, be sure to screw them into solid rafters, not some kind of plank wood, as it does have to be solid and strong enough to hold your weight and then some. Either way, all you have to do is screw in the J hooks, attach the chain or straps to the J-hooks, then attach the chain or straps to the S hooks, and put the S hooks in the loops on the hammock. Other than that, there’s really not much to it. 

Hanging a Hammock Between Walls

Another way to hang your hammock is by hanging it between walls. A lot of people with small sunrooms and decks or patios will do this, especially if there is no ceiling to hang the hammock from. The concept here is more or less the same as hanging the hammock from a ceiling. Once again, you are going to need the hanging hardware, those S hooks, screw-in J hooks, and chains which we described earlier. Now, hanging a hammock from a wall might actually be a bit harder than from a ceiling, and it has to do with spacing.

Generally speaking, most rooms or areas where you go to hang a hammock will be much longer and wider than the hammock is long, so you cannot really use 2 opposite walls for this. For the most part, you will need to use a corner to hang your hammock. You will have the hammock hanging at a 45-degree angle from one wall to the next one, besides a corner, so the hammock forms a triangle with the corner of the wall. 

Other than this, there is not too much to know. Just make sure that you leave enough space for the hammock, and that it’s tight enough to provide good tension. The most important part is that you screw the J hooks into wall studs, not into planks or drywall. Only the studs will be strong enough to hold up the weight of the hammock and a human being. 

women in hammocks

Hanging a Hammock Between Cars

The other way you can hang a hammock is by using your car, or 2 cars actually. This is actually really simple, and as long as you have 2 cars, enough space, some ropes or straps, you are good to go. Simply tie the ropes or straps to the ends of the hammock, and tie the ropes or straps to your cars. Now, you will need to have roof racks to do this, as this is really the only good place to tie the ropes or straps to. 

The cool part here is that you can have the cars either facing each other or facing away from each other, and you can have them really close together when tying everything together. Once everything is secure, simply drive the cars apart until they are far enough apart to produce the proper distance and amount of tension. Besides the fact that you need 2 vehicles with roof racks to do this, it’s actually very simple and straightforward.

Conclusion

As you can see, hanging a hammock is not very hard at all. You can use multiple methods to hang them between trees, although we personally would recommend using straps, as rope is not all that secure and hanging hardware damages trees. 

You can, however, use hanging hardware to hang a hammock from a ceiling or a wall, as long as whatever you are hanging the hammock from is strong enough to bear the weight of the hammock and the human laying in it. Attaching a hammock to cars, while cool and easy, does require vehicles, roof racks, and a lot of space. Check out even more hammock camping tips and as always, happy camping!

  • October 30, 2019