How To Hang A Hammock From A Tree

How To Hang A Hammock From A Tree

Whether you’re heading off on a family camping trip, or want to soak up the sun in your own backyard, a hammock is a great idea.

One of the most obvious ways of hanging a hammock is from a tree, or between two trees. To do this, all you’ll need is the right equipment and some common sense.

With some strong rope, scissors, and a couple of carabiners, you’ll be able to set up your hammock in no time.

Not only is it a great place to relax outdoors, but this method doesn’t involve any hammers or nails so your tree or trees won’t be damaged in the process. 

What you’ll need:

  • Your hammock
  • Two carabiners
  • A pair of scissors
  • Some matches or a lighter
  • Two pieces of strong synthetic rope (it must be long enough to wrap around the trunk of the tree in question, plus an extra couple of yards just to be sure)

Step 1 

Tree selection is crucial when hanging a hammock. You should choose two very sturdy trees (oak trees work great) and ensure that they’re far apart enough to fit your hammock between them, but not too far away.

However, if the trees are too close to each other, there won’t be enough tension to keep your hammock suspended.

It’s always best to choose a larger space than a smaller space, as you can always add some chain or extra rope if you need to later.

Step 2

Take one of your pieces of strong rope and make a knot around a foot in diameter towards the end of the length.

Knot the loop around itself, pull tight, and tug on it aggressively to ensure that it is safe and will be able to hold a human’s body weight. 

Step 3

Next, wrap one piece of your strong rope around the trunk of the tree. You’ll want to position this around four or five feet from the ground.

Step 4

Take the second length of strong rope that you cut earlier and feed the plain end through the loop you created by the knot on the other end. Thread it through and pull it tightly to secure it.

Step 5

Take the other end (the loose end) of the rope, and make another loop as close to the tree trunk as you possibly can.

Once you’ve done that, tie a knot. This is the loop that you’ll be hanging your hammock from.

Step 6

Be sure to leave around one foot of excess rope, as this will make it much easier to remove later. Tie a secure knot at the end of this extra rope and give it a little trim with your scissors.

Using a lit match or a lighter, seal the end of the rope to prevent fraying. 

Step 7

Take one of your carabiners and attach it to the open loop that you just made. 

Step 8

Repeat these steps with the second length of strong rope on the opposite tree.

Step 9

Finally, attach your hammock to both the carabiners, and voila! You’ve got yourself a neat garden setup. For extra comfort, consider adding some comfy outdoor pillows and blankets.

How do I keep my hammock from swinging? 

There are many reasons why you may experience swinging when using your hammock. Over time, this can get pretty annoying.

A swinging hammock makes it particularly difficult to sleep in one and makes drinking a beverage while relaxing an impossibility.

You can lose momentum for several reasons such as the tension of the hammock and the suspension as it swings. 

One way in which you can prevent hammock swing is by using a small leg motion. This can be simply swinging your lower leg to maintain momentum.

This works in a similar way to swinging your legs when you’re on a playground swing.

A small and light motion can help maintain a gentle swing with a very slight swing, which is just what you want when chilling out in a hammock.

What angle should you hang a hammock?

The general rule of thumb is that you should aim to hang a hammock at an angle of 30 degrees. However, everyone is different and comfort is subjective.

Hanging the hammock loosely will allow you to figure out the most comfortable position for you. Your perfect angle may not be 30 degrees, and that is OK too.

Try a couple of degrees less as well as a couple of degrees more to test out all of the options. If you’re a particularly tall person, you should consider opting for a smaller angle (roughly 25 degrees).

Alternatively, shorter people will usually find a 40-45 degree angle to be most comfortable. 

How far off the ground should a hammock be?

It’s important to only hang the hammock as far up as you would feel safe falling from. Many people believe that for optimum comfort, you should aim to hang your hammock at about chair height.

This is usually around 18-20 inches and will allow you enough room to swing freely but also getting out of the hammock will be less likely to cause problems.

It’s also important to remember that you should never hang your hammock above ground that you wouldn’t want to land on.

Regardless of how much care you take and precautions you put in place, falling is always a possibility and it’s best to avoid injuring yourself where you can. 

Why is my hammock tight in the middle?

The most common reason for a hammock being tight in the middle is because the hammock is tied is too tightly.

This is a common mistake when hanging a hammock, which can result in the middle being tight when laying down on it. This isn’t very comfortable, and you’ll find it difficult to relax.

It’s important to remember that your hammock should resemble a banana when viewed from the side. Achieving this shape and learning the proper way to hang a hammock is important for a comfortable experience.

Another reason why your hammock may feel tight in the middle could be because it is too long for the space. All hammocks should be at least 3 inches longer than your height.

If you try to relax in a hammock that is too long for you, it can cause the material in the center to squeeze and bunch up, making it feel tight and uncomfortable.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that you are using the correct type of hammock for you. Some hammock varieties can be naturally tighter than others, due to rope length, fabric material, etc. 

How do I stop my hammock from flipping in the wind?

While swinging is inevitable when in a hammock, you may also be worried about the whole thing flipping over if a big gust of wind suddenly shows up. To remedy this, many manufacturers have designed solutions.

One of these solutions involves tape that loops around both trees, with carabiners at both ends that can be attached along ladder loops to make sure that the tension is just right.

Ensuring optimal suspension and tension can lessen the likelihood of your hammock flipping over in the wind. 

Site selection is also a vital factor to consider when hanging a hammock. If you choose a location that is high up, such as on a hill or mountain or in a tree canopy, you should expect to experience more wind.

You can also purchase wind blockers designed for this exact purpose. They can be hammered into the ground and protect the hammock from the elements.

If these aren’t affordable for you, some people have also found using a tarp to be just as useful. You can position your tarp as flat and as low as you want which can influence the amount of protection you get from extreme wind. 

Do hammocks damage trees?

Yes, hammocks do have the potential to damage the trees that they hang from. However, they don’t have to— providing they’re set up correctly.

Anchoring a hammock to saplings or trees that are obviously too small to hold a person’s weight is not something that should ever happen.

It is recommended that you do not set up a hammock on trees that are less than 6 inches in diameter, however, every type of tree is different.

If you use a tree that’s diameter is larger than 6 inches and it begins to sag, I recommend finding a larger tree.

A majority of the damage caused by hanging a hammock occurs when you tie your strong rope around the trunks.

What happens is that the rope gets pulled too tightly against the tree and it will begin to wear away at the bark. when it comes to permanent setups an eye-hook is a better solution than tying or wrapping anything around the tree which, as noted above, can be problematic.

Tying around a tree for long periods of time can cut off the tree’s ability to circulate nutrients throughout itself which can actually kill the tree over time.

This would be similar to cutting off the blood flow in a human, only much slower.

 If you want to be completely eco-friendly then we recommend considering getting your hands on a hammock stand. Hammock stands don’t have the flexibility to be used in different situations and are hardly portable.

It would be close to impossible to take a stand on a hike let alone on a portage. They are also often expensive and in some cases, people are spending more on a stand than on their hammock.