The Complete Guide On How To Hang Your Hammock
If you are a regular Camper, you probably know what a hammock is. Or maybe you have heard a mention of it whenever you visit a camping gear shop. A hammock is more of a swing that is made by suspending a sling like material between two points. Mostly between two trees and is used for sleeping, resting or even swinging. Most people overlook hammocks while shopping for their camping gears and see them just as woven mosquito nets that are strung between two trees. In real sense, these are the best sleeping cocoons that have been woven today to give you the best camping experience. The provide comfort, amazing sleeping experience and safety while out in the wild. Hammocks originated from the Traditional Mayans and their sleeping habits. The major distinguishing factor of the modern Hammock to the traditional Mayans is that the modern hammock made from the same materials as Parachutes and other modern fabrics.
The main reason why people go camping is so that they have a break at life and relax. The Hammock is what will offer you the best thing to comfort you are in search of. Due to its ability to swing, you are assured to get sleep faster. Study has shown that a gentle rocking motion activated the parts of the brain that are involved with sleep. You will experience total comfort sleeping in a hammock since there are no pressure points. No tossing and turning as you would by sleeping on a mattress. It also ensures that you maximize on better health since with the sleeping position in a Hammock, the head is slightly raised as a patient’s head in a hospital is. This position allows for optimal blood circulation to the brain and allows for a less obstructed breathing. People suffering from chronic Insomnia are also recommended to get one since the rocking motion by the Hammock has been known to help.
To get to know how to hang a Hammock, you need to know the various types of Hammocks. You have to choose the right one that fits your style and comfort. Depending on your trip location, the weather and activities you will engage yourselves into, you might need quite a few different types of Hammocks. There are about seven types of Hammocks. They are:
- Mexican / Nicaraguan
- Jungle / hiking
The Brazilian Hammock
These Hammocks are awesome for warm beaches and the shade in the house backyard. They look more like the parachute hammocks. This is mainly because they don’t have the spreaders that a rope hammock uses to keep it straight and taut. What makes it stand out is the fact that it is made up of a hand woven cotton material. This material comes mostly in bright and lively colors. The cotton material will keep you warm on a cool night than the wide open weave of a rope Hammock. Due to the material being made of pure cotton, proper cleaning and maintenance is required to prevent mold and mildew problems that can arise due to humidity and other weather elements.
The Rope Hammock
One of the most popular you can find almost anywhere. It is made up of a rope and a spreader bar which is located at each end of the hammock. The spreaders are usually made of wood. The ropes on the other hand are made of natural cotton or hemp or nylon/ polyester material. The purpose of the spreaders is to help keep the hammock relatively flat. It helps create a nice sturdy for resting.
How To Setup a Rope Hammock.
There are several different ways of setting up this type of Hammock. These are;
- Using two trees – Due to the fact that most Hammocks are not longer than thirteen feet, you have to identify trees that are closer to each other.
- Using a hammock stand – this becomes a very good option if the location you have in mind does not have trees.
- Using strong poles – when setting up makes sure the poles are strong enough to go deep into the ground and give you a sturdy base. They can be metallic poles or wooden poles. The hammock should also hang comfortably without touching the ground.
The use of cotton ropes increases the comfort but then it does not withstand changes in climate and other elements as polyester. This type of Hammock is best suited for the hot climate since its rope pattern allows air flow reducing chances of sweating during a long nap. Though, you should be cautious in using it due to the instability created by the spreader bar hammock design.
The Mexican/ Nicaraguan Hammock
With first look you can confuse it with the Mexican Hammock since they are woven out of cotton and made of very bright colors. The difference between the two is that while the Brazilian is woven out of thick cotton, the Mexican/ Nicaraguan uses thinner cotton which is tightly woven and layered two times. This makes it great for use in both warm and cold climates since the weave allows just about the right amount of air into flow through. You can find them in a variety of sizes. There are those that can even fit four people comfortably. There are also a few that are made using spreaders giving them a more supportive surface.
As the name suggests it is meant to be used in out in the wild. It is made to hang between two trees and can provide walls, roof and accommodate up to twelve people. They also have built in straps in them. While suspended above the ground, it offers a good view of the wild animals in a jungle. These type of Hammocks are made of very strong nylon. They also come with features such as a rain tarp that keeps you completely dry whenever it starts raining. These rain tarps are not connected directly to the hammock. They are suspended on the same two trees as the Hammock but just a little bit higher up. They also have flaps on the side that cover the whole Hammock and arte anchored on the ground to completely shield you from the rain and keep you dry. The Jungle Hammock also comes with a mosquito net to protect you from bugs and insects you may encounter when you are in the jungle.
The Parachute Hammock
For frequent campers, this is the most popular type of hammock. As the Name suggests, it bares the look of a parachute. This Hammock is made of very strong nylon and is in fact the strongest in the market and the most durable. This explains why it is most preferred compared to the other type of Hammocks. It provides you a very comfortable sleeping surface and protects you well from the weather. The parachute hammocks come in two sizes;
- Single – a single person can fit in and there is a little space good enough for them to stretch and sleep for sometime comfortably
- Double – this type of hammock is big enough to fit in two people comfortably.
This type of hammock is very good when used in a cold climate area. The bigger it is the better since it turns into a cocoon and there is less chance of for your feet or head to be exposed to the cold weather.
This type of Hammock is highly favored by lots of people because they are quite easy and fast to hang and they can be tailored to hang in different locations.
The Mayan Hammock
The Mayans are generally the originators of hammocks and all the other variations of hammocks stemmed up from this one. They are Hand-woven by the local Mayan craftsmen using a diamond weaving pattern, a technique passed down generations through apprenticeship. They use either thin cotton or nylon threads and weave very colorful and bright Hammocks. The Hammock envelops the user just like a cocoon and contours with your body shape and size.
The material used is quite lightweight and comfortable. The woven nylon threads are not affected by the weather. The cotton woven hammocks need to be cleaned often to prevent mold and mildew forming due to surrounding weather changes.
The Baby Hammock
Baby hammocks have been in use since time in memorial. Many people have embraced this culture and designed special baby hammock beds. They have been known to provide the baby with that gestation sensation of the parent rocking them with their arms. Soft material is used. The baby’s weight is evenly distributed and there are no pressure points hence the baby sleeps comfortably, quicker and longer. Some hammocks come with an adjustment tool to the height of the baby. The Baby cannot roll over when in a baby Hammock. This type of hammock is not a smaller version of an adult hammock. These are specifically designed and constructed to meet the requirement that can make them a good spot for babies to sleep on.
When searching for the right type of Hammock you need, you also need to understand that there are a variety of different kinds of models as well. Things like:
- Ultra light
Each model provides a different amount of protection as well as storage and set up, so you will have to choose the one that works best for your adventure needs.
How do we hang up a hammock?
Since we have already identified ourselves with the different types of Hammocks, we can now learn comfortably how to tie one up. But before we do so, we need first to identify ourselves with some basic terms used in hanging a hammock.
- Eye – hanging loops at the end of the hammock
- Scale lines – the lines that connect the lines with the bed
- Bed – the part you sleep on!
Apart from that we also need to know some of the gears you can use to set up a hammock.
Some hammocks come with everything you need. Others, you might need to make a separate purchase of the gears needed to make a full set up. You might also require making other purchases to add on other needs you might require for you adventure. Some of these equipments include:
This is a very important part of the gear. When out camping, you are never sure about the weather and how it will change. A hammock tarp comes in handy to protect you from not only rain but also sunshine rays. Though, you have to know which type of tarp to carry along. There are light tarps that are mostly used to protect oneself from sunlight and provide a little shade. There are also the thick and larger tarps that are used to protect one from long rains and completely cover the Hammock. These types of tarps are called winter tarps. They are made of very heavy material in order to keep you completely dry. It is advisable to use the winter tarps no matter which season it is. The weather can be really unpredictable and it is really best to stay safe than sorry.
Tarps have a few different shapes and sizes and the way they are designed will determine how you rig it on top of the hammock. These cuts are:
- 4 seasons
- Hex or cat cut
The only similar thing between these entire cuts is the fact they the tarps will still hang over a rope that is suspended over the hammock. The type of cut determines which side the tarp is going to be anchored on the ground.
Trees are not that much a necessity when it comes to hanging a hammock. You can get a hammock stand and use it as the support to your Hammock. There are different kinds of stands and they all server a different purpose.
Hammock Bug Net
With almost the same importance as a rain tarp, you also require a bug net. Some hammocks cone with their own bug nets. A top covering that can zip over the top of the hammock so no bugs can get inside. You can also purchase a bug net that is separate since you may not always need a bug net. Bug nets are very light so you need not worry about extra weight and it is very easy to carry along. It is very advisable to carry it along everywhere you go out to camp even if you are not to use it. Not only will you be safe from bugs that spread diseases, you will also be comfortable.
Hammock Under Quilt
When camping in a cold climatic area, the under quilt keeps you warm by preventing your body heat loss to the ground. Air flow between the hammock and the ground increases your body heat loss to the environment and hence chances of you getting cold. The under quilt ensures that no more heat is lost to the environment hence keeping you warm.
When going to camp out in areas of cold weather, it is advisable to bring along this gear to help you stay warm and dry. It is used to line the inside of your hammock and it is sometimes confused with a sleeping bag. It works perfectly with the under quilt. If cold air gets into the bottom of the hammock, the quilt prevent you from feeling cold and continually keeps you warm.
These are one of the most important materials you would first get when you need to set up a hammock. Without these you are not able to hang your hammock. There are different kinds of strap materials that you can acquire. Each material has its own advantages. There is; nylon, spandex, polyester and other synthetic material. You may also choose between materials that have a low-memory stretch or those with a high-memory stretch. Low-memory stretch means that the strap will stretch as you lay in the hammock but won’t snap back as you get back up. This keeps you off the ground and will last a longer time.
High memory stretch straps will spring back after you get out of your hammock. This only means that your hammock will get lower and lower each time you use it. If you plan on using your hammock for a long time, then avoid those made with nylon since it lies under the high memory stretch category. You may use a series of loops and knots to keep the hammock suspended or you may a few pieces of hardware such as the carabiners and the ring buckles to keep the hammock suspended and secure.
- A carabiner – used to connect the straps of a hammock around the tree
- Ring Buckles – used to help in adjusting between the suspension and tension of a hammock. By using knots this become a lot difficult and time consuming.
With the basics now out of the way, when it comes to hanging your hammock, you need to follow these three steps:
- Establish a location.
- Ensure you have the required height and hanging distance.
- Chose one hanging method
When you clearly do these three steps, you are sure to have you hammock hanging in no time.
Step 1. Establish you location
When out for a camp makes sure to pick a spot that is not so enclosed and at the same time one that you will definitely like. With the right weather and the right location, lying in a hammock, for a few minutes, can be so comfortably satisfying. Always consider everything in choosing a location. Is the shade right? Is there adequate sunshine? Is the place easily accessible? Is it a place you would want see when you slowly open your eyes from that restful nap and how far are you from noise distractions such as road traffic?
Step 2: Ensure you Have The Required Height and Distance
The space needed by a normal size hammock in order to stretch out is around 10 to 15. Though considering this space requirement is affected by a lot of things. The major element considered should be the type of hammock to use. This will give you a clear illustration of the size of space you need to find.To measure the length of the hammock, you can acquire a tape measure. A good quality hammock is usually 13 feet longs. You need a distance of at least 15 feet between hanging points. To get the best results, tie your hammock 70 inches above the ground. Your straps to the anchor points should lie at a hanging angle of about thirty degrees. Make sure that the suspension length of the straps is about 41.6 inches. There should be an 18 inch sit height between the bed of the hammock and the ground. The Ridgeline of the hammock should be 108 inches in length to give you that curved cocoon like stance. Proper care should be taken during installation since a wrong mishap can lead to the injury of the installer or damage of the hammock.
Step 3: Choosing A Hanging Method
There are several ways you can chose to hang your hammock. The basic 2 are using either straps or hanging hardware. Straps are by far the most common used methods and very simple to implement. They are very light to carry around and will not be harmful to the trees you tie your hammocks on at all. Though, they have a negative aspect of not being easy when adjusting the required height.
Hanging hardware on the other hand is pretty easy to adjust the height required. There are several different types of hardware you can decide to choose from. Such include;
- Rappelling rings
- Dutch buckles
- Toggle in a marlin Spike Hitch
While choosing the type of hardware to use, you should chose that which will provide better grip and give a large bearing surface so that the pressure can be evenly distributed.
The beauty of these systems is that adjusting the hammock tension takes seconds.
You can also use the Hammock stand. Just tie the hammock straps on the hammock stand and you are ready to go.