How to Set Up a Hammock Properly: On a Tree, Free Standing, and Folding Hammock
Hammocks are usually overlooked as an unimportant part of a camping or hiking experience. This is because most people are focusing on using sleeping bags, pads, cots, and other areas where they can sleep while enjoying great outdoors. But hammocks are great and extremely essential especially on trails because they provide safety and comfortable sleeping experience.
Free-standing hammock stands are normally comprised of a couple of tripods and a ridgepole that hangs down in between them. The ridgepole is not attached to the tripods directly but it is slung on a cordage such as an Amsteel cordage. Most people use Amsteel cordage because it is sturdy, rot-resistant, and does not easily stretch.
The purpose of tying off the hammock to its ridgepole is for the compression forces to be solely on the ridgepole when someone lies on it. The tripods are the ones that usually take the vertical forces that are caused by the weight of the person lying on the hammock. As these vertical forces separate, the tripods will not carry compression forces that can be a cause of toppling over—meaning there is no need for any ground anchors.
3 Ways to Set Up Your Hammock
- In a Hammock – You can hang your hammock between two ends of a curve but this is not ideal for hiking or camping purposes.
- Between Two Trees – You can typically hang your hammock between two trees that are about 12-15 ft. apart from each other using strong straps.
- Using Two Posts – The posts should be grounded deep to provide a stable base. The materials you will need are rods, metals, wooden posts or other sturdy materials.
There is not really a type of hammock that is considered as a tree hammock. This is more of a way how the hammock can be set up. You can buy a variety of hammocks that can be hung on a tree that also come in different types and styles. There are tree straps available for you to hang your hammocks securely between trees.
Tree hammocks are very convenient for hiking or camping because there are trees everywhere. No need to find a larger space and have a hard time with stands or posts. You just have to find two perfectly placed trees to provide good support. However, tree hammocks can be unstable if not hung properly. Bad knots or finding wrong trees may cause you to fall to the ground accidentally.
Aside from hanging your hammocks between trees, you can also use stands to hang them. There are different kinds of hammock stands that you can use for different purposes.
- Backyard Stands – Backyard stands are designed with an inverted arc where the hammock is hung between the ends of the curves.
- Portable Stands – Portable stands are great for site to site trips. They can be set up easily and are sturdy to support weights. Wooden or metal poles are commonly used as portable stands but there are also made from fiberglass.
Folding hammocks are hanging habitats. They are very portable for travels and can provide roofs, walls, and accommodate many people. They are lightweight, easy to carry, and no bulky. You can set them up quickly and can be hung and used free-standing hammocks.