Many beginners who are going to enjoy the wilderness on a hammock find it difficult to set up their hammock. Yes, there is a learning curve associated with setting the hammock camp in the right way. But with a little bit of learning and practice, you would be all set to make your hammock camping a success.
To get a good idea of how to hang your hammock one must try it in the backyard. It helps you get to familiarize the process of setting up your hammock and also lets you know what works and what does not.
How to Hang your Hammock between two trees
1. Finding the Perfect Set of Trees
Finding the right camp is the first step but it is also important to find a set of two trees at a perfect distance. While hammock camping does not depend upon the type and condition of the terrain if you are camping in winter you must look for natural shelters. These natural shelters will act as a wind barrier and protect you from the cold breezes.
There are some considerations you need to make in order to find the right set of trees for hanging your hammock.
- If the distance between the trees is too much then you have to hang your hammock very high.
- If the gap between the trees is small then you may not be able to set your hammock.
- If your tarp is longer than your hammock then you need to consider that too.
- If your hammock’s loop is too long you need to consider that too.
Then, what is the ideal distance between two trees for setting up the Hammock?
The ideal gap is 12-15 ft with a usual hammock length of 10 feet or about. If your hammock’s length or loop’s length is more then you have to counter those with a wider set of trees.
Another important thing to notice while selecting your trees is that the trees should be at least 6’’ (inches) thick. Don’t select trees that are too flexible.
But How do you measure the distance between two trees?
Of course, you will not be carrying any measuring tape to the wild, so how do you measure if the distance between the two trees is perfect for me or not?
Solution No-1: Count your paces
One brisk pace is approximately 2.5 feet long so count your paces to find out if they are a perfect choice. If the pace kNnncount is 5-6 then it is suitable for hanging your hammock.
Solution 2: Lay your Tarp or Hammock
Another solution is to lay your hammock or tarp between the trees and you can judge the distance between the two ends of the trees.
One more thing you need to consider while selecting your pair of trees is the size of your tarp or rainfly. If your tap is about 12 feet long then you should consider trees that are at least 20-24 feet distance from each other. This gives a clear area of 4-6 feet between each end of the tarp and the trees.
Now once you have found your trees it’s time to hang your hammock.
2. Hanging the hammock between two Trees
Hanging the hammock includes a few processes:
Hanging the suspension or loop-
The first step is to hang the suspension from the tree. One of the common doubts in the minds of beginners is how high should the suspension be. To hang your hammock at a suitable distance from the ground hang your suspension at your head level or at a height of 6 feet(approximately).
Wrap your suspension around the tree and make sure it is flat around the trunk of the tree.
Attach the Hammock-
Attach the hammock to the suspensions at both ends. Use the hammock continuous loop at both ends to attach it to the suspension through a becket hitch knot.
Some people like to use the marlinespike hitch knot to tie the hammock suspension onto the straps.
Now once they are attached just open up the hammock properly to finish the setup.
One little hack to secure your hammock from not touching the ground from your weight is to wrap it around the tree 3-to 4 times. It will support your weight better.
Apart from the suspensions, you can hang your hammock through tree straps or tree huggers. These tree straps have loops at different points to set your hammock at different heights. Wrap the tree straps around the tree take the loop end run it through the hole and tighten it nice and flat.
Some use ropes with carabiners to attach the hammock to the tree. This method is a bit tricky for beginners as it takes practice to set it right. You have to learn some knots and use carabiners. You can use any of the above methods to attach your hammock to the tree.
The next step is to check whether the hammock is hung right.
Use Hand Pistol Angle-
The best way to do this is to make a hand pistol with your thumb and index finger. The angle between the two fingers is approximately 30° and if the suspension angle touches the tip of both fingers then the hammock is hung about right. If not then try and adjust the end which is not right by loosening or tightening the suspension.
Distance from the Ground-
Another way is to check the ground clearance of the hammock after you sit on it. If it is between 1-1.5 feet high then it is hung correctly. The hammock should be at a height where you can seat on it. You can use the hammock as a chair to seat.
So, how do you figure out how to hang your hammock with all these measurements?
Check the Ridge Line-
How do check if the ridgeline is set correctly? Check the rigidity of the ridgeline it should not be too tight or too loose. Try to bend the ridgeline with your thumb and if you feel rigid at about 40-45° it is set right. If it crosses 90° adjust it by tightening or loosening any one or both ends.
3. Set Up the Tarp
A hammock setup is not complete unless you set up the tarp. It is the tarp that protects you from rainwater, snowfall, wind, heat, cold breezes, and falling off dead branches. So it is an important step.
A Tarp goes above the hammock so it should be set up first. Use the trees to set up the ridgeline and lay the tarp on top. In a cold area set it up as close to the hammock so that it accounts for a wind barrier.
You don’t need a tarp if it is clear weather but some people prefer to set up a trap for the purpose of feeling secure.
Do’s and Don’ts of Hanging Your Hammock
Setting up the hammock camping in the correct way is essential. Here are some do’s and don’ts associated with your hammock camping for beginners and they are as follows,
- The first priority is to have a good night’s sleep. If you are sleeping cold then you need the correct gear and the correct setup of a Tarp, and underquilt to keep yourself warm. If you are sleeping warm then also you need to set up the hammock and tarp correctly so that if it rains you stay protected.
- If you don’t set up your hammock at the right angle then the chances are you will end up sleeping very close to the ground till the time you wake up in the morning.
- Hammock loops should be at a nice 30° angle otherwise you will have to compromise your sleep in a saggy hammock.
- It is essential to have a drip line to stop water from getting into it while it’s raining. Use a backhand hitch knot to attach the hammock to the suspension or tie a paracord to the continuous loop to act as a water barrier.
How to hang your hammock leveled?
Leveling your hammock is important because you will end up sliding down and up at night. You will end up having an uncomfortable sleep at night. To avoid this there are some easy fixes that you can use to make this right,
- The first one is to look at the ridgeline to see if your hammock is leveled.
- Use a line level available in home depot or Amazon which can tell if it is leveled or not.
- Use your phone app to see if the hammock is hung leveled.
But the ideal setup is to hang the foot’s end of the hammock a little higher. Why? Because the torso part of our body has more mass compared to the head gravity will pull it to the lower levels. So you will never be leveled in your hammock. It is advised to hang your feet a little higher so that gravity levels on both ends.