How to Hang a Hammock Between Trees Easily?
One of the biggest fun to enjoy the hammock is hanging between trees and resting or lounging in it, that is your own cozy and private world above the ground, whether in your backyard or in the wild. How to hang a hammock properly with trees is a technical point every hammock hanger needs to deal with, I’ve introduced hammock suspension systems before, in the article, you can have a glimpse to hang a hammock with different straps and hardware.
In this article, I’ll give you some tips and cautions about hanging a hammock safely and conveniently between trees.
What trees to choose for hanging a hammock?
When it comes to picking trees to hang a hammock, especially in the wild, as a load bearer, trees at least should be strong and safe enough for holding the weight, in the other part, we should protect them from damage by using hammock straps rather than cords or ropes.
Here are some criterion lists you can check:
1. Trees are at least 5 inches in diameter with good roots, avoid dead trees. Most tree straps are around 10 feet long, so you could choose wider trees for safer hanging without concerning about the shortage of straps length.
2. No dead branches overhead. If some branches don’t have leaves, especially in the spring and summer, you should be aware of them as dead ones. In the autumn and winter, notice for tree holes and other signs of animal living, you don’t want to be bothered by them.
3. No spiders nest, bear poop, and other dangerous signs around. Life safe is the most important thing in the wild, checking around the surroundings before setting the hammock.
4. No heavy brush between trees, no rocks and stones under your hammock. Even an experienced hammocker can’t promise he/she will 100% not land on the ground, so you’d better choose bare soil ground under your hammock.
5. No branches or other plants impede the setup of the tarp, this is crucial when camping in the rainy, windy, or snowy weather.
6. Avoid shaded forests, pick a breezy environment, and a nice view is a plus.
How far apart should trees be to hang a hammock?
This is a common question for first-time hammock campers, for most gathered end camping hammocks, the length of hammock is around 11 feet, and the ideal distance between two trees is around 12-15 feet, it depends on your suspension method too.
Bridge style hammock is longer than gathered end hammock, and needs more distance for hanging, 15-17 feet is proper. For suspension systems, whoopie sling suspension needs more distances than buckles and daisy chain suspensions.
Besides, you should consider the distance for setting up the tarp, it shouldn’t be too close to hang it, otherwise the rain or wind could run into the hammock.
How to use trekking poles to measure distance between trees?
You won’t take a tape measure for gauging the tree distance when in the wild, so, any quick way to measure the right hanging distance?
Yes, with your trekking poles. Trekking poles are also essential items for hiking and camping, it’s often around 50 inches in max length.
Standing between trees, outstretching the poles, leaning slightly left and right to poke the tress, that is a good tree distance to go. If you can touch the trees with poles when standing perpendicularly, it might be too close for hanging a hammock.
What’s the correct height and angle when hanging a hammock?
There is no specific height for hanging the hammock, for a 12-15 feet apart trees distance, people usually wrap the tree straps at the shoulder or head height, and run the straps at 30 degrees down angle from the trees. At last, the hammock will be about 18 inches above the ground, an ideal height for sitting like a chair, lying at a diagonal, and easy to get into and out of.
One thing you should notice, because 30 degrees is a perfect hanging angle, so further apart your trees, the higher up the hammock should hang, to achieve a comfortable “chair height” off the ground. If your tree distance is far apart, like 20+ feet, you might need some tools like poles or tree sticks to push the straps further up, but it’s still a pain to pull them down. Or you could hang the hammock at a less than 30 degrees angle at a relatively low height, and put a structural ridgeline on the hammock to get the appropriate sag for sleeping.
So choosing a normal tree distance is the base for a success hang.
If you need a precise number for those hanging details, you can check this convenient hammock hang calculator, just put into your basic hanging information, it will show you all data you need.
How to protect straps from getting too much pressure?
When you thread one end of the strap through the other end’s loop or carabiner to wrap around the tree, one thing you might neglect is the going-direction of the strap. To avoid the end loop or carabiner from getting too much pressure, let the strap’s free end go through them in the same direction with the hammock, rather than going reversely against them.
You can see the picture below, the strap in the left puts almost all pressure on the carabiner, while the strap in the right goes through the carabiner in the same direction with the other suspension part, most pressures are set against the tree, rather than the carabiner.
How to hang two hammocks from only two trees?
Although this situation is rare in the outside, but you really need some backup plans for only two trees available for hanging two hammocks. Typically, there are two ways to handle this case
- Hang the hammocks like a “bunk bed”
Set the two hammocks about 18″ apart, put the light-weight person in the upper hammock. If you worry about the sag problem, just let you sleep in the opposite position in the hammocks. The biggest downside of this way is that will be a pain when the higher person needs a pee in the night, and needs some effort to hop into the upper one.
2. Hang the hammocks side-by-side with “spreader bars”
This method has no issues talked above, and you can easily talk or pass some items to someone lying right next to you. But this way needs some trekking poles or wood sticks used as “spreader bars” and some DIY skills to separate the two hammocks.
You need to prepare four pieces of cords with two loops at each end, like “amsteel dogbone”, then larks head the cord to the spreader bar and hammock suspension, see picture below.
Another option is, you can buy these “separating bars” directly from the vendor, ENO’s Tandem Hammock System offers two lightweight DAC poles for setting hammocks side by side, convenient to collapse and bring in the backpack.