How to Guide: Hanging a Hammock
There are few more rewarding things in life than cocooning yourself in a hammock on a lazy Sunday. The thought alone is enough to send you into a dreamy hammock haze. The gentle swaying sensation along with the rhythmic sound of rocking is the perfect antidote to life’s daily woes. Ahhh.
But wake up! There’s work to be done first. Once you’ve decided to buy a hammock, there are a few more steps to take before crawling in and checking out. But don’t worry, they’re all easy enough to do for even the least confident DIYers out there and Sleepy Hammock is on hand to help you with guidance and tips.
The most exciting part is deciding what type of hammock is best for you. We’ve written a guide to help you choose from our range of single hammocks, double hammocks, travel hammocks and children’s hammocks.
Then you need to hang your hammock.
This bit isn’t quite as fun but it’s the only way you’re going to grant yourself access to hammock Zen (yes, it is a thing). Before getting started, we suggest you read this guide on how to hang a hammock.
The guide will look at:
- Where to hang your hammock
- How to hang your hammock indoors (including measurements, kit and accessories)
- How to hang your hammock outdoors
- How to use a hammock stand
- How to hang a travel hammock
- Testing and safety tips
Right, let’s waste no more time and get to work!
Where to hang your hammock
Indoors or outdoors? That is the big question.
Of course, there are upsides and downsides for both. There is also the option of getting a hammock stand so that you can move your hammock around when and where needed (more on that later).
Hanging a hammock outside means you don’t need to worry about it taking up too much space in the house. It can also save any family arguments about which of the kids’ bedroom to hang it in. All the family and guests to the household can enjoy it in the garden. You’ll also get to fully appreciate the sunny weather when it arrives; nothing beats the gentle breeze cooling you down on a hot day while the chef of the house gets the BBQ going.
An indoor hammock will provide endless hours of fun throughout the year of rocking, reading and sleeping in their hammock. You don’t need to rely on good weather for it! Or, if the hammock is for the adults in your household, picture yourself cuddling up with a glass of wine and a good book on a cold winter’s night. You just need to make sure that you have the right surfaces to use as anchor points (more on this later, too).
How to hang your hammock outdoors
Firstly, decide where to hang it outdoors and look at what materials you’ll be working with. The three options we advise on here are:
- Sturdy tree trunks or wooden posts (with concrete footing)
- Concrete, brick or stone walls
- A sturdy tree branch
Once you’ve chosen the most practical option for you, you’ll need to take some measurements and make sure you have all the tools, kit and accessories needed.
Know your measurements
It’s time to get the measuring tape out, just like a professional.
You want the hammock to create a nice curve, rather than it being taut. To achieve this, measure the length of the hammock and add on the measurement of the length of the ropes or chains that you are using. Subtract around 10% of that measurement.
For example: 3 metre hammock + 1 metre of rope – 10% (0.4 metres) = 3.6 metres
Use this total measurement to roughly find a similar distance between two trees that you can use. Remember that a hammock is usually made with stretchy material and has a bit of give in it when you sit down – so don’t create too much of a curve. Unless you’re the Incredible Hulk, you’re not going to be able to uproot trees to help with creating the perfect distance. Instead, adjust the length of any rope or chain to get the perfect measurement.
To mark the height, ask someone to hold up the other side so that you can get a good idea of how it will hang. Make sure the bottom of the hammock is around 30cm off the ground, taking into account that all important stretchy material that might start to sag in time. You don’t want to end up in a heap on the ground.
Make sure you have all the right hammock kit and accessories
Check if your new hammock comes with the correct hooks, screws and rope or chains. If not, you can take a look at Sleepy Hammock’s fixtures and accessories selection.
Sturdy tree trunks or secure wooden posts (with concrete footing)
Follow these three steps:
- It’s time to get the electric drill out and make some noise! Be sure that the holes you drill are not as big as the screw size. Secure the hook or eye screw by twisting it in, then attach the rope with a carabiner.
- Alternatively, you can use a tree strap which are great as they do not damage the tree in any way. These handy straps are wrapped around the tree, tightened and locked into position. Easy.
- Tie the other end of the rope to your hammock if it isn’t already attached and, ta-da! – you have a hanging hammock!
Concrete, brickwork or stone
You might choose to hang your hammock between two outdoor walls or between a wall and a tree. Please check the condition of the wall very carefully as they have been known to collapse once weight is applied. The measuring method will be roughly the same as above but the drilling process is a little bit different.
Use a masonry drill bit to create the hole in your wall and secure a hook expansion bolt in the hole. If you’re drilling through a brick, aim for the middle where it is strongest.
A sturdy branch
If a branch is sturdy enough to take your weight and measures about 2 metres off the ground, you can wrap the two pieces of rope around it and tightly knot them. If your branch is quite high, just use longer rope or chains, but don’t widen the distance between the two hanging points.
How to hang your hammock indoors
The same measurement advice applies but the way you drill and secure the hammock will be a little bit different. Please check the condition of the wall very carefully as they have been known to collapse once weight is applied.
Hang from a wooden ceiling joist
- Drill a small hole with a drill bit that’s smaller than the welded screw eye or J hook that you’re going to use.
- Alternatively, we sell this Easy + hook which can be secured with four screws and screw plugs. These also work well for hanging chairs, when only one anchor hook is needed.
- Clip on a carabiner to each hook and knot the hammock in place. You’re more than likely going to need to use a lot more rope or chain than you would do if hanging outside.
If you have a plastered ceiling, you need to find the centre of the timber underneath it by using a stud finder or panel pins. To use the stud finder, you hold it near the wall and move it around until it lights up. This will show you where a wall stud is located, so mark it with some chalk or a pencil. It’s all very high-tech and quite exciting.
Hang between two walls
As with a plastered ceiling, you’ll have to use a stud finder so that you drill in the most secure spots in your walls.
Just as you would do with an outdoor concrete or exposed brick wall, use a masonry drill bit to create the hole in your wall and secure a hook expansion bolt in the hole. Hook on a carabiner and tie or chain the hammock in place.
Using a hammock stand
In a nutshell: a hammock stand will make your life a heck of a lot easier. It means that you don’t need to get the drill out and you can easily transport your hammock around the house and garden.
We have a wide selection of freestanding hammocks and hammock stands at Sleepy Hammock. Those on a budget (aren’t well all!) can pick a simple metal design. If you’re looking to pay extra for something a bit more stylish, there are beautifully crafted wood designs to choose from too. For the best value, our range of hammock and stand sets provide great value for money.
Hammock stands are just as sturdy and reliable as a permanent fixture, but without having to make holes in walls and trees.
How to hang a travel hammock
It’s really simple to temporarily set up a hammock on your travels. You’ll have to use the two trees method, using a lightweight but strong micro-rope that has an adjustable locking pin. Just wrap it around the tree and lock into place, ensuring that it’s nice and secure.
Testing your hammock
As tempting as it is to jump in your hammock with full gusto – don’t! You need to test it to make sure that it is safe. You can try slowly sitting in it or add in some weighty items one by one.
The most important thing to say here is that you should consult a builder if you have any questions or concerns about hanging your hammock.
Do not just drill into plaster – find the centre points of timber construction underneath it. Otherwise, you’re going to end up destroying your walls or ceiling and have no hammock to de-stress in.
Use protective gloves when handling rope, chains, sharp screws and wood. Your hands are priceless.
If your hammock is indoors and the children are using it, it might be a good idea to hang it above a carpeted area or to get a rug that you can place underneath it.
Make sure that all the hooks, screws and knots used are as tight as possible! Work those arm muscles.
Once you have your hammock hanging in all its glory, it’s time to reward yourself for all your hard-work.
So if you’re ready for a hammock in your life (that’s probably everyone, right?), take a look at where you’d want to fit one and take a look at our range today.