How to Hang a Hammock – Use Proper Hardware

Bridget J. Sims

Relaxing in a hammock ranks as one of the all-time great pleasures in life. Being gently cradled in a hammock is a great excuse for playing hooky for an hour or two and just letting the rest of the world go by.

Hammocks can be anchored between two trees, wooden poles embedded in concrete, or from a specially constructed stand. But in order to make sure that the person lying in the hammock doesn’t plummet unexpectedly to earth, breaking a few bones in the process, it is important to follow several steps to ensure the hammock you hang has been securely fastened into place to support the weight of a human body while it is suspended.

If you are planning to hang your hammock between two trees in the backyard, lay out the hammock on the ground first and measure its length from the circular suspension ring on one side to the other. Then add one foot to this measurement as the correct distance you will need between the trees to properly hang the hammock.

Make sure you use the proper hardware to hang a hammock securely. Purchase eye bolts at least half an inch in diameter with washers and nuts. At a height of at least five feet above the ground, drill a hole in each tree completely through the tree. This is where you will insert the bolt on each side of the hammock, attaching the washer and nut on the other side in order to secure the bolt to the tree. Avoid using eye screws for hanging a hammock from a tree, as the threads on these screws can give out over time and cause the hammock to fall to the ground. Use a strong connecting-link chain connector (at least 1/4 inch thick) to hook up the round loop at both ends of the hammock to the bolt you have placed in the tree.

If your trees are not positioned correctly to accommodate the length of your hammock, you can still enjoy the outdoors by creating two wooden hammock posts. Dig a hole at either end of your hammock site, insert a six-inch by six-inch wooden pole in each hole and anchor the hole with concrete. Don’t attempt to hang your hammock until the concrete has completely dried. Each post should be buried at least two feet deep into the ground to anchor it securely and prevent it from tipping over once the weight of the hammock is added. Insert bolts, washers and nuts into the poles the same way you would for using a tree as a post and connect each end of the hammock using a chain connector.

Hanging a hammock between two trees or two posts doesn’t allow you any flexibility in moving the hammock should you decide to change locations. If you want your hammock to be portable, you can find beautiful eucalyptus wood stands. It is essential that you purchase a hammock stand built to carry the amount of weight you intend to place in the hammock while it’s in use so that the frame doesn’t break, bend or collapse causing injury.

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