HOW TO HANG A HAMMOCK
LEVEL: BEGINNER It’s the weekend. It’s beautiful outside. You have a cold beverage and some time to spare to lie out and enjoy the weather. Now you just need a hammock. It’s easy to hang a hammock if you have the know-how and the right materials. Get started now so you can get in some quality leisure time today.
Step 1: Find a Hammock Location Find a shady spot, preferably between two trees, posts, or any other location where you can anchor a hammock securely and safely. If you want to hang a hammock on your porch between a support post and the wall, be sure you can anchor it to a wall stud or to something else sturdy, such as brick. If you are using trees to suspend the hammock, be sure they are at least 6” in diameter. Helpful Tips You can also purchase a hammock stand, which is convenient because it can be placed anywhere and moved easily if need be.
Decide whether you want a simple hammock or a hammock with spreader bars. Spreader bars go on each end of the hammock and help keep the hammock open, which makes it easier to get in and out of. Measure your hammock, using a tape measure to ensure that it will fit and can be hung tautly between your two anchor points. You can decide how taut you want the hammock to be. Generally, for a fairly taut hammock, the distance between your two anchor points should be approximately 6” shorter than the fully extended length of the hammock. A looser hammock can be achieved when the space between the anchors is anywhere from 6” up to 2’ shorter than the length of the hammock. Remember that the more it sags, the closer it will be to the ground. If you need help, ask someone to assist you in stretching the hammock between your two potential anchor points to see how it will fit. If you want to install posts from which to hang the hammock, use 4” x 6” posts installed at least 3’ into the ground. Use a post-hole digger to dig the postholes. Mix a batch of concrete in a wheelbarrow, following all manufacturer instructions. Insert the posts and then fill the space around them with concrete. Allow the concrete to set for the manufacturer-recommended amount of time.
Step 2: Measure and Mark Measure out where your anchor points will be, using a tape measure. Use a drill or cordless screwdriver to lightly mark these locations in the trees, poles, or walls. Be sure the hammock anchors will be at least 4’ to 5’ from the ground, depending on how low you want the hammock to hang.
Step 3: Drill Pilot Holes for Hammock Hooks Drill pilot holes using a drill or cordless screwdriver for your anchors, also known as hammock hooks. Generally, most lag-style hammock hooks are 3/8” in diameter, so your pilot holes should be drilled with a bit that is slightly smaller than that. If you are installing hammock hooks into a wall, use a stud finder to locate wall studs in which to drill. If drilling into brick or concrete, use an appropriate drill bit tough enough to penetrate, such as a masonry bit.
Step 4: Install Hammock Hooks
Purchase a hammock hardware pack, which includes hammock hooks, or buy some lag-style screw hooks. Screw the hammock hooks or screw hooks into the pilot holes by hand. This may be tough going. Use heavy work gloves to protect your hands. Depending on the style of hook/ring combo you’re using, you can also use the handle of a screwdriver, a wooden dowel, or a similar object inserted into the eye of the hook/bolt to use as a lever to make turning the hook easier. Screw in the hooks completely until their threads are no longer visible.
Step 5: Hang the Hammock Your hammock will have rings at each end through which the hammock hooks will be inserted, suspending the hammock. Slowly enter the hammock to test that it will hold your weight. If it sags too close to the ground for your preference, raise the anchor points a few inches to compensate. There are a number of other ways to hang a hammock without hammock hooks/drilling or without a hammock stand. Hammock straps are a convenient and quick way to hang a hammock almost anywhere. Straps also provide more flexibility when adjusting for the distance between anchor points. Hammock straps won’t damage trees or other structures like hammock hooks. Rope can also be used to hang a hammock and works similarly to hammock straps. If using rope, you must ensure the knots you tie are secure to avoid the hammock from collapsing. Great job! Now get in your new hammock and take a load off.
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