The 10 Best Hammock Straps
Why Hammock Straps?
But because you can hang hammock straps from most solid vertical posts or poles, there are generally great options.
Ahhhhh — there’s nothing like gently swinging in a hammock on a lazy afternoon, sipping a cool beverage as the wind stirs the leaves overhead. Whether you’re resting up during a hike, taking a nature break in your own backyard, or unwinding in your business hammock after a long day of pushing to get the reactor online, a hammock is one of the most comfortable and relaxing ways to recharge or daydream. But if you’re like many people, you might not be sure how to secure your gear properly, or even what it is you need to hang a hammock.
Actually, your hammock hanging method is a good place to start. You could use hardware that screws into a hard surface, either a wall or a tree, although the problem with this method is that it harms trees, and after you remove the hardware, you’re left with holes. Another way to hang a hammock is a stand, but most aren’t portable, and for many, a stand makes getting in and out of a hammock more difficult. You can also learn to tie special knots that allow you to use ordinary rope, but this is again a damage risk: rope cuts into a tree’s bark, potentially damaging it. This is why, out of all the methods for hanging a hammock, the hammock strap is arguably the best.
A hammock strap is typically made from high-strength webbing, usually polyester or some other durable material, that is thicker than rope. It won’t stress bark the same way that rope does, and the thickness helps keep it in place better. You’ll also see that most hammock straps have loops along one end, which lets you easily adjust the hammock’s hanging curve. And with no drilling or knots to worry about, you’ll be hanging much more quickly. Then, when you’re done, you can take everything down in a matter of minutes and head off into the sunset, leaving only footprints behind.
It must be said, however, that in one instance, you cannot use hammock straps — when you want to a hang a hammock between two walls. You need something sturdy to wrap the straps around, so a flat surface just won’t cut it. But because you can hang hammock straps from most solid vertical posts or poles, there are generally great options. Even square posts will hold up a good pair of hammock straps.
Hang Your Hammock For Comfort
Once you’ve got your hammock straps in hand, you need to know how to use them with your gathered end hammock. Don’t worry, because this couldn’t be simpler. For the majority of hammock straps, the end that goes around the tree (or post) generally has one loop; wrap it around, pull the strap through, then cinch it against the tree. Next, attach the end of the hammock to one of the loops on the other end. Many hammock straps come with carabiners or S-hooks for this step, but some do not, so you may need to provide your own. Repeat with the second tree, and voilà, the hammock is hung. Having trouble? Read on for a few tips.
If you try to hang the hammock high and at a right angle to the trees, you will probably not find your bed too relaxing.
One problem those new to hammock hanging have is determining how far apart the trees should be. You’ll probably need somewhere between 10 and 15 feet of distance; ideally, you should hang your hammock in a space that’s around 2 feet longer than its length. You don’t need to carry a measuring tape around with you to figure this out, as your results will be fine if you count the distance with your feet by walking heel to toe.
As for height, higher is not always better. To begin with, if the hammock is much higher than chair height, you’re going to have trouble getting in and out of it. Second, you want the hang angle, or the angle between the hammock strap and the tree, to be about 30 degrees, giving you a nice, deep curve. If you try to hang the hammock high and at a right angle to the trees, you will probably not find your bed too relaxing. Of course, you also don’t want the thing so low that you’ll touch the ground when you get in it. Most hammock straps let you quickly adjust and re-adjust so you change the angle without having to select new trees.
Once the hammock is hung, try laying in it diagonally instead of in a perfectly straight line between the trees. Doing so helps keep the hammock spread open and will prevent you from feeling claustrophobic.
Finally, remember that you’ll always need to choose trees or posts that are sturdy. Most experts suggest that you look for trees that are at least six to eight inches in diameter. And if your hammock straps come with instructions specifying any special restrictions, do follow the directions, and pay attention to all weight limits.
A Brief History Of The Hammock
Few things capture the spirit of summertime like a hammock — the symbol of relaxation and sunny days — but the hammock was not created merely for fun. The indigenous peoples of Central and South America rather used hammocks for safe sleeping. Lifted from the ground, they were less likely to be stung or bit by annoying or dangerous creatures and bugs in the nighttime. These early hammocks were originally crafted from tree bark but came to be woven from sisal fiber.
Christopher Columbus brought the hammock back with him to Europe, where sailors embraced the design.
Christopher Columbus brought the hammock back with him to Europe, where sailors embraced the design. Hammocks not only saved space but also kept sailors from having to sleep on hard decks or from rolling out of their bunks on rough seas. Even now, when modern ships offer far greater comfort, some sailors prefer to stick with the tried-and-true hammock.
Today, the hammock is popular across the world, from the Latin American jungles of its origin to the wilds of Canada and beyond. There are hammock tents, two-person models, decorative crocheted versions, those that use mosquito netting, and much, much more. With the right hammock and pair of straps, you can sleep in comfort in all kinds of places, making the humble hammock an invention that keeps on giving.