Lake Camping 101: Learn How To Tie a Hammock
Lifestyle

Learn How to Tie A Hammock: Lake Camping 101

(Last Updated On: March 10, 2022)

Lake camping is greatly enhanced when you set up a place to relax and listen to the beguiling sounds of nature. Hammocking is the perfect way to relax, read a book, take a nap or sleep under the stars while being surrounded by the great outdoors.

Before you set out to enjoy your time outside with a hammock, it is good to learn, or brush up on, how to tie up a hammock. This includes knowing what kind of straps to use, how to tie a knot, and where to hang the hammock.

Thankfully, you can hang a hammock pretty much anywhere. You can hang your hammock next to the lake during a lake camping trip or on a mountain top where you have a spectacular view. You can also hammock down in the valleys, by the ocean or even in the city for some at-home relaxation.

The most important aspect of hanging a hammock is knowing how to suspend a hammock from a pair of anchor points. To hang a hammock when camping by the lake, you first must find some sturdy trees to use. This is the most obvious and easy way to suspend a hammock. You can then use a rope to secure your hammock using one of many knot options to attach it to the tree.

Knot tying is a skill that can take many attempts to perfect, so specially designed hammock straps can be a great, eco-friendly alternative for the novice hammock. Using hammock straps will help you hang your hammock quickly and easily so you can enjoy relaxing during your camping trip.

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These hammock straps are not only extremely easy to use, but they are also very environmentally-friendly. The straps have 14 loops spaced every 3 inches, so they are very easily adjustable and quick to set up.

You’ll have your hammock hung in under 2 minutes and you don’t have to learn any fancy hammock-hanging knots, making these straps perfect for the beginning hammock user.

The straps are also very light so they won’t add too much weight to your hiking pack and they even come with carabiners for hanging. These tree-saver hammock straps are one inch wide.

Because of the generous width, it means that the straps won’t damage trees and tree bark the way regular ropes and narrower hammock straps do. 

And in addition to being friendly to trees, these straps are also very friendly to your wallet. They are very affordable and overall a very great deal for awesome, easy-to-use hammock straps.

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Where to Tie a Hammock on a Lake Camping Activity

Next to the Ocean

One of the most relaxing places to hang a hammock is next to the ocean. Tropical countries, like Guatemala or Costa Rica, have some of the most beautiful spots to hang your hammock right next to the sea. You can doze off to the sound of the waves crashing and then wake up for some fishing or stroll through the tropical jungle.

By the Lake

If tropical isn’t your vibe but you still love the sound of the water, try hanging your hammock during a lake camping trip. The United States Northeast has some beautiful wooded areas abundant with serene lakes.

The fall months make for the perfect time to go when the humidity is gone, the bugs are away, the leaves are changing color and geese are flying ahead on their way to a warmer climate for the winter.

High Up in the Trees

Anyone can tie a hammock between two shorter trees and hang a few feet from the ground, but it takes a real adventure guru to attempt hanging from some of the tallest trees in the world hundreds of feet above the ground.

Colorado and California in the United States are among the best places in the world to experience this extreme kind of hammocking. California Sequoias makes for the perfect hammocking spot meters above the ground if you can get up there in the first place.

Among Mountains and Glaciers

A visit to some of the beautiful glaciers in the world can require a bit of hiking through the mountains. Thankfully, mountains are full of wooded areas and large boulders to hang a hammock from.

Glaciers are one of the world’s most incredible and breathtaking natural formations, so why not take a break in your hammock and enjoy the view? It’s the perfect hiking activity.

In the City

If you’re a city-dweller, don’t think you have to travel far to an incredible natural landscape to be able to enjoy hammocking. Many apartment dwellers hang their hammocks inside. Not only does it save valuable floor space, enthusiasts tell of the benefit to your back when sleeping in a hammock.

If you have a balcony or patio, get a standing hammock frame and place your hammock on the patio. It will give you an opportunity to sway with the breezes and enjoy the hang even in the city.

How to Tie a Hammock

Look for Some Anchor Points

It may seem obvious, but the first thing you need to do when you’re planning to hang your hammock is to look for some anchor points. Anchor points are any two objects that are spaced properly and strong enough to support your weight in the hammock, usually trees or even large rocks.

When looking at potential trees to use as anchor points, first pay attention to their distance from each other. Trees that are too far apart will force your hammock to stretch to reach them and trees that are too close together will result in a lot of sag from your hammock, so look for trees that are 12 to 15 feet (or 6 to 8 steps) apart.

You’ll also want to make sure that the trees are nice and sturdy. To hold the weight of an average person, trees need to be at least 15 cm (or 6 in) in diameter. The trees should also have no signs of decay. Look above you to check for dead, unstable branches.

Set Up Your Suspension System

After you’ve found the perfect anchor points, it’s time to begin hanging your hammock. To do this, you need to use ropes or straps that wrap around the tree to which you can attach your hammock. You can use anything from a regular rope to specially designed hammock straps that have special loops built into them.

The best kind of straps to use are 1-inch wide and flat so they don’t damage the bark of trees. You should also make sure you’re wrapping the straps around the tree at the height of your head to make sure there is plenty of room beneath your hammock.

If you’re using a rope to hang your hammock, there are a couple of different methods you can use to set up a suspension system. One way to do it is to tie a bowline hitch. To do this, first make a loop with the rope, using the working end to wrap around the tree multiple times.

Then, pull this end back through the loop so that the two ends of the rope are now parallel to each other. Using this working end, pull it under the other end then back through the loop, pulling tight to form the knot.

Another method is to use a taut-line hitch. This type of knot is best used for tension lines, clotheslines and for hanging food, but some people trust it for easy hammock hanging. To hang this knot, first, wrap the rope around the tree, then wrap one end, the working end, over the other and loop it three times.

Next, pull the working back so it’s parallel again, then pass it under the other end, creating a small loop. Finally, pull the working end through the loop you created and pull it tight, forming the knot.

Knot tying with a rope can be a bit challenging, especially if you’re new to hammock hanging. This hanging method is not easily adjustable once you’ve already tied the knot.

If you’re new to hanging hammocks, simply using hammock straps is a lot easier. Hammock straps come with loops built into them and many come with multiple loops that make it very easy to adjust once they’re already wrapped onto the tree.

Hang your Hammock From the Suspension Points

Whether you’re using hammock straps or a rope, you shouldn’t hang your hammock until you’re confident that your suspension system is sturdy. When it is, you’re ready to hang your hammock!

Carabiners are by far the easiest way to attach your hammock to the suspension system. Most hammocks and hammock straps come with carabiners or other hanging tools, or you can simply buy them.

Test It Out

Now that you’ve picked your trees, tie up your suspension system and hang up your hammock. Once that is accomplished, you need to try your hammock out so you can make any necessary adjustments before you bed down or take a nap.

First, try sitting down in your hammock. Your feet should be able to comfortably touch the ground, and there should still be about 50 cm, or 20 in, beneath you, just like sitting in a chair. If your hammock passes this test, next try laying down just like you are going to go to sleep.

Some people prefer a lot more sag in their hammock while some prefer it to be pretty tight, but you won’t know your preference until you try laying down in it. The amount of sag that your hammock has largely comes from the suspension angle, so try it out to see if the angle needs to be adjusted.

Adjust the Straps

Finally, it’s time to make your last adjustments based on your hammock comfort test results. If you noticed that your butt was touching the ground during the sitting test or there was less than 50 cm beneath you, your hammock needs to be raised.

This means that you need to re-tie the suspension system at a higher place on the tree. Remember that head-level is a good rule of thumb, but if head-level is too low for you, try standing on something and hanging it a little higher.

If you didn’t find your hammock comfortable to lay in, the issue is probably in your suspension angle or the angle at which the hammock is hanging from the tree.

A high angle is going to result in a tight hammock with very little slack whereas a low angle is going to result in lots of slack in your hammock.

One way you can measure the suspension angle is by using your hand. Make an L shape with your pointer finger and thumb and hold it out so that your thumb is pointed at the sky.

Ideally, the suspension line of your hammock should run from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your pointer finger, creating a 30-degree angle.

However, some people may want a higher or lower angle than this depending on their sleeping preferences.

CONCLUSION

Hammocking is a fantastic activity for a camping trip that allows you to sleep under the stars without laying directly on the ground. Many people love the feeling of reclining in a hammock and hearing the sounds of nature around them.

There are many places you can hang a hammock, including by the ocean, in the mountains, or on a beautiful lake camping trip.

Anyone can start hammocking in any of these beautiful places once they learn how to hang it properly.

There are many different methods to hang a hammock using a set of hammock straps or even a rope. Hammock straps are by far the easiest way to set up a suspension system for hanging a hammock and are much friendlier on trees than regular ropes.

Try setting your hammock up at home before heading out on your lake camping trip. Practicing beforehand will help make the procedure more familiar once you are out on your adventure.

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