Lake camping is incomplete without setting up a place to relax and listen to the beautiful sounds of nature. Hammocking is the perfect way to relax, read a book, take a nap or even sleep under the stars while being surrounded by nature.
However, many people don’t realize that there is a lot to learn about hanging 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 even suspend it above the water for extra adventure if there are available anchor points. You can also hammock up in the mountains, by the ocean or even in the city for some at-home relaxation.
The trickiest part is knowing how to suspend a hammock from a pair of anchor points. To hang a hammock, you first must find some sturdy trees to use. You can then use a rope to suspend your hammock using one of many knot options to attach it to the tree.
However, 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.
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 fanatic.
They are also very light so they won’t add too much weight to your hiking pack and they even come with carabiners for hanging. Also, these are tree-saver hammock straps that are one inch wide.
This means that they won’t damage trees and tree bark the way regular ropes and 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.
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.
Above the Water
Instead of hanging your hammock next to the ocean try hanging it above the water for a little extra adventure and fun. Some places, including the Caribbean and the South Pacific countries like Fiji and the Solomon Islands, have warm, shallow waters from which trees and rocks protrude.
Try hanging your hammock here, above the water, and switch off between swimming and sunbathing.
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 lot 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. There are many great places to hammock in the city. Some extreme hammocks have hung slacklines far above the rooftops in Austria, so you can try hammocking in the cities you’ve always dreamed of visiting.
Hammocking in the city will give you a unique perspective of the bustling, busy life that takes place within it.
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 looking 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 a human, 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 old rope to specially designed hammock straps that have special loops built into them.
The best kind of straps to use are 1-inch thick 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 pretty difficult, especially if you’re new to hammock hanging. This hanging method is not only difficult to perfect, but they’re also not easily adjustable once you’ve already tied the knot.
For new 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 you’ve picked your trees, tied your suspension system and successfully hung up your hammock, but the work isn’t over yet. Next, you need to try your hammock out so you can make any necessary adjustments before you go to bed down or take a nap.
First, try sitting down in your hammock. Your feet should be able to comfortably touch the ground, but 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 come 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 about 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.
Hammocking is a fantastic activity for a camping trip that will allow you to sleep under the stars without laying directly on the ground. Many people love the feeling of reclining in a hammock and hearing beautiful nature sounds.
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.