Outdoor Life

How to hang a hammock

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Hammocks are the apex when it comes to chilling out in your backyard.
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Hang a hammock for blissful outdoor relaxation

If you intend to do some serious relaxing in your backyard this summer you must have a hammock. It is imperative, although your other half may disagree. The first order of business is figure out how to hang a hammock correctly or you may find yourself doing a loop-de-loop and sprawling face down on the ground.

Most hammocks hang between two trees but there are other options available. You can purchase hammock stands with spreader bars if you do not have two trees from which to hang the hammock. A spreader bar also widens your hammock and may make it more comfortable.

If you want to hang the hammock from your porch ceiling, or even inside your house, you can purchase hammock hanging kits that enable you to do this safely. Be sure that the ceiling will support your weight - or the ceiling could come crashing down in the middle of your afternoon siesta.

When using trees to support your hammock, each tree should be a minimum of 12 inches in diameter. If you are attaching the hammock ends to wood posts, the posts should be no smaller than 4 X 4. The posts should be sturdy and not rotted or cracked. Trees and posts should not be soft wood. Hard wood is required. Wooden posts should be treated lumber or a type of wood that is resistant to rot, which can happen when wood is exposed to moisture.

When using posts as anchors, the hole should be at least two feet deep. The hole should be deeper if the soil is sandy. After digging the hole and placing the post in the center of the hole, fill the surrounding area with cement, letting the cement dry for two or three days before sitting in the hammock.

If you are hanging a 13-foot hammock and using spreader bars, the minimum distance required is equal to the overall length of the hammock.

If you are hanging your hammock from two trees and they are more than 13-feet apart, you will need to use a chain or rope to extend the hanging points. The extensions should be the same length on both ends and not extend any farther than 18-inches on each side for a total of three feet. If you go beyond three feet, the hammock tipping factor increases in direct relationship to how far the hanging points are extended.

The distance is more flexible for hammocks without spreader bars. The minimum hanging distances for hammocks that do not have spreader bars will be less than the overall length because bars without spreader bars are made to hang with a dip in them. They will not be taut.

The minimum hanging distance for hammocks that do not have spreader bars is two-thirds of the entire length of the hammock. If your hammock is 180 inches from one hanging point to the other, the minimum hanging distance is 120 inches. For the maximum distance add 24 inches to the minimum distances.

Keep in mind that the closer you hang a hammock that has spreader bars, the higher off of the ground you must put the hammock. The farther the spreader bars, the closer to the ground you can hang the hammock.

When using a spreader bar, the hammock will be four- or five-feet off of the ground. Without spreader bars, the optimum height is six- or eight feet off of the ground.

During the winter, store your hammock inside. Exposed to moisture, snow and ice, the supporting ropes and material can tear and fade. Proper care will extend the life of your hammock.


Ask the Builder: how to hang a hammock

Video: How to hang a hammock


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