There is a multitude of ways to learn how to tie a hammock. While camping, there’s no better way to be one with nature than to ditch the tent and opt for the best hammock money can buy.
For someone who has never used one before, though, the idea of hanging one can be quite daunting. Fortunately, using the below methods to tie the perfect knots can make the process far more enjoyable.
How to Tie a Hammock
1. Tree Straps
Tree straps have boomed in popularity not only because they’re easy to pack, but they’re easy to use as well. They take all of the hassles out of learning how to tie specific knots that will keep your hammock off the ground, and they also protect trees. Made from high-quality, durable materials, these straps wrap around tree trunks and hook onto your shelter.
After you have chosen the perfect location for your hammock, you’ll want to wrap the tree straps at least 48 inches up the trunk of the tree. You then thread one half of the strap through the loop on the other half and pull it tight. The next step is to tie the hammock to the end of the tree strap using a carabiner or rope.
Within a matter of minutes, your hammock should be hanging comfortably without the worry of shifting or falling onto the ground. The best part is that numerous manufacturers create an assortment of tree straps at various lengths for the perfect amount of tension or slack. They’re just one of the many cool pieces of camping gear that you can buy.
2. Clove Hitch
Another popular method for tying a hammock is to use a clove hitch, which should prevent jamming and binding. You’ll also find that with this method, everything should be parallel, and it can be completed efficiently. Many people use clove hitches for sailing, gardens, and especially camping.
This process will help you to affix the rope to trees without any slippage. Here’s what you need to do:
- To start your clove hitch, you’ll need to take one end of your rope and bring it around your chosen tree. Repeat this process a second time so that the trunk has two circles around it.
- Take the long end of the rope and bring it under the second circle, pulling it tight as you move. This process is what will create your clove hitch, and you’ll want to repeat this process on the other tree for the bottom half of your hammock.
3. Figure Eight Loop
If you’re looking for a non-adjustable knot that will stay where you put it, the figure-eight knot is a great option. It’s another process that you can use to tie the rope to the trees that you need to hang your shelter. What we love about this knot is that it prevents damage to tree bark, which is essential for when you’re tying a hammock. To do this, follow these steps:
- Take your rope and make one loop around one tree. Repeat this step so that there are two loops, similar to the clove hitch. However, instead of bringing the rope through the second loop, you’ll want to bring it through the first loop.
- Once this is complete, you can pull the loop tight. It should look like the number eight to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
4. Heavy Load Bearing Knot
For many campers, the most important aspect of hanging a hammock is to make sure it’s secure. Otherwise, you’ll slip too close to the ground and be forced to make continual adjustments during the night. This heavy load-bearing knot is one of our favorites, as it’s highly adaptable and straightforward, even for beginners.
- Tie a regular knot around the trunk of your desired trees. Take the longer end of the rope and bring it towards you.
- While holding a carabiner with the opening facing you, thread the long end of the strip through the carabiner so that it’s resting along the top.
- Take the end of the rope and toss it over the top of the carabiner. This step will make it so that it moves from the right to the left. You can then take the tail end of the rope and make a loop. You’ll want to thread this loop through the carabiner again, and under the loop you previously made.
- Pull the rope tight by moving upwards, and at this point, you should have a massive load-bearing knot to put to good use.
Tips for Tying a Hammock
With the help of the above four knots and tying methods, you should be well on your way to hanging your very own hammock. Here are a few additional tips you should use to make the process even more comfortable.
1. Use Carabiners
Carabiners make the entire process more efficient, as you won’t have to worry about tying your hammock directly to the knot you’ve secured on the tree. You can find these devices in an array of weights, depending on how heavy you are and how much they’ll need to handle. Finding carabiners is incredibly easy since they’re sold in every camping store as well as big-box stores in your area.
2. Plan Accordingly
The planning process before hanging a hammock is the most important since it will tell you where your knots need to be tied and how much rope you will need. Make sure you choose two trees that are between 10 and 14 feet apart, depending on the length of your hammock. It’s always best to find an area with thick and burly trees that can handle your weight.
3. Prevent Bark Scarring
Bark scars typically happen when a rope is tied too tightly around the trunk of a tree, and it forces the bark to shed. This is why more people are opting for tree straps or webbing that gently disperses the weight without affecting the integrity of trees. As an avid backpacker or camper, preserving nature is of the utmost importance, especially when hanging a hammock.
4. Adjust as Needed
After you get the hang of tying your bed, you likely won’t need to make more than one or two adjustments. At first, though, you must make as many adjustments as necessary; otherwise, you’ll be uncomfortable while you sleep. There’s a fine line between a hammock that has too much tension and too much slack.
The more tension it has, you’ll notice the sides of the hammock will engulf you or you’ll have a thick piece of material along your spine. If it’s too loose, your body will bend into an uncomfortable position leading to lower back pain. You’ll need to find the perfect median for your sleeping needs.
Using the steps and tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to learn how to tie a hammock relatively anywhere. It’s time you began to enjoy everything nature has to offer without being burdened by a tent. As a far more efficient sleeping method, we highly recommend trying out your very first hammock.