Attaching a Rope Hammock to a Tree

What You'll Need
Rope hammock
2 long lengths of rope
Short length of rope or chain extenders
2 Hooks
2 S-Hooks

A rope hammock can offer the perfect space to swing, relax and sleep in during nice days. Setting up a tree hammock or even a double hammock and attaching it to a tree is not as complicated as it might seem. All you need are very few materials and tools and very basic knowledge of knots. The steps here concentrate on the basic single hammock.

Step 1 - Choose the Right Spot

First you have to select the right spot where to hang your tree hammock. If you are going to use two trees, make sure that the trees you have chosen have a thick trunk of at least ten inches so that it can support the weight of approximately 220 lbs. Look out for signs of disease, stress and choose one which has a good amount of leaves which will eventually be used for shade.

Step 2 - Measure the Distance Between the Trees

The trees should be of approximately 1 to 2 inches further apart than the full length of the hammock, measured from attaching hook to the other. The distance that the hammock is spread affects the spring in your hammock so if the distance is too short, the feel will be very ridged, with extra space, it will offer a very good swing, too much space and the swing might be great enough to tip you over.

Step 3 - Use Extenders

Extenders are used when you are using hooks to attach the hammock. If the distance between the two trees is slightly too long, or with time the hammock has stretched, attach a small length of rope or chain between the S-hook and the end ring of the hammock using a common knot. The extenders should be of equal length on both sides and not longer than 1.5 inches.

In case of attaching the hammock using only rope, you can avoid extenders by adjusting the distance between the knot around the tree and the knot around the end ring of the hammock; but use the same principle as for the extenders and make sure that both lengths of rope at each end of the hammock are of equal distance.

Step 4 - Find the Perfect Height

When relaxing on a tree hammock, your weight has to be centered to prevent tipping over. If you have attached the hammock too high, you will topple over every time you try to get on it; hang it too low and it will brush against the ground every time you swing. To avoid such hassle, the hammock has to be attached around 4 to 6 feet high with a preferred inclination of 30 degrees.

Step 5a - Attach the Hammock Using Hooks

Only use hooks if you are attaching the hammock to a tree which is in your property! Drill a hole at the pre-set height of between 4 to 6 feet in the tree trunk. Screw the hooks into the drilled hole and clip one end of the S-hook onto the hammock’s end ring and the other to your hook. With time, the hammock will stretch to its maximum length but if extenders are used, these can be shortened to stretch the hammock once more. When stretching the tree hammock tight, always make sure that no damage or excess strain is being induced on the bark of the tree.

Step 5b - Attach the Hammock Using Rope

Rope is the most preferred method of anchoring your hammock to a tree. Pass one length of rope through the end ring of your hammock and than wrap the other end of the rope around the tree at the preferred height. Make a couple of good turns around the tree, always making sure that the rope is well taut and then hold everything in place with a strong knot. If you don’t have the knowledge of how to tighten a Boy Scout knot, a basic knot can be used for keeping the hammock in place. The same procedure has to be done with another length of rope to the other end of the hammock.

Now comes the best part of your project: trying it out. Climb in and relax!