Hammocks are quite popular in the camping community. They are a great way to enjoy the outdoor experience, whether you’re out camping or just relaxing in your backyard. However, if you’ve never had to tie one, it could seem like a daunting task. Well, we are here to help you. Read on and find out how to tie a hammock.
Don’t be intimidated because tying a hammock can be just as easy as making your bed. With a bit of knowledge about the right knots and some carabiners, you’ll be good to go. This article outlines the directions and some helpful tips to help perfect your hammock tying skills.
Just like any other craft, there are specific descriptive terms you need to know. They mostly refer to knot-tying, which is essential when tying a hammock. Here are some phrases that you’ll need to know.
- Working end – The part of the rope that you are using to tie a knot
- Standing end – The part of the rope not being used to tie a knot
- Tail – The shorter end of the rope being knotted
- Jamming – A knot that is difficult to undo
- Eye – Loop created between a rope and a knot
How to Tie a Hammock With 2 Essential Knots
While there are many ways to string up a hammock, knots are the most common among outdoor enthusiasts. To safely secure your hammock, you have to tie the right knot.
For a non-adjustable option, you can use the bowline knot to secure the hammock on both sides. And for easy adjustability, you can use a taut-line hitch on either side of the hammock.
If you find the terminology baffling, don’t be intimidated. With a little practice, you can go from zero to pro in no time.
1. The Bowline Knot
The bowline knot is sometimes referred to as the king of knots. It originated from the early days of sailing and has a wide variety of uses. It has a notable fixed eye loop at the end. It is easy to tie and untie and with a bit of practice, you can even do it with one hand.
The bowline is good for load-bearing as it can hold heavy weights without loosening or slipping. However, one major caveat is that it can come loose when it is not under tension. Nonetheless, it is an essential knot every camper and outdoor enthusiast should be acquainted with.
Hold one end of the rope in your left hand and make a loop large enough that your fist can fit through. Make sure to leave enough excess rope to wrap around your hammock’s anchor two or three times.
Wrap the end of the rope twice or thrice around your anchor point, depending on the size. Pull tight after each wrap to keep your hammock at your desired height. All the while, maintain the loop on your left hand.
Note that if you’re using a tree as your anchor point, you may only have to wrap it around once. The friction between your rope and the tree bark will hold your hammock in place.
Now put the end of your rope through the loop in your left hand. If you find the rope to be too short, you may have to start all over again.
It is best to have at least two feet of rope on your working end. When finished, make sure the two ropes are parallel to each other.
Pull the end of the rope under the long strand and back again through the loop. You want to hold the short end of the rope such that it points towards your anchor. In other words, the two strands should no longer be parallel to each other.
Finally, pull tight on the rope to form your bowline knot. Give it a bit of tension to ensure the knot stays firmly in place. You can repeat the same on the other end if you’d like your hammock to be non-adjustable.
To attach your hammock to your bowline knot, you will need a carabiner or an S-clip for the final touch. You can buy carabiners at most sporting and outdoor adventure stores.
Most hammocks do come with a loop at the end for this purpose. Press down on the hinged, movable part of the carabiner and loop it through your bowline knot. Then thread the carabiner through the loop on your hammock, and you’re good to go.
2. The Taut Line Hitch
The taut line hitch can be a great alternative if you’d like your hammock to have a bit of adjustability. It can be slipped to loosen or tighten a line and still hold fast under a heavy load.
The main advantage of this knot is that you can freely adjust the slack on your hammock. This can be a good thing, especially if you’re not quite sure of how low you want it to hang once you’re on it. It also has a wide variety of uses and might come in handy someday.
Start by wrapping your rope around your anchor point twice or thrice, depending on the diameter. Be sure to leave enough rope on the working end to create your knot. You can leave 30-60 cm for the knot.
Cross the rope’s working end over the long strand and make three loops around the long strand such that they are enclosed in a big loop. Make sure that the shorter end of the rope is pointing towards your anchor point.
Then pull the three loops tight. Notice how they form a tubular shape that allows the rope to slide back and forth. This is what allows you to adjust the slack of your hammock.
Pull your rope’s working end (short end) back down until it is parallel and to the left of the long strand. Then pass it under the long strand and through the lower loop. If you did this right, you’ll have made a “Q” shape with the rope.
Ensure that this part of the knot is closer to your body than the loops previously made on the long strand. If at this point you find yourself running out of rope, undo the knot and start over. The point is to have a well-secured knot that will hold out.
Pull on the rope to tighten up the knot. Check on the knot to make sure that it slides up and down the long strand with ease. This is crucial for you to adjust the height of your hammock.
When using a taut line hitch, only tie it on one end of your hammock. It’s not such a good idea to use it on both ends, as this could compromise the stability of your hammock.
Finally, hook up your taut line hitch to a carabiner and connect the carabiner to the loop end on your hammock.
How to Tie a Hammock Without Rope
s for tying a hammock aren’t suited to beginners. Sometimes, all this info can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, there are a couple of straightforward ways you can tie your hammock without rope and all those complex knots.
1. Hammock Stand
A hammock stand is an incredible alternative to using ropes. Sometimes, hammock knots can get a tad confusing, leaving you with a messy pile of rope. To avoid this, you can go for the simples option and tie the hammock on a hammock stand.
There are portable hammocks that do not require a stand to set up. In a Mock One, there is an in-built stand that holds up the sleeping fabric.
2. Hammock Straps
Hammock straps are made from nylon and are robust enough to withstand your body weight. The nylon is woven into a webbed form which increases its strength and rigidity.
Attach the hammock on one end with carabiners. These hooks are attachment points to the straps. You are going to wrap the hammock straps around your preferred attachment pole to suspend the hammock.
Now that you know how to tie a hammock, here are some critical points to remember next time you are out in the wild.
Find the Right Tree
Fewer things seem as outdoorsy as hanging your hammock in-between a pair of trees. A strong tree can hold just about anything your throw on the hammock – as long as the ropes or straps are equally tough.
Make sure that there is enough distance between the trees to suspend the hammock. Fifteen feet is perfect for most standard-sized hammocks.
Also, a perfect tree will be thick enough to withstand the pressure from your rope. However, it shouldn’t be so thick that you cannot get the rope around the trunk.
Lastly, only consider living trees. If it doesn’t have any foliage on it, the tree is probably dead and decomposing. It won’t hold your weight, and if it does, there is a high possibility that it will collapse in the middle of the night.
Consider the Proper Height for the Hammock
You shouldn’t set your hammock so high up a tree that you can’t get onto it. However, some people prefer to hang theirs more a meter above the ground. They sleep better knowing they won’t be attacked at night by prowling nightcrawlers.
As a rule, tie the straps higher on the tree trunk. The hammock will usually slope towards the middle. You might want to keep adjusting this height as often as possible to get a perfect fit.
A hammock is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors. If you can carry one and know how, you won’t need to shop for camping tents. Also, once you’ve got it up, there isn’t anything else you need to do but to lay back and relax.
A hammock isn’t just for the wild outdoors. You can buy a nifty portable set to use at home. They are super easy to set up, and you won’t have to master any complicated knots.