Hanging a hammock to enjoy the outdoors may be the best way to kick off the start of the warm season. You may be a fan of your own backyard or you want to take your hammock installation on a camping trip. Either way, you can select among a variety of methods to hang hammocks securely outdoors.
But what about hanging a hammock with bungee cords?
While there’s a variety of methods to hang a hammock, bungee cords have been increasingly used to absorb shock and secure objects without tying knots. For hanging a hammock with bungee cords, all you need are some heavy-duty bungee cords and a hook rated for the specific weight.
In this guide, we’ll break down the basics of how to hang a hammock. If you also want to make your hammock camping a comfortable experience, learn if you should use a pad when hammock camping.
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How to Hang a Hammock
If you already own a hammock or are interested in getting one, you need to know how to properly hang it. You also need to understand different suspension methods. Basically, the rope you use for hanging a hammock will largely affect how your hammock hangs. Follow the right steps and you will manage to keep your hammock from swinging.
Whether you hang your hammock between two trees in the backcountry or not, having proper rope is unquestionable.
Once you decide about the perfect spot to hang your hammock, you need to pick the right method to set it up. There are a variety of methods available, each with its own benefits and disadvantages. Your selection of method must be in line with how you plan to use your hammock (i.e., permanent setup on your porch or camping).
Necessary Equipment for Hanging a Hammock
Most hammocks in the market come with all the necessary equipment to hang them properly. Still, they may not always be a great idea to attach to trees. Therefore, you should make sure you have tree saver straps (ENO hammocks come with tree savers).
To make this work, you need to use straps at least 0.75 inches wide or more. Also, opt for straps made from nylon or polyester webbing. That way, you’ll be sure not to harm the tree bark, unlike standard rope, wire, or cord. Be sure not to attach multiple hammocks to a tree.
If you can’t find the right trees and don’t have adequate equipment, you should consider hammock stands. They give you the freedom to set up your hammock just about anywhere. You can even find stands on some campgrounds.
Hammocks can be easily set up using hardware suspensions. These include finger nines, large s-hooks, j-hook wall anchors, ring buckles, and lengths of chain. You will find this hardware quite easy to adjust to find the tension that matches your preferences.
Hammock hardware is way much easier to handle than tying a perfect knot, but it comes with a downside. It can seriously harm trees which is why we recommend combining it with tree straps. It provides a strong hold but is not mobile if installed in posts and trees.
Using Rope for Securing a Hammock
Most people use a rope to secure a hammock in place, but to ensure a solid hold, you’ll need some additional skills. It means you first need to master tying the perfect knot for strong hammock suspension. Nothing to worry about if you’re a former scout.
Ropes are a mobile option, easy to pack and carry and they won’t harm trees. On the other hand, they’re a bit more complicated than using straps and you need to secure knots for a strong hold.
Being the original system for hanging a hammock, the rope has long been the method of choice. It’s multifunctional, packable, and lightweight. If you’re a backpacker/hiker/camper, you probably always have it with you.
A rope is typically manufactured from natural fibers (i.e., manila) or synthetic fibers, like polypropylene or nylon. Contingent to the weight imposed, nylon rope stretches like a rubber band up to 40 percent of its length. Namely, even if you pull your hammock tight, it will sag under your body weight.
If you opt for natural fibers, you need to know that they swell when wet. As a result, the rope will tighten up by about 10 percent. Basically, if you use a natural fiber rope, your hammock will be stretched a bit during bad weather. On the other hand, natural fiber ropes may be a protection from insects, since they seem to be repelled by their surface texture.
Characteristics of Rope
- Supported weight. Basically, you can use any rope under 1-inch in diameter to hang a hammock. To calculate a rope’s strength, multiply the diameter of the rope by itself, three times. Then multiply the result by 2,000. You get the number of pounds a rope can support.
- Flexibility. To properly hang the hammock, you need a flexible rope, meaning that the construction of the rope is important. If the strands of a rope are tightly wrapped, flexibility is often compromised. The best rope for hanging a hammock, either natural or synthetic, is a “soft laid” or “lang lay” rope.
- Design and style. You can find a rope in different colors, regardless of its size, to match the color of the rope and the hammock.
The great thing about hammocks and camping is that you can hammock camp almost anywhere! However, if you prefer staying on your porch, patio, or in your backyard, hammock stands may be the right choice. They are easy to set up and can be moved around. Their size may be somewhat challenging to transport. It also takes lots of time to disassemble them on a camping trip can be time-consuming.
Still, if you’re time-relaxed and have a perfect spot, a hammock stand will work great for you. It gives you the freedom and flexibility you actually need to fully relax. They also come in different styles and designs.
Tree Straps for Hanging Hammocks
Tree straps are probably the easiest way to hang your hammock. And they will not harm the tree bark. You can use them on a camping trip and on your porches and patios.
Tree straps are compact, portable, and lightweight which makes them perfect for camping. They’re adjustable, but can’t be used on walls.
The new straps available in the market come with a built-in primary loop. The primary loop is the one you pass the strap through to attach it to the tree. They also have multiple loops on the other end that allow you to easily adjust where you attach your carabiner.
As a result, you can hook not just on trees but around boulders, as well. This is great because you can’t always find perfectly spaced trees.
Using Bungee Cords for Hanging a Hammock
A bungee cord or a shock cord is an elastic cord comprising the elastic core, typically covered in a woven cotton or polypropylene sheath. The sheath itself is not flexible. However, its strands are spirally braided around the core which gets squeezed by a longitudinal pull.
Thereby, the core’s elastic compression is transmitted to the longitudinal extension of the sheath and cord. Some bungee cords are made entirely of elastic strands.
Bungee cords have been used for man purposes – from small homebuilt aircraft and parachuting to bungee chairs and bungee jumping.
Nowadays, bungee cords are often used to absorb shock and secure objects without tying knots. Low-budget bungee cords have metal or plastic hooks on each end and are known as jockey straps. It may be an individual strap or a set of four hooked straps held together by a metal ring. You can use them to secure luggage to a car roof rack.
But also, in a form of a coarse net of bungee cords with metal or plastic hooks on the periphery, to secure loads of luggage and cargo on car roofs, pickup trucks, etc.
Bungee cord is available in different diameters ranging from 1/8 inch with a tensile strength of 100 pounds to 1/2 inch with a tensile strength of 450 pounds. Most of them are comprised of a top-quality rubber fiber core and a nylon/polyester outer jacket. As a result, they can stretch 120% to 140% in length.
How to Hang a Hammock With Bungee Cords?
You can easily anchor your hammock using heavy-duty bungee cords. The cords need to be wide enough to go around the trees and you’ll need a hook rated for the weight you need. Here are some tips on how to hang a hammock using bungee ropes.
- In the ideal situation, the trees should be thirteen feet apart. Nevertheless, you can work within bigger or smaller distances. All it takes is adjusting the height of the hammock.
- The ends of the hammock should be around six feet above the ground so to keep you above the ground when you sit or lay. Start by looping the ends of the bungee around the tree so it’s close-fitting and makes a tension point that will hold and support the cord. Do the same with the other tree.
- Finish by hooking the ends of your hammock onto the bungee hooks.
- However experienced you may be with hammock camping, be sure to regularly check your straps and hooks. If necessary, replace them to keep your hammock safe.