Hammock Installation Guide

When you want to go camping, it is a good thing to know beforehand a little bit about hammock installation before heading out.

It is always best to be familiar with your equipment and how to use it previous to heading out to put it to use.

This practice helps to keep surprises and frustrations to a minimum. You know what you have, how it works and can concentrate on having a good time, rather than reading instruction manuals. 

Choose A Campsite

Hammock Installation Guide

When installing a hammock on your camping trip, one of the first things you need to consider is where your campsite is, and if it is conducive to spending the night there.

If possible, stay near water, but not in a flood zone. The attractiveness of having water near is that you can use it for cleaning your mess kit and bathing. 

When you install a hammock for sleeping, you will need trees. Choose an area that has trees available.

Look for trees that are about 12 to 15 feet apart, and that is sturdy and strong. Look up when choosing the trees you will hang your hammock between.

If you see any dead branches or rotting wood, look for different trees. 

Consider, too, where the wind will come from. Position your hammock upwind from your campfire so that you avoid the smoke blowing into and around your sleeping quarters. 

If possible, install your hammock above level ground. While the views might be spectacular, it can also be dangerous to hang a hammock above a ravine or cliffside.

The same thing goes for hanging your hammock over a river or rocky area. It would put a real damper on your time outdoors if you fell out of your hammock when suspended over dangerous terrain.

Make Sure To Get The Right Hang

There is a misconception that the tighter a hammock is hung, the flatter and more like a bed, it will be.

This type of installation is not the right way to hang a hammock. If you hang a hammock tightly, your body weight will pull the sides tighter once you are in the hammock.

The sides will then cocoon around you and wall you in.  The sides will also squeeze your shoulders into an uncomfortable position.

Instead of hanging it tightly, hang your hammock loosely. Having a good amount of slack will allow the hammock material to stretch out to its full width.

You want to be able to lay in a hammock at an angle, about 30 degrees. You notice that the center of the hammock will be the tightest, and the sides will stay loose.

When you angle your body in this manner, the hammock will flatten out underneath you and give you a flat lay without pressure points.

Bug Nets

Hammock Installation Guide

When setting up the installation of your hammock, don’t forget to include a bug net. 

As they say, the best defense is a good offense. Avoid setting up your hammock near places where mosquitoes are likely to be present. 

Areas of stagnant water or even the edge of a lake will often find these pests in abundance.

Some hammocks come with built-in mosquito nets. Those are great to have, but you might want to think about having a second layer of protection against those more persistent nuisances.

Some nets are designed for you to string the hammock through two open ends. These ends are then tightened once the hammock is inside.

The net is attached to a ridgeline by loops that are located on the top of the net. This type of net will have either a zipper or velcro opening through which you will get in and out. 

Another easy, less enclosed option is to get mosquito netting, frape it over a ridgeline and just let it fall to the ground and tie the sides up once you are inside.


Most people think about camping in sunny, clear weather, and while that might be ideal, Mother Nature often has different ideas, and she always gets the last say.

Rainflys are lightweight and compact, so it is smart to have one with your hammock gear. Several rain flys are explicitly designed for hammock camping.

They are usually made out of silnylon, which is a strong and waterproof material. When you are installing your hammock, take a few minutes to set up a rainfly.

Even if the weather looks clear and calm, things might change in the middle of the night, and you will be prepared.

Create a ridgeline about your hammock to suspend the rain fly. The fly is then draped over the line and tied in place with a cord to keep the fly taut on both ends.

Guylines will pull the sides of the fly down and keep them in place. If the weather kicks up, you can adjust the guylines to keep the rain out. 

Suspension System

Hammock Installation Guide

The installation of a hammock requires some type of suspension system. Many times cords or ropes are used. Using a bare rope will harm the bark on the tree.

It is recommended to use a form of webbing or strap on trees when installing a hammock. The webbing or strap will spread the weight of an occupied hammock over a larger surface. 

The bark on a tree is much like our skin. Bark protects the soft layer underneath that brings food from the roots of the tree to the leaves.

If damage to the bark on a tree goes more than 50% of the way around that tree, it will not survive.

The webbing or strap method of hanging a hammock is much kinder to the tree and will not do damage that the tree will need to recover from.

Many types of straps available will provide a safe and secure suspension system.

Leave No Trace 

Just as you should be careful not to harm the trees when installing your hammock, so should you give the same care and consideration to the environment around you when camping.

We have an impact on our surroundings, and we must minimize our negative impact as much as we can.

By using a hammock, you are already reducing your impact on the environment. Tent camping has more of a disruptive effect on undergrowth and plant life than a hammock.

Plan ahead of what you will need for your camping trip so that you are not bringing extraneous items. Clean up after yourself, and take any garbage you have generated, back out with you for proper disposal.

In Conclusion

Hammocks are a way to reduce stress and relax. Their natural swaying motion is peaceful and comforting.

Being able to lie in a hammock can look up at the sky or night stars filtered through a canopy of leaves is a wonderful way to get a great night’s sleep.

When you are preparing to install your hammock, following the simple guidelines in this article will help you make the most of your time in the outdoors.