Hammock camping is an awesome experience! To get out in the great outdoors and enjoy this experience, we are giving you the steps to tie up a hammock.
While there are many ways to tie up a hammock, we will give you advice on one of the ways to do so that does not injure the tree you are using as an anchor.
Some basics will apply to wherever you hang your hammock. Choose trees that are about 12 to 15 feet apart.
Depending on your hammock, how high you want it off the ground, and how much slack you would like, you might need more distance between the trees.
Make sure that the trees you have chosen are healthy, sturdy trees that will be able to support your weight.
Look into the upper branches of the trees, checking for dead branches that might fall on your sleeping place.
Once you have picked out the trees that will suit the purpose, hang your hammock using one of the three methods we have described below.
Tying the right knot is essential to being able to secure your hammock to a tree safely.
You can use a bowline knot to each tree for a non-adjustable way to secure your hammock, or you could use a combination of bowline and a taut-line hitch.
The taut-line hitch allows for adjustment. We will explain the bowline knot first.
If you are a visual learner, like I am, there is a video showing how to tie this knot at the end of this explanation.
Step One: It is best to hold the end of the rope in your dominant hand and make a loop. Leave enough excess rope on end to wrap around the hammocks anchor two or three times. Make the loop large enough to enable your fist to pass through the loop.
Step Two: Wrap the end of the rope around the tree two or three times, keeping the loop in your dominant hand.
Pass the rope around the anchor and pull it tight after each wrap. Doing this will help to keep your hammock at the desired height.
Step Three: Put the end of the rope through the first loop that was made. If you have inadvertently made the rope too short, start over again.
This time, give yourself more slack. It is best to have about two feet of rope to work with. When finished, make the ropes parallel to each other.
Step Four: Pull the end of the rope under the long strand and then back through the loop again. You will want to hold the short end of the rope so that it is pointing toward the anchor. The two strands will no longer be parallel to each other.
Step Five: Pull your rope tight to form the bowline hitch. To make sure that the knot stays in place, give it a firm tug. If you do not need the line to be adjustable, tie another bowline hitch at the other end.
Step Six: You will want to attach your bowline knot to your hammock. Use a carabiner to do this last step.
Just thread the carabiner through the bowline knot. Then connect the carabiner to the hammock.
Your hammock will either have a rope made for this purpose, or it will have a loop at the end of the hammock for this purpose.
Press on the hinged part of the carabiner and loop it through the end of the hammock, making sure that the hinged portion secures back to the carabiner.
Watch the Ways to Tie a Bowline Knot
Taut Line Hitch
The main advantage of using a taut-line hitch to secure one end of your hammock is that you can then adjust the hammock whenever needed.
This can help when you are determining the height of the hammock and how it will hang once you are in it.
Step One: Begin by wrapping the rope around the tree two or three times. Make sure to leave enough rope on the working end so that you have plenty to create your knot. Leave about one to two feet free for the knot.
Step Two: You will now cross the end of the rope over the long strand and make three loops.
With the shorter rope pointing toward the tree rather than your body, you will want to thread the loops around the long strand.
Do this so that they are enclosed in a big loop. Next, pull the loops tight. You will see that these three loops create a tube that enables the rest of the rope to slide back and forth. This is what will make the rope adjustable.
Step Three: Take the end of the short rope under the long strand of rope and then up through the lower loop.
Make a “Q” with the rope, making sure that this part of the knot is closer to your body than the previous loops.
If you get to this point and are running out of rope, you will need to start over and give yourself more rope this time.
Step Four: Pull the rope to tighten the knot. You will want to check at this point to see if the rope slides up and down easily. This is the action that will allow you to adjust your hammock.
It is not advisable to use two taut-line hitches on both ends of your hammock. The point of a taut-line hitch is to be adjustable, and having one on both ends will not lend to the stability of your hammock.
Step Five: You will want to hook your carabiner through the taut-line hitch. Hook the carabiner through the end on your hammock that provides for this.
Watch this video to see How to Tie a Taut Line Hitch
Lash Your Hammock
Lashing your hammock to a tree is a great way to suspend your sleeping quarters above the ground. Lashing is not like tying knots.
It is the wrapping of a rope in a repeat pattern. The advantage of a lashing is that it will not jam up as knots can sometimes do.
Even after you have spent the night in the hammock and the lashings have tightened from your weight, they are still easy to untie.
Learning how to do this lashing will hold you in good stead for any camping trip you take.
Step One: First, you will wrap the strap one or two times around the tree and bring the loops together, making sure they are in line with the opposite tree.
Step Two: Pass the rope ends through the webbing loops at the ends. At this point, you will adjust the hammock until you have it centered.
Check to make sure the ridgeline is level, and there is a light tension on the straps.
Step Three: Next, you will wrap the loose ropes end around the tensioned support rope. Put the rope end down into the space between the webbing loops and the tree.
It is wise to practice these knots at home so that you get proficient with how to tie them. It is never a good idea to get to the camping site and then try to learn.
Practice tying the knots with just the rope. Once you feel comfortable with that, use a tree in your backyard to secure your rope.
Lastly, bring out your hammock and give the whole procedure a run through. Your goal should be to be able to tie your hammock off without having to think much about the steps involved.
Getting out in nature is rewarding and impactful. Learning how to make yourself comfortable in the great outdoors will expand your horizons and make you glad you took the time to learn how to hang your hammock.