The first mental picture that anyone gets when the word ‘hammock’ is uttered is a rope hammock suspended between two trees set against a tropical backdrop. While this was how conventionally hammocks were used, the love for hammocking has led to a revolution of sorts with an uprising of innovative ways to hang a hammock without trees!
Hanging a hammock without trees isn’t rocket science, but it may require a little more research from your end and a slightly higher budget (but this is not always the case). Through this article, we guide you along on the decision-making process to make sure you get the right solution for a safe and comfortable rest in your hammock.
Alternative Ways to Hang a Hammock without Trees
The following list contains solutions that are purpose built for hanging hammocks, and those that aren’t – so you need to do your own risk assessment on whether your proposed hanging location and equipment is suitable. Remember to choose locations where things won’t fall on you, you won’t fall far if your hammock support fails, and you test the strength of your equipment before use.
We recommend getting equipment that is designed to hang a hammock anywhere (like a portable hammock stand) rather than getting too creative with your hanging location and equipment. We know however that best plans do fail sometimes, so here are some suggestions that might work if you are caught out.
Hammock Stand (Good for Backyard, Beach and Hammock Camping)
Ideal for that beachside chill session or even at an actual camping site, the hammock stand is a great way to guarantee safety without testing the strength of your hanging structures.
A few things to keep in mind before you buy a hammock stand is its compatibility with the hammock you have (particularly dimensions), the presence of all the hardware needed for its assembly, its weight allowance and how portable it is. You can find our reviews and buyers guide on the best hammocks stands here including a portable stand with carry case.
When it comes to the portability, it is highly dependent on where you will use the hammock. For most backyards, hammocks become permanent fixtures and the stand need not be portable. Even if you intend on hanging your hammock up on the beach, the weight of the stand shouldn’t matter as much but it needs to pack into a carrying case. For a camping hammock, it would be advised to invest in something lighter so that it doesn’t inconvenience you greatly if you have to trek to the campsite.
Hammock Structures (Good For Public Space Camping)
If you are heading out to a public site that receives a lot of people who bring along their hammocks, then odds are there might be hammock structures there. It would be advised to do a little research before you head out to see if there are purpose built structures for where you are planning to sleep and how heavily they are used.
Posts + Poles (Good for Backyard Hammocks)
If you don’t want to spend money on a hammock stand but still want to hang your hammock in your yard, make use of the fence posts and poles around with hammock straps.
You may have to indulge in a bit of a brainstorming session to work out how to hang the hammock – but it’s something that several videos online can guide you through. Just ensure that they are of the correct height and are stable for maximum safety. We’ve got guides for hanging heights and distances between hanging points here to make sure you hang the hammock correctly.
Setting up wooden posts in concrete is also a great option if you’re willing to give the concrete 48 hours to set and if you’re interested in designating a hammocking spot in your backyard.
Vehicles (Good for Beach and Camping Hammocks)
Albeit uncommon, this has to be one of those ways to hang a hammock without a tree that has seen many people out in the outdoors through a good night’s sleep on a hammock! An SUV, pick-up truck or a Jeep works best to attach the hammock onto, securing the other end to a sturdy post or another vehicle.
When it comes to where on to the car to attach the hammock as an anchor point, consider the roof racks or the roll cage. In pick-up trucks, consider the hooks in the trunk bed.
Using a vehicle as an attachment point, you can easily maneuver to manipulate the angle at which the hammock will hang, ensuring more comfort, safety and a top nights sleep.
A Few Unconventional Places To Hang A Hammock
If we’re thinking out of the box here, here’s a list of a few places not commonly associated with hanging hammocks, but do the job just as decently. These include:
Under A Deck
Beams of a deck are a good spot to strap on the hammock’s ends to and is perhaps the safest option on this unconventional compilation of spots from where you could hang a hammock.
Between Two Picnic Tables
Tie and secure the hammock straps onto two adjacent picnic tables. The height of the tables and how close they are is an important factor to consider here as you don’t want your hammock to end up too close to the ground.
Unused swing sets, between the slides or even a soccer goal post secured firmly into the ground- all of these make viable options to hang a hammock off of.
On a Staircase
If the campsite you’re at is truly devoid of options and there are staircases with handrails, hang your hammock diagonally to continue enjoying a good night’s sleep. However, this does come with a certain degree of risk, lest you fall on the stairs and injure yourself. Not the safest- consider using only when desperate times call for desperate measures.
FAQs On How To Hang A Hammock Without Trees
Let’s take a closer look at some of the commonly asked queries on how to set up a hammock without trees.
Question: How to hang a hammock with posts?
Answer: See our guide for fixing distances and heights in our how to hang a hammock post for detailed info. Hanging a hammock with posts requires two posts that are 8-foot-long set at a distance of at least 12 feet apart, quick-setting concrete and eyelet/fishhooks.
Using the concrete, secure the two posts and allow them to dry over a period of 48 hours at least. Screw the eyelet/fishhooks into the posts at a height of approximately 5 feet from the ground. Finally, using the carabiners provided with the hammock, fix it in place.
Question: Where to hang a hammock?
Answer: A hammock is quite versatile when it comes to where it can be hung. While using two trees as anchors are the most conventional option, it is not the only one and you should consider branches or overhead hazards if you are planning to use a tree.
Other options include hammock stands, posts, hammock structures, vehicles and many others. No matter which one you pick, focusing on safety must be prioritized.
Question: How much space is required to hang a hammock?
Answer: Indoors, there may be constraints with regards to space, but outdoors may give you a lot more room to work with. In an ideal setting, hammocks can be hung when the attachment points are at a distance of around 12 feet from one another.
The hammock should sit at a distance of 18 inches from the ground with clearance to 6 feet above, and ideally have at least 2 feet either side of it clear for a gentle swing.
Question: How to hang a hammock with rope and what knot to use?
Answer: The use of rope to secure hammocks is one of the most traditional methods and tying the perfect knot is a skill you must perfect to hang your hammock. In terms of which rope to use, consider investing in synthetic ropes made of nylon or polypropylene.
Learning the Falconer’s knot would be your best bet. Other knots that may be useful are the shoelace knot, half hitch and taut line hitch.
Final Thoughts On Hanging A Hammock Without Trees
Where you plan to set up your hammock will heavily guide what is right for you, however the portable hammock stands really are the one size fits all solution for how to hang a hammock without trees. Hammock stands offer a cost effective, portable, safe and durable solution to enjoy your hammock anywhere, anytime.