QUICK GUIDE TO HANGING YOUR HAMMOCK
Spending relaxing summer afternoons sprawled out in a hammock with a chilled larger on hand is the most peaceful and relaxed you will ever see me. Hanging your hammock is the same principle, whether it is between 2 trees, 2 cars, 2 buildings, or on a balcony. The settings may change, but the principles don’t. It isn’t rocket science, and it doesn’t need to be complicated.
HOW FAR APART DO THE ATTACHMENT POINTS NEED TO BE
It’s hard to get it wrong. Have the attachment points too close together and you will find your backside dragging along the floor. The Hammock Ridgeline Length is the name given to the distance between the two attachment points. It is a fancy name given to a not so complicated concept. Unless you are creating fixed points and drilling into a wall to hang your hammock permanently, you should be able to determine the right distance by sight.
The bigger issue is how tight or how loose you should hang the hammock. Most hammock novices overtighten the hammock. The thought of sleeping in something curved spells terror so they tighten the thing until there isn’t a curve. But the natural curve of the hammock is necessary to create a zero-pressure point surface. By tightening the hammock too much you will find the hammock cocoons you in and the walls engulf you when you get in. You won’t be able to stretch out much and will be forced to sleep in the dead centre of the hammock and it also puts more strain on the objects you are hanging it from, which increases the likelihood of damage.
LOOSE IS GOOD
A much looser hang will give a more comfortable night’s (or afternoon’s) sleep. Without the ropes pulled as tight as possible, you have much more room to spread out. The walls don’t rise up and cocoon you, actually making the hammocks much larger and more liberating.
A certain amount of tightness is down to personal preference, but there is an optimum level. If you can achieve a hang angle of around 30 degrees you can get an ideal level of flexibility and hang.
You don’t need to get a protractor out and do some maths equations. There is a simple way of setting your hammock up so you can get flat and comfortable. Start by lying in the centre of the hammock as normal, you should feel a bit of a curve at this point. Move both legs around 8-12 inches to one side. Then move your head and shoulder about the same distance to the other side, so you are lying at a slight diagonal angle across the hammock. Your body should be almost completely flat, despite the hammock’s loose, curved shape.
This means you don’t have to just sleep on your back. You can curl up in the fetal position, or sleep on your side and shift positions until you’re comfortable, thanks to the increased stability.
Without the pressure points of a bed, you should find that a hammock, hung correctly, gives a better sleeping position than even the softest mattress. Perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons.
What do you think? Where do you hang your hammock? Share your thoughts and join the discussion through the comments section below.