Learning how to hang a hammock takes only a few minutes. And for most common hammock spots — think trees, porches, balconies, and posts — you only need one piece of gear.
Here are 4 of the best ways to hang a hammock.
1. How to Hang a Hammock in a Tree
What You Need
1. Locate two trees about 10-14 feet apart. They should be thick enough that they won’t bend when you hang your hammock from them.
2. Wrap one of the straps around one of the trees, then feed the end with the attachment points through the loop on the opposite end. Pull the strap tight around the tree.
3. Repeat the process with the other strap on the other tree.
4. Clip your hammock to both straps. Get in and see how it feels! Make any needed adjustments, such as reclipping the straps to higher or lower attachments points.
Full instructions: How to Use Hammock Straps
2. How to Hang a Hammock on a Porch or Balcony
What You Need
- Hammock straps or rope
1. Locate two spots on your porch or balcony railing that are about 8-9 feet away. (You may have to use trial and error to find the best distance.)
2. Wrap one of the straps (or tie a piece of rope) around the railing at one of the spots. Feed the attachment points through the loop on the other end and pull tight (or tie your knot of choice in the rope)
3. Repeat Step 2 with the other strap (or other piece of rope) at the other spot of the railing.
4. Clip your hammock to both straps or pieces of rope. Lay down and see how it hangs! Make any adjustments, if needed, such as moving one of the straps closer or further away.
Note: Using rope or hammock straps can damage your porch or balcony railing. We haven’t tested it, but putting a towel under the straps may prevent this. You’ve been warned!
3. How to Hang a Hammock with Posts
There are two main ways to hang a hammock from posts:
- With hammock straps
- With hardware
I’ll show you both.
What You Need (If Using Hammock Straps)
- Hammock straps
Steps (If Using Hammock Straps)
1. Install a couple sturdy hammock posts about 8-9 feet apart. (Or, if you’re lucky like me, locate a couple wooden fence posts in your backyard that are the right distance apart.) You could also install just one and wrap the other end of your hammock around a tree.
2. Wrap one of the straps around one of the posts, then feed the end with the attachment points through the loop on the opposite end. Pull the strap tight around the post.
3. Repeat the process with the other strap on the other post.
4. Clip your hammock to attachment points on both hammock straps. Lay down, make any necessary adjustments, then relax!
What You Need (If Using Hardware)
- 2 eyelets or fishhooks
- Drill and drill bits
Steps (If Using Hardware)
1. Install a couple sturdy wooden posts about 8-9 feet apart.
2. Drill a pilot hole for your eyelet or fishhook in one of the posts. Drill it about 5 feet off the ground.
3. Screw your eyelet/fishhook into the post. (I like to use a screwdriver here for leverage.)
4. Install the other eyelet or fishhook in the other post following the same steps.
5. Clip your hammock to both pieces of hardware using carabiners. Hang easy!
Tip: I recommend erring on the side of installing posts too far apart rather than too close together. You can always use rope, straps, or chains to extend your hammock.
4. How to Hang a Hammock on a Stand
What You Need
- Hammock stand
1. Assemble the hammock stand according to the instructions. (In the video I assemble a common design of portable hammock stand.)
2. Hook your hammock to both ends. Get in and see how it feels. Make any necessary adjustments, such as moving the hooks closer together or further apart.
7 Tips for Hanging a Hammock Right the First Time
1. Check with local land managers to make sure you can hang your hammock there. Some public lands, such as city and state parks, don’t allow tree hammocking.
2. Inspect the trees and surrounding area. If hanging your hammock from trees, check for sensitive plant life, animal nests, and potential hazards like poison ivy. Make sure the trees aren’t dead and won’t bend when you lay down in your hammock.
3. Aim for a 30-degree angle between the strap and the ground when you’re in the hammock. This angle gives you the best chance of a comfy hang. The tighter you hang the hammock, the harder it is to get in and the more constricting it feels.
4. Aim for the bottom of your hammock being 18 inches off the ground when you’re in it. This makes getting in and out easy and reduces the chances that you hurt yourself if you fall out. A couple good rules of thumb: locate trees that are 10-14 feet apart and wrap your straps 5-6 feet off the ground.
5. Use tree-friendly hammock straps. When tree hammocking on public lands, use tree straps that are at least 0.75″ wide and made of straps that go around the tree. According to Leave No Trace, this limits the tree girdling and damage to the bark. Check out our guide to the best tree straps for our recommendations.
6. Only hang one hammock from a tree at a time. We’ve all seen the photos of stacked hammocks. They look fun to do, but doing so stresses the trees. Not to mention the risk of falling from up high.
7. Use good hammock carabiners to clip your hammock to the straps or hooks. Many hammocks come with carabiners or S hooks. If yours doesn’t, you’ll need to pick up a pair to be able to clip your hammock to the attachment points.