Hanging a hammock with a rope sounds like something only people who are outdoorsy or really good with their hands do. But if you look at the intricacies of using a rope to get this particular job done, it is something almost anyone can do. You just need to know the tips and tricks and that is what we are here for.
Whether you are camping in the woods or just looking to tie a rope hammock in your backyard, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Let’s start by hanging a hammock with rope in the outdoors.
There are three types of suspension systems to hang a hammock. You can use a webbing, a rope, or a chain. If you are getting a commercial hammock with accessories for camping purposes, you will find that most of them come with a webbing. These came into existence after campers realized that they were hurting trees with their hammocks by ruining the outer bark.
If you are getting one of those decor pieces for the house, you are likely to get it with a chain. But if you don’t have either of these for whatever reason, you still have the good old rope to fall back on. And it’s a pretty great option.
Table of Contents
Before Tying the Hammock
There are a couple of things you need before you can get started with hanging the hammock. For example, trees. Now, if you are out there looking for two perfectly-spaced trees, you are going to be looking for a while unless you have unbelievable luck (that we are jealous of). But if you have been doing this for a while, you know that there are a few alternatives.
Hammock stands, for example, are a great way to make camping life easy. You can get one of those portable hammock stands which collapse to the size of a golf bag and are under 20 pounds. This also takes the pressure out of camping only where the trees are. You can set up camp anywhere near a lake or a mountain top without worrying about what to do with your hammock.
If you do have that amazing luck and have managed to find a couple of sturdy trees to hang your hammock from, here’s how to proceed.
The Basic Method
Once you found the trees that work for you, here is how to proceed with the rope.
- 1Take the length of the rope and fold it in half. Collect the edges on one side and a loop on the other side.
- 2Circle the tree with the folded rope at eye-level height like you are hugging it. You could go higher too. Remember, the hammock has to be four feet from the ground. So calculate accordingly.
- 3Now you will be facing the tree trunk with the rope encircling it. You should be holding the loop of the rope in one hand and the edges of the rope in the other hand. Run the edges of the rope through the loop and pull it moderately tightly.
- 4If you have room, circle the tree with the rope. Start by going in the opposite direction of the face of the loop. As you are circling the tree, tuck the rope in so that your whole setup does not slip when you sit in the hammock.
- 5After circling the tree, run the edges of the rope through the loop again and pull them. This is just to make it extra tight. Pull it straight up and not downwards.
- 6Now, do this step carefully. Take the two loose ends of the rope. Run one end through the carabiner. Now run the other loose end through the carabiner in the opposite direction.
- 7Tie several overhand knots with both the loose ends on top of the carabiner. And you’re done.
- 8Clip the carabiners to the edge of your hammock and you are good to go.
Do the same for the other side of the hammock and you’re done. This has been broken down into eight steps for clarity. In reality, it will take you no more than five minutes to do this whole thing. At least on one side.
In case you somehow missed the mark and the hammock needs adjusting, you will have to untie the carabiner and try it again. If the problem is with the height of the hammock, that too can be fixed by adjusting the carabiner.
This, by the way, is the easiest way to tie a hammock using rope. If you are feeling good about it, here’s another way to tie the rope for you to try. It is called a taut-line hitch and it’s a bit complicated so stay with me.
The Taut-Line Method
- 1Wrap the rope once or twice around the tree. Leave about one or two feet on the working end of the rope so that you can create a knot.
- 2Cross the short end of the rope over the longer end to make three loops. Thread these loops around the long strand to create a bigger loop. Pull them to tighten.
- 3When the loops are in a tube-like formation, let the rest of the rope slide back and forth. This can be used to adjust the slack of the hammock.
- 4Bring the short end of the rope parallel to the longer end and pull the working end downwards.
- 5Pass it from the bottom of the longer side of the rope and then bring it upwards through the loop at the lower end, making a "Q" shape.
- 6Tighten the knot and make sure it slides up and down with flexibility. This will help you adjust the height of the hammock. This knot will be on one side of the hammock and a bowline hitch on the other side so that the hammock is adjustable.
- 7Use the rope attached to the end of the hammock to hook both sides to the carabiner.
This is called a taut-line hitch and you cannot use it on both sides of the hammock. So if you are using this, make sure you know another knot to tie the other side of the hammock. Lucky for you, we already went through that together.
Now, if you are hanging a hammock at home from the ceiling, a couple of things in the process change.
Firstly, you want to use an overhead beam to support the weight of the hammock and/ or chair and you. Make sure your anchors are strong enough to handle the weight, especially if you are going to leave the hammock as a fixture in the house. And you will need some equipment. So, pay close attention to this part.
- 1Use a stud finder just to be sure that you found the right point to hang your hammock from.
- 2Mark the center of the stud and drill a hole for the screw eyes.
- 3Attach the hammock’s end to the screw eyes using ‘S’ hooks, short chains or a heavy-duty carabiner.
If you are out in the woods and decided to tie one side of the hammock to your car because you could not find two perfect trees, first of all, great idea. Secondly, make sure the weight hack of your car is strong enough to do this. And after tying it up, make sure you test it a bit before jumping on to the hammock. That might lead to injury.