How to Hang a Hammock Without Trees

Written By Matthew Cordero

When you are outdoors and looking for a nice place to hang your hammock, the instinct is always to find a couple of trees. And that works out great if you are out camping in the woods. But what happens when there are no trees around? At least not sturdy ones that can take the weight of a person in a hammock? Not to worry. 

Man on Smartphone

Just because there aren’t any trees around does not mean you have to pack up your hammock and sit on a chair. If you focus on the problem for a couple of minutes, you will realize that we are surrounded by structures that can be used to hang a hammock without trees. If you can’t think of any, that is fine too. It’s why you are here, isn’t it? 

Now, a lot depends on the design of the hammock itself and we will get to that in a minute. But if you have the right kind of hammock, here are a few substitutes to two strong trees.

You might think this is a dumb suggestion but you know it works and it might even be the case that you did not think of it right away. From fence posts to telephone poles, there are a lot of vertically upright structures that are safe and can play substitute to tall trees.

If the plan is to camp in national parks, keep an eye out for hammock posts. The authorities are installing some of these, specifically to keep you away from trees and help you out. And also because these are becoming increasingly with tourists and campers.  

Alternatively, you could do the same with concrete posts of different kinds. And here are a few things to note, before you jump into it. The porch post needs to be roughly 5 x 5 inches so that it can be used to mimic trees. The height of the posts does not matter as long as they are tall enough to hold the hammock above the ground.

Obviously, the distance between the posts should be a little more than the length of the hammock itself so that you don’t end up on the floor. The posts need to be dug into the ground with enough depth. Otherwise, they might uproot themselves when you hit the hammock. That can be dangerous too.  

Buy a Hammock Stand

It’s true. It can get exhausting to be on a trip but not be able to enjoy the drive because you are constantly on the lookout for a spot with trees where you can hang your hammock. That is not how drives on the way to a holiday spot work.

Hammock on the Beach

If only there was a piece of equipment that makes sure that no matter where you set up camp, the hammock is taken care of so that you can sit back and enjoy the drive to the location! Well, there is one. 

If you haven’t heard of them already, hammock stands are becoming a pretty popular product with campers. There is a variety of them in the market ranging from about 9 to 15 feet. Some of them are also designed to save space so that it is easy for you to carry them around.

If you get a heavy-duty hammock stand, more than one of you can get into the hammock at a time. And most of them are quite easy to assemble and take down. Isn’t that nice?

Get a Hammock Structure

The things that we have constructed in our urban spaces have made it very difficult for us to enjoy nature the way that we want to. But, maybe the same construction mentality can help us fix the problem.

With many people going back to the basics of camping, hammock structures are popping up all over. This isn’t something you can carry around like a hammock stand but if you are lucky, maybe the place you are going to already has a hammock structure. 

What is it? It is more than a stand. A hammock structure usually looks something like a frame and is built to accommodate more than one hammock in the same space. A lot of these hammock structures are made of wood or metal. They are especially popular in holiday resorts.

It is possible that you have seen pictures or videos on travel sites (if not social media) about people waking up to a stunning view from a hammock that has been tied at an unbelievable altitude. These feats are achieved by building hammock structures. So even if your holiday is not camping in the woods, maybe you can call up your resort and ask them if they have one of these.    

Find a Couple of Cars

If all that talk about holiday resorts and hammock structures puts you to sleep, here’s a refreshingly gritty way of doing it. Let’s just get in the dirt and get it done the old-school way. Get a couple of cars or trucks and let’s get to work. Most of them have roof racks that are sturdy enough to take your weight anyway. 

Car Camping

And frankly, this is what happens quite often. You are out there in nature, you found a great view and you found a tree. The only reason you don’t want to stop is that there is no second tree for you to tie your hammock, for shame! So here’s the solution to that. If you know what you are doing, one tree is good enough.

All you need to do is find the right anchor on your car or truck (again, like a roof rack). In fact, attaching the other side of the hammock to a vehicle has its own benefits. For example, you can move it back and forth to adjust the height of the hammock. So next time you’re stuck, remember that you are traveling with the solution.  

Do You See a Building Anywhere?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Beggars can’t be choosers. Whatever your motto, sometimes we know that the unusual solution is the one that works.

Even if you are in a state park, it is quite easy to spot a building, right? Check it out for a couple of strong poles. Or from what we have just learned, even one sturdy pole is good enough. 

See if there is an outdoor structure like a rain shelter or a pavilion. These things often come with strong posts to support the structure. Maybe one of those poles is just strong enough for you to couple it with your car’s roof rack and tie a hammock.

This is also particularly helpful if you don’t want to go too far away from civilization but don’t want to compromise on the outdoor experience either. Just make sure you have strong hooks while attaching your hammock to a building. 

If you are good with pitching tents then you could also set up a pole on one side and attach the other end to your car. There really are many ways to do this.

Design and Tools

We have discussed the many ways of tying a hammock without a tree. While most of those solutions keep in mind that this is a travel situation, you can actually hang a hammock even in your house. It is a great piece of decor in any room of the house.

Backyard Hammocking

It is a pretty great place to lie down with a book and cheat some of that holiday joy into your life. And if you just want to take a nap in there, that’s fine too. 

If you are hanging a hammock in the house from the ceiling, you will need a few tools. You will need some heavy-duty hardware hooks and screws for suspension. These are used to secure the anchor points from the ceiling or the hammock itself between posts.

Try and avoid metal studs if you are going to anchor heavy items on them. Metal studs bend and lead to structural damage leaving you with expensive repairs instead of the joy of a hammock. Use wooden studs, especially if you are hanging the hammock from the ceiling. 

The second piece of equipment you will need are cords and ropes. You will need them to tie a secure knot. If you are not confident about ropes, get a chain. They can also be used as ‘S’ hooks and are easy to adjust. Chains are strong and durable and you don’t have to worry about wear and tear. 

Now that we have covered materials, here’s a couple of things to keep in mind before hanging the hammock. 

If you’re doing this at home, learn about the load-bearing walls and drywalls in your house. Find the stud behind drywalls and hang the hammock from there. This is not the time to pull out rusty raw materials you have lying around.

Get the best quality materials, because if it is at home you never know who will jump into it. And if you’re taking it out for a camping trip, even though you know who’s going to be in it, you want it to work in all climates and with or without trees.

There are also ways to build an entire frame using the tools from a hardware store. Also, the thumb rule is to make a hammock that can handle about 300 pounds of weight.

Hopefully, this will get you through. Happy hammocking!