A while back I wrote a 3-part article on just a few of the hammock tips, tricks, and hacks that I could think of. You can read that article here to get a good overview of all the basics of hammock camping.
You might think that hammocking just involves finding a pair of good trees, kicking back, and relaxing. That’s actually not far from the truth. But what do you do if you can’t find any good trees, or if the trees are just too far apart? One thing’s for sure- you can’t just give up and sit on the ground. With a little creativity, there are plenty of ways to hang a hammock in nearly any situation. Here are 5 ways we’re learned to hang a hammock without using any trees:
1. Posts and Poles
Telephone poles, fence posts, or porch supports all make great hammock hangs in a pinch. You can find great posts to hammock from all over the place if you know where to look. Just be careful to choose posts that are big enough and strong enough to support your weight! These days, more and more national and state parks are adding hammock posts for hammocks to use, so this option will become a lot more common in the future.
2. Hammock Structures
Another cool option is the hammock structure, like this one made by Nidostructures in Austin Texas. These kind of structures are popping up all over the place in cities, colleges, and public areas. I really like these structures because they let you hammock with other people without having to spread out too much.
3. Hammock Stands
If you’re not able to find any good trees in your area, you might consider getting a hammock stand. There are all kinds of stands to choose from, ranging from ultralight backpacking stands to more permanent stands for your home. You’ll have to look at all the options to see what’s right for your needs, but having your own hammock stand is probably the easiest way to guarantee a good hammock experience.
4. Cars and Trucks
I like the car/truck option for when you just need one extra anchor. Sometimes you find that perfect spot with a great view and you just need one more tree. Having a vehicle to attach to makes it a lot easier to get your hammock set up. Just make sure that you have a good spot to attach to your car, or you might damage it! For example, anchoring to the bed of your pickup is a safe bet, but clipping on to your rearview mirror probably won’t end well.
Finally, you can always try hammocking from an outdoor structure like a pavilion, the side of a building, or a rain shelter. These kind of buildings are pretty common in public areas and state parks or national parks. If you can’t find any good trees, you can usually find some kind of building to hang your hammock from. This way you can still enjoy being outdoors and get the most out of your hammock.
But what if the problem is my hammock?
After trying dozens of hammocks, it's clear that some designs are just more adaptable than others. Out in nature, you don't always find the perfect two trees so you can end up using some pretty creative methods to get a good hang. The main thing to be aware of is what kind of straps you use. Most hammock straps use a loop system - if your hammock is like this, be sure to use straps with as many loops as possible because you never know what kind of situation you'll be up against. More loops equals more options to get your hammock working the way you want.
Looped tree straps look like this. If you have 15 or 20 loops per strap you may be alright, but some straps have as few as 3 loops, which doesn't leave much room for error!
A lot of hammocks come with a cheap climbing rope that you use to tie to the trees. If your hammock comes with this, I'd recommend an upgrade for a few reasons, but mainly you'll have an easier time setting everything up in any situation if you're not worried about your knots.Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas for how to stay off the ground when two trees aren't close by. Do you have any ideas that we missed? Share them in the comments section or contact us so we can add them to this article