Introduction: How to Properly and Safely Set Up a Hammock


During exam season, libraries tends to get cramped and dorm rooms can become suffocating. With a hammock, you don’t have to compromise studying for being uncomfortable. Hammocking may appear daunting and time consuming, yet with the right technique it is a safe and fun way to relax or work. As college students who have both camped and studied in hammocks, we’ve observed and learned from mistakes and feel that we are properly qualified to give these instructions. This instruction set will break down the steps required for hanging a hammock, so that even the most inexperienced user can set up a hammock safely and efficiently. The estimated amount of time it will take to hang a hammock with these instructions is roughly 10 minutes. Today we’ll start with the different materials that you need, how to properly tether the ropes between two trees, and how to safely enter a hammock.


Approximately 5 minutes to set up and 5 more minutes to tear down.

Caution: Ensure you take out your hammock on a clear day. Nothing can dampen your hammocking experience like some ill-timed rainfall. You may be prone to falling out of the hammock the first couple tries, so ensure you have a clear and grassy ground beneath you.

(All photos by Stuart Beeksma)

Step 1: Measure the Distance Between the Two Desired Trees

Depending on the size of your hammock, the distance might be between 10-15 feet. The easiest way to measure out this distance would be to take 10-15 steps between the trees.

Step 2: Tether Both Ropes

2.1 After throwing the rope around the trunk or branches of the tree once, insert the non-loop end into the loop on the opposite end and tighten until snug (See Figure 1).

2.2 Before tightening entirely, make sure the rope is wrapped around the tree at shoulder height to help ensure your hammock doesn’t sag to the ground. Note: If the ropes are too high, then you will not be able to get inside your hammock, so be sure to tie it around shoulder-height. Repeat steps 2- 2.2 for second rope on the other tree you have designated for tethering your hammock.

Step 3: Hook the Hammock In

3.1 Using the hook at either end of the hammock, lock one hook into one of the notches found in a rope tethered to the tree (See Figure 2)

3.2 Repeat previous step with the hook at the other end of your hammock with the second rope.

Caution: Ensure that the hammock is as tight as possible between the two ropes before proceeding. Also, step 4 can result in falling out of your hammock, so be cautious.

Note: You need both hands free in order to enter the hammock, so any books or blankets you want with you in the hammock must be placed beside the hammock and picked up once you are completely within the hammock.

Step 4: Climb Into the Hammock

4.1 Insert one knee into the middle of the hammock while maintaining balance on your other foot, using both of your hands to stabilize each side of the hammock (See Fig. 3).

4.2 Lower yourself into the hammock so that you are face-down inside the hammock (See Fig. 4).

4.3 Finally, turn yourself over so you are sitting or lying in the hammock (See Fig. 5).

Step 5: Exit the Hammock

5.1 Swing one leg out of the hammock and place it firmly on the ground (See Fig. 6)

5.2 Raise yourself out of your hammock with your hands to maintain balance.

Step 6: Teardown

6.1 Lift the hooks out from the notches located on either side of the hammock.

6.2 Undo the ropes by pulling on the ropes around the tree trunks, therefore loosening them and removing them from the tree.

6.3 If your hammock comes with a bag, fit both the ropes and the hammock inside the bag and tie it up. If not, feel free to leave the hammock in a pile and store it wherever you’d like (See Fig. 7).

Step 7: Conclusion:

Congratulations! You have now successfully set up and torn down your hammock. While hammocking may seem time-consuming at first, practicing both the set up and entry will diminish the time it takes to relax outside. If you are still having issues setting up the hammock after this instruction set, then we advise that you see return to the store you purchased the hammock from, and see if they have any further advice for a time efficient and easy set up. We hope you enjoy your new hammocking skills.