So, you’ve finally invested in a hammock. You’ve done the research, decided on the type of hammock you want, learned how to clean and store it properly and are now ready for some prime summer relaxation in your brand-new hammock. Now, all you need to do it hang it.
For a first-time hammock owner, this process can be easier to said than done. Whether you plan on putting your hammock inside the house, on your porch or outside in your yard, it’s essential to make sure your hammock is hung properly. This is critical to ensure you’ll be able to achieve the maximum level of comfort and safety while using your hammock, but also to increase your hammock’s lifespan.
This is where a hammock calculator comes in. This article will dive into how to properly hang your hammock using a hammock hang calculator while demystifying the important terminology you’ll need to know to make sure your hammock is ready to use.
What Happens When You Don’t Properly Hang Your Hammock
Installing your hammock at the wrong angle or having too close a distance between the two points where you are securing each end can result in your hammock hanging too loosely and too close to the ground. Another common mistake is that people hang one end much higher than the other, leaving them sloped at an odd angle when they try to use their hammock
Many first-time hammock owners will try to pull their hammock as taut as possible, but this actually defeats the purpose of a hammock. A hammock’s natural curve is crucial to getting the flat surface that makes it such a healthy way to relax, sleep or meditate. The curve allows for more movement and eliminates “pressure points” on the surface of the hammock that would put stress on both your body and the hammock itself.
Too much stress on the hammock’s surface can cause it to tear or even cause damage to whatever you are using to anchor it – such as a tree, or your porch. Nothing ruins a peaceful relation moment in your hammock than a sudden tumble to the ground below. Hanging your hammock properly in the first place is the best way to avoid this.
When hanging your hammock, there are a few things to consider. You need to think about how high you'll need to install your anchor points and also correctly estimate your ridgeline, suspension length, hang tension and angle. Luckily, a hammock hang calculator will do most of the thinking for you. All you need to know is the approximate weight of whoever will be using the hammock, and how high you want it to sit off the ground.
With this handy little device, you won’t need to know the trigonometry and physics involved in order to get the most out of your hammock. We get it, math is hard – and if you and your hammock are on the move a lot, you won’t always have a tape measure on hand. There are many hammock calculator smartphone apps out there, but we recommend investing in the real thing for the most accurate results.
The two points from which you will be hanging each end of your hammock. Your anchors should be strong enough to hold your body weight, and should be 10 to 20 feet apart depending on the size of your hammock.
Pro Tip: Keep in mind that your anchor height and suspension length will change depending on how far apart your anchors are. The further apart they are, the higher you’ll have to hang it and the longer the suspension length will be.
The distance between each end of your hammock after setup. This is different from the hammock length (also known as sag). Your hammock length is the length of the curve of your hammock after setup. The ridgeline, on the other hand, is simply measured straight across.
The angle of your suspension cord - measured by the angle the cord makes with the anchor itself.
The height at which your hammock hangs above the ground. Most people prefer a sit height that is around the same as a standard chair height – 15 to 20 inches off the ground.
Pro Tip: Remember that your body weight will weigh down the hammock. Take this into account when you decide your sit height - you don’t want to end up dragging against the ground.
The distance between the end of your hammock and the hang point on the anchor. This will contribute to the overall height and sag of your hammock.
Remember, this distance should be 10 to 20 feet (or three to six meters) depending on the length of your hammock. It should allow for a natural curve – the sides should not be too taught around you when you lay in your hammock. If you have not yet purchased your hammock, the key thing to remember is the longer, the better!
This means you will need to decide how high you want your hammock to hang off the ground. Some people prefer a higher sit height to achieve that “floating” sensation, but your hammock should not be so high that it is difficult to get into. On the other hand, you don’t want it so low that your body weight will cause you to drag on the floor when you get in.
If multiple people will be using the hammock regularly, try going with the maximum weight that will be on the hammock at one time. This will eliminate the risk of too much stress being put on the anchors and on the hammock itself, prolonging your hammock’s lifespan and making for a more comfortable experience for all.
A 30-degree angle is considered optimal so that your hammock’s curve will follow the natural curve of your spine, however, our calculator will allow you to choose between 5, 15, 20, 30, and 45 degrees, depending on your preference. For the best experience, your feet should be slightly elevated and your back straight when using your hammock.
Remember to measure straight across from your anchor point when entering this information and do not include the suspension length in this measurement.
Many first-time hammock owners are put off by how complicated it may seem to hang your hammock properly. However, a hammock hang calculator will eliminate that stress and with a few simple measurements, you’ll be ready to relax in no time! With that out of the way, it’s time to grab a nice cold drink, a book and enjoy the summer weather with your new hammock.