Being able to enjoy the beautiful weather in your own backyard from the comfort of a hammock is one of the best things about summer. Nowadays, though, that comfort is available during all seasons and in all types of situations from the beach to the top of a mountain. This article should give you an overview of what portable hammocks are, how they are used, and how to add a little fun to your next adventure.
What Are Portable Hammocks?
Portable hammocks are commonly referred to as camping hammocks or travel hammocks. As the name suggests they are portable as well as self-contained and lightweight. Although they are ideally suited to fit the needs of hikers and campers, these hammocks are also perfect for home gardens. To keep them durable and easy to stow, portable hammocks are usually made from parachute silk or thin nylon. They often times have mosquito nets and storage pockets as well.
Why Are Portable Hammocks Useful?
Once you discover the comfort of lounging in a hammock, it is hard to imagine taking a load off any other way. People have found very creative places and ways to use their portable hammocks thanks to their versatility. More ingenious, young, and occasionally wild hammockers have unlocked the potential of this simple device as hammocking has grown in popularity. As we peruse Instagram and check out how people are using our hammocks, we have found a variety of uses that we have not even considered. Here are some ways portable hammocks are useful.
As a way to clear your mind or as a social activity, hiking is one of the most rewarding and easiest ways to get out into nature. One of the great things about portable hammocks is that they are light and can fold up into small sizes. For instance, our biggest double hammock can fold up into the size of a grapefruit. Therefore, it does not take up much space in your pack. That sure beats a sleeping pad! Even if you are taking a day trip, you can top off a great hike by strapping up your hammock and enjoying the perfect view.
With concert-goers young and old ditching tents that heat up in the morning hours, festival hammocking has erupted in popularity. Create an exciting alternative base camp by building a web of hammocks with your friends.
In fact, with the mobility of hammocks, you can sometimes move right up to the edge of the stage to enjoy the tunes in maximum comfort.
Are you addicted to getting your adrenaline going? There is a broad array of places you can hang your hammock that will keep you on the extreme side of things. We do not recommend it unless you know what you are doing, but some hammockers have attached their portable hammocks to slacklines suspended between two cliffs. Other have stacked hammocks going up a tree into an endless outdoorsy bunk-bed. The only limit to the usefulness of portable hammocks is your imagination, but please remember – be careful! For more ideas, check out this blog.
How To Set Up A Portable Hammock
One of our most frequently asked questions is how to set up a portable hammock. Whether you are setting your hammock up between two cars, on a balcony, in your backyard, on a stand, or between two trees, you want a nice loose curve so you can lie at an angle across it and get flat.
The amount of curve or sag, when you hammock is set up is going to be determined by how far apart the ends of your hammock are. By measuring across the empty space between each end of your hammock, you can easily measure this. Hammock ridgeline length is what this is referred to as. This may seem complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it (pun intended), you will be able to easily eyeball the best setup.
To determine the final outcome, you are dealing with a combination of the following factors when hanging a hammock:
- Hammock ridgeline length
- Distance between the two objects
- How high off the ground the hammock will sit (similar to chair height)
- Height of attachment points, or where you put the straps or rope
The amount of force you will be applying to your suspension and anchor points are important safety factors you should take into consideration. You may think that the amount of force being applied is based solely on how much weight you have in the hammock. However, there is more to it than that.
It is actually a few factors, such as the angle of your suspension, which is the angle between the suspension cord and a tree or whatever you are hanging your hammock from. You will apply a greater force to the anchor and suspension points when you pull your hammock tighter so hang loose! The ideal is a 30-degree angle. But, you will be fine if you do not bring a protractor with you on your next trip. If you take the following guidelines into consideration, the angle will always be right.
It is a matter of personal preference how loose or tight you hang your hammock. Yet, the perfect hammock curve definitely comes from a particular sweet spot.
Our friend, Derek Hansen, an avid hammocker, created The Hammock Hang Calculator to help you take the different hanging variable measurements to figure out how to hang your hammock. We recommend using the calculator a few times in your backyard or somewhere close so you can get a good idea of how to hang your hammock before you are out on the trails or elsewhere.
What Are You Waiting For?
This should give you a good idea of what is possible when you choose to bring a portable hammock along with you on your outdoors adventures. They make getting out in nature just a bit more enjoyable and comfortable. Plus, they show your friends that you know how to enjoy the finer things and life. Have fun!