Laying Your Hammock The Right Way

Hammocks are a great way to lessen the heavy load in backpacking. Aside from that, they're convenient to use, incredibly comfortable, and according to science, easy to sleep with. There are a lot of reasons why to love hammocks in the backcountry. Hence, the rise in popularity among hikers and backpackers.

Of course, there are pros and cons in using hammocks as primary sleeping gear rather than conventional tents. Some argue that hammocks offer less comfort and bed mobility since they're suspended at least three feet above the ground, laying in a parachute fabric. Yes, parts of it may be true, but it's more likely because you're using them the wrong way.

Laying in your hammock is not just a "hang and hop in" kind of situation; there are minor technicalities you need to execute to achieve serenity sleeping or relaxing in a hammock.

Related: Hammock Buying Guide

Start with hanging the hammock straps the right way

You see, most people tend to hang their hammocks below the recommended height and space. The right way of hanging a hammock is by creating a natural curve to achieve a flat, zero pressure surface point that makes it healthy to sleep in. If you hang it too low and on trees at a short distance, you'll most likely see yourself hanging on the ground.

To hang your hammock the right way, you need to recognize first the distance between trees. It should be at least 15 ft apart for you to create that nice and relaxing curve. Some hikers use an online hammock calculator -- though it's not entirely necessary -- to get the precise distance. Next is to tie the straps above the head level or as high as you can and make a 30-degree angle. Afterward, secure all points to ensure it is safe for you to hop inside.

Always lay at an angle

The rule of thumb in sleeping in a hammock is to always lay at an angle. Like what we've discussed a while ago, the natural curve creates a healthy sleeping surface for you in the outdoors. It provides you more bed mobility to twist and turn while sleeping -- and eventually, allows you to have that relaxing and comforting sleeping position.

One of the common mistakes people commit is trying to pull the hammock as tight as possible to make it flat. Always remember that flat surfaces increase the pressure and force on the objects hanging inside the hammock. Not only does it make your sleep incredibly uncomfortable, but it could also be dangerous for you.

To appreciate the use of hammocks, you need to know how to use them in order to love them. Taking advantage of these two rules we've provided will make a difference in how you see hammocks in giving comfort in the outdoors.

Carla Arbuckle
Carla Arbuckle

Carla is a staff writer for and She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and photographer. She can be found most weekends fishing and exploring the wilderness.