How to Tie a Hammock to a Tree – Awesome Guide for both Newbies and Professionals

A hammock gives us the comfortable space to relax and sleep while going camping or on nice days. Even though installing it is not as complex as it might seem, gaining background knowledge of how to tie a hammock to a tree correctly is crucial. Without a proper setup, your hammock might detach from the trees, and you might fall to the ground, which leads to serious injuries.

Here is the meticulous guide for you!


What You Need to Prepare

All you need to hang a hammock are a few tools:

  • A hammock (of course!)
  • Two hammock straps with metal ring
  • A tape measure
  • Extenders (two S-hooks or two chains or two ropes)

How to Tie a Hammock to a Tree – A Step-By-Step Instruction

Step 1 – Choose the Right Spot

First of all, you need to decide where to hang your hammock. Whether you will be in a forest or a campground, a safe and airy place is always good to go. Also, consider the tree size. They must be at least ten inches in thickness to guarantee that they can support the weight of nearly 240 lbs.

Besides, remember to pick sturdy and healthy wood trees with no signs of disease. If your hammock’s spot is sunny, it’s strongly recommended to choose trees with many leaves because they can provide you with good shade. Put these suggestions into your mind, and you’ll have a perfect space inducing total relaxation and tranquility.

Step 2 – Choose the Right Distance Between the Trees

Depending on the style and length of your hammock, the distance between trees will be different. Basically, the trees should be about 2 feet further apart than the full length of the hammock (when it’s fully stretched and measured ring-to-ring). If the distance is too short, your hammock will be over-curved which is not good for your spine. Otherwise, you cannot have a good swing.

In general, the standard length of a hammock is about 12 to 14 feet, so the ideal tree’s distance should be about 14 to 16 feet. You can choose a longer distance, but this way, you need to use hooks, chains or ropes to extend the length of your hammock. I’ll later show you how to do that right in this guide.

Step 3 – Choose the Right Height

Your hammock should be about 4 to 6 feet from the ground. As you lay in it, the ideal inclination should be about 25-30 degrees. Thus, if you hang the hammock too high, you might find difficult to get on it. Otherwise, your buttock or back might brush against the ground as swinging. No comfort at all!

Step 4 – Setting Up Hammock Tree Straps

This is possibly the hardest step, so I’ll guide you how to do it as meticulously as I can. Here we go:

  • Start with one strap and extend it all the way out by letting it drop down
  • Bring this strap around the entire tree trunk. This is like giving the tree a bear hug.
  • Take the end with the metal ring and run it through the end of the open loop. Pull tightly against the tree.
  • As you tighten this loop, position the open ending where you'd like the hammock to hang from the tree. Make sure you hold on as tight as you can into the tree trunk.
  • Once you got it tight against the trunk, begin winding the long end with the metal ring around the tree in the opposite direction from the open loop.
  • Once you reached the point where you can't bring the tree strap around the trunk for another full rotation, find the open loop that you started with and string the metal ring through it again just as you did at the very beginning.
  • If it’s still too far away from the tree for your hammock to hang at a comfortable height, you can shorten the distance simply by going up, over and through all the wrappings around the tree.

If my words couldn’t describe detailed enough, watch the video below for more illustration.

When you do for the first time, it may raise a little higher or sink a little lower. That’s ok! You just need to adjust the strap a little further down or up by losing it and tightening again.

Step 5 – Extend the Hammock (If Needed)

As I said, if the distance between trees is too long, you’ll need to use hooks, chains or ropes to extend the hammock’s length. These tools are called extenders. Even though they’re just useful in this case, you should bring them whenever you go camping because it’s not always for you to find trees with an ideal distance. I’m sure of that!

Way 1 – Using S-Hooks

S-hooks are preferred by most hammock lovers since they’re flexible and easy to use. You simply connect one or several of them to form a longer chain, then clip one end of it to the metal ring of your hammock. Make sure the number of hooks should be equal on both sides so that everything is well balanced.

Way 2 – Using Chains

Chains are also a good choice. They are pre-made, and thus, don’t need any connection. But their disadvantage is the deficiency of flexibility. Extending or shortening requires a lot of work.

Way 3 – Using Ropes

Besides, there is another way to extend your hammock. That’s using ropes. For me, they are the best choices which are not only flexible and easy to use but also lightweight. You simply connect two rings (one of the hammock and the other of the tree’s strap) together via a rope.

How to Tie a Hammock to a Tree

Quick-release knot for hammock (Via:

If there is one thing to consider, it might be the knot. I mean how to tie the rope to the ring as tight as possible. You can use the Boy Scout knot – a basic and common knot widely used for keeping the hammock in place. It’s very strong but takes quite a lot of time to release. So, I suggest another kind of knot which is called quick-release clove hitch.

Here is the guide on how to tie it:


Just one more thing to remember: Clear out all of the rocks, stones, and sharp debris on the ground where you plan to hang the hammock above. This way, you will lessen the chance of serious injuries in case of accidents. Of course, if you follow my guide correctly, the possibility of accidents is almost zero.

I hope this guide is helpful in helping you determine how to tie a hammock to a tree. If you’ve got any question or think we missed something, leave your comments below. Thank you for reading and have a good day!

About the Author Abby Moore

My name is Abby Moore and I have always loved the outdoors. In the past, I would spend hours wandering from the ocean to the forest. These days I am lucky enough to be able to go on great camping adventures all over the world and share my experiences here on Below The Tent.

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