How to Securely Tie a Hammock to a Tree

Want a bed that's comfortable yet portable and can easily fit in your hiking backpack? Then you need to learn how to tie a hammock to a tree.

woman tying hammock straps to tree

Hammocks are comfortable beds that can be made by suspending a piece of canvas between two supports, namely trees, via rope. If you are spending some time outside, they can be great options for sleeping on.

They are really amazing items to take with you wherever you go traveling. This is because they can be tried quite easily and in lots of places. However, some people are unsure of how to tie a hammock to trees.

If this is the case, I am here to help you. If you follow this guide, you can tie your hammock in a quick and straightforward manner.

How to find the perfect spot to set up your hammock

Photo by Kristaps Ungurs / Unsplash

To begin, find the right place to tie your hammock. You will need to find two trees that are relatively close to each other, yet far enough apart for you to be able to sleep between them.

They will also need to be close enough for your hammock to stretch between them. Find two trees that are solid and stable. Otherwise, your hammocks could easily fall over. Never attempt to tie a hammock to a dead tree.

Avoid sharp branches, as you could hurt yourself with them or even shred the hammock which wouldn’t be ideal if you want a good night’s sleep.

What knots should you use?

There are several knots that you can use to tie your hammock. I have selected four of the best knots for you to use and provided a brief explanation of how to tie them.

Here’s a video explaining how to tie a hammock to a tree with a simple knot:

There are lots of other knots that can be used to tie a hammock to a tree.

Bowline knot

Now you need to begin making the knots. To do this, wrap the rope around one of the trees a few times. Next, make a loop out of the rope. You should be able to fit your hand through this rope.

Then take the other end of the rope and pull it through the loop you just made. Thread the end of the rope through your loop. Once you have done this, thread it back through again.

Pull it through until it is tight enough before repeating these steps on the other end of the hammock. This is how you make a bowline hitch.

Here’s a more in-depth guide on how to tie the bowline knot.

Falconer’s knot

Of course, other knots can be used to support your hammock. In this next example, I will teach you how to tie the falconer’s knot. To begin, wrap your hammock rope around the first tree in a counterclockwise direction.

Hold the right end of the rope, which has been wrapped around the tree. Then gather the alternate end of the rope. Put the free end between your middle and index finger.

Put your thumb through these pieces, creating a loop. Pull the left side of the rope through this loop. Tighten the rope and repeat on the opposite side.

Taut-line knot

A final good choice of rope to help you tie your hammock is the taut-line hitch. Like other methods, you start by wrapping the rope around the tree. Bring the opposite end of the rope through this loop at least two times.

Next, you will need to pass the free end of the rope between itself and the alternate rope end. Using this technique, you will have created a strong hammock that is sturdy enough to hold you up.

Shoelace knot

The shoelace knot is one of the easiest and most common methods of tying a rope. Because of this, it will be well-suited to beginners. Loop the rope around the tree a few times. To create this knot, create a small loop.

Next, circle this loop several times with the other end of the rope. Once you have completed this action, the next step is to pull the curved rope through the knot in the middle.

As a result, a second loop will have been formed. Pull tight to strengthen the hammock.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the questions you need to consider when learning how to tie a hammock to a tree.

Which knot should you use to tie a hammock?

A lot of knots can be used for elevating hammocks, as evidenced by my guide. In the first example, I used the bowline hitch. I chose this knot because it is strong enough to hold up a hammer and relatively simple to tie.

As well as the bowline knot, the falconer’s knot, the shoelace knot and taut-line hitch will be great for tying up your hammocks.

Is it a bad idea to sleep in a hammock?

Occasionally sleeping on a hammock is fine and should not have any negative effects on your health.

On the other hand, if you plan on permanently installing a hammock to sleep on, you should speak to your doctor first. This is because hammocks can cause back pain.

There are, of course, also advantages to sleeping in a hammock.

It is not recommended that you sleep outside on a hammock unless you are with another person that you know. Otherwise, this could be quite hazardous.

How do you prevent a hammock from sagging?

Sagging hammocks will not be comfortable to sleep on. In fact, they will probably cause your back to hurt. This is because the hammock will no longer be capable of supporting your back.

To stop this drooping from occurring, you can keep tying your hammock rope until it fits. This could also be caused by the fact that your hammock is too long.

Again, this can be prevented by retying your hammock. Another technique for solving this problem is tying your hammock between two trees that are further apart.

How high up should a hammock be?

The purpose of a hammock is to elevate you from the ground. Therefore, when you are constructing your hammock, you should ensure that it is a decent height from the ground.

The height of the hammock will depend on your personal preference. However, the average height is around 18 inches. This does not need to be exact, but should instead be used as more of a rough estimate.

Final thoughts

If you are someone who adores nature, a hammock will be a great place for you to sleep. It is a really good idea to bring a hammock with you whenever you are traveling, just in case an occasion arises.

Though they appear easy to set up, hammocks can actually be more complex than they initially seem. If this is the case, please thoroughly read through this guide to help you.

I’ve also written a blog post covering the 10 best hammock stands if you want to set up your hammock where there’s no trees nearby.