5 Solutions for Hammock Camping Without Trees
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about getting started hammock camping. These days, many camping enthusiasts are forgoing traditional tents in favor of this lightweight and easy-setup option. There’s only one potential downside — can you hang a hammock without any trees?
Let’s say you get to your camping destination, and lo and behold, there’s not a tree in sight. Fortunately, hammock camping without trees is not a problem. Here are five creative ways to hang a hammock.
1. Tying Between Two Poles
Poles and other round supports are great places to hang your hammock. You can find a pole or post almost anywhere, such as telephone poles or fence posts. Be sure to carefully pick your pole, ensuring that it’s stable enough to support your weight. You may want to give it a good shake to make sure it’s sturdy. Some national and state parks even have hammock posts that are free to use.
2. Using Nearby Building Structures
One of the most convenient hammock ideas without trees is to rely on what is already around you. Most state and national parks have outdoor structures like pavilions, rain shelters and bathrooms. If you’re ready to set up camp and you can’t find any good trees, you can always try hanging your hammock from the side of a building in a pinch — but make sure you have permission first!
3. Attaching to Your Car or Truck
If the sun is setting and you still haven’t found a support for your hammock, you can use your vehicle. First, find an ideal place to attach your hammock to your car or truck. Finding a stable attachment point is crucial. Otherwise, you may end up damaging your car. Anchoring a hammock to the bed of a pickup truck is perfect. Attaching it to your side mirror — not so much.
If you have two vehicles, you can set up your hammock between them. Otherwise, you’ll need to find a pole or building as the second attachment point.
4. Investing in a Hammock Stand
When you have a hammock stand, suddenly, the whole world becomes a hammock-friendly zone. This handy bit of gear lets you hang anywhere, including tree-free camping locales like beaches or deserts.
There are many different types of hammock stands out there. So, when looking for the best hammock stand for your outdoor adventure, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Setup: You shouldn’t need any special skills or tools to set up your hammock stand.
- Portability: You should be able to pack down and easily carry your stand along with your camping gear. Look for a lightweight model.
- Strength and durability: Your ideal stand should comfortably support your weight and not buckle when you get in and out.
- Rain fly capability: Even if your hammock stand doesn’t come with a rain fly, it should have a top rail so that you can attach a tarp on rainy days to stay dry.
5. Going to Ground With Trekking Poles
This method is perfect in a pinch when you need to pitch your hammock without trees spaced evenly apart or only have a vehicle and nothing to attach the other side of your hammock to. All you need is a pair of trekking poles, like sturdy tree branches or dowel rods, ground spikes and some cordage.
Here’s how it works:
- Collect two similarly sized sticks, or poles, roughly your height. Shorter sticks will work, but you’ll need to adjust their angle later on.
- Sharpen one end of each stick, so it digs into the ground well.
- Gather the sticks and tie them at the top on one side, so they are easily movable. Shape them into an upside-down “V” and drive the sharpened ends into the dirt.
- Loop your hammock over the cross-section where you tied the sticks together and run the strap around the sticks once to hold it in place.
- Take 10 feet of nylon line — 15 feet if your hammock needs to accommodate a heavier load — and make overhand knots, or loops, in every 10 inches of line.
- Drive your primary ground spike or nail into the ground near the hammock and tied sticks. You might need longer spikes if your hammock will be accommodating heavier weight.
- Fold your looped nylon line into two evenly sized sides. Use the first loop on one side and place it around the ground spike.
- Stretch the remainder of the line flat and pull it tight. The long, flat line should be tense and close to the ground so that the weight doesn’t pull the spikes from the dirt when you’re inside the hammock.
- Secure a second ground spike in the second loop and repeat the process for the third loop or as needed.
- Repeat the loop process on the other side of the nylon rope, using the same primary spike at the top. The finished shape will look like a “>” symbol, with the point being the main spike and each side being the looped nylon rope with additional ground spikes.
- Take the line attached to your trekking poles and hammock and retie it to the primary ground spike. Tie it with a loop you can easily cinch together.
- Once you’ve attached both lines to the spike, test your hammock and make adjustments as needed. You might need to move the tied sticks or adjust your tree line to keep your hammock off the ground.
You can also adapt this method, so you don’t have to do as much manual work — like sharpening sticks and hand-tying loops — by using dowel rods, wire cable and U-nut fasteners. The process is similar, but you thread the cable inside the dowel rod through drilled holes in the top and drill bolts into the bottom of each dowel rod so you can drive them into the ground.
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