How to Properly & Securely Use Hammock Straps

How to Properly & Securely Use Hammock Straps

If you’re using a hammock in the great outdoors, there is absolutely nothing like it. Looking up at the clouds or the stars, drifting from side to side as you doze off, we can’t imagine anything better. You just need to know how to secure those hammock straps properly.

Key Takeaways
● When using hammock straps, it’s important to make sure they’re tight enough, so the hammock doesn’t move around
● Make sure the straps are attached to trees that are sturdy and can handle the weight of a hammock and two people
● The hammock should be hung at a height that’s comfortable for you
● If you’re using a hammock without spreader bars, you’ll need to use some sort of ridge line to keep the fabric taut

Securing a hammock properly is very simple. You just need to choose the straps you like, ensure they are nice and tight, and double-check that they are secure before you hop in.

In this guide, we are going to take you through everything you need to know about securing your hammock properly and using the straps as intended.

Steps to Properly and Securely Use Hammock Straps

Steps to Properly and Securely Use Hammock Straps

A hammock that has been improperly secured is a MASSIVE risk to your safety. If it falls while you’re in it, it could cause an injury. Not only that, but it’s really frustrating when you just want to RELAX, and everything about your hammock feels wrong.

Step One: Choose Your Strap Type

There are two primary types of hammock tree straps available on the market.

The first type is made of woven fabric and is OFTEN adjustable. This gives you a lot of versatility in terms of how you can set up your hammock.

You can also use these types of hammocks in places where trees are FAR apart because you can adjust the length of the strap.

The second type of hammock strap is made of NYLON webbing. These suspension straps are not as adjustable as fabric straps but are much more durable (making them the best hammock straps for some).

If you’re going to be using your hammock in a place where trees are CLOSE together, this is the type of strap you want to use.

Step Two: Choose Your Carabiners

Carabiners are metal clips that are used to CONNECT the hammock straps to the hammock. There are two main types of carabiners: screwgate and autolocking.[1]

Screwgate carabiners have a small screw that you need to TWIST in order to open or close the carabiner. Autolocking carabiners have a mechanism that locks them closed when you push them shut.

Both types of carabiners are SAFE to use. However, we recommend using autolocking carabiners because they are easier to use and offer an extra layer of security.

Pro Tip: Hammocks come with carabiners, but they are not always strong enough. They should be lightweight and have a strength rating between 5kN and 10kN.

Step Three: Choose Your Anchors

Step Three Choose Your Anchors

The hammock straps need something to CONNECT to. This is typically done by wrapping the strap around a tree.

Pro Tip: You can use a hammock stand as your anchor, but these do better inside than when you’re hammock camping.

Step Four: Hang the Hammock

Now that you have all of your gear, it’s time to set up the hammock.

When using fabric hammock straps, start by adjusting the LENGTH of the strap. You want it to be long enough so that when you wrap it around the tree, there are about 12 inches of slack.

This will give you enough room to move around without putting too much stress on the strap. Next, take one end of the hammock strap and THREAD it through the loop at the other end. This forms a closed loop.

Now, wrap the strap around the tree trunk and PULL the loose end through the loop. You can now pull on the loose end to tighten the strap around the tree.

Pro Tip: Make sure the hammock suspension straps are nice and tight before moving on to the next step.

Now, take one of the carabiners and clip it to the loop at ONE end of the hammock. Then, take the other end of the hammock and thread it through the remaining loop on the strap.

Once again, pull the hammock tight BEFORE clipping the other carabiner to the loop. Your hammock should now be secure and ready to use.

Step Five: Test Your Hammock

Before getting in your hammock, it’s important to TEST it first.

Grab the hammock at each end and give it a good shake. It shouldn’t move much, if at all. If it does, adjust the straps until it is tight. Now, you can get in your hammock and enjoy!

Different Strap Methods to Consider

Different Strap Methods to Consider

There are a few different strap methods that you can use when SECURING your hammock to the tree (or your other chosen anchor).

The Double Loop Method

This is the most common method for securing a hammock, and it is a very easy one to learn that offers simplicity as well as great security.

  1. Take the first end of the strap and wrap it around a tree roughly 6 feet from the ground.
  2. Pass the end with the carabiner through the opposite loop.
  3. Tighten and clip the hammock to the carabiner.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
  5. You’re done.

The Daisy Chain Method

This is a pretty simple method and it doesn’t take much to learn or master it. A good one to use when you want to secure things quickly.

  1. Wrap the strap around the tree.
  2. Pass one end through the opposite loop and pull tight around the tree.
  3. Attach the carabiner on the loop that will allow you to hang the hammock at your desired angle. 
  4. Pass the rest of the strap through another loop to prevent it from flapping in the wind

The Loop-Free Method

This is the hardest of the three techniques, but it is very secure and a good one to have up your sleeve should you need it.

  1. Create a loop in one end of your strap with an overhand knot.
  2. Pass the loop around your first tree and feed the unknotted end through the loop.
  3. Pull tight around the tree.
  4. Tie a second overhand knot at the point in the strap where you want to attach it to the hammock with your carabiner. 
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Do You Need to Buy Custom Straps?

Do You Need to Buy Custom Straps

You don’t necessarily need to buy custom hammock straps, but they CAN be helpful when you hang a hammock.

Custom hammock straps are typically made from STRONGER and more durable materials than standard hammock straps, which means they will last longer.

They also tend to be wider, which helps DISTRIBUTE the weight of the hammock and user more evenly, and they often have additional loops or daisy chains to make it easier to adjust the hammock’s position.

Cust straps also mean that you can choose tree-friendly hammock straps. These are gentler on the tree bark so that when you hang hammocks it doesn’t cause any PERMANENT damage.

To Conclude

To Conclude

Hammock straps are an important piece of equipment for ANYONE looking to set up a hammock, and if not used correctly, they can lead to a lot of frustration (and possibly even injury).

In this article, we’ve covered the different TYPES of hammock straps, how to set them up correctly, and some common mistakes people make when using them.

Now that you know how to use hammock straps properly, you can enjoy your hammock worry-free. We hope you have a great time relaxing in the woods.

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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