Everyone loves lounging in a hammock, but hanging the hammock securely can be a bit challenging. How high to hang a hammock is the most frequently asked question by novices, who have just started with this hobby and are exploring the fun of hammocking.
Calculatedly, it is recommended to have the sag of your hammock more than 18 inches off the ground. For hammocks with spreader bars, the average height should be 4-5 feet/1.25 – 1.5m off the ground. However, the height of the hammock will also depend on your comfort level of sitting or lying down in a hammock.
In this guide below, let us discuss the various factors and things to be considered that can affect the height of the hammock.
When you are setting up your hammock, it is important to keep in mind the purpose of your hammock. Along with this, most of the factors that can affect the height of the hammock are the quality of hammock, the strength, and the capacity of the suspension system.
Purpose of your hammock
It is very important when you are deciding the height of your hammock. If you are planning to tie a hammock above the water stream, the hammocks can be high enough to stay aloof of the water flow. On steep places, like hills, the hammock should not be too high.
Some people also tie hammock at a very good height of about 10 – 12 ft, while trekking in the woods to stay protected from any animals. Also if you are in a swamp or bog hanging higher than usual is preferable.
For a permanent hammock beside your pool or inside your house, you may like to sit in it and use it as a chair at times. A hammock just high enough to sit down with your toes touching the ground will be comfortable in this case.
Type of hammock and the suspension system
While setting up a hammock, it is also important to understand the flexibility of your hammock. It will be stiff if you are using quilted or rope hammocks. With spreader bars, 4-5 ft is an average height for hanging this kind of hammocks. For gathered or without spreader bars, the optimum height can be 6 – 8 ft off the ground.
Similarly, if you are using a hammock stand, you may not have many options for adjusting it too high. But if you have discovered your favorable height, you can use a ridgeline and you are sorted. Every time you re-assemble your hammock, you will get the same comfort.
Carabiners, on the other hand, help a lot in adjusting the height of a hammock.
Note: Hammocks without spreader bars are more height flexible.
Going by the manufacturers is the best way to be safe. Different hammocks are tested by the manufacturers and they offer a very safe limit, to prevent any mishaps from their products. You will see that most of the manufacturers recommend hanging a hammock with sag more than 18 inches off of the ground.
Also, let me give you a brief on the points which are to be considered while deciding the height of your hammock.
Safety comes at the priority while deciding the height of your hammock. This will also depend on your height. If your hammock is above your waist level it is considered safe. However, if its higher than your head, it can be considered off the safe limits.
Effort & Comfort
Some people take hammocking as a means to relax. For such users, a hammock height of around 3ft to 4 ft from the ground level is best suited. However based on your height and length of your feet, you need to evaluate the perfect foot resting position.
A lot of energy and effort is required to get into a heightened hammock. Secondly, if you are sitting on the hammock, with your feet hanging, it again takes up some energy. As far as camping hammocks are concerned, people like to set the hammock at a good height to experience the fun of hanging.
Hammocking is a much-expanded prospect these days. It comes with a lot of accessories for protection and comfort. For example, a wide variety of harness and safety jackets are available in the market. Because of the high risk involved, people who are using a hammock at unsafe heights, take a lot of protective measures.
Veteran campers are also seen using hammocks on hills and cliffs. There are adventurous campers, who have hung hammocks in extreme conditions.
But note that they have a good experience and have done a lot of research and training with hammocks. Be aware that if not, you are putting yourself at high risk.
Note: You need to be professionally trained to use the hammock safety equipments and harness.
Is the height and sag of the hammock related?
Yes. They are related, though they are not the same thing. Hammock sag can affect the distance between the hammock and the ground level. If there is no sag, the hammock will be at a good height above the ground level. If the hammock is too loose, it will be low and nearer to the ground. With ridgeline, as stated before, the sag will remain constant.
A good hang angle
The hang angle can also affect the height of the hammock. If the angle is more than 60-degree, hammock will be too tight and the height will increase. If the hang angle is less than 20 degrees, your hammock will be more towards the ground level.
The recommended hang angle is 30 degrees when measured with respect to the suspension system. People also undergo trials to determine their favorable hang angle. So you can try your preference here as well.
Safety of children on a hammock
This you can analyze depending on the age of the children. It can be safe for children above 12 years. But for infants, I would not recommend a nap on the hammock.
Also, make sure that the height of the hammock is near the ground, around 2 to 3 ft maximum. Always stay beside your child while he gets into the hammock and discover the best suitable height for him.
Most kids love hammocking, but along with the adventure and fun, it is also important to stay safe.
Setting up a hammock – The very first time
If you are setting up your hammock for the first time, it is natural to be nervy about it. Setting up a hammock not only requires expertise but also you need to have trial and errors to find the correct comfortable set up for yourself.
Getting the adequate distance between the two suspension ends and then drawing the comfortable swing height for your hammock, will give you a fair experience about setting up a hammock. You can start by hanging your hammock at a feasibly low height first and then increase it slowly. This will also give you confidence once you manage the height and the weight on your hammock again and again.
You can get a fair idea on setting up the hammock by seeing the video below. (You can skip it if you have experience on this)
Hammock Calculators To Find How High to Hang a Hammock
This is a very interesting thing that I came across. If you are a naïve hammocker, there are these calculators available that do all the math for you, to give you a safe mount. Once you plug in a couple of measurements into the calculator, they give you a perfect hang point. For eg, Distance between trees, Hammock length, weight of the person going into the hammock, Hang angle, etc.
You can check the hammock calculator here… I felt its useful.
After you create the anchor points for your hammock, you’ll know how high to make them so you only have to install the hammock once for a perfect fit.
To Conclude !
How high to hang a hammock? Well, the best height for your hammock is the height where you feel most comfortable. The above guide will help you analyze all the factors to be considered before deciding your hanging height.
We would recommend you keep your safety in mind before hanging your hammock. Also for the fun of adventure, experience and training are crucial, if you are willing to go for height more than 14 ft.
Also the hammock with 18 inches off of the ground, will give you a comfortable sink.
Many manufacturers do provide you with a safe limit to how high you can hang your hammock. But there is no such proper listed height of a hammock. Its all depends on your personal preference.