At first glance a hammock is simply a dense net-like material strung between two trees. It’s incredibly comfortable. However, it’s only when you lay in one, and are thinking about a next blog post that you suddenly start looking at it in more detail. That’s when I started to wonder what actually are hammock straps?
The moment I considered this, I started to think about the other features of hammocks that are so often taken for granted. After all, the usual approach is to tie the hammock into position and then just start using it.
A hammock strap is the best and easiest way to attach your hammock to trees or posts. They are designed to wrap round a tree securely. The end of your hammock can be secured to the looped hammock straps.
A high quality strap will not move and should take weights of up to 2,000 or even 3,000 pounds. That’s good enough to keep you safe and secure all night long.
Here are a few other related thoughts for hammock straps:
Different Types Of Hammock Straps
There is an array of different types of hammock straps on the market. Many of them involve sturdy rope and carabiners. These are similar to what mountaineers use.
The easiest method is using a rope and tie if off to a nearby tree.
This works, but unfortunately rope will dig into the bark of the tree and damage it.
That’s why tree straps are used. This is a webbed material that is capable of holding a lot more weight and spreading the load over the tree trunk to avoid damaging it.
The webbed straps do tend to be more expensive but they are generally higher quality making them a cost effective purchase in the long term.
Times When You Should Use Them
The most obvious answer is all the time; it will prevent you from damaging the trees which is something that you should be considering.
But there are other times when you should and may even have to use these hammock straps.
- Screw in-eyelets
If you screw an eyelet into a living tree you’ll damage its internal pathways; the ones that carry nutrients round the tree. This can cause part, or even all, of the tree to die; not a desirable outcome!
The only time you should consider eyelets is using them indoors or in a fence-post.
- The distance between trees
Hammocks are generally made to fit between trees. When you don’t have a gap small enough you’ll need to use hammock straps in order to create the fastenings and secure the hammock properly.
The only thing that will limit you is the length of hammock straps you have.
Optimal Length For A Hammock Strap
As soon as I make the above statement I have to consider whether there is an optimal length to hammock straps.
Is there a point when they become ineffective or you simply can’t get enough resistance to hold the hammock off the ground properly?
The answer appears to be between 8 to 12 feet. Anything over this will start to increase your risk of touching the ground when in the hammock. Anything shorter will have an uncomfortable hang.
Making Your Own Hammock Straps
There are some very high quality straps available on the market. However, if you’re budget won’t stretch to this or you need to create your own for any reason then you’ll need this quick guide:
- Purchase some nylon webbing and make sure it is designed to take weights of at least 1,000 pounds. I used these.
- Take two lengths 30 feet and burn the ends with a lighter. This will prevent the nylon from unraveling.
- Take one length and tie a knot in it making a loop. This end will be used to wrap around the tree.
- Fold the other half over back to the knot you first made.
- You now have a double nylon strap with a loop in it at the end.
- Stitch the two together leaving a gap of 4 inches starting from the other end of the loop. I stitched them 6 times just to be sure they won’t snap.
- Repeat for the other strap.
- Test them before you go out!