Hanging a hammock is easy. You find two trees a sensible distance apart, tie a couple of knots and there you have it, a comfy seat in the woods. Simple. Life is good.
Hold on though. Let us present a possible nightmare scenario to you. What happens if you find yourself at the end of a long hike without any suitable trees to hang your hammock from or – heaven forbid – no trees at all?!
Do you sit in the dirt like a dog? Do you give up and go home? No, of course not. You do neither of these things. You engage your brainpower, improvise, think like a boy scout and find a creative solution.
Read on and we’ll help you wrap your head around the idea of how to hang a hammock without trees.
Hammock Ideas Without Trees
You can hang a hammock anywhere. Don’t believe us? Then check out extreme hammocking and return to us when you’re done.
That said, trees and hammocks have a pretty strong connection. However, all you really need for a hammock is two heavy(ish) objects and a little imagination. Let’s look at four very suitable and achievable tree-free solutions.
1. Use a Portable Hammock Stand
If you know in advance that you are heading to a treeless camping spot, the easiest means of hanging hammocks without trees is to take a portable hammock stand with you. These come in many shapes and sizes: from heavy wooden ones to super lightweight ones designed for hiking and adventuring. The lightweight ones often utilize detachable poles that slide and lock together much like a tent would.
If you’re a big-time hammock fan and you’ve been burnt and disappointed by a treeless campsite more than once, then picking up a portable hammock stand is a very sensible investment.
Word of warning, be sure to check the load weight of your portable stand before committing to it. If you’re a heavier individual, you may have to sacrifice the portability of a lightweight stand for something a bit sturdier.
2. Bring your own trees with you
There is a popular Chinese proverb that goes a little something like this…
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, the second-best time is now.
It basically means if you want success in the future, act now. Which, of course, isn’t much help to you right now as you search around for a pair of suitable trees to hang your hammock. But we really like this saying anyway and thought you might, too.
One way to solve the problem of having no trees to hang your hammock is to make your own. I don’t mean plant two and wait twenty years. I mean come ready with two artificial tree replacements. Two fence poles hammered into the ground would do nicely.
If you’re hiking long distances then carrying two fence posts might not be practical. However, if you’re camping near your cars you could easily bring a couple of fence posts and a mallet.
Maybe your intention is to hang a hammock permanently in your backyard, then this is the ideal solution. Two wooden or concrete fence posts secured in your ideal location, the perfect distance apart isn’t too complicated to achieve at all. Our advice, test out your chosen location at all times of day to make sure it truly is ideal.
3. Use your vehicles
Hanging hammocks without trees successfully really only requires two heavy objects set ten feet apart. Cars or motorbikes make two such ideal objects. They are, by definition, easy to move around and generally speaking, any car or motorbike big enough to carry you to your destination will be heavy enough to hang a hammock from.
If you’re travelling with one vehicle, just park it near another solid point: a fence post, for example. Or if you’re travelling in a convoy, then arrange your fleet of vehicles in such a way that one or more of you can get your hammock on.
One piece of advice: try to avoid hanging your hammock from any parts of your vehicle that might be easier to bend or break. Going to the garage to repair a broken wing mirror would put a damper on any camping trip. It might be a little embarrassing, too!
4. Rock on!
If you’re familiar with the great outdoors you may have noticed from time to time these great, big and heavy stony objects dotted about the environment. They’re called rocks. And, well, they rock hard when it comes to the question of how to set up a hammock without trees!
A well-placed pair of rocks could be a perfect point from which to secure your hammock.
Rocks, by nature, tend to be pretty heavy, and they don’t move around too much. In fact, most of them have been sitting in place for millions of years. (Since they were rolled there by a glacier or shot there by a volcano.) So they are pretty much ideal as hammock stands.
They’re a little bit harder to create anchor points on than trees and require a little bit more rope – but anyone with a little bit of knot-tying knowledge will make it work.
Final Thoughts: Let’s Go Swinging!
Hammocks are great. We all agree on that. Hammocks may actually be the single best invention ever. There’s even evidence that sleeping in hammocks could help you get a better sleep.
Carrying your hammock on a hike, only to find your perfect campsite has failed you on suitable trees, is a pain. Hopefully, however, this article has shown you how to hang a hammock without trees, and that a lack of trees should be no obstacle to getting your hammock fix. Just be patient, a little creative and soon your buttocks will have the smooth caress of hammocky goodness they truly deserve.
(It may also be wise to practise your knot-tying skills a little bit.)