Whether you hang it between two trees or use a hammock stand, here's how to keep your hammock secure all summer long.
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How to hang a hammock - guide to set up a hammock outdoors or indoors
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Hammocks are the ultimate seats of summertime—the perfect place to relax and unwind on a balmy day. But figuring out how to hang a hammock isn’t quite as relaxing as enjoying time in one. To properly set up a hammock, you’ll need to find strong supports that can handle the weight of a person (or two!) and a safe method of securing the hammock to the supports.

If you’ve just bought a brand new hammock—or you’re simply trying to figure out how to hang it before you invest in one—here’s how to make sure that every afternoon in your hammock is as wonderful as the first.

How to hang a hammock

1 Figure out how much weight your hammock will need to support.

Plan on about 300 pounds for a single-person hammock, and 600 pounds for a two-person hammock. You’ll need to make sure that the supports and fasteners are built to handle that amount of weight.

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2 Determine how long it’ll hang there.

You’ll use different methods to set up a hammock for your backyard or patio, where it’ll be a permanent fixture, than you will if you are looking to hang one temporarily up at a campsite or park.

3 Choose a great spot for your hammock.

Look for a spot that’s a little out of the way to help you really get to relax. And you’ll need to make one big decision about your hammock placement: Do you want to bask in the sun on your hammock, or chill out in the shade?

4 Check out what’s around you.

Make sure your hammock is at least three feet away from walls, posts, or other trees on either side of it, so you can swing freely, without worrying about bumping into something.

5 Find a little support.

If you’re planning a more permanent setup, you can use a hammock stand—it’s built to handle the weight, and will allow you to move your hammock, so you can follow the sun (or stick to the shade). It also makes it super simple to set up your hammock. Just place the loops on the stand’s hooks and relax—no extra hardware or drilling required. You can also hang a hammock between a pair of posts on a porch or deck, or even from studs in a wall or ceiling, if you’re looking to hang a hammock indoors.

For more temporary placements, look for a pair of sturdy trees that are at least 10 to 15 feet apart. Generally, trees that are at least 12 inches in diameter and look healthy will do the trick.

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6 Get the right hammock hardware.

What you’ll need to hang the hammock will depend on how you’re hanging it. You won’t need any additional hardware with a hammock stand. To hang a hammock on a tree without damaging the tree, you can buy special tree straps or use heavy duty rope to hang the hammock. If you’re hanging it from posts or a wall, you’ll use wall anchors and S hooks—or the tree straps, if you’re using a post—to keep it in place. And if you’re hanging it on a covered porch, you can hang it from chains and hooks, connected to a stud in the porch ceiling.

7 Hang the hammock at the right height.

Experts recommend hanging a hammock so it sits 18 inches above the ground when you’re sitting in it, to make it easy for you to get into and out of your hammock. Because of the curve of the hammock, you should aim to place your hanging hardware at least four feet above the ground. With most methods of hanging it, you can always adjust the straps or chains up or down to make your hammock perfectly comfortable for you. Then just sit back, relax, and enjoy a good swing.