How To: Hang a Homemade Hammock

By MDC | March 1, 2021
From Xplor: March/April 2021

Hang a Homemade Hammock

Nothing is more relaxing on a warm spring day than lying in a hammock and swinging with the breeze. No hammock? No problem. Here’s how to rig one with supplies you likely have at home.

Here’s what you need

  • Old bed sheet (a twin- or full-size sheet works best)
  • Rope or parachute cord
  • Tarp
  • Pocketknife
  • Tent stakes (optional)
  • Two stout trees

Pro Tip

To protect the trees, wrap thick cardboard around each tree at the spot where the rope encircles its trunk.

Here’s what you do

  • Tie each end of the sheet into a large overhand knot. Leave a tail of sheet sticking out so the knot won’t come untied.
  • Cinch a length of rope or cord just below each knot. Each piece of rope needs to be long enough to stretch from the hammock to a tree. Make sure the rope is tied tightly so that it won’t slide off of the sheet.
  • Attach the rope from each end of the hammock to separate trees. Make sure the hammock is about chest high — the rope will stretch and the hammock will sink a little when you sit in it.

For shade from the sun or protection from rain, it’s easy to make a tent over your hammock.

  • Tie lengths of rope to the corner grommets (the little metal holes) of the tarp.
  • Tie the tarp between the two trees so that it hangs over the top of your hammock.
  • Using tent stakes, sharpened sticks, or heavy rocks, secure the ropes from the grommets to the ground so that the tarp forms a roof over your hammock.

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This Issue's Staff

Bonnie Chasteen
Les Fortenberry
Alexis (AJ) Joyce
Angie Daly Morfeld
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White