Hanging out in a hammock: The ultimate guide

Facing a hammock, the eyes behind the blinds narrow like special forces, scanning the situation for obvious horticultural dangers. After a delirious physical inventory and jerk of former limbs, there’s a lightning-fast peek over each shoulder to make sure the mates are distracted by flirting or snorkeling.

Once suffered, no one ever wants a public repeat of the spontaneous lowering of the hammock in a swirling carousel of legs, arms, cries – the unfastened skirt floating like a sad last curtain towards dignity.

If you fall for a middle-aged idiot, no matter how they sing, hug you, and smear you with Sudocrem, you’ll be forever immortalized by this cackling BBQ crew. If the hammock is simply too low, the ground will at least be close – and you’ll be enveloped in a tight cotton spin cycle before the shallow front plant.

As a longtime fan of the unique suspension and cloudscape that hammocks provide, I needed some advice on taming the ancient Mayan “fishing net.”

Oliver Bond runs Hammockology near Cork, a one stop shop for all things hammocks (including all the hammock gear you need and original accessories). Oliver explains that sustainability is at the heart of his business which is now celebrating its 20th year.

The Sunday chair, a variation on a classic hammock, available in Sea Salt, Sublime and Toucan.

“We source hammocks from all over the world, and the ethics of our suppliers are very important to us. All wooden products such as brackets and spreader bars are FSC certified. We like the Balinese company Ticket to the Moon, for its policy of compensating its employees well above average salaries while offering paid holidays and even a pension plan; unusual in Asia. Germany’s La Siesta has an excellent reputation for using sustainable materials such as their range of organic cotton hammocks and our friends in Amazonas, the makers of The Globo, recently donated €10,000 to help humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Each hammock has a capacity. Some are for single recliners, others can accommodate a couple and even an invading toddler. Two skinny minnies can be safe in a strong, well-rated single, while a lighter double can struggle with a taller, taller individual. In terms of location, using poles (set in cement please) or mature trees, we need about 75cm longer than the hammock itself for plenty of hanging space and changes of chains and tension straps. Hammock stands and any spreader bars take up a lot of space, so make sure there’s room to pass through. You can secure one end of the house with the right anchor. Here and elsewhere, the ground below cannot be ignored. Oliver suggests a large cushion placed under a lower hanging hammock.

Ticket to the Moon, a compact chocolate hammock.
Ticket to the Moon, a compact chocolate hammock.

Oliver explains further: “As a general rule, the longer and wider a hammock, the more comfortable it is. It’s not that single hammocks are uncomfortable, but what if someone offered you the choice of a single or king-size bed to sleep on your own. After that, think about how and where you are going to use it. Is it between two trees, how far apart are they? Check the length of the hammock, if it is too long, you will be sitting on the lawn. Do you want something light to throw in your bag and take on vacation? Are all the kids in the neighborhood going to cram in and loop around? Is the most important thing that it complements your new dress so you look fabulous on Instagram? »

It is difficult to keep smart and strategic children away despite instructions from each responsible supplier that youngsters must be supervised. For adults, the hammock should be set in its signature “sag” to sit at chair height, without putting the knees over the nose (about 45cm – 47cm is good). Too stiff and tight, it will look like a mortuary table and you won’t be able to sit down to read your book easily.

What does Oliver recommend as the best style of hammock for the nervous boarder? “There are two types that you will generally see, those with [mostly wooden] spreader bars at each end holding the hammock open, and others that are basically just a piece of fabric with gathered ends,” says Oliver. “If you’re tired of watching funny cat videos and want to laugh at people falling off hammocks on YouTube, you’ll find countless comedy genius clips. Notice all of those hammocks in the videos have bars If you get a little too nonchalant and sit too far back or shift your weight too far to one side, the hammock will flip over.North American style rod hammocks are so wide that you probably won’t fall out of it.As a rule of thumb, if you’re a little nervous, choose a fabric-only hammock.

Is there a trick to get in? “Unless you’re a child suicide bomber who doesn’t care about your own safety,” Oliver continues, “you shouldn’t step into a hammock feet first. ‘Eek’ inducing for parents. To enter safely (even for high-risk spreader bars), stand in the middle with your back to the hammock. Hold the leading edge with your hands, or one in front and one in back to hold it open and just sit down as if it were a chair. Then, pivot onto your back and throw your feet in. Same in reverse at the exit. Simple.

So what about trees, will hanging a hammock from a tree hurt it and stretch with normal use? “There has been a movement in recent years with hammock manufacturers to introduce new strap systems to protect tree bark, normally made from a seatbelt-like material with sewn-in loops for the setting.

These products are safe and easy to use without tying messy knots and are definitely kinder to the trees. The Moon Straps are our favorite version. In the United States, where hammock camping is a very popular alternative to sleeping in a tent, some national parks have introduced rules allowing hammocks to be hung using tree-friendly straps.

Will these and any hammock stretch over time? “Oh my God!” Oliver laughs. “Imagine, bit by bit, slowly getting closer to the ground. Cut down on the pies or your hammock could become a picnic blanket!

What does he consider to be the most weatherproof and hassle-free material? “Modern hammocks have a range of different fabrics in addition to traditional cotton or canvas fabrics. Lightweight parachute silk hammocks, like the Ticket to the Moon hammocks, which are made of nylon, are soft, wonderfully comfortable and dry quickly. but may fade over time.

Polypropylene hammocks have a much more traditional look and feel, they mimic natural fiber hammocks but with better drying, mildew resistance and better UV protection. So, with hardware in mind, what’s trending for summer 2022?

“The stunning Globo is finally available again after being one of the most sorted and elusive products during lockdown,” says Oliver. “Strictly speaking, it’s a hanging chair, but if it’s comfortable and swings, that’s good enough for us. »

Price from €50 to €499 (make sure you have activated all bindings) on
hammocks.ie.

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