As more people are realizing the benefits of hammock camping, hanging a hammock with the use of trees is one of the most common and easiest methods. But what if there are no trees? All you need are two strong points where you can tie off the end of the hammock and you’re good to go!
To hang a hammock without trees, the best solutions include utilizing wooden poles, frames, or non-tree objects such as boulders. If you are car camping, you could use your car and if you want a simple long-lasting solution, hammock frames are perfect.
You will encounter a number of non-tree objects while camping, with these including large cacti, boulders, rock formations, and more. You can use these objects to your advantage. At higher altitudes, there may be fewer trees but there usually isn’t zero. The trees may be smaller, but they are usually quite strong and can support you and your hammock.
If the boulders are far away from each other or if there is only one tree, it’s time to get creative. You can tie one end to the boulder and the other end to your car for instance.
Poles & Wooden Frames
If you are using your hammock while camping, you should try and get your hands on a few sturdy wooden branches/poles that you may find in your surroundings. Make sure that the poles are strong and won’t snap due to your weight. Bamboo poles are great if you come across any.
If you come across any trees, it’s best to use one as an anchor, rather than trying to set up the entire structure with random poles because it may take you a while to find some that work. Building the structure with a tree anchor is also safer and more sturdy.
To secure the poles into the ground, you should also carve sharpened points into them. Here is a great video on this DIY setup:
Random Equipment, Buildings, and Posts
Sides of buildings, pavilions, rain shelters, and fences can all be used to hold up your hammock. If you are using a hammock in your backyard, a porch post or any concrete post will work fine. Some campgrounds also have purpose-built structures with many poles that are meant for hanging your hammock.
If you can’t find any poles or structures to hang your hammock, you can improvise and use any lengthy equipment that you may have brought with you. For example, in this video, the user has set up his hammock by using his hiking poles as support!
Using your car or truck
If you are car camping with others, you could consider attaching one end to one car, and the other to the other car. This is perfect as you are off the ground and sturdy. If you only have one car, this can still be managed by bringing along a wooden pole that you can pick up from any hardware store.
There will be a bit of DIY work here though. Attach one end of the hammock to your car, and the other to the wooden pole that you have secured into the ground. To make sure that it doesn’t slip, drill a 1-inch hole in the top of the pole, and insert an aluminum piece such as a drill part or screwdriver into the hole. This will hold the other end of the hammock. The below video does an awesome job of explaining it.
As more people are opting in for hammock camping instead of tents, new products have emerged, such as pre-build hammock frames or hammock stands. They are available from basically any camping shop or Amazon.
There are many hammock stands to choose from, which range from permanent home stands to lightweight backpacking and camping stands. This is the easiest way to set up a hammock without any trees, but you will have to lug around the stand itself.
Before purchasing a hammock stand, make sure to check the weight capacity. The Vivere Double Hammock Stand from Amazon, for example, accommodates two adults, with a 450 lb capacity.
DIY TurtleDog Hammock Stand
The ultimate DIY hammock stand is called the Turtledog. You will need a number of supplies and it can be very difficult to create. However, if you think you can master the art of the Turtledog, have a go! It can be both a fun and rewarding experience.