The ideal hanging distance gives your hammock the optimal spring in its stretch while never putting unnecessary strain on its support. If you hang your hammock wrong, then it will not only be too taut or too floppy but it’ll be awkward and uncomfortable regardless of the leaning.
Here we’ll be taking you through a comprehensive look how far apart hammock posts should be, explaining a few basic concepts and a general rule-of-thumb, while looking at the individual spacing needs of more specific hammock setups.
The General Rule
If your hammock did not come with individual instructions suited to its frame and shape, then set your posts at a total distance apart which is 2 ft. longer than the length of the hammock. This generally gives the best tension for most hammocks and never allows for any risk of damage to your hammock due to incorrect spacing.
Never make the mistake of underestimating the total amount of space that your hammock will need. The average hammock needs up to fifteen square feet of space with double hammocks taking up near to twenty square feet.
Hanging Your Hammock Perfectly
While always a topic of heated discussion, the perfect degree of tilt and level of “flatness” of your hammock is relatively easy to determine. The 83% rule is a good one to follow. Measure the length of your hammock and make sure that your posts are only at 83% of the distance apart of total length. This positioning gives you a relative flat degree of suspension when laying diagonally.
Spacing for a Bridge Hammock
The ideal distance apart for your bridge hammock posts is different from a standard hammock. Adjust the spacing of your posts to between 70% and 80% of the total length, adjusting the suspension lengths and heights as is comfortable. Bridge hammock posts can be further apart than other types of hammocks given their extensive total length.
Consider a Spreader Hammock
If you are going to be laying two-up in a double hammock, then a spreader bar is highly recommended. A hammock featuring a spreader bar is a must for any multiple-person hammock as well as larger individuals. The spreader helps immensely to disperse the weight, keeping the hammock or double hammock open just enough to cradle your form adequately.
Spacing Requirements for Large Hammocks
If you are trying to find the optimal spacing for perhaps a large double hammock or something bigger, then it may be better to determine the spacing requirements based on the angle of the horizontal elevation. You are looking to reach a 30° horizontal suspension angle. The longer the hammock, the higher it needs to be hung and the further apart the hammock posts need to be.
How Deep to Bury Support Posts
Your support poles should be thick and sturdy while always being buried to at least one-third of their total length. Any support poles erected as a permanent fixture should be concreted in place in order to guarantee that your hammock cannot move at all once secured.
If you are going to be putting a considerable amount of weight onto the hammock, then it is best to install support posts with a crossbar to ease the tension. This will greatly improve stability.
Try an Online Hammock Hang Calculator
To cut out the guesswork, give UltimateHang.com’s online hammock hang calculator a try. Simply input your distance between trees or posts, your ridgeline length, your preferred sitting height, the estimated total weight, and the angle at which you wish to hang when laying diagonally in your hammock, and the calculator will show your how far apart your hammock posts should be, as well as the height, hang point, tension, and suspension length. It’s a fantastic tool.
Finding the Perfect Sag, Swing and Space
If you are unsure of where to start then give around a 15 ft. of spacing a try first. It is always better to go a little long rather than having your hammock uncomfortably suspended.
Once you find the right degree of suspension, your hammock will wrap around you comfortably while sagging enough to have a little swing as well. Always take into consideration your tarp when picking the ideal place for your hammock.
Your hammock posts need to be tall enough to support the full length of your tarp’s ridgeline giving enough coverage to keep you under shade even when your hammock sways. The closer your posts are together, the higher you’ll need to tie your straps.
Try never to give yourself an irregular position to lay in. You’ll soon see that a banana-shaped posture is the most comfortable position when lying in a hammock.