A hammock hotel is a fun project that gets people outside, it’s a great service to the community that can be built by kids, adults and anyone in between. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but with the right people, a few weeks of planning and construction and some passion, your efforts will lead to a project that will last for years.
For a printable version of these instructions, download this printable PDF here. Otherwise, below are the seven steps you’ll need to built your own Hammock Hotel.
Find people who love the outdoors
Be sure to find people who are equally as passionate about hammocks as you are so that your hammock hotel can be the best it can be. Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, elementary schools, Boys And Girls Clubs and sports teams are great groups to help you out with your project. An easy way to find workers is to reach out to a group that is required to log community service hours. Whatever way you find them, the more hands are on deck, the lighter the load and the more enjoyable the work for everyone.
Find a place that would be great for hammocking
It’s important to set up your hammock hotel in an area that will ensure use by everyone. A public park where hammocks are already used or a land grant that is nearby a decent amount of foot traffic are great places to get permission to start building. Be sure to find an area that is relatively flat to ensure as little trouble possible when building the park. The area that you wish to use must be a circular space that is at least 36 feet across to account for the distance between the utility poles and the poles themselves, which vary in size. To avoid complications when digging your holes, the area should have at least three feet of soil beneath the surface.
Talk to the land owner about your great idea
Wherever you plan to build, you’ll need to be ready to talk about what you intend to do. You’ll need to have a written proposal to hand to whoever owns the land (see our example in our story) and be prepared to have a discussion with them about the details. If that goes well, you’ll likely need to prepare a presentation for the the owners. A good model to present to them would be our blueprint found in step five. Also, whether or not you need your city’s permission to build, it’s always a good idea to speak with your city’s parks department for publicity’s sake.
Get the supplies you need
You’ll definitely need to spend some money when making your hammock hotel, but you might be surprised at how affordable this project is. If you already have the tools needed or borrow them from friends, the total cost of the whole project will be around $1,100 after supplies are purchased. Before opting to buy the utility poles, ask local power companies if they have any old ones to give away (provided they are still in usable condition). Not having to pay for your poles will cut costs down by about $700. Also, let local retailers with pertinent supplies and tools (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) know about your project and see if they’ll donate.
Build your hammock hotel
Now that you’ve got your crew, location, approval and supplies, it’s time to start building. Each hole will be two-and-a-half feet wide by three feet deep. The first one will be placed in exactly the middle of your desired area, serving as the midpoint for all the other holes. The surrounding holes will each be 14 feet from the center as well as from the holes on either side of it.
Finish the job
Once you’re done digging, carefully place the concrete forms in the holes and place the poles within the forms. Have several people hold the pole in place while pouring the concrete into the form and around the pole. Repeat the process for each hole, making sure the concrete has fully set before moving on to the next one. Follow this process by tightly packing the removed dirt back around the concrete form. Once the poles are set, place the I-hooks six feet above ground level. Each pole on the perimeter will have three hooks—one facing the pole in the center and two facing each pole on either side of it. The pole in the middle will have six hooks, each one facing one of the outer poles. Use leveling string to make sure each hook is at a uniform level with all the others.
Share your Hammock Hotel with the world!
You’re done with your project, and now it’s time to show everyone what it’s all about! As your Hammock Hotel spends time in its location, it will become a place of community and relaxation. College kids will come to enjoy an old pastime. Families and friends will come to get away from the house for a bit or simply to try something new. In short, the hammock hotel gives its community a hassle-free way to enjoy the outdoors. So step back and let your project please everyone!
Illustrations by Olivia Wheelock and Noah BasleThere are many ways to sit in a hammock. How many of them do you know?