How to Pick a Strong Enough Branch for Your Hammock

Not much beats enjoying nature from a hammock. Finding two trees and hanging out while enjoying a forest around you or looking up at the stars is an ideal way to spend time. Part of the process of enjoying your hammock is finding a place to hang it. With suspension straps, you can easily hang your hammock outdoors. One way to ensure a safe and comfortable hang is to make sure you choose a strong enough branch.LSbranch
Look for an older tree
Look for a taller, older tree. Using younger trees could possibly cause damage to the trunk or branches because the tree is still growing and doesn’t have the strength that a larger one might. The width and height of a tree can help you make a decision. You’ll want to to stay away from trees you know are newly planted as well so that their root systems can form.

Pick a straight branch
Once you’ve picked out your trees, start looking at their branches. Branches that aren’t drooping on their own are a good place to start. The branch should stay reasonably straight if you put any weight on it. If you are using suspension straps and pulling on them causes the branch to droop, you want to find a stronger branch.

Try to find a branch that is fairly close to the tree’s trunk. You’ll want to use this part because it’s anchored better to the main stem. By finding a branch that’s wider and stronger, you not only ensure your hammock doesn’t crash to the ground while you’re laying in it, but also make sure the suspension straps don’t harm the tree.

Avoid trees with small trunks
There are many different types of trees you’ll come across in parks or forests. Those with smaller trunks are the ones you’ll want to avoid. Because the branches root off of the main trunk, trees with smaller trunks tend to be weaker at holding up the weight of your hammock. The best trees are the larger ones with higher branches so that your hammock stays off the ground when you jump in. Also, you’ll want to avoid smaller trees with lots of flowering branches so that you don’t hurt the tree if you use suspension straps. These trees also tend to have drooping branches as well.

Pick a healthy tree
If you come across a group of trees and notice a few that aren’t flowering or as green as the others, there’s a chance that it’s a dying or dead tree. Stay clear of these because their branches aren’t going to be as strong as a healthy one. Also, if you notice mushrooms growing around the root system of the tree, it’ll be a weaker option—the mushrooms may be sucking nutrients and water from the tree.

After hanging your hammock a few times, you’ll get an idea of what branches are strong enough to use. Try out some of these tips next time you use your suspension straps and you’ll have the best place to hang out.

By Brooke Allison

There are many ways to sit in a hammock. How many of them do you know?