Hammocks are commonly used for relaxation, but they can also serve as a convenient replacement for a bed. We sat down with Matt Stoering, a soon-to-be engineer, who has gotten rid of his bed and instead hangs in a hammock each night.
What got you into hammocks?
I always thought they were cool because I didn’t have one, so I borrowed a hammock from a friend. To be honest, the first night in a hammock usually isn’t that great. There’s a little bit of a learning curve, so I tried it, and I was like, ‘OK, let me try this a second night.’ That night was wonderful, so I was like, ‘OK, I kind of want one now.’ I got one, and I had it for all kinds of opportunities. The big time that I got into hammocks was when I spent a full summer up at Horn Creek Camps. I was like, ‘You know what? I’m tired of having to be in a dorm with lots and lots of people. There’s a whole wilderness out there, so why not just sleep out there and have enough personal space as I want?’ That was kind of the beginning of it.
What kept you using hammocks from there?
I used it a couple of times throughout the year just for fun. Then the second summer rolled around, so I was like, ‘Why not go ahead and use it again?’ So I did the exact same thing. When I came back to school, I had a house with no bed. I didn’t want to try to get my hands on a mattress, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I build a hammock stand and use that for a year?’
How did you build your hammock stand?
I knew that I would need to brace it up, so I went back and added diagonal braces. I ended up using materials I found in my garage, so it really didn’t cost me anything. It’s pretty easy—I just used some two-by-fours, a hammer, and nails. The most important part is having it braced diagonally so that it’s not going to cave in when you sit in it. But yeah, I just took a few two-by-fours and threw it together.
How long have you been using this hammock stand?
I’ve been using the hammock stand this whole school year, so about nine months. With the exception of the brief breaks where I’ve gone and visited someone, I’ve been using it consistently.
You’re getting married this summer. Do you plan on using the hammock after you get married?
I’m not going to pay to bring the hammock stand up (to Minneapolis), but my fiancé actually does like the hammock. We are going to move to a bed since there are two of us, but she mentioned that she’d like to have it hung up in the backyard so that we can enjoy it together.
Do you have any message to anyone who is considering sleeping in a hammock?
Give it a fair chance—usually it takes a day or two of adjustment. Almost everybody I went hammocking with had a rough first night, but once you get the hang of it, I enjoy it a lot more than a bed.There are many ways to sit in a hammock. How many of them do you know?