Frankly, there’s nothing wrong with finding a couple of sturdy trees roughly 10-12 feet apart, tying a couple of ropes around them and enjoying some much-deserved R&R right then and there. There are, of course, other things to consider — like where you want to use your Brazilian hammock, whether you plan to travel with it, or if you want to hang it in a spot where there may only be one tree or patio support beam.
Ideally, experts suggest hanging points for your hammock should be roughly five feet high on either side. You’ll want to remember that it is important to have some “sag” in the middle of the hammock when it is hung; the U-shape will give you a flatter, more comfortable fit in the hammock when you lie diagonally across it.
There are a number of different ways to calculate whether you’ve managed to hang your hammock correctly. Hammock-hanging uber-expert Derek Hansen created the Hammock Hang Calculator, in which he considers everything from the length of the hammock itself and the weight the hammock is expected to hold to the height of the hanging points and the angle of the hanging ropes.
It seems counterintuitive, but despite the images conjured up by a Brazil hammock of kicking back on a beach draped in a gentle ocean breeze — and sand in your toes as countless hours pass by unnoticed — the hammock is remarkably mobile. As in, stuff it in your backpack and hit the trails for the weekend mobile.
If you’re taking it with you, you might not need anything more than a couple of trees and a SmartRope or MicroRope hanging system. If you’re heading someplace where you might have one tree — or if you’re in your own backyard with just one strong tree or solid beam, a Madera stand will solve your problem.
For something more permanent, be it a fixed location on a porch or in a sunroom, you’ll likely want to think about sturdier, stronger stands. Stands like the Sumo or the Vario stands are purpose-built to accompany a number of Byer of Maine hammocks in a myriad of sizes, while the hardwood Olymp stand is a grand addition to any deck, patio or open living area display.
Brazil hammocks enjoy a history as beautiful as the hammocks themselves. More importantly, because they were designed for travel, hanging a hammock is simpler than finding the right spot. It’s about finding the spot that’s right for you.