How do I install a hammock in a sloped yard with no trees?
by J Anderson
I'm looking at installing a 2-person hammock and need guidance.
I have a slightly sloped backyard (approx. 5-10 degree slope) with no available trees to hang a hammock. As a result, I'm considering either installing two 4x4" posts into the ground approximately 12 feet apart or buying a sturdy hammock stand.
Which option sounds better? Can I even use a hammock stand on a slope yard? If not, how high will I have to connect the hammock to the posts? Note the downhill post will be at a slightly different elevation. I'm assuming I'll need to bury the posts 3-4' deep.
Anyways I'm really just guessing at things right now so any suggestions/recommendations would really be appreciated.
Thoughts: Hey J, great question - it's an issue I'm sure other people have, but I've never heard of anyone tackling it.
Certainly traditional hammock stands seem to be a no-go. Based on my stand knowledge and research to date, these are generally all designed for use on completely flat ground. Even the 'adjustable' hammock stands on the market only really offer length adjustment, rather than any changing of the level/elevation of the stand's feet.
Therefore hammock posts are likely worth looking at more closely. Let's take Amazon.com's Algoma hammock post as an example.
When installed as instructed, this stands approximately above 4 feet above the ground. You attach your hammock to the hooks at the top of the post, however there is no choice of how high you can attach the end of your bed (a problem we'll mention again).
To my mind this height of 4 feet might make it possible to use your hammock parallel (i.e. horizontal) to the incline of your yard - in that you'd be high enough not for your side to be resting on the slope of the ground.
In truth, I'm not 100% sure though, as I don't know what type of hammock you have (inc. its length), how much you and your partner weigh etc., and therefore what the amount of sag would be. Maybe try stretching out your hammock with both your hands, at a height of 4 feet, in the middle of your slope. Then account for it sagging 75% of the way down to the ground - does the slope get in the way?
What's also important, in general and sag-wise, is the length between the 2 hammock posts. It may be that your estimation of 12 feet is a little on the large side (depending on your hammock's size)... the installation guides hammock post manufacturers offer online (i.e. here) suggest you should add 24 inches to the length of your hammock to get your ideal distance between posts.
Also note: hammock posts are generally designed for use with flat garden hammocks that use spreader bars (such as those from the likes of Pawleys Island say). So if you have a cocoon-like hammock, you're a bit stuck and I'm afraid I'm out of ideas (this Tepee stand does exist for such spreader-free beds, in place of a post, but I'm not confident you could use 2 of these together).
In terms of positioning your hammock down the slope... I came up with nothing helpful here. Unless you fancy making, or having made, a custom longer post for the down-slope position (or you have a building or wall you can attach a hook to, which would be ideal), I cannot see an obvious solution I'm afraid.
Posts should extend a minimum of 26 inches (just over 2 feet) into the ground. However the problem I see is that the posts you can buy are designed to stand out of the ground by a single set height each time (i.e. the Algoma's 4 feet). On a downward slope this leaves you with the annoying 'too steep to lay flat' problem.
I hope something there is helpful. I'd love to know what you try and what final solution you find, so as to help out other future visitors who may face the same dilemma.