Hammock camping is one of the most convenient and laid-back methods of camping. It is a super comfortable, easy-to-pitch, safe, and secure way of sleeping above the ground.
As amazing as hammock camping might seem, it does have a very particular requirement. You need two secured tree bases at a distance of a few meters and strong enough to hold your gear. Hammock camping without trees is a bit of a tough thing but not entirely impossible.
In this article, I will tell you ways to hang your hammock in areas where there are no suitable trees.
So, how to hang a hammock without trees? To hang a hammock without trees, you can make a tripod stand using thick sticks in the woods. If one tree is available, you can tie the other end of the hammock to your car or truck. You can also use rocks to tie your hammock ends. Alternatively, you can buy a hammock stand that you can set up anywhere.
Let’s discuss each of these methods in more detail so that you know how to hang your hammock anywhere without trees.
5 Ways to Hang a hammock without trees
Before constructing a stand or using a pole, we must know what we need from our hammock stand or anchors. It may seem like a complex calculation, but let me simplify it for you.
Each hammock pole has to bear half of your weight.
If you weigh around 80 lbs., each pole has to be strong enough to bear 40 lbs. without collapsing. So what you need is not only a pole, but a pole with a strong, sturdy, fixed, or riveted base.
#1 DIY Tripod Hammock Stand
This is more of a DIY project if you are a DIY enthusiast. You can construct your own tripod hammock stand using bamboo or any other stick you can easily find in the woods. Just make sure the sticks are thick enough to bear your body weight.
If you can find one suitable tree to hook one end of the hammock, you will have to construct just one tripod to take care of the other end. But if there are no suitable trees around, you will have to go with two tripods connected by a top rod (See image below and forgive my badly drawn illustration)
To begin, find suitable branches that are 3 – 4 inches in diameter and cut them into 8 feet long. You need three legs for each side and one top road (a total of 7 8-foot long pieces).
Once you get your wooden legs in order, tie a set of 3 at one end with an anti-slip rope (like this one). Once done, space the tripods at a suitable distance according to your hammock length.
Put a connecting rod at the top of both tripods, and you are ready to hang your hammock. Put a rain fly at the top if the weather is not friendly and you are in for a comfy night.
#2 Use your car as an anchor
This trick is for times when you have just one pole, tree, or any other base available and you need one more.
In such a scenario, your car or truck can prove to be the best support you can get for hammock camping.
Most people go offroading with trucks or SUVs which have high enough beds to provide a suitable anchor point.
Select an appropriate anchor point on the body of your car that can bear at least half of your body weight (avoid the rearview mirror) and park your car near a pole or tree in such a way that the anchor point is at a suitable distance for both ends of the hammock to tie in nicely.
Tie one end to the tree and the other end of the hammock to your selected anchor point on your car or truck body.
Below is a great video exploring multiple anchor points to hang your hammock.
The caveat is that you should select the anchor point with great care. A too-weak anchor can break under your door and potentially injure you and also damage your car.
#2 Use old tent poles
This may be one of the easiest methods to hang a hammock.
If you have been camping for at least a while, you may have your old tent poles and pegs that you wouldn’t use because you fell in love with your hammock. [tent vs hammock camping]
Those tent poles are the best to use where you cannot find rightly spaced trees. They are not only lightweight but are strong and easy to pitch.
For this one, all you need is a fast post anchor, your tent poles, and a few J-hooks.
If the poles are strong enough, you can get away with just one pole securely inserted into the ground. But if the poles are not strong enough, you can construct a tripod-style A-frame structure with three poles at each end.
Dig a hole into the ground deep enough for the poles to anchor correctly. Insert the poles and fill the hole with a fast post anchor.
Once you construct a single pole or A-frame structure, let it dry properly, and then hang your hammock ends on each pole, and you are ready.
You can use the regular screw, bolt, or J-hook to hang the strap of your hammock to each anchor point.
#4 Use rocks to hold your hammock ends
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book for people who do rock climbing.
If you have one end sorted, and you don’t know where to put the other end then, look for a huge rock
One might find a lot of these big rocks while camping, or if you are in any region of high landscapes with any hillocks beside you, this trick will only then work well for you.
Find a crack or any point deep and spaced enough to hold a big nail or peg. If not, then secure that end with pitons or anchors. Then hang one end of your hammock there!
#5 Use a dog-turtle stand
This method is for people who do not want to risk their time and energy and need to get hammock-hanging gear with minimal effort.
These stands are super durable and do not cost much. They can handle up to 400 lbs of weight and are spacious enough to provide the maximum comfort one wants.
This hammock stand is one of the most popular stands among campers. It has a length of 8 feet and can take up to 400 lbs. weight which is quite good. It is super cheap and is very easy to handle in terms of portability.
Can I make my own turtle dog stand? – DIY Hammock stand
If you’re someone who enjoys building things, then this hammock stand will definitely satisfy your longing of creating structures.
Constructing a turtle dog costs about $7-10. All you need is 7 strong wooden pieces and some connecting accessories. You need to create two tripods on either side of the hammock and connect it with a middle rod.
Here is a great video tutorial that you can easily follow to make your own tripod-style A-frame structure to hang your hammock anywhere in the woods.
What tools do I need to make my own turtle stand?
You don’t need any extra tools or equipment for hammock camping without trees. If you are a habitual camper, you might already have most of the tools in your camping checklist. Here are the basic tools you might need:
- A medium-sized axe to cut down tree branches
- Leather gloves to protect your hands
- Sharp knife to shape the wood as needed
Hammock camping without trees – Conclusion
Camping in the wild is more about enjoying every moment than worrying about finding a perfect place that has trees, poles, or anything you need. It’s more about how creative you are to make something out of what nature provides you.
All the methods mentioned above do not require expensive gear. All it needs is a little bit of energy and a pinch of your creativity. And Voilà! You’ll have your self-made sleeping space.
This blog is part of our comprehensive hammock camping guide. If you are new to hammock camping, read the complete guide to get ready for your next camping trip.
Recommended Camping Gears: I have compiled a list of my favourite camping gear in one place. The selection is based on my own personal experience using them for many years camping as well as feedback from fellow campers. Check them out on my Recommended Camping Gears page