One of the best parts of laying or sleeping in a hammock is its gentle swing that is very comforting and relaxing. It calms your nerves and lowers your anxiety. That’s why it feels good to lay down and relax in a hammock after a tiring day. But is it safe to swing in a hammock?
It is safe to swing in a hammock as long as your hammock is securely attached to both the anchor points and you are not hanging too much above the ground. Also, gentle & slow swinging motion is safer than erratic and harsh swings. The latter can through your balance off.
Hammocks are quite safe for camping as well as backyard relaxing. In fact, when properly set up, hammocks can be safer compared to traditional tent camping. However, there have been very few incidents where an unsecured hammock or a weak anchor point collapsed resulting in injuries and sometimes even deaths. However, all this can be avoided if you tie up your hammock securely and don’t push too hard on your swing motions.
Why you should swing carefully in a hammock?
All hammocks have an inherent tendency to swing above their centre point but if you lay inside the hammock without moving around much, it will eventually come to rest. Some people prefer their hammocks to sway perpetually (or at least till they fell asleep) while others would like a more stable hammock. The choice is personal.
But if you like to swing in your hammock, you will have to be a little extra careful. The swing motion puts extra forces around the anchor points. If your hammock is not tied securely to the tree or pole, it can come down gradually when the swing motion reduces the friction between the strap and the tree bark.
Also, if you are going to induce forced sway in your hammock, make sure you are not hanging too high in the tree (read our hammock guide to see best practices to set up your hammock correctly). If you are too high and your hammock breaks or flips, you can sustain injuries due to the fall.
Before you get into a hammock to enjoy the swing, also make sure the anchor points are sturdy and strong enough to hold your weight. A simple harmonic motion like a periodic swing can put extra stress on the poles or tree trunk you have hanged your hammock from. If they are not strong enough, they can break down and can be fatal.
Can my hammock flip while swinging?
While gentle swings are fine, a forced swing that throws the hammock further away from its middle point can possibly flip your hammock and you along with it. The swing can be caused by the unbalanced weight of your body, wind or simply a push from a silly friend.
That fall might not be dangerous if your hammock is tied close to the ground but if you are hanging more than a few feet above the ground and the wind or your own unbalanced weight knocks you down, it can be dangerous.
How do I keep my hammock from swinging?
If you don’t want your hammock to sway due to fear of safety or you just don’t like the swing, you can keep your hammock from swinging by using bungee tie-outs.
The tie outs help anchor the hammock from the sides and stop it from swinging under your weight or due to strong winds. They are particularly helpful if you are hammock camping during a windy night and don’t want the wind to flip you over during the night.
For best results, use bungee cords though you can use any non-elastic cord. Attach one cord to your hammock near your shoulder area on one side and near your knee area on the other side. Securely fix the other ends of the cords to the ground using stakes. You are done. You enjoy a stable hammock now.
Is it safe to swing in a hammock – conclusion?
Summing up the discussion, yes it is safe to swing in a hammock if you take proper precautions to make sure you don’t end up lying flat on the ground.
- Make sure your hammock is tied properly and securely to the anchor points.
- Inspect all the components of your hammock before getting in specially the suspension system.
- Make sure you are tieying your hammock to a sturdy and solid tree or pole as swinging can weaken the anchors over time.
- Do not hang your hammock very high above the ground. If you flip over, you can get hurt.
With these basic safety checks, you can safely swing in your hammock and enjoy your lazy Sunday afternoon or camping in the wild. If you enjoy this article, do read my complete guide on hammock camping to learn more.