Disclaimer: As an affiliate I may earn a commission on any qualifying purchases, including those from Amazon.com, at no extra cost to you – read more.
Camping in an area without trees and worried you won’t be able to wrap up in your cosy hammock? Never fear as there’s plenty of alternative ways to hang your hammock, even without a single tree in sight.
Most methods do require some sort of pre-planning to ensure you have the desired equipment, so best to check the list before you head out on your adventure.
1. Use a Portable Hammock Stand
If you know you’re going to be camping without trees, then you can prepare yourself by investing in a portable hammock stand. There are quite a few different styles that you can choose between including 2-legged, 4-legged, collapsible and more.
I’ve put together a full guide to the best portable hammocks that you can check out, but I’ll share my favourite choice here and that’s the Tranquillo stand. It can be put up in less than 35 seconds and despite weighing just 25lbs when compacted, it has a maximum weight capacity of 550lbs. I recommend watching the demonstration video on the Amazon listing to see it in action.
2. Tie Your Hammock Between Two Posts or Railings
Just because there are no trees in sight, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some great places to hang a hammock. Look out for posts, railings, fences, or more.
You’ll want to make sure the objects you’re using a sufficient to hold the hammock. If they are wooden posts, try to ensure they are at least 6” in diameter. The ideal distance between the objects is approximately the length of your hammock plus 2ft, however in the real world you’ll struggle to find this, so a good adjustable strap is recommended.
The best height to hang your hammock is about 6ft from the ground, this should allow enough sag to get a comfortable night sleep without being too far from the floor.
3. Use a Madera Post
Finding two posts or objects to hang your hammock between can be a challenge, but finding one is a lot easier. That’s where a madera post comes in. These provide the missing support for the other end of your hammock.
Madera posts are most commonly used with single trees, but can just as easily be used when camping without any trees if you can find a post, rock, railing, or something solid as a base for the other end.
The Byer of Maine post shown here is the most popular one around and is stocked by many stores Amazon to Walmart. But it’s not too difficult to create your own if you have some tubes or piping lying around. This instructables article gives step by step instructions.
4. Invest in the ENO Nomad Hammock Stand
Taking the madera stand to the next level is this Nomad stand from Eagles Nest Outfitters.
It has four legs at both ends that resemble the legs of a camera tripod, only must stronger. It is completely free standing, so you don’t even need to rely on there being one tree or object. This stand is super portable, it’s made of lightweight aluminium alloy which means it’s really strong whilst weighing just 15lbs when packed away in the carry case that comes with it.
When built, the stand can hold up to 300lbs capacity and You can use the bar that runs across the top as a ridge line and hang a tarp, or ENO also have a ENO Nomad shelter (sold separately) which you can attach over the top.
Both the stand and the shelter are mega expensive so unfortunately this puts it out of reach for many hammockers. You could try building your own version if there are some branches nearby, but I wouldn’t rely on this as your only option as it’s very tricky to set up.
5. Make Use of a Vehicle (or two!)
If you’re car camping, then you already have the perfect object to tie your hammock to. It can be tied to roof rails or to the top of the door through an open window like the image here.
If you have two cars or a trailer, even better as you’ve got the other end sorted, just set them the desired length apart and hang your hammock between the two.
If you only have one car, then find a secure object like those mentioned in previous steps, or invest in the madera post.
6. Keep the ENO Roadie Stand Nearby
Using the ENO Roadie takes car camping up a notch. Instead of a makeshift approach to hanging your hammock from your car, this is a stand that has been designed especially for use with cars or trucks.
The two stands are placed in front of two wheels, and by gently pulling forward on top of the base, you’ll secure them into place. They will hold up to 250lbs of weight, but the distance between them will be dependent upon your vehicle and longer trucks may not be suitable as the sag will be too low.
These aren’t the lightest stand, weighing in at 56lbs, however they are very affordable and compact enough to store in your vehicle.
7. Hang it Off the Side of a Cliff
I had to throw this one in just for good measure but definitely wouldn’t recommend it unless you have an experienced professional with you and all of the right gear.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, what am I actually talking about? Cliff camping involves literally hanging your hammock from the side of a cliff.
The method has previously been reserved for professional mountaineers who have little other option than to set up on the cliff edge for the night. However, more and more tours now offer this to guests and there’s even a cliff camping Airbnb. It’s not for the faint hearted that’s for sure.
There are plenty of ways to be creative when finding places to hang your hammock so don’t discount any object you see. From railings to goal posts, I’ve seen it all. Just remember to make sure you allow enough space for the sag else you might end up lying on the ground.