Hammocks and trees are inseparable. Trees create the right foundation for camping. They provide a platform for hammocking by bringing people closer to nature. The beds, therefore, will always exist provided there are enough trees for propping.
So, why do campers prefer hoisting hammocks on tree stamps as opposed to other harnesses?
Benefits of Using Trees as Anchors
Trees make up a forest. A forest then creates the right environment for hiking and camping. But there is more. Trees are perfect anchor points as they:
- Make hammock installation easy
- Protect campers from falling debris
- Guarantee water availability (trees grow near rivers)
- Shield campers from strong winds
- Foster comfort
- Guarantee hammock stability after installation
The list is endless. But are all hammocks ideal for tree anchorage? Let us find out.
Can You Hang All Hammocks On A Tree?
Hammocks vary in style and design. Simple varieties do not need trees. They stand alone, meaning they do not require existing supports for propping. Anyhow, some cannot survive without external props. They are ideal for the wild. Such devices need trees to harness; more reason campers love them. But do hammocks hurt trees?
The Big Ask
Hammock usage has spiraled out of control over the last few years. Nature enthusiasts wonder if hammocks damage trees and their concerns are not far-fetched. According to environmental experts, the sleeping platforms destroy tree barks before and after installation.
Screwing bolts into tree stamps, for instance, exposes the inner bark to pathogens. That, coupled with bark abrasion caused by the rope harnesses affects tree growth. The two factors make a tree susceptible to disease and infection.
So, this begs the question. Are there ways to protecting trees from hammock damage?
Protecting the Tree from the Hammock
Trees are susceptible to hammock damage when rope scarring and screwing occur. The two processes expose the inner and outer bark leaving the tree prone to disease and infection.
Anyhow, the following approaches can prevent any of the above from happening.
Drilling Instead of Screwing
Did you know you can anchor your bed with eye-hooks on to a tree? The devices work better than bolts. They are not only robust but also easy to install. The eye-hooks also protect the tree from physical damage. You only have to drill into the bark for this to work.
Go for Mature Trees
Young trees are susceptible to damage. Going for the older ones, however, makes sense. Recall, trees become more potent with age. Old plants regenerate damaged tissue faster than the young ones. They also have hard trunks.
Therefore, settling for mature trees curbs structural damage even when plastic ropes are in use. It also protects young plants from exploitation.
Avoid softwood trees. They have tender barks, thus prone to scrapping. Beech, maple, oak, and palm trees are perfect for hammocking.
Secure Dead Points for Anchorage
Nature experts encourage campers to look for dead zones on tree barks and branches. These are the best anchor points, given they are impossible to damage. Their hard composition makes abrasion by hammock ropes unlikely.
Use Adjustable Hammock Hanging Straps
Hanging straps come in handy where bolts and eye-hooks have failed. The best hanging straps to use, however, get produced from durable polyester webbing. They not only prevent abrasion but also allow you to create a snug fit without harming the tree.
Polyester webbing also helps you in harnessing and detaching the hammock as you please. For extra safety, avoid cloth and plastic ropes at all costs. These materials cut through the wood fast.
Tie Up the Loose Ends
Hanging a hammock is easy. You only need to find a thick tree trunk, one that is about 4.5 feet from the ground. The right strapping is also necessary. Seasonal nature lovers urge you to strap a tree stamp tight, but leave enough space for trunk expansion.
The hammock should also align evenly between trees, and maintain a height of 18 inches above the ground. Therefore, make it a habit of inspecting the device every day to ensure it sticks to the above rules.
Being a nature enthusiast comes with a lot of responsibility. You must not harm plants or allow other campers to damage the trees on your watch. Protecting wild vegetation from destruction ensures you can camp for years to come. But that requires a lot of commitment and effort.
That said, you must learn how to install a hammock without destroying the tree. Using polyester straps, for instance, prevents bark damage. Drilling holes through wood also is better than screwing in the bolts.
For better results, you must use mature hardwood trees for hammocking. They are not only hard to destroy but also regenerate faster after tissue damage. You can also consult an arborist if you are uncertain of which tree to use.
Above all, adhere to the hammock hanging guidelines. Learn how to strap the bed onto a tree, and if you cannot, settle for the stand-alone hammocks that do not need tree stamps for propping. It is that simple!