Examples of how to hang your spreader bar and non-spreader bar hammock.
To hang your hammock correctly, pull the chains taut until the hammock is parallel to the ground. You may need two people to accomplish this. If the hammock has any sway to it, pull the hammock tighter.
The right way
The wrong way
Choosing a location
With the wide array of hammocks available on the market, you are sure to find the right hammock for any location you have in mind. Though most people think of a hammock hanging between two trees, there are a number of other ways to hang a hammock. There are many types of hammock stands for traditional hammocks with spreader bars and for hammocks without spreader bars. There are also hammock hanging kits allowing you to hang from the ceiling, from the wall, or on a porch, virtually anywhere you would like one, as long as the place you want to hang it will support the weight capacity of the hammock. As a general rule, we feel a tree should be a minimum of 12" in diameter. If using a post, 4"X4" is the smallest size you should consider using. Be sure the posts are in good condition, without cracks or rot. Trees and posts both should be hardwood, not soft, and whatever posts you buy should be treated lumber, or a type of wood resistant to rot, from exposure to moisture. Posts should be planted in the ground a minimum of two feet, deeper if the soil is sandy. Dig the hole, place the post in the center of the hole, fill with cement, and let dry 48-72 hours before use.
How to Determine Hanging Distance and Height
Distance: For hammocks with spreader bars, the minimum distance required to hang your hammock will be equal to the overall length of the hammock. If your hammock is 13 feet from hanging point to hanging point, this is the minimum distance required to hang your hammock. If the two trees you want to hang your hammock are farther apart than this, you will need either rope or chain to extend your hanging points. The same would apply to a stand. We recommend extending the hanging points in equal lengths on both ends of the hammock, and we also recommend extending the hanging points no farther than 18 inches on each end for a total of an additional 3 feet. The reason we recommend an additional 3 feet as being the maximum distance for hanging your hammock is, once you get beyond this amount, the tipping factor increases in direct proportion to how much farther you extend the hanging points.
For hammocks without spreader bars, the hanging distance is much more flexible. Hammocks without spreader bars will also have an overall length, determined by the hanging point to hanging point distance of the hammock. However, the minimum hanging distance for hammocks without spreader bars will be less than the overall length of the hammock because hammocks without spreader bars are designed to hang with a "dip" in them, and will not be taut when no one is lying in the hammock. In general, the minimum hanging distance for hammocks without spreader bars is two thirds of the overall length of the hammock. Therefore if your hammock is 180 inches from hanging point to hanging point, the minimum hanging distance is going to be 120 inches. For the maximum hanging distance, you would simply add two feet to the minimum hanging distance. These distances are only recommendations, and can be adjusted to fit your particular circumstances. Hammocks without spreader bars are flexible in how they can be hung in this way: the closer together you place the hanging points, the higher off of the ground you must go, while the farther apart you place the hanging points, the closer to the ground you can hang the hammock.
Height: For hammocks with spreader bars, 4-5 feet off the ground is the average distance for hanging the hammock. For hammocks without spreader bars, 6-8 feet off of the ground is the optimum height for hanging the hammocks. However, as stated above, hammocks without spreader bars are more flexible in how they are hung, and therefore can be adjusted to the space you have, assuming you are have adequate space to move both up or down, and in or out.
Here are some Hammock Knot Video Tips