hammock straps attached to camo hammock

Hammock Straps: Everything You Need to Know About Hammock Tree Straps

If you’re just looking into hammocking, you might have found out by now that hanging with ropes is no good. Straps are the way to go, and that’s probably how you found this article. But what do you need to know about straps, and how do you go about picking something suitable for you and your hammocking?

In this article, you will learn all you need to know before getting your first pair of hammock straps. You will learn what hammock straps are, if they are necessary, how they work, and how you choose which hammock straps are right for you.

Related: Hammock Camping 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

What Are Hammock Straps?

Hammock straps, or tree protector straps as they are also called, are flexible pieces of material used to hang your hammock between two trees.

If you are wondering how to start hammock camping, getting a pair of hammock straps is a smart decision right off the bat. They are required in several areas of camping, they don’t damage trees like rope does, and are much easier to set up.

Straps come in different sizes, lengths, materials, and types, and can have different weight capacities.

They can also be attached in different ways around a tree and to your hammock. This is something you can experiment with if you get very into hammocking, but to get started as easy and painless as possible, you don’t have to know all the solutions.

A daisy chain strap is an easy strap to start with and will give you a quick setup, not cost you too much, give you flexibility and range, and not require any other gear.

In other words, gone are the days when you would have to practice all kinds of knots and bring lots of extra gear and rope to hang your hammock. 

Hammock tree straps let you set up your hammock camp quickly, with easily adjustable settings, so you can spend time hanging safely with a pair of sturdy straps.

Related: Do I Need a Tarp for Hammock Camping?

Are Hammock Straps Necessary?

These days hammock straps are becoming a necessity. At least if you plan to hang your hammock between two trees. Ropes cause girdling and damage to trees. With more and more people hammocking, that can cause some real damage to a lot of trees over time. 

We should also strive to take care of the great outdoors and nature, that in turn takes so good care of us.

According to Leave No Trace, you should use straps that are at least 1-1.5 inches wide (2.54 – 3.81 cm). Using straps limits bark damage. Hammocks do leave a small footprint though, compared to other types of camping, which you can feel good about.

In addition, several areas require you to use straps and might have other regulations you should check out. You should do some research into the rules where you plan to use your hammock, before buying your first pair of straps.

You could also use your straps to hang your gear while hammock camping.

As straps are faster and easier to set up than tying ropes, safer to hang with, more adjustable, and possibly even more lightweight than rope – the conclusion for me is that yes, hammock straps are necessary.

How Do Hammock Straps Work?

There are different types out there. But generally speaking, you wrap the strap around the tree, for example by looping the tree strap through itself. 

daisy chain hammock strap with carabiner

One example of straps is the daisy chain straps that have multiple levels of loops that you can attach your carabiner to, which are connected to your hammock. This is probably one of the most effortless straps to use, as you only need the straps, and no knots (you need a carabiner to attach the webbing strap to your hammock).

Why Are Straps Better Than Rope?

Hammock straps distribute the pressure on the tree more evenly, as they are wider than ropes and at the same time less pointy than ropes. They are also safer to use. I’ve seen several ropes break on my buddies’ hammocks, but never a strap.

I’d say they are also more foolproof. With ropes, you need to know how to tie knots. With straps, you can just hook it around the trees and attach a carabiner. Easy peasy.

How Do I Choose Hammock Straps?

When choosing which hammock straps you go for, you should consider a couple of criteria. First, what are your primary use for the straps? Are you backpacking long distances and need lightweight gear? Are you camping between two trees in your backyard with a long space between them? 

Some hammocks come with straps, so if you haven’t yet bought your hammock, look into if your preferred hammock comes with or without straps.

And then, depending on what you intend to use your straps for, you can look at your weight, carry capacity, material, design/type, length, price, and pick according to your needs.

After that, it’s a matter of preference and looking into some reviews or recommendations.

What Size Hammock Strap Do I Need?

When you buy your first set of hammock straps, it can be a good idea to buy them pretty long. Then you get an idea of how much you need when testing it out, and you can cut them and adjust them if needed.

It’s also a good idea to look into the region where you plan to camp. Are there any regulations regarding size requirements for straps, when hanging your hammock?

As an example, there can be a requirement that your hammock straps are at least 1 inch wide, or 2.54 cm.

But don’t get too hung up on getting everything right about your straps (no pun intended), or hammock gear in general, right away. You usually need some trial and error to really dial in what works for you and your hammock setup. You can always extend your hammock hang length with a pair of whoopie slings later.

Now you should know enough about hammock camping tree straps to buy your first pair. If you are just starting out with hammocking, you might wonder if it’s ok to sleep in a hammock while camping, so check that article out.

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