Mon 26 Jul

DIY Ultralight Hammock Tree Straps

I'm a big fan of hammock camping. I bought my first hammock, an ENO Singlenest, about a year ago. After realizing I got a better night's sleep in a hammock than I do on my bed at home, I was sold on the concept.

Hammocks are cool, but they're not that useful unless you can attach them to a tree, a rock, or some other anchor. Several hammock companies sell accessories variously referred to as "tree straps", "tree slings", or trade names like ENO's "Slap Strap". These are typically wide pieces of material meant to be wrapped around your anchor, with a loop so you can easily attach your hammock. They make hammock setup much simpler and quicker, and more importantly prevent damage to tree trunks. You can buy these at retail for $20-$25, but here's a simple, lightweight design that you can make on your own for less than $5.


  • 2x 5ft. lengths of 1" tubular nylon webbing (more or less depending on desired strap length)
  • Sewing machine + heavy thread Total weight: ~2oz per strap (compare to ENO Slap Straps at 6oz per strap)

Grab an end of one of the lengths of webbing and fold over the last three inches or so, forming a loop. Sew a box pattern over the inner half of the folded section, being sure that the remaining open loop is wide enough for the other end of the webbing to easily slide through. Repeat this for the other three ends of your webbing.

To hang your hammock, simply wrap each length of webbing around your tree and slide one end through the loop on the other, then pull to tighten. Then just clip your hammock to the free loop! For small trees, you can wrap your loop around twice, and for larger trees, you can connect multiple tree straps together or connect the loops with a some parachute cord.

The webbing should be available for a few dozen cents per foot at your local outdoor store, probably in the climbing section. You can substitute a different thicknesses, but be aware of the breaking strength of your webbing for safety. My hammock is rated to hold 400lbs, and I've had around 300lbs of people in my hammock overnight with these straps without a problem (not recommended unless you /really/ like said people and don't mind a foot or two hanging out of your hammock). I've been using these straps for about a year in Tennessee, North Carolina, and southern California (including a wonderful night anchored between two joshua trees with about six inches between my bum and a cactus -- they were the only pair of trees close enough that I could find!) and they've held up fantastically. They're also small enough to fit inside the stuff sack for my ENO along with the hammock, saving some additional space.

I hope you find this design helpful!

Note: I'm pretty sure this is an original design, but I may have picked up the idea somewhere else, consciously or subconsciously. It's pretty straightforward, but if you see it elsewhere let me know so I can give proper attribution.

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