All About the Hammock And The Different Types
Few things are as comforting in life as the simplicity of the hammock. Whether beside the beach, on a lake or simply in your backyard, the hammock provides a level relaxation few things can match. There is also an added level of customization with hammocks, which you may or may not realize.
For instance, were you aware there are multiple types of hammocks? There are different types of fabrics which provide different levels of comfort and strength, for instance. Some are made to stand alone, while others need some sort of existing support.
Finding the correct hammock isn’t difficult, as any hammock is going to give you a great level of comfort, but learning about all of your options is a great way to be sure you’re getting exactly what you need.
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Further north, the hammock becomes something truly special and historic. Many villages in the Yucatan create hammocks in a Mayan style, even though they weren’t really part of the Mayan culture. According to records, the hammock didn’t show up in the Mayan civilization until a hundred years or so before the conquistadors decided to invade.
When it comes to the Mayan hammock bed, things are fairly intense. Much as with a rug or other similar multi-fabric piece of material, the hammocks are made on a loom and are typically woven by hand. Threads are placed and run until the hammock is created.
In the culture, and the home, hammocks are a big deal. They may not hold a festival for hammocks in the Yucatan, but they do have hammocks all over the place, and especially in every home.
The Venezuelan or Brazilian style hammock is a work of art. When in a jungle, it’s necessary to take some precautions both for your safety and for your comfort, and the Venezuelan hammock keeps this in mind. Not only are you elevated above where all the creepy crawlies of the jungle floor like to live, you’re protected and made comfortable. In a hammock, you don’t have to worry so much about a scorpion getting its stinger into your arm.
Additionally, certain kinds of nettings were created to keep sleepers safe. Firstly, the hammock itself is made of a breathable material, allowing for good airflow and to keep humidity from building up and causing problems. A thin netting was also invented in order to keep mosquitos and the like away from the sleeper, which is important in areas in which they carry diseases.
This netting can be switched out quite quickly in the event it begins to rain, and the new layer would have “drip strings,” which are used to keep water from flowing down the tree trunk and into the hammock itself, negating the rainfly. One final, genius idea is a breathable bottom layer, keeping mosquitoes out while protecting the sleeper from too much humidity.
Chances are when you first read the word “hammock” at the start of this article an image popped into your head. It was likely the rope net, lashed between two trees, waiting for someone to climb in and take a little nap. That would be the rope hammock. Typically, rope hammocks are made of either cotton or polyester ropes, and in order to keep the user from flipping too much, it includes a spreader bar at either end to help it keep its flat shape, rather than bunching up. Trust me, you don’t want a rope hammock without a spreader bar.
Of the two materials, cotton is considered more comfortable, but polyester is more durable. Polyester isn’t going to grow mold or mildew, whereas cotton can absorb the water, holding it in until it begins to cause problems. Since the main body of the fabric is made up of netting, a rope hammock isn’t a good family size hammock.
My personal favorite, at least in concept, is the quilted hammock. The quilted hammock is composed of two fabric layers stuffed with some sort of soft filling. Since it’s all cloth, these aren’t the best hammocks to use outdoors, but are very comfortable. In fact, this might make for a good bedroom hammock, if that’s something you’re interested in. If you really want to go all in, a quilted hammock might even be your best bet for an indoor hammock bed.
Something to keep in mind, however, is that, though the quilted hammock may be soft, it isn’t going to be as flexible as, say, a Mayan hammock or any of its variations. For extended hammocking, the quilted hammock may not be the best, and you could be better off simply going with one of the other styles, but adding your own layer of softness through the use of either a thick blanket or a sleeping bag.
Whether utilizing hammocks which need to be attached to something, or free standing hammocks, keeping in mind these things will have them lasting a good, long while. Most hammocks have the same sort of rules when hanging them from a wall: Make sure they’re secure. Where things can vary are in the differences in height.
Take, for instance, the Mayan hammock. In order to get the full effect of your hammock, you’re going to want to make sure the distance between the two hanging points is at least 12 feet, and it should be attached to something very solid, such as a stud with hooks if indoors, or fence posts or even a tree when outside. It should also be about six feet from the ground to allow for sinking.
The Brazilian hammock has a similar setup, which shouldn’t be surprising when considering the other similarities they have with the Mayan hammock.
In addition to hanging your hammock, you can also make use of a stand, or purchase any one of a number of self standing hammocks. An addition to causing damage to your home or yard, these hammocks are easy to set up and can be moved pretty much anywhere with ease. On a sunny day, they can be dragged into the light. Once the clouds roll in, the hammock can be pulled onto the porch, safe from the rain.
The key to safe mounting is making sure you have the right amount of room for your hammock, and that whatever you’re attaching it to can handle the weight. Typically, all of this information can be found in the documentation which came with your hammock, so be sure to take a look at it and read it thoroughly.
My vote for best hammock store would have to go to Hennessy. The different types of Hennessy hammocks are wild, and they let you customize to your heart’s content. The base hammock type is a jungle hammock, which means it’s designed to keep you safe from bugs and the elements while keeping your cool and comfortable. That also means a Hennessy hammock is an outdoor hammock, one meant to be taken on long trips through dangerous terrain.
You can customize these hammocks to be fully enclosed, almost as though you were sleeping in a floating tent, which sounds like a lot of fun, to me. I could very easily see myself purchasing one of these for my back yard for a couple of cool nights under the stars.
Hammock chairs are an interesting option for those who want the sensation of floating without having to lie down. Typically, they only need a single point in a ceiling to be attached and can be quite comfortable.
Other types of unique or specialized hammocks also exist, some of which I don’t think I would ever have the courage to try. I have seen on more than one occasion giant nets used as hammocks. Nets similar to those one might see beneath a trapeze artist in the circus. These are large and can hold multiple people, making them great for a backyard setting for multiple family members.
Tip 1 :
The proper hang could be the most important thing of all. If your hammock is too taught, you’ll find yourself being unable to lay in it properly, and you’ll find it won’t conform to you in the way it should. Keep things loose and make sure there’s a fair amount of curvature to your hammock when it’s empty.
Secondly, don’t forget the extras. You may not think you need a pillow, but if you use a pillow in bed, you’ll want to use a pillow in your hammock. You’ll also likely want something to cover yourself, whether that be a blanket or a sleeping bag.
Your angle is quite important, as well. When looking at a hammock, it’s easy to see where your head and feet should be placed. There’s a fair chance, however, that you are wrong. You don’t want to lay parallel to the hammock. You actually want to lay out diagonally so you can stretch out and expand the hammock, giving yourself a great amount of room.
Since hammocks are designed to allow for good airflow, especially those created in any of the Central or South American styles, it’s easy to get cold. Utilizing a sleeping bag or blanket to wrap yourself up keeps you warm while also protecting you from any bugs and from any damage which may be caused to your skin due to rubbing on the hammock strings.
Finally, you’ll want to figure out your best position. Starting out diagonally is good, as is using your pillow and wrapping yourself up, but don’t be afraid to move around in your little cocoon and figure out what works best for you. Really stretch out and make your sleeping experience unique to you.
Living the Hammock Life
Whether you’re hanging out seaside, relaxing on your back porch or trading in your bed for a hammock, these wonders of human ingenuity are truly awesome. A hammock is lightweight enough to take anywhere, strong enough to hold most anyone and comfortable enough to use every day of the week.
Considering all of the options and picking out the perfect hammock isn’t hard. For many situations, one of the Central American hammocks is going to do well for you, but there’s nothing wrong with the more traditional rope hammock, should that be your prefered style.
All that really matters is finding the best way for you to lay back, kick off your shoes and enjoy a little time to yourself. Hammocks are great places to read a book, listen to music, enjoy nature or simply sleep the night away.