Why Does My Hammock Touch The Ground? (And How Do I Fix It?)

You are all primed for a relaxing afternoon, lazing in your hammock in the sun. 

Then you get in and find it sags so much it touches the ground.

It is very annoying!

What makes it even more annoying is that if you don’t know exactly how to fix it you can end up making the problem even worse.

So today we are going to examine why your hammock might be touching the ground and how to fix it.

Let’s get started…

If you find your hammock is touching the ground, it is most likely either because the two points it is anchored from are not an appropriate distance apart and/or because the straps are too high or too low. Your hammock should be at a 30-degree angle and be suspended around 18 to 24 inches off of the ground.

Reason #1: It Is Improperly Hung

It might seem like stating the obvious, but if your hammock is touching the ground then it has been badly hung in one way or another.

The two main things to consider here are:

  • How far apart are the trees/hanging points?
  • How high are you attaching the straps?

Essentially, the further away the trees or hanging points are from each other, the higher your straps need to be attached.

On the contrary if the hanging points are too close together, then you will have trouble securing your hammock adequately so it is not too close to the ground.

Ideally, your straps want to be at a 30-degree suspension angle, so your hammock itself hangs at a 30-degree angle.

Reason #2: It Is Because of the Fabric the Straps Are Made Of

Hammock straps with tree behind

It goes without saying that different fabrics will stretch to varying degrees.

Most hammock straps tend to be made of polyester which doesn’t stretch, but some are made of nylon which does stretch.

Or maybe you have made your own hammock straps. If you have, then consider what material they are made out of.

Inevitably you will find cheaper hammocks are made of cheaper materials which will have more stretch.

And if there is more stretch that could explain why you are hammock touches the ground.

Reason #3: The Hammock is New

If your kit is brand new, it will undoubtedly take a few adjustments to get it just right.

No matter what material they are made out of, hammock ropes will stretch somewhat, especially initially when they are brand new.

Give your hammock some time to get through that initial break-in period. 

If, in the first few weeks, you find yourself hanging too close to the ground, then remember it could be the hammock ropes reaching their natural elasticity.

If it is still a problem after this, you will need to look at what you can do to solve it…

How to Stop Your Hammock From Touching the Ground

Feet of person on hammock with sea and beach in front

First and foremost, if you are having trouble with your hammock sagging too close to the ground, your first port of call should be to head to Derek Hansen’s fantastic, Hammock Hang Calculator.

This excellent application allows you to put in a few basic details, such as the distance between your anchoring points, the length of your hammock and the weight the hammock will support and then all you need to do is click the ‘Hang It’ button.

Within a split second, the Hammock Hang Calculator will show you exactly how to set up your hammock to get the perfect hang every time.

It is an amazing tool and an absolute time saver.

The most important thing to consider when hanging your hammock is to make sure the two points you are securing your hammock to are an appropriate distance apart.

However, if you are limited in your choice of where you can hang your hammock, it is better to use two points that are a long way apart than very close together.

That is because rope and carabiners etc can help you bridge an extra large gap, whilst if the gap is particularly small that is a much harder problem to solve.

If the gap is small, you can try tying a knot in the hammock ropes to shorten their length, but as you shorten the ropes that makes it more difficult to get an adequate hang for your hammock.

How High Off The Ground Should A Hammock Be?

The generally agreed sweet spot for how far off of the ground a hammock should hang is 18 to 24 inches.

This is for a couple of reasons:

  1. It is relatively easy to get in and out of and you can sit in it with your feet just about touching the ground.
  2. It is still close enough to the ground that should you fall out, you won’t cause yourself serious injury.

Still not sure this is the right height?

Take a look at this thread on HammockForums.Net, and you will notice there is a general consensus…

Screenshot of hammock forum

Final Thoughts

INFOGRAPHIC Answering the Question Why Does My Hammock Touch the Ground
Click infographic to enlarge.

If your hammock is touching the ground then the bottom line is nearly always the fact that it has been hung incorrectly.

Regardless of how long your ropes are, the two anchor points need to be an appropriate distance apart.

From there it is a case of how high or low you attach the straps on the anchor point.

The hammock should ideally be suspended at a 30-degree angle and be around 18 to 24 inches off of the ground.

Hanging a hammock for the first time is always a case of trial and error, but to save yourself a lot of messing around use the Hammock Hang Calculator.

You’ll be hanging comfortably in no time!

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