Will A Fence Post Support A Hammock? (Discussed)

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Hanging a hammock isn’t always straightforward for everyone, particularly if you don’t have trees in your yard!

If that is the case you have to look for an alternative.

And the most obvious choice is a fence post.

So can you hang a hammock from a fence post?

Let’s take a closer look…

Will A Fence Post Support A Hammock?

Most fence posts that are 4 x 4 in size or above, should support a hammock, provided they are properly installed. At least a third of the post needs to be buried into the ground and set securely with either concrete or dirt. There also needs to be sufficient drainage otherwise the post will rot and eventually snap.

Hanging a Hammock From A Fence Post: Key Points to Consider

There isn’t a one size fits all answer for the question of whether you can hang a hammock from a fence post.

Mainly as not all fence posts are the same.

So we are going to take a look at some of the influencing factors as to whether a fence post will hold a hammock.

#1: How Well Is It Installed?

Regardless of what size fence post you use and what material it is made out of, if it isn’t properly installed, then it won’t support a hammock.

If you have a nice and chunky 6 x 6 steel post, but only the bottom 6 inches of it is buried in the ground, then it will topple over as soon as any weight is placed on it.

But if you have a 4 x 4 wooden post buried three feet into the ground it is likely it will hold a hammock.

The general rule of thumb is that somewhere between ⅓ and ½ of any post should be firmly buried in the ground.

So a nine-foot post should be sunk at least three feet into the ground, which will leave 6 feet of the post above the ground.

You also need to make sure it is anchored properly. 

There are two ways of doing this:

  1. Use Concrete
    If you use concrete don’t just fill the hole full of concrete and throw the post in. Make sure there is also adequate drainage.
    If water cannot drain away, it will slowly rot the fence post and it will eventually break off at the top of the concrete block. Check regularly around the base of the post for wood rot as a precaution.
  1. Use Dirt
    The alternative is to dig a hole and pack it with dirt. This will ensure water definitely can drain out.
    However, make sure the dirt is packed in sufficiently tightly that the fence post has no room for lateral movement.

A well-secured fence post is more likely to support a hammock.

#2: What Material is the Fence Post Made Out Of?

Wooden fence posts

As mentioned above, if you install your fence post properly, then you greatly increase its chance of supporting a hammock.

However some materials are obviously stronger than others.

Most fence posts will be made of wood, and strong and sturdy wood will be able to support a hammock.

Cedar and redwood are good choices for fences as they are naturally more resistant to damage from insects and from rot.

Many wooden fence posts are reinforced with an steel/iron rod running through the center of them, this obviously provides more stability.

Steel fence posts will provide the most support for a hammock, although they are often more expensive.

Aluminium, cast iron and metal fence posts will also comfortably hold a hammock provided they are installed following the instructions mentioned above.

Concrete or brick posts will be plenty strong enough to hold a hammock in general, but attaching the hammock will be more tricky.

On top of that, a concrete or brick post is more likely to be a one off structure, rather than part of a fence.

#3: What Size is the Fence Post?

Despite what you might hear otherwise, size does matter! Well, when it comes to hammocks it does.

It is pretty simple, the thicker the post the more sturdy it will be.

A lot of people ask whether a 4 x 4 post will hold a hammock, and the answer is yes it should depending upon a couple of factors.

First of all, it is installed properly and secondly it is a quality piece of 4 x 4, ie it is clean, treated and knot-free.

Any post that is 4 x 4 or larger should be able to deal with a hammock hanging from it, unless you are particularly large yourself…

Finally you need to make sure the post is sufficiently high enough that your hammock won’t drag on the ground.

#4: Is There Any Support?

If there is some kind of top or bottom bracing you could possibly get away with even smaller fence posts than a 4 x 4 supporting a hammock.

The addition of a vertical support stops the fence post from bending inwards and means it can support a hammock more easily.

See the video above which uses 2 x 4 pieces of timber and easily supports two people!

Final Thoughts

INFOGRAPHIC Answering the Question Will A Fence Post Support A Hammock
Click infographic to enlarge.

So when it comes to hanging a hammock from a fence post, you preferably want to follow the below guidelines:

  • Ideally you want to use a 4 x 4 post or larger (unless you have some kind of support for it).
  • You need to make sure at least ⅓ of the post is installed properly in the ground with adequate drainage.
  • A wood or steel fence post will be the strongest.

Really the top two points are the most important, and if you stick to them you will be fine.

Make sure the hammock is attached securely, you could install eye bolts and holes, or just try standard tree straps at first, and then you are good to go.

Happy hammocking!

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