When we hear “hammock” our thoughts might drift to a pair of coconut trees on an idyllic beach with a hammock tied between each one. Well, the truth is that trees in different regions are not always plentiful or conveniently spaced when it comes to hanging your hammock. When trees or attachment points are too far apart your only option may be to tie out a long rope upon which you attach your hammock.
When hanging hammocks I usually use long loops made of strap webbing to make a slip-knot by wrapping one end of the loop behind the tree or branch while threading the other end of the loop through the first end as it emerges on the front side and pulling the knot tight. This type of knot is gentle on trees, easily adjustable and it becomes tighter in proportion to the load it bears. I fasten the end of the hammock to this loop with a carabiner or link and repeat the process on the other end.
When the trees are too far apart, I string a rope tightly between the closest available points. In the photo the distance of rope between the trees was nearly 30 feet whereas my hammock requires only about a 10 foot suspension span. So, instead of fastening the hammock to the trees, I fastened the hammock to the suspended rope.
To do this I made two smaller strap loops, each made from 1″ x 40″ belts using a water knot to join the opposite ends of each one. Then I used each loop to make a prussic knot that wraps around the suspended rope. To these loops I fastened the ends of the hammock. The prussic knot acts similarly to a slip knot but creates more friction or gripping power. They cinch in place on the rope but when loosened are completely adjustable.
When you enter your hammock there might be an initial slight slip as the knots cinch in place. I used a 1/2″ polypropylene rope that is very slippery, but once the knots cinched in they were very stable. A hemp rope would provide more friction as would using complimentary hemp loops.
Remember that a load on a rope will sag, so tie your rope high enough to suspend you completely.