Hammock Basics: How to Safely Hang your Hammock and Meet Outside the Office


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By Olivia Orman

It is a serene afternoon in autumn, with the gold and maroon leaves blowing gently in the breeze.  You gather your notepad and pen, gazing through the windows as you walk down the hall to your next company meeting.  Longing to enjoy the pleasant weather outside, and completely disengaged from the presentation.

Today is the perfect day to take your conference outside and enjoy the cool autumn air!  By shifting the meeting location to a calm setting such as a park, you and your business associates will feel more engaged and look forward to this segment of the day, all while taking a break from the office in the great outdoors!

One method to create a productive environment for your outside meetings is to utilize the hammock as a comfortable and relaxing method of taking notes.  This may appear intimidating upfront, with little knowledge on how to safely hang and enter one, but with a little determination and practice, you and your business associates will be on your way to a successful, elemental excursion!

Location, Setup, and Entry

There are a couple of prerequisite pieces of information the group leader must know before embarking on this unconventional meeting setup.  They must understand where the best locations are to make this a realistic outing, how to properly string up the hammock, and the best way for each unique individual to safely enter the hammock.

#1: Picking the Perfect Spot

There are a couple of critical elements to keep in mind when selecting an appropriate spot in the park for your hammock meeting.  In order to seat all of your associates, there must be a cluster of several trees with seven to eight feet in between to string each hammock.  This is the ideal distance to secure both ropes for an accessible elevation.

The distance of the hammocks can present a challenge if you want to hold a smaller meeting of five to seven people within speaking range.  Two practical solutions are: wear a portable microphone while giving your presentation or discussion, and seat two to three people per hammock.  If space still feels limited, consider stacking hammocks, with the most physically fit candidates situated directly above the associates closer to the ground.

#2: Stringing Up the Hammock

Properly fastening the ropes of a portable hammock around the trees is much simpler than it appears.  Follow these three steps to ensure your hammock is safe and secure.

  1. Wrap the rope around the back of the tree and thread the rope through the fabric loop.
  2. Clip the carabiner clips to both ends of the hammock, and make several knots high or low on the rope to remove excessive slack from the tarp. If your trees are closer together, your knots will need to be higher on the rope.  The further the trees are, the lower the knots need to be on the rope.
  3. Verify both carabiners are fully clipped to each end of the two ropes, and confirm that there is still a little bit of slack in the tarp.

#3: Safely Entering the Hammock

Before attempting to sit in the hammock, especially in an outdoor corporate meeting where suitable space is limited, it is important to understand the group’s physical capacities.  If a person is less mobile, make sure their hammock is hovering at the height of their hips.  Associates with more strength may choose to take notes above the lower hammock.

To do this, string both hammocks on the tree, stacked on top of one another.  The associate who plans on taking notes in the top hammock must stand on the bottom level hammock, tuck their legs in the top hammock one-by-one, and flip over so they are facing upright.  If you can find a minimum of two trees, you can fit three people on the bottom two hammocks and one person above them, creating space for eight attendees.

Learning Curves Offer a Wonderful Reward

Though you and your group must go beyond your comfort zone to experience a hammock meeting, it will enrich the quality and interest of the company gathering.  If some associates find working from a hammock a challenge, a lawn chair is a wonderful substitute.  Rather than looking out the office window, watching the autumn leaves fly by, you will be part of the radiant foliage of fall.


Olivia Orman is a contributing writer from St. Louis, Missouri.


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