If you use trees for hanging your hammock 100% of the time, no need to read this post. However, if you are in the fast-growing community of folks who have discovered the wonderful world of hammock stands, this is for you! The right hammock stakes are crucial to you having a good experience with your hammock stand. As we’ve discussed before, hammock stands remove a lot of the uncertainty about hammock camping. (i.e. Will I find two trees the perfect distance apart? Does the park/campground allow hammock hanging from trees? Are all the good tree spots taken? Will the trees be too far from the views/action/quiet/etc.?) If you’ve established that a hammock stand is a handy thing to own, let’s talk staking. FYI, you don’t need our Freedom Stands to apply this information – use it as you need for your homemade hammock stands, as well as with some other stake-able hammock stand brands!
Choosing the Right Hammock Stakes
The market today offers plenty of hammock stands to choose from! Many of the smaller, more portable ones like YOBOgear’s own Freedom Stand need to be staked out. Here are the top things to consider when purchasing stakes for your hammock stand:
1. Weigh Capacity
Tent stakes are designed to hold fabric to the ground. Hammock stakes are designed to hold a human off the ground. Those are two very different functions! Therefore, hammock stakes need to be a lot stronger with a much higher weight capacity than most people are used to shopping for. Short little tent stakes will not do for hammock stands! We think it’s a good mindset to think of your hammock stakes as anchors. (Note: If you plan on having 200+ lbs in your hammock, you’ll need to be even more selective with your stakes and staking. Don’t worry – it is pretty intuitive once you’ve practiced a bit.)
2. Ground Type
Different ground types require different staking! So, in order to choose the right hammock stakes for your set-up, you’ll need to know if the ground is loose or hard-packed. You’ll also need to know if there is a root system as with grass or brush.
For hard, rocky ground, we recommend long, straight stakes such as 10-15″ nail spikes (like these) or our DAC 12″ aluminum stakes. Cross-staking them in an “X” will ensure they are firmly in the ground!
For sand and soft, loose dirt, you’ll need something with a wide base to hold firmly in the ground. We invented a spade anchor for exactly that purpose. You may be able to get away with straight stakes if you find a shrub or something with roots to make your “X” around. If you’re on a beach with no plants, though, you’ll need some sort of wide sand anchor.
For grass, or ground with a root system, a screw stake like the Orange Screw ground anchor will work wonders! You may also be able cross-stake straight stakes, depending on how packed the ground is.
3. Do I Really Need Stakes?
If staking your hammock stand sounds like too much work, there are ways around that. You may be able to anchor your hammock stand to something heavy like a boulder, vehicle, or shrub. Check out this video for creative ways to do so! This option works well if you are sure you’ll have objects available. If you’re heading out to a brand new camp site, it may not be the safest bet.
You can also avoid staking by using a stake-free hammock stand! YOBOgear’s Cricket Hammock Stand is completely free-standing, yet is still lightweight and very packable.
We always emphasize the importance of testing your hammock before you put your full weight in it. That means, 1) tug on your lines after you put your stakes in the ground, then 2) sit s-l-o-w-l-y by utilizing your leg muscles and gradually put your full weight in the hammock. Once your full weight is in the hammock, keep your feet under you and bounce a little to see how your set-up works with movement. We’ve seen several avoidable accidents because folks chose to haphazardly flop into a hammock stand that wasn’t secure!
Practice your staking before you go on any camping trips too far from home. Set up in the backyard, at the park, or at beach day so you can really get the hang of it. We never know what might be waiting for us at our campsite – wind, rain, difficult ground types, space issues, etc. When you’re confident in your staking abilities, you’ll be able to relax as you get to your campsite and know you’re ready for anything.
If you know you’ll be staking, have a good mallet with you! Rubber-headed mallets don’t work great on nail stakes in hard ground – they get chewed up pretty easily. If you’re lucky, you might find a nice big rock to do the trick – but never count on it! We usually have a steel-headed hammer in the trunk just for these occasions.
We hope this helps! We’ve had our fair share of staking conundrums, so always feel free to reach out with questions, comments, or funny stories. We are available via e-mail (email@example.com) or Instagram and Facebook DMs. Whether you have a YOBO hammock stand or not, you are welcome to join our private Facebook community, The YOBO Neighborhood. You can ask/answer questions about staking, hammocking, camping, or you name it in there!