Beach camping is one of the most desirable types of camping you can do. It can be pretty amazing taking in the sunset in a hammock between two palm trees; but what if your beach doesn’t have trees? There are a few possible options that you can explore in order to share the beach with your tent-wielding friends.
The easiest way to hang your hammock at the beach is to buy a quality super-lightweight hammock stand. Other options that you have are cheaper lightweight stands, normal stands, and DIY solutions. However, if you are not dead set on hanging you could use your hammock like a tent.
We will take a look at all of these options but overall I believe that the best two products to hang your hammock on the beach are the ENO Nomad and The Tato Gear Portable Hammock Stand.
Quality Built Options
I’ve suggested a quality built lightweight hammock stand as the easiest option. These stands are pretty expensive so they may not be for everybody but if you really want the easiest way to set up your hammock at the beach without trees then these stands might interest you;
- The ENO Nomad is expensive when compared to other hammock stands, but it weighs only 15 pounds and is made by one of the most popular companies in the hammock business- Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO). Because this stand is so light it is one of the most portable hammock stands on the market.
- The Tato Gear Hammock Stand is another more expensive but quality stand that I would recommend. At 25 pounds it is much heavier than the Nomad. One benefit to the Tato Gear is that it looks to be one of the sturdiest and most portable hammock stands I have ever seen.
- One issue with these two hammock stands is that 15 pounds still weighs much more than a tent. There is a newer “Ultra Light Hammock Stand” being sold by DDHammocks. It is advertised as weighing only 2.9 pounds! At this point, this product looks pretty good but I haven’t found enough information online to really determine how well it works. It looks like the idea used to be called the “handy hammock” and they stopped selling it a few years ago. I will keep an eye on this and see what happens.
With these hammock stands costing a pretty penny I would not recommend buying them to use only a few times a year. If you own one of these then you have so much versatility on where you are able to relax; most of the restrictions that face hammock users are gone! You can now hang in most places that you would be able to set up a tent.
Normal Hammock Stands
When it comes to setting up a hammock on the beach, hammock stands are often ruled out because most of them are so heavy. Taking one them away from home seems like it would be a ridiculous thing to consider, that’s not true though.
There are a number of situations when taking a hammock stand out doesn’t only make sense but it is the easiest route to go. Most hammock stands weigh between 25 pounds and 50 pounds. If yours is on the lighter end of the spectrum then bringing it with you might be a good option for you.
Think about how often you go to the beach, now think about how far the beach is from the parking lot. If you have already made up your mind that you are not willing to take two trips no matter what then skip the rest of this paragraph.
If you have decided that spending the extra five minutes walking back and forth to the car is worth a few hours of beach hammock time then you probably already understand where I am going with this. In a lot of cases bringing your normal stand is worth the extra trip to your car and can save you a lot of money or frustration.
Cheaper Lightweight Hammock Stands
Not all budget-friendly hammock stands are so heavy and difficult to move around. Some are made to be lightweight and portable, and some are better quality than others, but they all work. Make sure you read the reviews and ask questions to decide if a product is right for you.
Amazon has a number of stands that are advertised as being “lightweight”; it even comes with backpack straps! The most common problem with these stands is that they come with a hammock that doesn’t have much sag and because of that the stand is too short for a lot of camping hammocks. A solution to this is to make the hammock shorter by tieing a knot near each end; it will do no damage to most hammocks but isn’t ideal. If you are willing to do this or are fine with using the hammock that these stands come with, then something like this may work for you.
Use Your Hammock on The Ground
If you were planning on camping at the beach or would be fine with just having a tent then you may be satisfied to know that you are able to set up your camping hammock on the ground. In this set up your hammock will act like a single person tent. All you need to be able to do this is your hammock, a couple of poles, and some cord. If you have trekking poles then those would work great but you could also you some sticks if you can find any that are a good size.
To do this, you need to start by pitching your tarp;
- Use your two poles to hold up the tarp, one on each side.
- Get 6 ground steaks and enough cord to use each steak to tie down the tarp.
- Tie down the tarp to create tension at the ridgeline (where the crease is) using the cord and steaks.
- Tie down each corner, again trying to create even tension all around
- Adjust it until it’s perfect.
Next, you have to set up the hammock. This all depends on specifically what products you own but basically, you want to raise the roof. You can do this by tying both ends to the poles or by threading a cord through the guide holes on your hammock’s bug net and tying that cord to the poles. Now you just need to throw in your sleeping pad and sleeping bag and you are good to go!
DIY (Try at your own risk)
There are many approaches you can take at home to try and set your hammock up on the beach. I will give you a synopsis and post a link to some of the more successful attempts I have seen. Please remember to try these methods only at your own risk.
In this youtube video, a man sets up a hammock on a beach using two 2x4s, some rope, and tent pegs. How this works is; the 2x4s are dug deep into the ground at an angle away from each other, they are supported by two guy lines on each. The hammock is slung in between the two beams. A genius solution that I hope to try someday soon.
In this video Youtuber and ultralight camper; KennithKramm, makes two tripods out of thin pieces of driftwood and then uses ground steaks and cords in his setup. He manages to not only have an impressive shelter but also manages to hang some of his gear.
The final DIY Hammock Stand that I would like you to show is the TurtleDog Hammock Stand. This is probably the most common Do It Yourself hammock stand project. The TurtleDog consists of two tripods and a ridgepole. Take a look here to see a video of somebody doing this specific build. It would take a lot of work to make it super portable, but the video proves that it can be done.
Please remember that doing something uncommon to set up a hammock may be neat but it is always important to keep your own safety in mind. If you are planning on trying anything unconventional, remember you are doing so at your own risk.
Setting up a hammock on the beach without trees may at first seem like a difficult situation to overcome but when you really stop and think about it you will realize that it should be simple. There are so many solutions that you can try to use to make use of your hammock at the beach; using it on the ground, investing in a portable hammock stand, trying a DIY stand, or even using your hammock as a tent are all viable options.
Overall I believe that the best products that you can buy to use your hammock on the beach are the ENO Nomad and The Tato Gear Portable Hammock Stand. Not only do I believe that these are the best products for beach use, I believe that these are the best solution for anyone looking to camp with a hammock without trees.
There are some other interesting DIY solutions on the internet and it would be fun to try all of them. Please let me know of any ways that you have tried to use your hammock at the beach. Remember to be safe when you are trying new setups.