Written by Bethany Kogut
By walking around campus on a warm spring day, I witness many people enjoying the weather from the comfort of their hammock. As an avid hammocker, the feeling of floating above the ground is as close as you can get to flying like a bird. It is not well known that those people who look as relaxed as a sloth hanging in the trees are actually breaking the rules. Currently, it is illegal to hang hammocks from trees on the Michigan State campus. Many different specialists on campus, including the MSU Arboriculture Department, claim that by hanging hammocks on trees, you are creating a burden on the tree and causing it to be more vulnerable to disease and death. Eagle Nest Outfitters, a large hammock distributer, has teamed up with Leave No Trace in producing a list of ways you can responsibly hammock.
Some of the Eagle Nest Outfitters’ tips include:
- Only hammock where you can strap your hammock to two thick, sturdy trees. Weak and fragile trees, such as those that seem to already be bending or look like they have wear and tear, are not strong enough to hold a hammock and may be dangerous.
- To protect the tree bark, use thick straps. Those that are at least 1 inch in thickness are safe to use on trees and distribute .
- Never hammer or anchor anything into a tree.
- Always take down your hammock when you’re not using it for the safety of the animals and other people around you.
- Make sure to strap your hammock to the thickest part of the tree to reduce any possibility of damage or bending.
For more information visit the Leave No Trace website and always remember to hammock responsibly!
Photo Source: MSU Hammocking Club Facebook