Gravity. It's not a suggestion. It's the law! Defying gravity is the basis of many of humanity's most thrilling pastimes. Intercepting gravity for purposes of relaxation requires attention to certain details, that will ensure a pleasant experience. While using hammocks is incredibly relaxing, one must remember, at least during the set up phase, that one is supported by an assembly of strings, ropes, hooks, and miscellaneous fibers. So, let's get it right.!
Starting with the hammock, and its capacity ratings, it is important to know that at Seaside Hammocks we rate the load bearing of the hammock conservatively, to reflect its expected capacity over its normal life expectancy. As hammocks age, their fibers gradually weaken, and it becomes important to check the appearance and expected strength more frequently over time. The hammock we rate at 800 pounds, will carry two or three times that when it is new. After extended time in the elements it will be able to hold less. If you consistently load a hammock up to and beyond its capacity, it may not fail, but it will weaken more quickly. So check it often for signs of wear.
There is an additional risk where small children are involved, of entanglement and strangulation in the support strings. It is vitally important that you supervise your children and recognize that you are solely responsible for their safety!
Support or adjustment ropes also deteriorate over time. The ropes we sell with our kits are tensile strength rated at 1500 pounds. For weight support we rate them at 500 pounds each. For two ropes (per hammock) the rated support is rated at 1000 pounds less 20% for knots, or 800 pounds. We recommend using these ropes doubled up via the fisherman's knot for a total rating of 1600 pounds load bearing capacity, more than enough for any sane hammock use. This is when they are new. They will lose strength at an approximate rate of 20% to 40% per year under UV radiation. We recommend replacing these ropes once a year if they are used outside. Tree Hugger Straps, while guaranteed for a year can be subject to unusual strain under UV, sap, rodent, and bird assault. Check them frequently!
The final link in the chain is in the attachment. All the hardware that we sell is rated far beyond any normal or even most abnormal weight loads. It is vital, however, to be sure that the installation is into sound and structurally supportive materials. For example, if you are using the wood installation kits into stud wall construction, it is crucial to install dead center into the stud, and that the stud be in good condition. The same is true of the concrete kits. The concrete itself has to be of sufficient quality to support the weight. If you are not sure, get competent help!
Over a long lifetime of creative supine endeavors I have been unceremoniously and sometimes painfully dumped upon the terra all too firma. In every single case to date, it was not the fault of the hammock, but some inadvertence or stupidity in the installation. On certain occasions alcohol may have played an ancillary role. But that is another tale to tell.
So be well! Be safe! And enjoy the fine art of hammocking, one of humanity's greatest reposeful treasures!