Summer Recommendation: Get Yourself a Multi-Person Hammock
You’ve probably never appreciated hang time like this before
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Confession: I’ve never been much of a hammock girl. At the family lake house in Minnesota, a dreamy, old-school ropey one used to beckon from the lakeshore with the water lapping nearby. Every summer as a teenager, I’d hop in, hoping to be lulled to sleep, but within minutes, I was bored, antsy, even slightly seasick from the light sway. Years later, the first thing my daughters like to do on camping trips is scout trees on which to hang our slippery, nylon hammocks like colorful cocoons. But when I climb in, even with my husband and girls nearby, boredom (and that gentle sway!) sets in fast.
My attitude changed in May 2021, after dear friends invited us to their cabin in Twin Lakes, Colorado. Tucked behind the house and beyond a gigantic wood pile, they’d strung a 6-person hammock (I didn’t even know this was a thing!) in a stand of lodgepole pines. Rather than the cradle-ish style of most hammocks, this one—at 170 square feet—looked more like a trampoline or a triangular sun screen. Suspended about four feet from the ground, you enter through a slit in the middle, before flopping onto the taut mesh surface.
That weekend was largely spent, shoes kicked off, on the hammock. We laid on our backs and looked at the sky through the trees. We curled on our sides and sipped coffee. We lounged on our stomachs and clinked to happy hour. We sat cross-legged and played cards. We talked, we laughed, we connected. With three corners attached to sturdy trees, the hammock didn’t sway. I felt buoyant, almost weightless, and blissfully relaxed. This, I thought, is a feeling worth paying for.
As soon as we got home, I bought my husband the four-person version for Father’s Day. Now, as a family, we anxiously await hammock season. We string it up in May (unless it’s still snowing) and don’t take it down until late October (unless it’s already snowing), and subsequently spend an inordinate amount of summer in its embrace. My kids take their books outside and read on it, they clamber on with friends to eat drippy snow cones and popsicles, my husband and I lie on it in the evenings and catch up. Our dog even seeks the shade it provides from Colorado’s blazing sun.
Come summer, if you can’t find me, look on the hammock.