Hammocks are no longer just a tool for backyard relaxation, but are fast becoming an essential and trendy piece of gear for outdoor adventures. A group of BYU students is taking hammocking to a new extreme as they attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest hammock tower.
The group is teaming up with the adventure group Weekend Voyagers to create Utah’s first annual Hammock Festival, on September 9th. Hammocking spots are available at a first-come-first-served basis and there are only 150 overnight hammock spots. Tickets go on sale August 10th.
Hammockers Indonesia currently holds the world record with 30 stacked occupied hammocks. The Hammock Festival hopes to break the record by getting to 31 or 32 stacked hammocks. Attendees are invited to bring their own hammocks to the event.
Once considered a solo endeavor, hammocking has become a hugely popular social outing according to BYU senior Adriel Johnson, part of the group attempting to break the Guiness World Record.
“It’s kind of the thing to do,” Johnson said. “Hammocks are a great way to relieve stress. You can read a book or hang out with friends.”
Johnson originally got into hammocking after seeing a beautiful hammock in Brazil and soon fell in love with the atmosphere that is created when hammocks bring people together. He came to particularly enjoy “hammock tower parties,” which are created by stacking hammocks on top of each other.
“The hammock tower is the first time I realized hammocking could be a group thing,” Johnson said.
BYU senior Daniel Reneer met Johnson through
hammocking. Like Johnson, Reneer started hammocking after seeing them in Brazil. He soon became interested in putting together a group to do a hammock tower.
Reneer’s first attempt of a hammock tower was small. He said they had a hard time finding people with hammocks and some people were unable to make it. Reneer said he wanted others to enjoy the thrill of hammock towers.
“We want people to come away feeling like they did something unique and that they were apart of something big.” Reneer said.
Johnson and Reneer received a lot more support for the next hammock tower event which was just a few
months later. They ended up stacking 17 hammocks on top of each other. Reneer said they would have had more, but they ran out of daylight.
After the excitement of the last hammock tower Johnson, Reneer and other BYU students decided to make the next one even bigger.
BYU junior Tré Barnes is one of the founders of Weekend Voyagers and is really excited to be apart of breaking the world record.
“We are always looking for the next extreme thing to do,” Barnes said.
Weekend Voyagers thought breaking a world record would be pretty extreme. However, with every event there are always obstacles.
Barnes predicts that the biggest struggle with creating the Hammock Festival will be finding the right trees. He said they need to be just right in order to ensure everyone’s safety.
Seven Types of Hammocks
There are many different types of hammocks. Below are the seven most popular hammocks according to eBay.com.
- Brazilian Hammocks
Brazilian hammocks are known for being more durable than others because of their woven cotton. Traditional Brazilian hammocks do not use spreader bars and therefore provide a stable cocoon.
- Nicaraguan Hammocks
Hammocks made in the Nicaraguan style create a tight woven net out of breathable cotton or nylon strings. These hammocks provide a floating bed rather than a cocoon shape.
- Mayan Hammocks
Mayan hammocks have a loose netting made of thin cotton of nylon strings. These hammocks are often brightly colored and easily adapt to different body shapes and sizes.
- Venezuelan Hammocks
Venezuelan hammocks are also known as jungle hammocks. They are capable of being used near water areas infested with flying insects because they offer compartments which keep the user safe.
- Spreader-bar Hammocks
Hammocks found in backyards are often Spreader-bar. They allow for easier access to get in, but can become unstable if occupants move around much.
- Travel Hammocks
Travel Hammocks are lightweight, portable and great for camping. They are typically made from nylon or parachute silk and usually have storage pockets and mosquito nets.
- Hammock Chair
A hammock chair only seats one person but still allows for a floating feeling. They can be hung from a single tree or indoors.
Popular Hammocking Spots
According to Johnson and Reneer below are popular places to set up hammocks with friends.