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Hanging Out: Hammocking Culture at CSU

Julia Hartley lounges in her hammock at Rams Village Apartments while reading a book for her business class. Hartley is a junior majoring in business with a concentration in marketing. (Jenn Yingling | Collegian)

As the temperature warms and the first signs of spring begin to appear, CSU students are eager to spend their time outside after being snowed in all winter.

One innovative way that many CSU students choose to enjoy the warm weather is by setting up hammocks outside. On a nice day, it is not uncommon to see these colorful sheets of fabric strung between the trees.

Mechanical engineering freshman Ben Platt frequently spends time laying in his hammock around campus.

“I first started hammocking this semester after I got a hammock as a gift from my brother,” Platt said.

Biomedical sciences and Spanish double major Isabel Brown also received her hammock as a gift.

“I got a hammock for Christmas two years ago,” Brown said.

All you need to join in this latest craze is a hammock and two trees that are about eight feet apart.

two students sitting in individual hammocks hanging above each other in trees
Ben Platt and Isabel Brown relax in a hammock ladder between two campus trees. Hammocking has become an increasingly popular way for students to relax outside. Photo by Jenna Fischer.

“I set it up between the trees out by AV and Newsom,” Platt said, “It’s the perfect place because it gets lots of sun.”

Brown also enjoys spending time in her hammock around the CSU campus.

“The best place to hammock on campus is by the Lagoon over by the LSC,” Brown said. “It’s so peaceful and serene. You can also just sit and watch people walking by.”

Other ideal locations include the Sherwood Forest or the cluster of trees northwest of the Lagoon. Wherever you choose to set up, hammocking is a great way to relax and take a step back from the stress of classes.

“It’s extremely relaxing to just go enjoy the outdoors and hang out,” Platt said.

Hammocking also allows students to spend more time outside.

“It’s a great excuse to get outside which is always a good thing,” Brown said.

The hammocking culture among students is a reflection of the overall culture at CSU and in Colorado.

“Hammocking is a pretty prevalent thing at CSU because it’s such an outdoor-oriented school,” Platt said. “CSU has a very relaxed feel to it, and that’s something that hammocking plays into perfectly.”

For Brown, hammocking is a great substitute for being inside.

“The hammocking culture allows more CSU students to get outside,” Brown said, “It’s a good alternative to sitting inside watching Netflix.”

One of the most popular brands among hammockers is Eagle’s Nest Outfitters.

“I have the ENO double nest,” Brown said. “I would definitely recommend it because it is roomy but really sturdy.”

Most hammocks are made from parachute material, which is what makes them capable of holding so much weight.

“I have an ENO single nest hammock,” Platt said. “They are really high quality parachute nylon hammocks that are very easy to use.”

While ENO hammocks are a high-quality product, more economic options do exist for new hammockers who do not want to spend quite as much.

The Elevate Hammock Company is a Colorado-based company that sells both a hammock and two tree straps for $55. With every hammock purchase, the company will also plant two trees.

“It’s so peaceful and serene. You can also just sit and watch people walking by.” — Isabel Brown, CSU student

Although spring weather in Colorado can be extremely unpredictable, it is important to take advantage of the warm days when they occur.

“I’m so excited for when the weather turns warm again so I can head to the trees with my friends and make some hammock ladders,” Platt said.

“Hammock ladders” are when you set up a hammock directly above another hammock between the same two trees.

While they wait for warmer temperatures, both Platt and Brown keep their hammocks set up in their dorm rooms.

“I have my hammock hooked underneath my lofted bed and I do homework in it and watch Netflix in it,” Platt said, “It’s kind of dangerous because it’s very easy to fall asleep.”

Whether you use them to nap in your room or be outside, the hammocking culture continues to rise in popularity among the students at CSU.

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    Seth Haber | Trek Light GearMar 25, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Trek Light Gear has been based in Boulder for 13+ years and we love supporting the local hammock scene. It’s unfortunate that we got overlooked in an article like this, but if anyone from CSU wants to get in touch with us I’d love to help get a hammock club off the ground, create a special discount for CSU hammockers, etc.- if I can help just let me know!