You may have noticed that National Hammock Day happened recently. Or maybe not. But while it sounds like a silly, faux holiday to most, it was a big day for (budding relaxation guru) Meredith Strodel.
“A friend saw a picture I posted to Facebook of the hammock hung between two trees in front of a waterfall and suggested I start an Instagram just for my hammock adventures,” she tells us. “I really cannot believe how much it has taken off.” With close to 24k followers, it’s safe to say it’s getting some attention.
Strodel’s relationship with hammocks started when her boyfriend Jimmy bought her one for her birthday a few years ago. Now, she owns seven (with another one on the way), leaving her fully equipped for ultimate relaxation at any park, forest, beach, or mountain peak.
“At any given time, I have enough for a small village,” the Los Angeles resident quips. “Hammocks are one of those things you don’t really think about very much, but when you get around one or slump into one, you wonder why you don’t do it more often or have one of your very own.”
Here are five great reasons to invest in your own (or find one to lay in) this summer, epic photos included. —Amy Marturana
For more information, visit @HammockLiving
1. They’ll turn you into a daredevil
How else are you going to experience hanging above a river or at the top of a mountain? “Jimmy carried a hammock to the summit of Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the lower 48) and we hung it between rocks. (Thanks, honey!) Another time we found two sketchy, smallish trees on the way up, near the top of Angels Landing in Zion National Park (most scary hammock hang to date),” Strodel shares. “It’s about finding the most interesting and beautiful spots to hang the hammock and just take it all in.” (But be careful, please!)
2. They’re perfectly portable
You can take a light-weight hammock pretty much anywhere you want, whether you get around via subway, car, or your own two feet. “They’re great to bring along to the park or any place with at least two trees or posts to hang from. I always have one in the trunk of my car and sometimes take one across the street on my lunch break or stop by the beach on the way home,” Strodel says. Sounds like the perfect way to spend a summer Friday.
3. They’re instantly relaxing
“The world seems to silence and slow down when you’re in a hammock,” says Strodel. “It is very Zen-ful, and that’s coming from a not-very-Zen person.” It helps when you’ve got a breathtaking view, no cell service, and are surrounded by nature, but wherever you are, you’ll definitely experience calming benefits.
“People love hammocks. Whoever you’re with will love you for bringing a hammock,” Strodel says. So if you’re going on a camping trip with a crow, for example, “you might want to go ahead and bring two because you’re going to have to share,” she warns.
“Rather than reading in bed or on the couch, go get some fresh air out in the hammock. Take your phone calls with mom from the hammock,” Strodel recommends. And while she admits she personally can’t sleep a whole night in one, naps are a completely different story.