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A History of the Hammock

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A History of the Hammock

A hammock is a sling which is made of fabric or netting and a rope, that can be suspended between two points and used for swinging, sleeping or resting. A hammock is one of the best items you can take on your travels with you; they are lightweight, strong and will always give you a place to sleep.

Image source: Pixabay

The hammock’s early days

The hammock was first developed by native inhabitants of Central and South America for sleeping. Early hammocks were woven from the bark from a hamack tree; this was replaced by sisal fibers as they were more abundant. Hammocks became very popular in Central and South America as they provided safety from disease transmission, insect stings and animal bites as the beds were suspended from the ground. This lead to people being better protected from snakes, biting ants and other harmful creatures.

Hammocks were brought to Europe in 1492 by Christopher Columbus when he brought several back to Spain from islands which are now known as the Bahamas.

Early uses of the hammock

Hammocks were later used aboard ships by sailors to enable a comfortable sleep, rather than having to sleep on the wet, hard and dirty deck. The hammock also maximized the available space.

Explorers and soldiers also used hammocks when travelling in wooded regions and in the 1920s parents used them whilst their kids were learning to crawl so if need be, they were able to put the child in the hammock and keep an eye on them.

Ship crew in their hammocks

Image source: Wikipedia

The evolution of the hammock

The basis of the hammock has always stayed the same; a sheet of material with a rope with which it can be suspended from. However over time the hammock has been developed for comfort. After the early days of using bark for the hammock different types of material were used; including cloth and rope.

The hammock has also been developed for leisure purposes by having a hammock attached to two poles in gardens that do not have two points to tie up a traditional hammock. Today hammocks can be purchased in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours- very different to the standard canvas hammock used on ships.

The hammock in today’s society

Today the hammock is widely used for leisure and comfort; with people having hammocks in their gardens. However hammocks today are great for camping trips and are also a great item to take with you if you’re traveling.

Lifeventure hammock

Hammock - £34.99

Bears love them too!

Bear in hammock

Image source: Chris Favero on Flickr

All prices correct on date of publish.

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