Create a Camping Hammock Made of Boughs

Crafting a Bough Camping Hammock

When camping in areas with balsam branches or moss available, you can create an improvised mattress for added comfort in combination with a hammock or a bed made on-site. Here's a guide to constructing a camp hammock using natural materials:

Materials Needed:

- Four 6-ft. poles, approximately 1 in. in diameter (similar weight)
- Two 2-in. diameter poles, 3 1/2 ft. long
- Two smaller poles, 3 ft. long
- Two forked poles, 4 1/2 ft. long (for diagonal braces)
- Springy poles, 7 ft. long, spaced 2 in. apart
- Balsam branches or moss for the mattress
- Blankets (optional) for covering


1. Start by cutting four 6-ft. poles, ensuring they have similar weights and are approximately 1 in. in diameter. Leave a fork on each pole about 2 1/2 ft. from the lower ends to serve as resting places for the crossbars.
2. Cut two poles that are 2 in. in diameter and 3 1/2 ft. long. Additionally, cut two smaller poles measuring 3 ft. in length. Lastly, cut two forked poles that are 4 1/2 ft. long to be used as diagonal braces.
3. Place two of the long poles in a crossing formation, approximately 1 ft. from the ground. Repeat this step with the second pair of long poles.
4. Fix the crossbars into the crotches of the poles, ensuring that the ends of the crotch branches are secured under the opposite crossbar. Use short rope loops to fasten the end bars to the crossed poles.
5. Prepare the mattress by using springy poles that are 7 ft. long and spacing them 2 in. apart. Alternate between thick and thin ends for added comfort.
6. Lay the moss over the poles and generously spread the balsam branches on top. This combination provides a comfortable mattress substitute.
7. If desired, use blankets to cover the mattress and add extra warmth.

Click on the images below for a printable view of the instructions.

By following these steps, you can create a camping hammock using boughs and natural materials, enhancing your camping experience with added comfort and relaxation.



Woodworking Plans

Disclosure Statement: We are affiliates of the products recommended on