How To Start A Hammock Club - Trek Light Gear

How To Start A Hammock Club

{The following was contributed to by Hannah Tizedes - as a student at Michigan State University, Hannah played a big part in growing and shaping the Hammocking Club of MSU and she's here to share with you some great tips on how to start and grow an official Hammock Club at your college or university!}

Many universities have outdoors or hiking clubs but are lacking a designated hammocking club.

Hammocks are a great fit for any outdoors or hiking clubs, but when you're a full-fledged hammock lover you know that hammocking as an activity really has its own niche outside of those uses as well. From indoor hangs in the dorm to hammock study groups on the quad - you don't always have to be going on outdoor adventures to get your hammock on.   

So, how do you get a hammock club started?

1 - First, get registered!

You can usually find a list of all registered clubs and organizations on your university’s website. While you’re checking out what other clubs are on campus, sign up to register your very own hammocking club - this is where it all begins!!

When you're asked to describe your club, remember that this is your chance to set yourself apart from the outdoors and hiking clubs that already exist on your campus. Let them know that your goal is to promote relaxation, happiness, a healthy study/life balance and to create a social group that brings people with similar interests together.

All universities have different regulations to what will be considered as a registered club or organization, but it's usually a very simple process!

2 - Start spreading the word and get your friends/peers on board!

You most likely have a couple friends who love hammocking just as much as you. If you're on your own to get things started, no worries - you're a hammock pioneer!

If your school has them, the existing outdoors and hiking clubs will likely have members that are into hammocking and this is a great place to get started. Send any other outdoor related clubs an email and ask if you can introduce your new hammocking club at their next meeting. These are usually pretty groovy people that would be more than happy to share the hammocking love and help you get things going.

Other ways to get the word out? Fliers are a great idea on campus. Be ready though - when you start posting around campus asking if people want to join a hammock club you should expect a big response! Many schools have posting boards in on-campus buildings, so stick a few up with handles to your social media pages so they can learn more.

3 - Which gets us to the point, SOCIAL MEDIA!

Get your name out there! Create profiles and use your social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to let people know the important info - when you're meeting, what's being organized, and how to get discounts on hammock gear (more on that below).

Use your social media just like you're building a brand, in a lot of ways you are! Post pictures of club founders and members on campus in hammock-friendly places and adventuring around the world, obviously with their hammocks. The more content the better, but remember to focus on quality photos & videos - it's what helps you stand out and shows people that you're serious...about having fun!

Finding campus influencers is also a huge plus. Reach out to travel gurus and avid hikers on campus who never leave home without their hammock. Ask if you can share their content on your page and tag them to increase your followers and engagement.

4 - Start planning events!

Figure out when to have official meetings as a club and plan group outings to sweet hammock spots nearby and around campus. Like any group, structure and planning goes a long way towards bringing everyone together and gives you lots of opportunities to find new members!

If you can, plan at least one big off-campus trip a semester - a hammock camping overnight if you're into it! This is a great opportunity to partner with the other outdoors groups on campus to see if you can all get together for a trip.

Big trips are fun, but think small to get started. Create a weekly Hammock Happy Hour that's easy for members to attend regularly. Focus on scheduling frequent, but casual, get-togethers and you'll find that the club gets better and better with every meeting.

5 - Create club merch

Calling all design friends! Reach out to a friend that studies or enjoys design and ask them to create a logo for the club. This is great for creating stickers/shirts and more once the club secures members. 

After you get people showing interest in the club, you can begin charging a small amount ($5-10) as a club membership fee. This money will go towards stickers, swag, club trips, pizza and more. It's also a good idea to have the club own a few hammocks so you can loan them out to new members who need a little more convincing before they buy their own. 

Having to organize and collect money as a group may sound a bit complicated, but I promise it's not! Club fees are very commonly charged with functioning campus clubs that go on trips and need to buy gear, apparel, etc. You should also check with your school about their guidelines for raising money as a club, some schools even provide a small budget to their approved clubs so don't forget to ask!

6 - Establish roles and officers within the club

This will help keep everything organized and create clear communication between members. It may seem silly to think about needing a Vice President Of Hammocking, but trust me, it's awesome.

Remember that you're building a real organization here - sure, it's an organization that exists solely to be laid back, but the structure is what will help you achieve that.

Some positions to consider - President, Vice President, Treasurer, Event Planner, Social Media Manager, Campus Outreach/Recruitment, Photographer/Videographer, Secretary, Chief Pizza Officer...

7 - Stock up on hammocks!

Reach out to your favorite hammock company - hey Trek Light Gear! Forming an official relationship with a hammock company is a win-win for everyone involved. You get to offer all of your members hammock gear at awesome discounts and having a brand on board can help you entice new members and spread the word about your club. Not all hammock companies are as keen to help so I highly recommend working with Trek Light Gear - they've been really incredible at supporting our group. 

Remember also to respect the fact that the brand you're working with isn't really there to 'sponsor' you and that the support goes both ways. If a small business is giving you wholesale pricing on gear and other hookups, they're likely not making much on your orders. Don't forget to tag them frequently in your social media posts and spread the word about how they're helping you out!

8 - Work with your school to establish 'hammock safe zones'

This is VERY important!

If you attend a university with a lot of trees, that’s perfect - but you should make sure that the administration is okay with using school property to hammock on! If you don't have a lot of trees around campus, don't fret, you still have options to work with your school and find the best solution for hammocking on and around your campus.

At Michigan State, we ran into issues because of our campus' arboretum status. (Please read for more info:

As soon as hammocking became more popular around campus, restrictions were drawn. Several meetings were conducted between our club executive members and MSU board members along with campus curators. In order to find resolutions, several hammocking posts were established allowing 24/7 hammocking access. Go green!

9 - Find ways to give back

As an organization, you've now got strength in numbers to make a difference - use it! Forget about hammocks for a moment and plan a give-back day for your club: do a trash pickup around your city/town, volunteer at a food share or soup kitchen, etc. What started as a way for you to relax with some friends is capable of really having an impact, embrace it!

10 - Have fun!

Forming an official hammock club with your school means that you're taking on some new responsibilities (meetings, finances, planning, etc.). If you ever feel overwhelmed, make sure you're following #6 above - spread out the responsibilities and you'll find that running a hammock club is really as easy as it sounds. The most important thing in all of this is to remember why you started this club in the first place - so go relax in a hammock and have some fun!

{A note from us: We’ve been helping student hammock clubs for over a decade and would love to help support you! Whether you're just getting started or already have a club up and running, just send us an email and we'll help you get the fun started!}

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