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Just as there is a maximum length that you can extend your hammock there is also a minimum distance where it can be hung. The rule to go by is two/thirds of the overall length of the hammock will be your minimum hanging distance. Hammocks with spreader bars may not even be able to accomplish this. To find out what your hammocks specifications read the manufactures guidelines. Also do some homework beforehand so you have a basic understanding of how to hang a hammock.