This article deals with the most common use of the word hammock. A hammock is a sling for sleeping or resting in. Particularly in the southern US, a hammock can also mean a piece of thickly wooded land, usually covered with bushes and vines.
The hammock is a device used to sleep or rest in and consists of cloth or a network of twine or thin rope which is stretched between two firm points to create the perfect hammock.
The Garden Hammock was developed in South America or the Caribbean. Hammocks are standard items in almost all yards and homes in the Yucatan. Hammocks were said to have arrived in Yucatan from the Caribbean less than two centuries before the Spanish Conquest. Hammocks are made of various materials. The quality depends greatly on the thread and the number of threads used to create them. Hammocks are made in villages surrounding the capital city Merida and are sold throughout the world as well as locally. Hammocks hold such a strong place in the hearts of the Yucatecans, that even the most humble of homes have hammock hooks in the walls. Mayan hammocks are made on a loom and are hand woven by men, women and children.
Currently, there are a wide variety of hammocks available. There are hammocks that are designed specifically for backpacking and include mosquito netting along with pockets for nighttime storage. There are hammocks made out of thin and lightweight material which makes them ideal for taking on trips such as camping. Other hammocks include self-standing metal or wood structures that support the hammock. Although many people today purchase their hammock pre-made, it is also possible to make your own specialty hammock.
Hammocks have also traditionally been used by sailors on ships and by astronauts in space. During the Apollo program, the Lunar Module was equipped with hammocks for the commander and pilot to sleep between moonwalks. Hammocks are also handy on a ship. Since a hammock moves in concert with the motion of the ship, the sleeper is not at a risk of being thrown onto the floor. Some people worry that it is easy to fall out of a hammock during sleep, but this is rarely true. The sides of a traditional hammock wraps around the sleeper like a cocoon which makes a fall from the hammock virtually impossible.