Trending activity provides relaxation for students

Hammocking serves as unique pastime for a multitude of friend groups


By Jena Smith

Smiling, senior Brian Fitzsimmons hammocks at Garrett Park alongside his friends on Saturday, April 2.

Jillian Leiby and Morgan Gurwell

As the sun sets behind Shawnee Mission lake, it’s common to see a line of students’ hammocks stacked up between two trees. Hammocking has given a new meaning to the term hanging out with friends. Many call this growing trend the ultimate relaxation experience.

Senior Brian Fitzsimmons learned about the activity through his uncle, and has been doing it ever since.  

“My uncle does a lot of camping in Colorado and he uses a hammock often because it’s lighter weight, it’s easier to carry when he’s backpacking, so that’s kind of how I got into it,” Fitzsimmons said. “I think it’s a great way to just get out and relax and connect with nature.”

Now, Fitzsimmons has recommended the new craze to others. Senior Brenden Tener learned about the activity from his longtime friend.

“I saw my friend Brian [Fitzsimmons] and he’d always post stuff online about it … he’s always talked about,” Tener said. “So a few months ago I asked about it … he told me it was great, so I went out and bought a hammock.”

The hammock is just the beginning, according to sophomore Kennedy Yosick. There are multiple products available to enhance the hammocking experience.  

“You can buy a bug net and go camping in your hammock. It’s so cool. There’s [also] little lights you can hang from the top of your hammock, so if it’s dark outside, then you can still see what’s going on,” Yosick said.

Junior Maria Porzelt learned about hammocking from her friend and loved it immediately. The comfort and ultimate relaxation of being in a hammock made it into something she wanted to do for a long time.   

“My friend actually had one and she brought it to a camp we both go to,” Porzelt said. “I sat in it and I was like, ‘I need one, this is the best thing ever.’ They are so comfortable, I want to live in one.”   

Tener enjoys the calming effect that hammocking has, as well as being able to hang out with his friends.

“It’s relaxing. I really like how it supports your whole body,” Tener said. “It’s just kind of an excuse to get outside and do something outside with your friends and … be lazy.”

Being alone is an important part of the hammock experience for Porzelt, as friends tend to be a little loud.

“Other people don’t understand that’s kind of like a quiet time, so they like talk a lot and it just kind of ruins it,” Porzelt said. 

Porzelt tends to listen to music or read a book, aside from just sitting in the hammock. More than that, she finds the relaxation to be a defining part of her love for hammocking.

“I find it really relaxing. I do a lot of deep thinking there and it’s just really fun,” Porzelt said. “There’s really no one else around you.”

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