Camping in a hammock is something that is becoming more and more popular with those that are seeking to be closer to nature when they venture outdoors.
Hammock camping provides a way to spend time comfortably outdoors while reducing the amount of equipment and time required to set up and enjoy time in the wild.
Camping in a hammock is a lightweight, more comfortable way to spend time outdoors while enjoying similar levels of weather protection and enjoyment. For many it is a liberating experience while for some it can be quite unnerving in the early stages. This article will help you to understand how to camp in a hammock and how to get the best from the experience.
One reason to camp in a hammock
Rest. You will sleep better in a well setup hammock than in a tent.
As there is minimal pressure on your body and the hammock moulds itself naturally to your contours, you will find that your quality of sleep and rest will be much higher than the levels in a tent.
The availability of fresh air while you sleep will help to keep you comfortable and allow you to inhale clean, unfiltered air, helping you to have great quality sleep and rest periods.
Is it safe to camp in a hammock?
Hammock camping is perfectly safe as long as you have your camp setup properly and you take a few simple precautions in the process.
Equipment – using good quality, well made gear is an essential for all forms of camping including hammock camping.
One of our favourite camping hammocks available on Amazon is the Hammock Bliss Sky Bed which you can check out here on Amazon.
Choose a safe place – you should inspect your intended camping site before you setup to make sure that it is free from any hazards that could present a danger to you.
Walk around the site to make sure that there are no dead trees or branches that could fall on you if the wind gets up and make sure that the trees that you are hanging your hammock from are strong enough to take your weight.
Use tree straps for your hammock – Purpose made tree straps will last for years and are designed specifically for hanging hammocks from trees and similar supports.
They will not stretch and are available in a variety of weight capacities.
The best value tree straps with best load bearing capacity that we’ve found on Amazon are the Eagle’s Nest Outfitters Straps which you can read about here
Make allowances for changing conditions – Be prepared for changing weather conditions, take an extra tarp with you as a cover and other items such as a bug net and insect repellent.
Ensure that you have some dry clothes packed that you only wear when in bed so that they stay dry.
Stay warm – In the summer when the weather is warm, hammocks stay nice and cool and are really comfortable, however, in the winter or during cold nights, this can work against you.
So, be prepared and make sure that you can stay warm at night. Most hammock campers use an under quilt to keep them warm. You can see a selection of these here on Amazon.
Don’t camp alone – this advice applies to all campers, not just those that hammock. As tempting as it may be to be alone, you should really consider whether this is a good idea.
Accidents can and do happen and, if you are alone, then getting help may be tricky if not impossible.
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How to hang a hammock between trees
The easiest way to hang a hammock between trees is to use tree straps or pieces of cord at each end of the hammock.
You should choose two strong trees that are around 14 to 16 feet apart. Each end of the hammock is attached to a tree, with the ‘feet end’ being higher than the ‘head end’ for maximum comfort.
How do you sleep comfortably in a hammock?
We have some simple tips to help you to sleep comfortably in your hammock:
Setup – Don’t tie it too tightly. Provide plenty of lag and slack so that you can be comfortable.
How you lie – Lie diagonally across the hammock. This will help you to be comfortable and is how hammocks are designed – you are supposed to lie in them diagonally.
Have your feet higher – keep the foot end of the hammock raised higher than your head. This will help to stop you sliding into the middle of the hammock and ending up being folded in half.
Put something under your knees– having your knees slightly bent will help with comfort. A pillow, folded up jacket or even rucksack will do the job.
Use a bug net – insects can be a nuisance and using a fly net to keep them off you will make a big difference to your comfort levels.
Use a sleeping bag or under quilt – You’ll be colder in a hammock than in a tent so make sure that you have enough insulation to stay warm.
How do you hang a hammock in the rain?
Most campers recognise that rain is something that at one point or another they are going to have to deal with.
When you are hanging a hammock in the rain you should always hang a tarp first to provide you with shelter, making sure that you set the ridge line so that the rainwater runs freely down the sides.
Once your tarp is in place you can then begin to clear the wet ground underneath of damp vegetation and can then setup your camp.
Fasten the ends of your hammock to the same trees as the tarp and use drip lines of cotton to stop water from running along the hammock’s ropes – the water will drip to the ground through the cotton instead of running into your hammock.
If you think about the wind direction before setting up your tarp you can avoid rainwater from being blown through your camp.
A second tarp can be used to hang overone of the ends of your structure to provide you with more shelter.
Whatever type of camping you are used to you should try hammock camping.
The experience of sleeping outside, with only a tarp for weather protection, is liberating for most people and, for many campers, can be the next stage in a quest to be close to nature.
You’ll also enjoy the cost savings of hammock camping and the fact that you don’t have to carry a tent around, making hammock camping cheap and easy for anyone that has the desire to get outdoors.