Sleeping in a hammock when you go camping offers some benefits over sleeping in a traditional tent. For one thing, hammocks are much lighter weight and easier to pack. They are also incredibly fast to set up. You don’t have to worry about laying out a groundcover or staking the tent and putting together all of the poles. Instead, you just need to find two trees that are the right distance apart and strap your hammock to the trees. It takes just a few minutes to get set up. This can be important after a long day of hiking when you are exhausted and just want to get to bed.
The key to successfully camping with a hammock is to know what you are doing. These helpful hammock camping tips should have you using your hammock like a pro in no time at all.
Selecting the right hammock will go a long way toward making your camping experience enjoyable. You should look for a hammock that is large enough to easily hold your body. If you are planning on doing a lot of hiking, you should also consider the weight of the hammock along with its size. The lighter weight the hammock is, the easier it will be for you to carry. However, you still need to balance comfort with weight. If possible, try the hammock out at the store before you buy it to make sure that it is sized correctly for your body.
Basic hammocks are relatively narrow and are designed to be extremely lightweight. More elaborate hammocks may be quite a bit wider. In fact, in many cases, you may be able to pull the sides of the hammock up over yourself while you sleep, helping to provide additional shelter and protection from the weather. Again, the choice of a hammock comes down to how you plan to use it. Just be sure to look for a comfortable, lightweight option that easily fits in your backpack and is large enough to sleep in without feeling cramped.
You also need to think about how you plan to hang the hammock. While many people use rope or paracord, this can be rather hard on the trees that you hang it from. A safer, gentler option is to use straps that are specifically designed for hanging hammocks. These wider straps help spread the weight over more distance, minimizing the impact on the trees. They are also easy to adjust so that you can adapt their length for however far apart the trees are that you find to hang your hammock from.
One challenge that goes along with hammock camping is staying warm. Because you are raised up in the air, you lose the natural insulation that is provided by the ground when you tent camp. One way to overcome this challenge is by using a sleeping pad inside your hammock. Look for a mummy-shaped pad that you can slide into your hammock after it is set up. This will help provide extra insulation from the air moving underneath your body, helping you to stay warmer while you sleep. You can also use a sleeping bag in your hammock to add additional warmth.
Some people also find it helpful to hang a tarp across the rope above their hammock. They can then pull the tarp out to act as a rain fly if it happens to start to rain. They can also pull it over the hammock during the night to help keep their body heat inside, making the camping experience more comfortable and enjoyable. If you try this option, you can either stake the tarp to the ground on either side of the hammock so that it makes a makeshift tent, or you can clip it together at both ends underneath the hammock so that you can slide it back and forth on the rope. In essence, this turns it into a tube that you can slide around your body while you sleep to provide protection from the rain and cold.
Hopefully, these helpful hammock camping tips will allow you to have a great experience the next time that you go camping with a hammock. These compact hanging beds provide countless different benefits when compared to tents. Their lightweight design and ease-of-use make them a perfect choice for a variety of different types of camping. As long as you are going somewhere where there are trees, you should be able to take advantage of the comfort and convenience that hammocks have to offer.