Many people think that switching your tent to a hammock when camping is sacrificing comfort for the sake of minimalism, but it’s not. It’s actually the opposite. Sleeping in a hammock outdoors feels great for the back and lets you maximize the benefits of nature!
With this guide on the basics of hammock camping, we’ll show you what it means to go hammock camping, its benefits, and the things you need to have before trying it.
What is Hammock Camping?
Hammock Camping is basically swapping your usual tent for a hammock and a few accessories where you can sleep outdoors overnight. Many backpackers and bike packers love camping with hammocks because of the comfort and the little space they take in your pack.
Hammocks have been used as traditional bedding for more than a thousand years already. In sleep science, they are starting to gain ground because of the relief they offer. The negative ideas you have about long-term hammocking might stem from a few bad experiences with the typical backyard hammock, so we’re here to tell you the right type of hammock used when hammock camping.
You’re not supposed to use a rope hammock because it has an uncomfortable fabric and has an incorrectly implemented spreader bar. This disrupts the natural center of gravity on the hammock, distributing weight unevenly and causing you to flip over. Instead, use bed hammocks so that you lie perpendicular to the plane of the hammock.
Why You Should Try Hammock Camping
There are many reasons why hammock camping is a great experience. Once you know how to set up your hammock properly, you’re going to sleep better than you ever have camping and likely even get a better night’s sleep than you do at home. It lets you experience the full majesty of the outdoors even as you close your eyes and avoid the bumpy ground!
You’ll feel like floating every time since you’ll never have to are about the ground underneath you. You can hammock camp on a hill, over th rocks, roots, and even snow and wet grounds!
It’s also easier to find a spot to set up your hammock than a tent. Because the ground no longer matters, it’s easier to find the best spot! With a hammock hanging kit, you don’t have to look for two perfectly spaced trees, you simply adjust where you hook your hammock into the straps to accommodate for the distance and hop in.
Most importantly, hammock camping takes up less weight and space in your backpack! And for a light and portable tent, a hammock setup is so much cheaper.
With hammock camping, the only things you will need to worry about are your privacy and if you’re bringing a dog with you since they might not have a place to sleep in.
What You Need to Hammock Camp
Hammock camping either requires you to buy a prepackaged hammock tent system that comes with a hammock, a suspension system with tree-friendly tarps, an insulating underquilt or sleeping pad, a rain tarp, and some bug netting, or to create a DIY camping setup.
The rain tarp, bug netting, and underquilt are optional, although it’s great to have them handy in case the weather changes. Moreover, even if these accessories often work with multiple hammock brands and models, you’ll need to double-check compatibility if you are building out your own hammock-camping setup.
Remember that your hammock should be comfortable. You can find innovative designs beyond the classic sling, too. Try lying down in a few for comparison. Your suspension system should have side straps to make setup easy. As for the sleeping pad, we recommend you use an inflated one since the underside usually gets compressed and loses its insulation when you lie.