Hammock-ing Me Crazy: What you need to know about hammock camping

By Phoebe Hodina

Forget the heavy tent, a stick in your back, and the dirt tracked into your living space. Hammock camping gets you off the ground and into the trees! But, there are need-to-know elements to this trend. Learn insider information about how to get the most out of your experience.

The Gear: Camping hammocks take up about the same amount of space as a sweater, and are extremely lightweight. Hammock camping with a simple, gathered-end hammock can be more minimalistic than tent camping. However, there are more elaborate options available that can also be just as gear-intensive.

 

Gear startup costs are typically lower with simple hammock camping, compared with traditional tent expenditures. Make sure to pay attention to your climate and camping environment so you can adequate prepare. Depending on your situation, a tent and straps may be the only required purchases to get started.

 

Camping hammocks come in a variety of sizes, styles, colors, and brands. Most commonly gathered-end hammocks are made from woven nylon, which holds up extremely well for most outdoor activities. These hammocks usually come with two carabiners that are clipped to either end of the hammock, and attach to the straps to loft your hammock into suspension. Tent-hammocks are also an option, and are like small portable treehouses, but they are probably not the answer if you are looking to simplify your camping experience.

 

Straps come in a variety of sizes and styles, and the good ones are adjustable. Straps are used to wrap around structure to which you are are using to loft your hammock. Adjustable straps have multiple adjustment points, allowing the user to move the carabiners on the hammock up and down the straps, a useful feature. Purchasing adjustable straps gives you much more flexibility in your hammock setup.

 

Rain flys and tarps are good purchases if you are worried about the possibility of rain or morning dew. Most are made from polyurethane-treated nylon, which is durable and sheds water. Flys are easy to setup and take down, and only need mini ground stakes in addition to stay in place.

 

Under-hammock quilts can keep you cozy in colder temperatures, and are made from materials similar to your sleeping bag. You may be wondering “I have a sleeping bag that is rated for the Antarctic, why do I need this?”. The answer is simple: sleeping bags need to puff up to keep you warm, and a hammock will compress your sleeping bag on the bottom and sides. This can make for a chilly sleeping experience in temperatures below 50°F/10°C. In this case, an under-hammock quilt is highly recommended to stay comfortable.

 

Mosquito nets made especially for hammock campers are also a must if you plan on camping in mosquito-heavy areas. These are made to completely surround your hammock with 360° insect protections, while letting a cool breeze through.

 

The Terrain: When camping traditionally, finding a flat spot of clear terrain can be a challenge. Not the case with a hammock. While you do need some fairly sized trees somewhat nearby, they don’t need to even be perfectly spaced if you’ve purchased adjustable straps.

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Hamm squad

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No trees? Not a problem. Hammocks can easily be affixed to nearby structures such as large boulders, cars, or fence posts. The specialized straps (when used properly), do not damage the structure. Your lofting possibilities are endless. The creativity demonstrated from fellow hammock campers is inspirational, and many people post their impressive setups on Instagram with various hammock-related hashtags. @Eno_nations and @hammockliving post examples creative setups.

 

Sleep Quality: Without a doubt, you will find yourself sleeping a lot better in a hammock. At first, the open air can take some adjustment when compared with a tent. A breeze can also make it chilly in lower temps, but the purchase of an under-hammock-quilt can help. However, being truly outdoors can bring outdoor camping to a new level when you can enjoy stargazing from your sleeping bag.

 

Be More Social: A hammock can be more than just a place to sleep. It has a great multi-use capability while camping, picnicking, or BBQing with company. It allows you and your friends to literally “hang out” in a comfortable place, while engaging in activities around you. If you decide that you still can’t leave your tent behind, try bringing a hammock along for a lightweight alternative to a camping chair.

Multiple Contributor

Phoebe Hodina is a marketing consultant from Evansville, Indiana, USA and is an avid hiker, biker, swimmer, runner, yogi and snowshoe aficionado, you could say that she has a passion for outdoor activities.

In her words: “I’ve been fortunate enough to travel around the world, and have biked major parts of North America. I will never say no to new adventures, and I’m happy to encourage other women to get out and try new things in the outdoors”.

12 thoughts on “Hammock-ing Me Crazy: What you need to know about hammock camping

  • July 1, 2020 at 12:48 am
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    We hike a lot and often find that it gives us a sense of freedom. Never actually thought about a hammock before, but what a fab idea

    Reply
  • August 10, 2019 at 2:05 pm
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    I’v never seen so many hammocks together! Wow! I would love to set up a hammock by the water like that! What a gorgeous view!

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 7:03 pm
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    Hammock camping sounds like easier than tent camping. However, I like to turn left and right before I fall asleep. How convenient it is in a hammock? And I’m sure the hammock won’t stop swinging all that time?

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 6:45 pm
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    Your first photo of hammock with a perfect view makes me sold out for hammock camping. I never heard of hammock camping before but it is a superb idea of doing it. Taking Rain flys and tarps is a good idea to protect from rain or morning dew. Yes to find big trees or some pillars must be required for hammock fixing but would be a great way of doing camping with some uniqueness.

    Reply
  • August 9, 2019 at 1:28 pm
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    A Hammock is so much more than just a hammock. Definitely Camping hammocks take the fun and excitement of camping to an altogether different level. And your post is indeed nothing short of a revelation about hammocks and their multi-functional capabilities and their different variants.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 3:10 pm
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    I love sleeping in hammocks but how do you stop yourself from falling out? There’s been more than one occasion, I’ve ended up on the ground lol. Having a mosquito net would have been useful though.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 1:32 pm
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    Oh! I never thought hammock can be used in place of tents. hammock camping looks like a great option if one wants to camp in moderate conditions. But I am a bit sceptical when it comes to good sleep. I hope hammocks are comfortable enough to provide a good nights rest.

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 11:43 am
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    Hammock camping seems a lot simpler than bringing a tent. I think I would definitely want some mosquito netting and a rain tarp — but it’s definitely less gear. I would like to try this! Hammock camping combined with with beach camping is the way to go for me. Thanks!

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 1:52 am
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    Oh my gosh I have never thought of using a hammock for camping! I like the idea of having to carry less in my backpack. I bet it would be more comfortable to sleep on too.

    Reply
  • August 7, 2019 at 3:21 pm
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    OMG I love hammocks a lot! It just makes me feel super relaxed. Last year I travel with a hammock, but I didn’t use it that much. I think the next trip will only be with hammocking! Thank you for the suggestion!

    Reply
  • April 17, 2019 at 11:25 am
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    Great share……..Hammocks have been around for a drawn out stretch of time. They have been utilized as conventional sheet material by numerous individuals for a great many years. Today, they are a vital part for outside devotees who love to spend a night or a couple in the forested areas

    Reply

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