beginner guide to hammock camping

Are you fed up with trying to figure out where all those pegs and poles of your tent go?

Do you always dread the thought of going on a camping because you simply have no idea how to get a good night’s sleep out in the wild?

Well, save yourself from the headaches, and opt for a hammock instead. You read that right – you can take a hammock on your next camping. These stretched and swinging pieces of nylon material are no longer meant for power naps alone. Hammocks offer several amazing benefits every time you feel like nestling yourself with nature. This is the main reason why hammock camping is now the latest trend that many backpackers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts are falling in love with.

What is a Hammock?

A hammock can be best described as a form of comfortable relaxing or sleeping material that you can hang between poles or trees. This is a popular option for casual relaxation since this offer the ability of swaying slightly as the air blows around you, making the whole experience truly enjoyable and relaxing. The primary reason why hammocks have become so in demand these days is because they serve as a great piece of portable and easy to carry furniture that you can take with you during your camping trips or lay out at your home’s backyard to have a relaxing time outdoors. Today’s hammocks are lightweight and can be compressed easily to a smaller form to allow portability.
Hammocks boast of a rich tradition which managed to span through the centuries and is a staple in Caribbean, Yucatan, and South American cultures. Contemporary hammocks are the result of design evolutions and are currently based on construction of the tightly wound threads which offer an improved level of comfort. Most of the time, the hammock’s size is the deciding factor which determines the level of comfort it can provide, although other elements also play their own roles.

The fabric used in the construction of the hammock also has a say in the level of comfort, which is the reason why manufacturers pay close attention to ensure that they use only the most comfortable fabric blend which offers durability and pleasant accommodation at the same time. Fabric of great quality is going to adjust itself around the body curves of the user.

If you have never tried sleeping your afternoon away or spending a night beneath the starry skies as you lie down in hammock, you probably have no idea how you are missing out on such an enjoyable experience. At first glance, this type of furniture may seem like all it can do is swing. But, you can be sure that hammocks are more comfortable than they look, paving way to the rising popularity of hammock camping.

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Benefits of Hammock Camping

One important thing that people should realize is that ditching the tent and opting for a hammock instead is not about roughing things more or compromising comfort just for the sake of minimalism. The truth is, it is exactly the opposite.

Hammock camping is found to be more enjoyable, more comfortable, and much easier to take down and set up without those sacrifices usually associated with minimalist or ultralight gear.

However, it is no easy task to convince yourself to venture in the wilderness without that one thing that has always been an important aspect of your overall camping experience. For you to finally make that important switch, first, you need to understand why you should try hammock camping, and the benefits associated with it.

You will sleep a lot better

As long as you know the right way of setting up your hammock and how to sleep in it properly, you will be able to sleep much better than you have ever experienced during your past camping experiences, and chance are you might even get a better sleep at night than you actually do at home in your own bed. You can look forward to falling asleep with a big smile on your face, and you will wake up feeling comfortable, refreshed, and happy.

It is not a secret that there are many people who associated their camping trips with that feeling of coming home satisfied and happy yet exhausted. This involves that familiar feeling of not being able to wait to sleep in the comforts of your own bed, an almost universal feeling that must not be that way at all.

If you will give hammock camping try, you will find out that you will finally come home from every trip with that feeling that everyone craves from their camping trips –that feeling of being energized and recharged.

And after you do so, like others who have already tried hammock camping, every time you climb into your bed after spending a weekend in the wild, you will find yourself wishing that you were back in your hammock in the woods instead.

There is no stressing enough how amazing that feeling is, and how much it will change something that you used to take for granted as far as camping is concerned. Through switching out a single piece of gear, you can expect to take your camping experience to the next level.

Floating is better than staying on the unforgiving ground

How many times have you end up tossing and turning at night in your tent because of that badly placed tree root or rock that you didn’t even notice was there when you were setting up your tent? Or, did you ever experience finding the softest patch of ground only to realize that it was located on a slight decline, making you feel as if you were sleeping on the hill during the night?

With hammock camping, you will never again worry about the ground beneath you.

When you have your hammock with you, you can camp over stumps, rocks, and roots. You can even camp on a hill or even wet ground and snow and still have the exact level of comfort each night whatever is there beneath you.

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Many people are always wondering if it is more difficult to locate a spot where they can setup their hammock than a tent. Well, the answer is a big NO. Since the ground doesn’t matter anymore, you can have your hammock setup much long before your companions using tents even finished finding the perfect patch of ground where they can put their tent.

Using a hammock hanging kit, there is no longer a need for you to search for two trees with perfect space between them. All you need is adjust where you will be hooking the hammock into the straps in order to accommodate for distance and simply hop in.

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Breathe in the fresh air outdoors

This is probably one of the biggest benefits of hammock camping, and sometimes, this is the most difficult to explain until you get to experience it yourself.

When you are a tent camper, you will usually feel that strong sense of pride every time you see a fellow camper in their RV. You probably wonder what the point is when you should be outside during a camp. After all, real campers are those who use tents and not big trucks complete with beds, kitchens, and bathrooms, right?

However, on the first night you get to sleep and wake up the next morning in your hammock, you will definitely realizing something – for the longest time, you have been shutting yourself in a thinner, lighter, and more cramped mobile home each time you have camped inside your tent.

When you are inside a tent, you are losing air flow even if your tent windows were open. You will also lose the stars, you will not be able to stand up to do things, and you will not be able to see what is around you. You usually fall asleep in the cold box, only to wake up in a stuffy and hot box, and if you are lucky, you managed not to roll over into the puddle of water that magically appeared in one corner even if you thought your tent was waterproof.

If you are camping in the summer, you might wake up in the morning feeling the need to get up and out of your tent as fast as possible even when you still felt like sleeping in more. This is because the sun has instantly transformed your tent to a sauna.

On the other hand, if you try hammock camping, you will fall asleep breathing in fresh air that is flowing freely all around you, and it is almost impossible to appreciate and bask in this notable difference until you get to experience this personally.

Every time you wake up in your hammock, you will be feeling the fresh and cold breeze on your face, not feel trapped in the sauna effect of your tent, and you will know that this is exactly what you have been missing all these years. You will spend the first twenty minutes of your day listening and watching the wind rustle leaves around you.

Hammocks have features that tents have

Forget about the things you are missing since everything is now included in hammocks. Some of the features that hammocks include are hammock gear loft, hammock tarp, and mosquito net. Hammocks aren’t only for beach anymore. Hammock rainfly may be set up to reflect heat like tents and if that isn’t enough, there are lots of accessories and options for hammock during cold weather. As with majority of outdoor gear, it is a question of how committed you are in investing in the gear you have to be comfortable. Through hammock camping, it is simple to get the basics you require at a reasonable price. Once you go further down the rabbit hole, you may invest always in lighter gears and four-season options.

Truly exceptional

Tents serve only one main purpose. But, with hammock camping, it’s more beneficial. Hammock is more than a perfect place to sleep. Once you have a hammock with you, you have a comfortable camp chair with you always, an ideal place to cook your food and sit once necessary, tell some jokes and hang out around the campfire or to read books and relax while the day floats. Aside from that, it is a chair or hammock you could take with you on day hikes as well as set up next to the waterfall or after you have exhausted yourself on climbs.

You have a place to curl up during night time with your friends and count the stars and swing for children to play. As a matter of fact, if you have children, there is a bonus reason and hammocks are more fun compared to tents. Having hammocks around the camp site is a good way to keep children well-napped, entertained, and happy throughout any camping trips. Hammocks have exceptional multi-use abilities on the camp trips, but also it is after or in between the camp trips where hammocks shine and blow the tents away.

Why Hammock Might Not Be Suitable For You?

There are many hammocks that support 2 people to sleep together. Yet as much as that’s the case, the hammocks are ideal when used by people at a time. Through this, you don’t need to worry about you or someone falling off from the side for the reason that the hammock can’t support both of you. If 2 people will use the same hammock, they need to cuddle together. For somebody who requires space, cuddling could be trespassing another space. The joy to spend time in hammock becomes diluted and one will fail to derive fun from the same. When 2 people sleep in hammocks, they also cause an obvious distraction to each other. For example, if one has to go out the other person would get distracted both when partner will get out and in of the hammocks.

Another disadvantage is that if you’re in a place without access to poles and trees, it could be hard to enjoy the comfort of hammocks. The reason behind it is that hammocks are made in a way that this requires to hang.

Can I Backpack With A Hammock?

backpacker

One of the most common and popular activities these days is backpacking. The reason behind it is that this can be matched and mixed with some outdoor sports and adventures including fishing, hiking, climbing, and any fun endeavor you could think of. In terms of backpacking, the advantages that hammocks could bring to are numerous. Generally, it enables a different experience and revolutionizes the whole concept of backpacking. For you to enhance your backpacking experience with hammocks, there are several ideas and tips for backpacking trips and ways to backpack with hammocks.

The perks of benefits of backpacking with hammocks are primarily two. Firstly, hammocks make backpacking lighter. The difference in the weight between tents and hammocks including its bug net or hammock tarp, if not more in accordance to the type of hammock and tent you’re looking at. It means that hammocks are ideal for ultralight backpacking.

The second advantage is that you’re much freer to stop where you like for the night without the need to look particular terrain conditions. The hammocks are very simple to set up and can be dismantled easily. They also take up few spaces that you could decide to set the camp anywhere as far as there are 2 tree or what some structures, which could give you 2 points to repair your hammock.

In a lot of ways, hammock camping is more ideal for backpacking trip compared any type of sleeping solution. If you’re not planning to sleep in tents and do open air sleeping rather, you have more reasons to consider hammock camping as your option. Hammock camping doesn’t only keep your backpacking trip easy and light, yet it enhances your sleeping condition hundred percent. Once set up properly, the hammocks can be comfortable beds that operate stretching on your spine as well.

Other than that, they’ll insulate you from the ground, which will prevent moisture to cause pains, affecting your muscles, bones, and joints. The quality and amount of the rest is that you’ll get by hammock camping rather than open-air sleeping is definitely significant. Hammocks only add 20ish oz to backpacks and camping mats that you’d use to sleep goes well with this. Therefore, you might need to add hammocks to backpacking gear checklist for more sleeping options. With this, when environments enable it, you can sleep comfortably in hammocks and enjoy the perks of hammock camping. If the place where you really are makes it hard to pitch hammocks, you may sleep on the camping ground like the old times.

Through adding a gear to your backpack, you can add some new possibilities to achieve the highest possible level of comforts that you cannot even imagine until you have tried it. So, if you want to make most of hammock camping and backpacking at the same time, learn some new tricks or ideas you may consider leveling up your outdoor experience. You can ask for professional help if you want or you may just be creative and make something that will make your experience more comfortable.

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Hammock vs. Tent

hammock vs tent
If you have gone camping in the past, you have probably spent some time in tents. While the tents are good, they have some drawbacks. Several people find this uncomfortable to sleep on the ground without a big inflatable mattress that is not practical to bring once you’re camping as you hike. Some people do not like searching for perfect campsite that has flat area for tents while being away from possible rain runoff. The modern tents are intuitive to set up, yet most people still do not enjoy fumbling with the poles as well as keeping track of where to stake the tents down. The tents are a little bulky and heavy unless you’re willing to spend lots of money on premium backpacking version. Aside from that, while the tents offer good protection from elements, they confine you within the walls rather than allowing you to experience the entire majesty of outdoors.

Hammocks have countless advantages over the tents in terms of camping and these include:

  • Since hammocks are suspended in air, they’re more comfortable to lie in than majority of the sleeping pads.
  • With the accessories, hammocks can give as much protection from elements as tents.
  • For tents of comparable portability and lightness, hammock setup is cheaper.
  • Hammocks are portable and lightweight. There are not stakes or tents involved in setup. Even the full set up would weigh less than majority of the tents.
  • Fall asleep in open air rather than being confined to stuffy tent. There is nothing like counting the starts until you fell asleep.
  • It is much faster to set up and simpler to find 2 trees than to look for an ideal spot for tents.

Yet, that is not to say that a hammock does not have disadvantages in comparison to the ground shelters:

  • You are fully reliant on the trees. No trees mean no hammock camping. Stick to tents if you are heading into alpine zone.
  • It is tougher to find a place for your back and gear, particularly when that rains. It may go under hammocks, yet the ground could still get wet.
  • There isn’t as much privacy if you are camping in busy campground. It could be tricky changing clothes from the inside of your hammock.
  • Once you hike with your pet, your dog would have nowhere to sleep except on your ground.
  • Hammocks are comfortable whenever used by a person. Double hammocks still exist, yet they are not typically meant for two individuals.

You don’t need to be an expert to make most of hammock camping. All you have to do is to keep those things in mind for you to get started.

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