What could be better than relaxing in a hammock and camping in a site you have set up yourself; just enjoying the wonder of nature?
The beauty of hammock camping is that it is an activity that can be experienced wheter you’re a hardcore nature enthusiast or a newcomer to camping.
It is incredibly simple, and the preferred method of camping for both novice and seasoned campers.
We have prepared a list of everything you need to know about hammock camping to help you get started on an incredible way to get into the great outdoors.
Those who are not familiar with hammock camping might be wary about leaving the comfort of home, but it is well worth the experience.
Getting into the out of doors renews your spirit and connects you with the world that you live in; and the world that sustains life on this earth.
Opening yourself up to the experience of getting back to basics can give you a new perspective on what is truly important and help you refocus your energies.
Get the Right Hammock
If you are not familiar with hammock camping, you might picture the rope hammock gently swaying in the wind that is prominent in many a backyard.
Today’s camping hammock is far from that backyard hammock! A camping hammock could be used in a backyard, but you would never take a backyard hammock camping.
A camping hammock will keep you warm and comfortable, give you a great night’s sleep in the process.
The Everest Active Gear hammock is a quality hammock that incorporates a bug net and is a lightweight, durable and breathable material that will hold up to 400 pounds.
It is perfect for camping, hiking, and backpacking. You could even set one up in the backyard for a perfect place to nap!
Hammocks VS Tents
When thinking of camping, a tent automatically comes to most people’s minds. And while that has been the traditional way to camp in years past, today’s adventurers have learned that hammocks have distinct advantages over a tent.
A tent can be seen as best for sheltering against the elements, but the advancement in hammocks has eclipsed tents for giving a warm, protected and comfortable night's sleep.
Hammocks now have protection against bugs, wind and rain. They get you up off the cold, wet and hard ground for a soothing and cozy sleep.
Tents tend to be bulky and heavy to tote. They take a bit of coordinating to pitch and a tent tends to anchor you to one spot on a camping expedition.
Campers have found that a hammock is lightweight to carry and can weigh in at only a pound or two, and yet can hold 400 pounds.
Once you become proficient with hanging a hammock, it will take under five minutes to set one up.
You are not tethered to one spot, as you are once you pitch a tent.
With a hammock, you simply carry your sleeping quarters where you want to go, knowing it only takes minutes to have your new sleeping place ready.
Get a Flat Lay
Getting a comfortable night’s sleep in a hammock is as easy as sleeping at the correct angle.
Your first instinct is to lay in a hammock in a straight line, the same way a hammock hangs.
If you lie in the hammock in this manner, the sides of the hammock will fold around you in cocoon fashion.
The simple secret is to lie at an angle in a hammock. If you pitch your hammock with enough slack, it will be easy to do.
Laying at a 30-degree angle, with your head and feet slightly elevated will enable the rest of your body to be relatively flat.
If you have achieved a proper flat lay then the hammock should hug the natural curve of your back.
At that point, you can maneuver around to find your most comfortable position.
Laying at an angle will also make it possible, if you are a side sleeper like me, to sleep on your side.
Because you are gently swaying above the ground, this can give you “cold butt syndrome.”
This is easily remedied with an underquilt. An underquilt is made of a synthetic material and is hung on the outside of the hammock.
The underquilt effectively stops the cold from penetrating into the hammock from the bottom.
Pair this with a sleeping bag on the inside, and you will be snug as a bug in a rug!
Keep the Weather Out!
The weather is one of the reasons to get outside, to be in the fresh air and out in the open, with clear blue skies. Except the skies are not always clear or blue!
Which is why hammock enthusiasts will carry along a rain fly for just such occasions.
Many campers will set up their rain fly whether skies are blue or gray, as it takes just minutes to do, and also offers shade.
Also if the weather turns and it starts to mist or rain in the night, you will already be prepared.
Our Specialized rain flys are a generous 142” by 98”. They are PU 3000 Polyurethane (PU) coated and UV protective fabric with a special waterproof material that is lightweight and durable.
The rain fly will keep you comfortable and dry no matter the weather.
Straps vs Cords
Use Everest Active Gear Tree Saver Straps instead of ropes or nylon cords.
We love nature and do all we can to support a healthy environment for ourselves and those that come after us.
We have learned that using ropes or nylon cords to secure a hammock to a tree can do damage to these precious resources.
The rope and cords act as an abrasive on the bark of a tree once we place our weight in the hammock. The weight and any swaying motion can take the bark off the tree.
The bark is what delivers nutrients and water from the roots of a tree up to the branches to nourish the tree.
If a tree sustains more than a 50% loss of bark in a strip around a tree, the tree will not be able to survive.
Using straps distributes weight, and does not dig or abraid the bark and so causes no damage.
You can feel good about securing your hammock without injuring any tree you secure it to.
Take Only Pictures and Leave Only Your Footprints
Whatever you take out with you while you are hammock camping, bring back with you. If you generate trash, bring it back to dispose of properly.
If you plan ahead, you should be able to limit the amount of refuse that you have. The more you camp, the more proficient you will become and the earth will love you for it!
Is hammock camping legal?
Hammock camping is permitted on most federal land or parks. Although, there are several cities and college campuses who have started prohibited them, even issuing tickets for unauthorized camps.
Why are hammocks so relaxing?
As hammock naturally sways you, it allows you to relax as the motion helps lower your blood pressure.
The astounding view you get as you look up at the sky and immerse yourself to nature. Away from all the hustle and bustle of your daily life.
Do you need a pillow in a hammock?
Pillows are not necessary for hammock camping. Once you have perfected the angle in your hammock that suits you best, you can be comfortable without a pillow.
If support is needed, there are alternatives you can use without needing an actual pillow. Then again, comfort is the primary factor in sleeping, it would still vary on your preference.
Can you lay on your stomach in a hammock?
Yes, one may sleep on his or her belly in a hammock, but it is going to be very uncomfortable.
Lying on one's stomach is the go-to position of those who are suffering from lower back pain, so finding the perfect angle of your hammock is hugely beneficial for you.
How long should my hammock be?
There is what they call the 4-foot rule of thumb. Generally, experts recommend getting a hammock that is 4 feet longer than your height.
Such length makes it possible for you to lie nearly flat and avoids unnecessary back pains.
Can you suffocate in a hammock
Suffocation in a hammock in an adult is nearly impossible, but for babies, there is a serious safety hazard.
When the baby starts rolling over and faces down and can not roll back, or move to the side of the hammock where their nose or mouth can be blocked.
Can a hammock be used inside a tent?
Tent poles are not devised to support a hammock safely, but other workarounds might give you a semblance of having an in-tent hammock camping.
There are hammock stands that you can try placing inside your tent, given that it is spacious enough to fit one.
Also, a rain fly or tarp that you can hang above your hammock and securely fasten on the ground through pegs.
How long does it normally take to hang a hammock?
Several variables must be considered in timing your hammock setup. Camper’s experience and strength, hammock size, campsite, untenable conditions, weather, and a whole lot more, it is quite hard to put a number on it.
Illustrations by Derek Hansen of theultimatehang.com