Winter Hammock Camping - What You Need to Know
Camping during the winter can be both intimidating and exhilarating at the same time.
After fall uncovers the forest, you get to breathe in nature's captivating raw beauty while in its winter-wonderland state.
Another perk with winter camping is that there tends to be less of a crowd, so you will have more space to yourself
Hammock camping is a year-round activity that is being enjoyed by more than just hardcore hikers.
Stress and other demands of life, don’t take a break just because of the season.
Going hammock camping no matter what time of the year, will still bring you that peace and tranquility, especially in the winter.
In days past, campers and hikers didn't have the advanced technology that we do today.
Winter camping was difficult and uncomfortable. Now, we can go camping with minimal equipment but maximum comfort.
Preparation is essential
Preparation is the key to any successful camping trip. We have compiled a list that we use ourselves, and are sharing that list with you.
Please go through the list before heading out, there are great and doable tips and tricks to aid you along your way to the best winter hammock camping experience.
1. Layering of Clothes
The easiest part of your preparation is your clothing. Having numerous layers allows you to manage the temperature inside your hammock setup.
Start with more layers, but as you warm up the sleeping bag, you can remove a layer or two so you are comfortable and thus avoid sweating.
2. Apply heat on your sleeping bag with hot water bags or bottle
After cooking your supper, and before putting the fire out, boil some water on the fire.
Once the water heats up, pour it into your metal water bottle or water bag then toss it into your sleeping bag. It will be toasty when you're ready to go to sleep.
- Do not use plastic bottles or any other plastic bits to avoid melting.
- Don't burn yourself. A single-walled metal bottle will burn your skin pretty quickly.
- Double-check your container and ensure that there are no leaks around the mouth. Wet sleeping bags and clothes will make your winter camp a bitter and cold experience.
3. Be wise in choosing and setting your camping site
Camp where the sun is
Be on the lookout for an opening in the forest canopy. Heat is rare in the winter – you'll want to expose your campsite to as much warmth as possible.
Camp where there are natural windbreakers, like trees, rocks, and natural topography. Avoid setting up on the edge of a clearing, as the wind can pick up across open areas. Instead, go a little deeper into the woods. If you can't find natural shelter, you can create your own with a vertically hung tarp.
Avoid snow-filled and dead or unstable branches
Be wary of dead or unstable trees since the excessive weight of the snow and ice can weaken the branch and cause an unexpected break - dropping its snow load on a sleeping hammock camper. Be sure to set up away from slopes that are at risk of an avalanche.
Allow some ventilation into your setup. We do not want moisture to condense inside our hammock. That can lead to a clammy feel in your sleeping bag.
Hammock tarps or rain flies also protect campers against wind, humidity, and precipitation. It must be correctly pitched to trap heat and keep out the breeze effectively.4. Sleeping Bag
Mummy-style Sleeping Bag
A mummy-style sleeping bag that will keep frigid air out – and maintain heat within. With a drawstring hood (just like a winter jacket) you just pull the string on a mummy-style sleeping bag and stay warm. Your nose and mouth will be the only exposed part.
Hammock Compatible Sleeping Bag
This is a specially made sleeping bag designed to wrap around the outside of the hammock. It has no compressed insulation, and it will keep you warmer and more comfortable since you can avoid bunching and twisting.
Reflective Sleeping Bag
Both windproof and waterproof, at a mere 5 ounces, this reflective material can help retain your body heat. It is advisable to utilize this as a liner at the bottom of the hammock.
This is not your grandma’s quilt. This is an underquilt that hangs snugly underneath your hammock. It will keep the cold air below you from rising into your hammock. As you are not laying on it, the underquilt is not compressed and can provide warmth along your back.
- Take along a knife, pocket knife, or multi-tool with blades or cutters in it – they are super handy. They can help you not just in emergencies, but you will also find it extremely of use throughout your camping trip.
- You will need a way to contact the outside world – if you are roaming the wilds, there is a big chance for anyone to lose cell service, so a GPS, navigation or satellite phone will be your life-saver in case you get into a situation where you need to call for help.
- Personal filtration device (like a lifestraw) to make freshwater. This will give you access to drinkable water no matter where you are.
- Compact First Aid Kit - it is always smart to bring a medical kit, it need not have to be grand just the necessities will do.
6. Test Trip
Before packing for the long-haul, you can go out on a test winter hammock camping. A day or two out in the cold with the right gear will be enough to allow you to test the waters and gain confidence.
Winter Hammock Camping -- Inspiring and phenomenal! Though this article barely scratched the surface of all possibilities, we hope that it somehow helps and encourages you to brave the cold weather with your winter hammock camping gear.
What is a hammock Underquilt?
It is used as bottom insulation in replacement for a sleeping pad. Consisting of sleeping bag insulation that is suspended underneath the hammock, a camper may sleep in comfort and warmth without the worry of crushing the underquilt.
What materials are hammocks usually made out of?
Most camping hammocks are made from nylon, a material known for its strength, lightweight, and for its capacity to be compressed easily into a small size. Nylons are popular material in humid climates due to its quick-drying and water-resistant features.
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.