Picture yourself relaxing in a hammock beside a pristine lake miles from civilization. This can be you, and it doesn’t have to be a dream. One of the amazing benefits of being a hiker is discovering untouched areas of nature, far away from other people. Alone or with a loved one, you can enjoy nature in all its beauty.
Camping gets you in touch with nature, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Camping hammocks are becoming a new, popular option for those who backpack. All you need is the hammock and two trees. Never considered using a camping hammock? Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should try one.
Why Purchase a Camping Hammock?
Some people believe that a camping hammock is about trying to rough it even more. This is far from the truth! Using a hammock tent is more comfortable and enjoyable than a traditional tent. It is very easy to setup in comparison to a traditional tent.
Sleeping in a tent can be difficult. There are rocks and bumps, even with an air mattress. However, if you are backpack hiking, an air mattress isn’t really an option. The ground can be very unforgiving on your back. Sleeping in a hammock is totally different. You are cuddled in a hammock, high above the ground.
There is tons of comfort with a hammock tent. This allows you to get up the next day and continue to hike without feeling unrested. Plus, a hammock makes a great seat for anytime you decide to stop for lunch or enjoy the scenery for a few hours.
You can use it anywhere. If you stop for the evening on a hill, you can sleep in a hammock. If you are over snow or a wet beach, so long as there are two trees, you can sleep dry and warm. The ground doesn’t matter when deciding where to place your tent.
This is one of the biggest benefits to using a hammock tent. There are endless possibilities for camping locations. You can hike from dusk to dawn and not worry about finding a suitable place to lay your head. You can lay it anywhere you want.
Setup for hammock tents are a breeze. You can set a hammock up much faster than a tent. So, if you are racing against sunset or an impending rain storm, you can quickly get cover. Plus, since you are going to set it up with the same motions each time, you will get better at it quickly. Before you know it, you will be able to set it up in a flash.
Some people are worried about rain while in a hammock. The tarp over the top of the tent provides excellent coverage. You will be dry and comfortable inside of it, which is better than being dry and uncomfortable in a traditional tent.
Features to Look for in a Camping Hammock
There are 3 different types of camping hammocks to consider before you make a purchase.
- A parachute nylon hammock: These are resistant and strong. They stretch minimally, and they come in single and double options. You can sleep close to your spouse while on your outdoor adventure. Since they are so strong, you can sleep in this for nights in a row.
- An ultralight hammock: These are made with very light materials. They aren’t as comfortable because you have cut out some of the comfort that may weigh it down. However, they are supposed to be used for fast situations or when you need to keep a very light backpack.
- Expedition hammocks: If you are going to go on an expedition, you want these hammocks. They have extras like guy-lines, a rainfly, and a mosquito net. They are made with quality materials and very comfortable.
Once you decide which style of camping hammock is right for you, these are some qualities you should look for in the hammock.
- Lightweight: Most hammocks aren’t going to weigh a ton. Check out the total weight and make sure you are comfortable adding the additional poundage to your backpack.
- Weight Limit: One of the most important things to look at in a camping hammock is the weight limit. Most are at least 400lbs, but always be sure to check the details on the side of the package to confirm.
If you are tall, there are models designed for taller people. You’ll want to read the length as well.
- Material: Typically, these are made with either nylon or cotton. Cotton can be very comfortable, but it is heavy and doesn’t fair as well during rain. Nylon is the best choice for hiking. They don’t weigh as much and they repel water.
- Insulation: Most people like to hike during the breezy, warm summer days. If you decide to hike during the colder months, you are going to need some insulation. There are models available that come with sleeping pads, under quilts and top quilts.
How to Set up a Camping Hammock
You should try to setup the camping hammock in your backyard or somewhere else before you venture off on your outdoor adventure. There is a slight learning curve with these. Here are some steps to setting up the camping hammock.
- Use your tree strap, which is a simple strap with a loop at the end. You want to feed the strap through the loop and then hook your carabiner to it for your hammock.
- Take your suspension line and lock it onto your toggle or carabiner.
- At this point, your hammock will be suspended, but now it is time to adjust. You need to adjust and tighten the suspension or sling line. Typically, there is a small toggle you can push up to tighten and down to loosen. You want it at a chair height. If you sit in the hammock, your feet should touch the ground.
- After this, you should place your under quilt in place. These go underneath the hammock.
That is all there is to setting up a camping hammock. If you find yourself frequenting the outdoors and camping, you should consider purchasing a hammock. There are so many wonderful benefits, and your back will thank you.