Helpful Tips and Resources for a First-time Hammock Camper
Hammock camping is an alternative way of camping that does not require the use of a tent. To begin, a hammock camper is a camper that sleeps on a hammock that is suspended. This is a form of camping that some do not know about but those that do find it to be much better for them then traditionally camping on a tent on the ground.
What Hammock Should You Use
Some people have a bad taste in their mouths from the experiences they had with hammocks throughout their lives. For example, throughout summer months you find yourself and many others constantly flipping off their hammocks.
This is not an enjoyable experience even though some may laugh at it. Not all hammocks are like this, luckily. The hammocks you want to stay away from are the ones that have spreader bars. Not all hammocks with spreader bars are bad, but most are and these are the ones that people fall off of.
Hammocks that you can choose from are gathered end hammocks, bed hammocks, and bridge hammocks. These are all choices from which you can pick from and it will take just matching up what you need to the benefits of that specific hammock.
Why Choose a Hammock over a Tent
Many people are amazed at seeing individuals using hammocks over a traditional tent but when seeing the benefits of using a hammock instead of a tent may lead anyone to making a switch. For one, hammocks are much more lightweight than a tent. Tents that are lightweight often cost a lot more whereas a hammock costs much less and will be lighter. Hammocks are also not difficult to build compared to a tent that leads people into a rage of anger if they are not a pro at setting it up.
Another benefit of a hammock is their comfort. When using a tent, you have to lie on the floor. Floors are not kind to your body and will cause soreness to the body when waking up. When camping you want to be comfortable, so a hammock does provide that. Sine hammocks are suspended it allows for the body to be comfortable and not feel as if their sleeping on a solid ground.
Setting up a hammock is also very easy. To find two trees to hang a hammock on is not difficult to do. On the other hand, to find a flat area without debris is not so easy. Most likely to set up a tent it would require you to clear the debris from an area yourself. If you chose a hammock, then you could do so in five minutes and sit back and relax as your friends are still building their tent for another thirty minutes (if their lucky).
Lastly, hammocks provide an ability to connect to nature more. This does not mean that when it rains you will be drenched and get a little too close to nature because hammocks have all the benefits of protection from the weather as tents do. By connecting to nature, I mean that you can fall asleep watching the stars, smelling the fresh air, and feeling the soft breeze rock you back and forth. These are all the perks of a hammock that a tent does not have.
Setting Up and Sleeping in Your Hammock
When tying up your hammock make sure to not hang it too tight. You make think this makes it more comfortable and like a bed but it will do just the opposite and cause discomfort. For example, you will be squished by the sides leading to discomfort, you can cause damage to the trees or hammock itself, and the walls of the hammock will cave in blocking your face.
To not cause discomfort hang the hammock a little looser, giving slack. This will allow you more comfort when sleeping. Another trick
to staying comfortable is to lay at an angle. Sleeping at an angle allows you to lay flatter and the hammock will curve to your body.
Staying Warm, Keeping the Bugs Out, and Bad Weather Out
Sleeping in a hammock instead of a tent may sound like a good idea in the summer but not in the winter. Also, the ability to keep out bugs and bad weather may be questioned as well. Actually, keeping warm in a hammock is totally attainable as well as keeping the bugs and bad weather out.
To keep warm in a hammock you simply must use either a foam pad, quilts, or sleeping bags. A foam pad is great for providing insulation that will keep your under-body warm. For some, a foam sleeping pad may need to be altered. To do this all you need to do is get a foam pad and cut it to your shape or comfort. Quilts are the best type of insulation you can get to keep your warm but they are also the most expensive. To go a cheaper way, you can purchase sleeping bags and use them instead to keep you warm. Whatever you decide on using, it is possible to use a hammock in the winter or in a climate that is colder.
Another concern of many campers when camping is the bugs. Nobody like bugs and buying and doing whatever is necessary to keep out the bugs is worth it to many people. This being said, people may choose a tent over a hammock any day of the week just to avoid bugs. It is possible though to use a hammock while still keeping out the bugs! To do so simply use a mosquito net. There are mosquito nets that are made for hammocks but if you can’t purchase them, a standard mosquito net would work just fine to keep all the bugs out.
Weather is also a problem that can turn a lovely night in a hammock to a horrible night in a hammock. No one wants to get rained on or snowed on but to avoid this problem in a hammock is completely double. To solve this problem, you really only need a tarp. Find a tarp that is large enough to cover your hammock and that you feel comfortable under. Also arrange the tarp when setting it up above your hammock in a way that will let the snow or rain run of the tarp rather than pile on. Make the center a high point so that the sides are angled which will allow rain to run right off.
Hammock camping is not something to be afraid of. Tents can be the thing of a past for you and make your camping experience more enjoyable. Remember to find a hammock that works for you and a setup that works for you and you will have no problem. With rain, sleet, sun, or snow you can have a great camping adventure with your hammock and ditch the tent.