Camping is perhaps one of the most universally popular pastimes in the world for anyone who enjoys the natural, breathtaking beauty of the great outdoors. The best aspect of camping is that you can be as versatile as you wish; there are so many different places and ways to camp. There is no limit to the terrains you can trek, the scenery you can take in, and the days and nights you want to spend on the trail.
Reason #1: Unlimited Campsites
How often do you arrive at a campsite only to find it overcrowded and littered with people and gear? You can even see the impact of all this traffic on the nearby plants and terrain. With a hammock, your choice of campsites is almost limitless given you find a couple of trees. Not to mention it’s a great leave no trace shelter.
Reason #2: Catching Some Z’s
Let’s face it, sleeping on the cold hard ground isn’t the most pleasurable experience. Sure, after a grueling day of trekking you’ll probably pass right out. But in the morning, you’ll feel it. It’s just not the same as sleeping in the comfort of your own bed. Whether you’re having trouble sleeping outdoors or even at home, the hammock could be your solution.
Reason #3: Weight Savings
At under a pound (which most basic parachute hammocks are) there’s really no way a tent can beat it. Serac’s ultralight camping hammock comes in at just 14 oz. While you’ll end up spending a few hundred for tents under 2 pounds. And the lighter it is, the more expensive it gets.
Reason #4: Quick Setup
It also doesn’t take an eagle scout to figure out how to setup a hammock; there are no complicated poles on your standard hammock, just tree straps or connectors that allow you to attach them to a tree. Even without any knowledge of knots, with a pair of good tree straps, a hammock can be set up in a minute.
Reason #5: Reliable Sleeping Conditions
When you’re on the move, your sleeping arrangements are changing every night. The terrain is different, the slopes are different. Hammocks keep this factor consistent night after night. This keeps set up quick and easy, while making sure I get reliable sleep every night of my trip. With a mosquito net for the hammock, I can sleep comfortably without worrying about any bugs. Even winter hammock camping is safe and comfortable with the right insulation to stay warm.
Reason #6: Peace and Quiet
Because you have the freedom to set up virtually anywhere, I like to choose an area away from other people. I prefer enjoying the outdoors away from other crowds. It seems to be getting harder these days, with the huge influx of people showing up to established campgrounds. But that’s ok, we can camp anywhere we’d like.
Reason #7: The Views
If you really want to sleep under the stars, this is the only way to do it. Fall asleep pointing out constellations or creating your own. The views from the hammock are incredible. One of my favorite feelings is the morning after setting up camp in the dark with nothing but headlamps. To wake up and finally see where you ended up sleeping for the night, it just takes your breath away.
Sometimes it’s dangerously easy to just set up your hammock and spending hours relaxing and enjoying the view instead of building a fire or making dinner. It’s happened more than once!
How to pick the right Hammock for you?
There is a wide range of Hammocks available in different sizes. Typically they’re in the 8-9 feet range, but if you’re over 6 feet, you may want to look for a longer hammock. There are both single and double hammocks. The name “double hammock” might imply that 2 people can sleep in the hammock, but we don’t recommend it. You’ll just end up squished, face to face with someone else – it’s really uncomfortable. Single hammocks are usually about 4.5 feet wide while doubles can get over 6ft in width. Doubles are great for spending some time with someone else in the hammock, but once again – we wouldn’t recommend 2 people spending the night in it!
Camping hammocks are made from cotton, nylon and polyester. Most commonly, you’ll find nylon hammocks. Nylon hammocks tend to be light and breathable so they’re the material of choice. There’s even the “ripstop” nylon which refers to the type of weaving of the threads. The cross-hatched technique of weaving is thought to prevent the nylon from ripping completely.
These are our favorite types of hammocks. Made from lightweight (some under 7 ounces!) and durable nylon, they hold up to the test of nature – yet doesn’t sacrifice the comfort and quality. Ultralight hammocks are great for long backpacking trips where every once matters. These are easy to set up, compact, versatile and all around our favorite hammock. The ENO sub7 is a great choice!
These hammocks are for adventures, expeditions and long trekking trips. Expedition hammocks come with a thicker nylon material, making it more durable. Though at the price of weight, and even affordability. They even come with extra space and additional features like pockets on the ridgeline and built in mosquito nets.
Accessorize your Hammock
While assembling a hammock you might need accessories like tree straps, carabiners, bug nets, rain tarps, etc. If they don’t already come with your hammock, be sure to pick those up. If they do, that’s always a bonus!
Types of hammock suspension
Sturdy support is required to help your hammock stay stable and suspended while you are relaxing. This is where hammock suspensions come in; it’s truly as simple as it seems. You use suspensions to provide support and most importantly, to keep you off the ground. Traditionally, the design of a hammock did not change drastically, so knots were used to account for suspension. That is the first and most basic kind of suspension – knot-based. You’ll need to practice how to tie a perfect knot and master that skill if you are going for these kinds of hammocks. Mastering sturdy knots can take a lot of time and patience.
The second kind is the hardware-based suspensions. These include ring buckles, finger nines, etc. which make it easier to set up suspension than traditional hand-tied knots. The hardware you choose for these suspensions must be simple to use and easy to carry long distances, just as the hammock itself is. Now time for you to decide whether you are going to be the traditional knot head suspension kind of person or the one who prefers a technological approach.
Next in line are cord-based suspension systems and hammocks that use webbings suspensions. Care should be taken that no damage is caused to the surrounding environment. Cord-based suspension systems just utilize a cord or a rope to attach your hammocks to their support, such as trees. In a webbings-based system, you can use a tree strap that ties around the support to set up your hammock. They are the simplest of suspensions that you can use to support your hammocks. Tree strap based suspensions also protect the trees bark from the weight of you and the hammock.