So lately you have noticed that your local camping gear store has a weirdly huge amount of tents that people don’t seem to buy anymore, which gets you wondering, “Have people given up camping?” “Is there a common upgrade that has been going on and I didn’t get a memo?”
Well, apparently not. More and more people have embraced the new and better way to stay warm, dry, and comfortable outdoors, which is, hammock camping.
No more broken tent poles. No more rocks and bulging tree roots digging into your camping air mattress. And no more rain pools making your sleeping bag wet.
If you want to ditch your tent for this backcountry hang too, this guide is all you need to get started. The hammock camping tips laid out below will help you make the most of your newly found tree shelter, and do so responsibly.
1. Get A Good Hammock
If you want to have an amazing hammocking experience, then you got to start by investing in a model specifically made for camping. Forget these cheap knock-offs that get you nursing your back in the morning.
Get something strong and durable. Make sure it supports your weight perfectly. You want to stay suspended throughout the night, not to fall off because the material of your “bed” is too weak to handle your weight!
2. Find A Good Spot
You just don’t hang your hammock anywhere. You need to find a good spot that gives you the comfort you seek.
For starters, the trees on which you anchor your tent must be strong enough to support both your weight and that of the hammock. Avoid camping under trees with loose branches or those that can easily break in windy, wet, or cold weather. If possible, pick a place with a natural windscreen.
3. Set Up Your Hammock Right
The most uncomfortable hammock is one that is not pitched right. If it is your first time camping, take a little time to learn how to set up your hammock properly. We just can’t leave out this point in our hammock camping tips because your tent setup determines how good your sleep will be.
Don’t hang your tent too high such that you can’t get in and out of it easily. But again don’t let it hang too low that it touches the ground.
Pitch it at the right distance from the ground (preferably at waist height) so that you can hop in and out hassle-free. That way, you can even use it as a place to sit or relax while watching the sunset if you don’t have enough space in your car to stash a camping chair.
4. A Hammock Is Meant To Sag, Let It!
You really don’t want to be like these campers who anchor their hammocks too tight between trees and end up looking like they are sleeping in a cocoon. You are looking for comfort and there is nothing comfortable in bowing your back and squeezing your shoulders the entire night.
A camp hammock should be stringed up with a good sag. An angle of 30˚ from the horizontal will be a great starting point. This will lower the center of gravity and make your tree shelter more stable and comfy.
5. Keep Cold Air Away
There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night with a freezing bum. This has been a common problem to many hammocks with some of them even swearing never to go hammocking again.
But it really doesn’t have to get to this. With proper insulation, hammock camping can be enjoyable even on chilly nights.
The simplest way to stay warm and prevent cold butt syndrome is by using a sleeping pad. Get one that is thick enough so that even when the cold wind blows underneath you, there will be less heat lost from your body.
6. Lay Diagonally
Naturally, gravity will tend to pull your body toward the center of the hammock and this can sometimes be very uncomfortable. Lying diagonally can solve this, as it will allow you to stretch out more.
Start at a 40˚ from the anchor and adjust to whatever angle you feel most comfortable with. Sleeping at an angle, you can even splay your limbs or sleep on your side, back, or any of your favorite positions.
7. Use A Bug Net
Another important point in our hammock camping tips is keeping the bugs away. No one wants to hear a bug buzzing around their face when they sleep especially if it is the biting type.
To make sure that these nocturnal insects don’t disturb your good night’s sleep, pack up a bug net. Most hammocks come with bug nets sewn onto them. If yours doesn’t, make sure to get one before you leave home. The best bug net should completely cover your hammock but leave enough space for you to stretch.
8. Stay Dry
A hammock is no better than an ordinary tent if it can’t keep you dry. That’s why we advise campers to always bring a tarp or rainfly to keep rainwater away from their shelter. Whether it’s raining or not, just bring one with you.
A tarp is an important item on the hammock camping checklist. Even if it won’t keep the rainwater away, at least it will add extra insulation.
Pitch your rainfly such that it extends well on both sides of your swing. We recommend at least 12 inches on both sides. Make sure the tarp covers the ends of your hammock properly too. The last thing you want is rain soaking your head and feet wet.
Globo Surf Overview
A hammock can be an enjoyable alternative to an ordinary tent. Swing your night away in the wilderness by following the above hammock camping tips.
To stay safe, make sure your tree shelter is suspended at the right height from the ground. Avoid hanging over sharp objects, water features, or other dangerous elements. Most importantly, bring the right gear to keep you warm and dry.
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- How To Sleep Better Camping – Sleep Secrets For Campers, tripsavvy.com