Life is full of difficult choices, for one, hammocks vs tents… it’s our own responsibility to make the right decision for ourselves. Some choices are a matter of opinion, while others are backed up by facts and are genuinely better than other options. We want to take the time to settle once and for all which is the better option: hammocks or tents?
Hammocks are fast gaining popularity on the camping and outdoor market but tents are the traditional way to go and so many people prefer the familiarity of a tent. But which one is better? In this post, we’re going to weigh up all the pros and cons and help you to decide which is better suited for your needs.
We’ll be looking at factors such as price, size and weight, comfort, set up, limitations, and overall strengths. We know that this will aid you in making the right decision.
Gently swaying in the breeze while falling asleep to the grand vision of the starry night sky. Hammocks have an exotic appeal and are winning over many long-time campers due to their many convenient advantages.
Price: Common camping hammocks are usually not more expensive than $80, add a bug net for about $80, straps at about $25 and a tarp for about $10 and you have a comfortable camp for $195. Of course, these are just the basics and you’ll probably have different gear in mind to add to that list to personalize your experience.
Size and Weight: A simple hammock by itself can weigh less than a pound thanks to incredibly lightweight material. So, a hammock by itself is very light, the trouble starts when you add your tarp, bug net and straps. If you are conscious about the weight and only buy lightweight gear, then you could keep your pack light and still have everything that you need.
Comfort: This depends on where you set up your hammock, be mindful to set up a good tarp unless you want to get wet or have leaves or well-aimed pine cones dropping on you throughout the night. If you get a good flat lay, then you could get a very good night’s rest. Keep in mind that you’ll need a camping hammock, not a rope hammock.
Set up: If you have a pair of hands and a basic sense of logic, you should be able to set up your hammock very easily. If you’re having trouble, then most hammocks come with a handy step by step guide.
- No need to fear the elements with the right gear
- Less confined
- Cost effective even with a few goodies
- Setting up and putting away are relatively quick and painless
- Nothing is better than falling asleep while star-gazing
Tents have been around forever. They are great portable shelters for flat terrain and have a long history of reliability.
Price: An ordinary camping tent can come up to about $140, this by itself is not enough though, unless you’re planning to sleep on the ground without any sort of protection. You will also need a sleeping pad which costs around $80, making the combined total about $220.
Size and weight: The tent itself is quite light, but the poles also need to be carried and they are heavier and quite cumbersome to lug around. Not to mention, you’ll need gear to set up your tent which will make your pack considerably heavier. Most people add a mallet to knock in their tent pegs, but if you’re willing to use a rock you could leave out the mallet and lighten your load. This might cause a little more damage to your tent pegs, but that is up to you.
Comfort: When you have an inflatable sleeping pad or a camping bed, a tent can be more comfortable. You could create an entire bedroom in some tents, but that seems beside the point of camping. Many campers feel that tent walls are a little restrictive since the point of camping is to get close to nature.
Set up: Most tents are relatively easy to set up, but some are heavier and will require some help.
Limitations: Rocky ground, slanted slopes, wet ground. All of these factors pose problems for the average camper. You will need to find some flat ground to set up your tent, the ground needs to be fairly soft and easy to put pegs in or you’ll be struggling for hours. Tents also take a while to set up and you’ll probably have to clear the ground to set it up which could damage the undergrowth.
- Better for large groups of people
- More people are familiar with tents
- More protection from the elements
- Easier to store your things
- More privacy
Do we have a winner? At the end of the day it is your choice since it is your camping adventure. But after looking at all these factors; can you say that there is a clear winner? Yes, yes there is.
Tent camping is traditional and most people grew up camping in tents. But is it possible that hammock camping is the better alternative? It gets you up close to nature, and leaves less of a environmental footprint. If you use straps when setting up your hammock, you will leave virtually no trace of your stay.
But if you leave your tent on the ground for longer than a day, then thee undergrowth starts dying. Hammocks are light, and when you add a tarp, a bug net and a sleeping pad, you’re good to go. They seem to be the best choice for dedicated nature enthusiasts.
Go on, try hammock camping.