Camping is one of those simple joys in life that bring a smile to your face and relax’s body and mind. There’s nothing so invigorating as getting back in touch with nature. It makes us happy and it relaxes. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our camping experience and the latest improvement is the development of hammock camping.
Hammock camping has always been around, but lately it has really taken off. Many people are jumping on the bandwagon, and for good reason. But before you go out on your hammock adventure, you should keep these 6 things in mind when hammock camping
Choose The Right Type of Hammock
When people picture hammock camping, many picture themselves swaying lazily on a traditional rope hammock. No. Just no. That type of hammock is great for an afternoon nap or for setting up by the pool or in your backyard.
Most hammock experts recommend getting a hammock that is 4′ longer than your body height so you can flat lay for sleeping. So if you’re 6″ tall, you’d want a hammock that’s 10″ long.
Why the extra length? The ends of a hammock hang at an angle so you can’t use the full length of fabric. So, the extra 4 feet of fabric gives you enough length to get a fairly “flat lay” for sleeping when you’re stretched out. Longer hammocks also make it possible to stretch out diagonally in a hammock, which is perfect for side sleepers who prefer a flat surface.
If you try camping with the wrong type of hammock, you’re in for an extremely uncomfortable experience. These hammocks don’t spread weight evenly. By creating a flatter surface area, the hammock looks more inviting, but if you’ve spent a minute on one you were probably victim to a sudden swing that threw you to the ground.
Keep in mind hammocks not long enough you will sleep in a banana shape, which can lead to hyper-extended knees and lead to Knee pain. This is why shorter length hammocks are best used for seats or lounging, rather than camping.
It is advised that you rather choose from the wide array of camping hammocks that are certain to give you a much more comfortable night’s sleep.
Can you imagine the scene? You have set up your hammock, the sun is setting and you’re ready to get a bit of shut eye. You’re lying there, contemplating the beauty of nature, then you hear it. The high-pitched buzzing of the dreaded mosquito. You feel your body go cold, you brought no protection.
None of us want to be subjected to a night of frustration due to those irritating creatures, or wake up the next morning looking like you spent the night in a patch of poison ivy. Thankfully, there is a simple solution to this problem, Everest Active Gear Duo Swing Hammock, Our innovative hammock has an integrated bug net to keep out those pesky bugs!
There are bug nets that can be threaded over hammocks and then closed by using a Velcro or zip opening, these can be cumbersome and awkward. You could also drape a bug net over the ridgeline of your hammock but this is not the most effective method and bugs always seem to find a way in.
Straps or Cords
Many hammocks come with a rope or paracord as part of their suspension system. These cords dig into the bark of the tree and cause unnecessary stress to the living organism you’re using to hold you up through the night.
A more conscientious choice would be a strap or webbing. They don’t cause damage and the distribute the weight more efficiently and are therefore more effective than your average run of the mill rope or paracord.
As with any type of outdoors activity, you are responsible for your own safety. Keep in mind to check your gear before you head out. You don’t want to jump into your hammock then fall to the ground thanks to a tear you never saw beforehand. Rule of thumb, don’t hang your hammock higher than you’re willing to fall. Make sure that the ground underneath your hammock is clear from any injury causing objects such as rocks just in case you do fall.
Don’t suspend your hammock on a sapling since they bend easily and avoid dead trees since they will break under the pressure. As a rule of thumb, if both your hands can fit around the trunk of the tree, it is too small and will not handle your weight.
Now look up, check the canopy for sections of dead branches nicknamed widow makers. These branches can come tumbling down at the slightest hint of wind or movement. Be especially mind full of snow and ice in the winter since these add weight to these killer branches and can cause them to fall during the night.
If it is cold and you happen to lose your sleeping bag, fill your hammock with moss, leaves and pine needles. The hammock will keep these items in place while you snuggle inside. This should keep you warm enough throughout the night.
If you need water, use the hammock to collect rainwater, put a rock in the middle since water always goes to the lowest point and submerge your water bottle in the collected water. You could also use your hammock as an impromptu bivvy, a sail or even a backpack, if you’re in a survival situation a hammock can prove itself as life saving.
Leave No Trace
We go into nature as a break away for our own human society and to relax mind and body, we don’t want to bring the worst of human society with us. In the simplest of ways, keep your impact on your surroundings to a minimum. You’re out in a very delicate eco-system. Don’t leave an unnecessary scar.
- Prepare and plan ahead
- Respect fellow visitors
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Camp and travel on durable surfaces
- Respect wildlife
- Properly dispose of waste
With these basic principles, you can minimize your effect on the environment around you. Hammocks significantly decrease your footprint since you don’t need to clear away any undergrowth. However, when you use rope or paracord to suspend your hammock, your bodyweight will exert pressure on the point of suspension and will dig into the bark.
The bark of the tree protects a thin layer that transports food to the various parts of the tree. When the bark is significantly damaged, the tree will lose branches or worse, die.
There you have it, a basic knowledge of hammock camping. Untold wonders and the great outdoors await you on your amazing hammock adventure, remember, once you go hammock, you don’t go back!