Hammock camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. It’s not just sleeping in a hammock; it’s a fun way to live your life. Many backpackers have discovered that hammock camping is more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. Plus, it’s a great way to get away from bugs. With a hammock, you can enjoy a more relaxing, comfortable going camping experience.
But before you can fully enjoy the trip, you have to make sure that you know the ins and outs of hammock camping. If you are new to this kind of adventure, you might as well read this comprehensive guide.
Here, I have listed some of the most useful resources for successful and comfortable hammock camping. See them now!
Table of Contents
- 1 Complete Hammock Camping Checklist
- 2 Guidelines In Choosing The Best Hammock Camping Gear
- 3 Hammock Camping Tips
- 3.1 1. Get The Right Hammock
- 3.2 2. Try Your Equipment
- 3.3 3. Know Where To Place The Hammock
- 3.4 4. Identify The Weather Before You Head Out
- 3.5 5. Install Your Hammock Properly
- 3.6 6. Lie Diagonally, Not Straight
- 3.7 7. Hang One End Of The Hammock Higher
- 3.8 8. Utilize Drip Lines
- 3.9 9. Don’t Place The Hammock Too High
- 3.10 10. Avoid Dangerous Grounds
- 3.11 11. Familiarize The Features Of Your Hammock
- 3.12 12. Don’t Put Food On Your Hammock
- 3.13 13. Get A Rainfly
- 3.14 14. Get A Bug Net
- 3.15 15. Prefer Wide Tree Straps
- 3.16 16. Use A Sleeping Bag
- 3.17 17. Have A Sleeping Pad
- 3.18 18. Try A Pillow
- 3.19 19. Keep Your Essentials Close
- 3.20 20. Get An Underquilt
- 3.21 21. Consider A Two-Person Hammock
- 3.22 22. Wear Proper Clothing
- 3.23 23. Pack Light
- 3.24 24. Don’t Forget To Enjoy
Complete Hammock Camping Checklist
The things that you need for hammock camping may vary based on your preferences. But for starters, the following items are downright essential.
You can never have a fun-filled hammock camping without the following:
- Camping hammocks
- Hammock suspension systems or straps
These items can make your hammock camping comfortable and secure:
- Stakes and guylines
- Mosquito nets
Your hammock camping can go without these items. But you will have a better experience if they are around!
- Sleeping pads
- Quilts (top and under)
Guidelines In Choosing The Best Hammock Camping Gear
As long as you have a hammock, you can already do hammock camping. However, you will eventually realize that such a setup is not complete. Hence, we will discuss the importance of choosing the right hammock and other equipment essential to the adventure.
A hammock should be rugged and comfortable at the same time. It should be lightweight, too, so that you can transport it easily. You might want to focus on options that are designed for backpacking or camping purposes since they are more durable than their counterparts. The right hammock can serve you in a variety of outdoor applications.
Hammock Sleeping Pads
A hammock sleeping pad is not the same as your standard camping sleeping pads. It is designed to fit the narrow interiors of a hammock. It adds comfort and insulation to your body.
You can’t attach your hammock everywhere if you don’t have reliable suspension straps. Most of the hammocks in the market today have suspension systems included on them. However, you can always buy one, especially if you feel that the default strap is not that great. Look for a strap that is durable and adjustable. It should be able to support your weight. They should also be able to protect the trees from unnecessary damages. When choosing a strap, make sure that it is compatible with your hammock.
For many hammock campers, a rainfly is an essential piece of gear. The rainfly is placed over the hammock and provides a weather barrier for the sleeper. This layer of protection prevents rain and dew from dripping on the camper and allows the hammock to dry if it becomes wet. The best rainfly for hammocks should be able to provide full coverage for their users.
Mosquito or Bug Nets
A bug net is a really great addition to your hammock camping gear. It will help you enjoy your time in the woods a lot more. As you may know, bugs can be pretty annoying. Also, they can even be dangerous. That is why it is very important to have a bug net that is high quality. In order for it to be high quality, it must be made with the best materials. Moreover, the bug nets should provide full coverage.
An underquilt, also called a bottom quilt, a quilt, or a no-bottom, is a quilt that wraps around the bottom of a hammock and keeps the bottom sleeper warm. Under quilts are used in hammock camping instead of a ground pad, as they provide much more comfort and insulation.
The top quilt is what keeps you warm at night, and it’s an essential part of your overall hammock camping experience. You want to make sure that you choose the right top quilt since it can have a significant impact on your comfort level and your experience. It should encompass your body and should provide enough comfort, especially during cold nights.
Carabiners are an essential part of any hammock camper’s gear bag, but they are also useful for just about anyone who hikes, climbs, camps or even just spends time outdoors. These handy little devices have a variety of uses, from securing gear to harnesses and packs and clipping together multiple items. In fact, there’s a carabiner out there to suit pretty much any need you have.
There are many hammock stakes that are available in the market today, and they come in many different shapes, sizes, materials, and colors. It is imperative that you have a hammock that is well equipped with the best hammock stakes. The stakes that come with the hammock are usually not the best, so you will need to invest in the best hammock stakes to enjoy your hammocking experience.
You can utilize paracords for each of your hammock camping trips. They are essential in supporting the entire length of your hammock so that it won’t wobble while being affixed. When choosing a paracord, you have to guarantee that it is tough and has enough length to cater to your needs.
Hammock Camping Tips
1. Get The Right Hammock
Hammocks are so cool. They’re made from a lightweight material that’s designed to be carried easily, and they’re designed to give you a great night’s rest. The problem is, they’re not always designed to be comfortable or a good fit for you. That’s why you need to do your research before making your purchase.
When choosing a hammock, it is crucial that it has a sturdy and durable construction. It should be able to withstand the test of time!
It is a good choice to be picky when it comes to the material used in the crafting of the hammock. Nylon and polyester can be a good start. Also, don’t forget about the maximum capacity of the hammock. You have to guarantee that it can support your weight.
Pick a hammock that works with other hammock equipment such as mosquito nets and rainfly. Doing so will remove a lot of stress in the setting up of the hammock.
2. Try Your Equipment
Before you head out to the woods, you have to try your gear first.
It is a standard procedure for every outdoor enthusiast. Before the big, you have to make sure that your outdoor amenities are working properly. Doing dry-runs will let you see if there are issues with your items. Furthermore, trying your equipment first will allow you to familiarize or master their usage.
If you can, test the quality of your hammock and see if it does provide comfort and stability. Sleep with the hammock in your backyard before you set forth off the grid.
3. Know Where To Place The Hammock
Just because there are a lot of trees in your destination doesn’t mean that you can easily place your hammock anywhere.
You have to be prudent when it comes to the location or placement of the hammock. Doing this will make your outdoor stay safe and convenient.
You should tie your hammock between two trees or any available platforms (with a distance of roughly 10 feet. Make sure that they are sturdy enough to support you and the hammock. I also recommend that you don’t camp under trees with loose branches. If the area is prone to landslides and floods, move away.
It is also ideal to look for a spot where it is naturally cool. You should be shielded from the heat of the sun or strong gusts of winds. For instance, it is nice if you are situated around boulders because they can block the wind.
4. Identify The Weather Before You Head Out
When you are camping, you obviously want to go to the place that is best for your camping needs. That means that you should know what the weather is going to be like before you go.
Campers go into the wilderness to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, so being able to recognize and utilize Mother Nature’s most powerful tool could be the difference between a great trip and a nightmare. Mountain weather changes very quickly and can be the most dangerous of any.
To avoid this predicament, you should be able to identify the weather or climate of your destination. You should understand how changes in weather affect the overall livability of the terrain. If the weather station tells that it will get rainy or cold, you have to prepare the essential gears to combat the precipitation and low temperatures.
5. Install Your Hammock Properly
The proper installation or hanging of a hammock is not a trivial matter. You have to learn the right way on how to do this. By doing so, you are ensuring the stability of the hammock and your overall safety.
One of the things that you need to do is to hang the hammock with a degree of looseness. In this way, the hammock will have a space to adjust to your weight. If the tie is too tight, the hammock might not be able to stretch well.
You can choose the kind of angle for your hammock. Experiment with different positions until you get the most suitable one for you. However, the general rule of the thumb is that it should be your waist-high. In this way, it will be able to sag without touching the ground.
You can refer to this video as your guide for tying your hammocks:
6. Lie Diagonally, Not Straight
You will be surprised how comfortable it is to lie in your hammock diagonally than lying straight. This position will let your head and feet rest conveniently, ensuring that the space of the hammock is expanded to accommodate extra movement.
Lying diagonally will also let your body recline as naturally as possible.
Of course, every decent hammock will let you lie in this position. That’s the very reason why you need to get the best hammock right from the get-go.
7. Hang One End Of The Hammock Higher
I am pretty sure that most of you will find discomfort when being sagged in the middle of the hammock. Others can deal with this, though. However, if you cannot, then you should adjust the position of the hammock.
Specifically, you should place one end of the hammock higher than the other end. Ideally, it should be the foot side or the part where your lower body rests. You can experiment with the most comfortable angle for you. Raising it by 8 to 12 inches higher than the other end should give you extra convenience.
8. Utilize Drip Lines
Even if you have a rainfly, water can sometimes penetrate your territory. For instance, heavy precipitation can cause water to flow along with the suspension system of your hammock, causing the latter to get wet.
Fortunately, you can avoid this predicament by putting a drip line under the rainfly. It will divert the flow of the water away from your hammock.
9. Don’t Place The Hammock Too High
Lying on a hammock is pleasurable and relaxing. However, if you topple over, your camping trip will suddenly turn into a misfortune. To avoid hazardous accidents, make sure that you don’t hang your hammock too high.
Many people think that the best placement of a hammock should be as far away from the ground as possible. However, you should never attempt it. As much as possible, don’t place the hammock more than three feet from the soil.
10. Avoid Dangerous Grounds
Additionally, you should not place your hammock on questionable areas. Don’t ever place it above bodies of water just because it looks cool and savvy. Moreover, you should not hang the hammock above sharp and jagged objects. Don’t ever put yourself in a dangerous situation.
Of course, I need to remind you that you should not do hammock stacking–or the style where people stack their hammocks above each other. It is a dangerous way of placing your hammock. If the person on the top falls over, they will inevitably bump those who are in below. If the fall is high, injuries could take place.
11. Familiarize The Features Of Your Hammock
If you want to fully maximize your hammock camping experience, you have to know your hammock first. You have to identify its features and capabilities; you have to take advantage of them, especially in specific settings or situations.
For instance, some hammocks come with built-in insulations that you can use to combat the low temperatures. Others have extra pockets and shelves where you can store your essential accessories and amenities.
12. Don’t Put Food On Your Hammock
Veteran outdoor enthusiasts know that placing food in a tent can spell disaster. The scent of the food can attract animals and insects. If there are bears and dangerous creatures in your area, you should place your meals away from your camping spot. In this way, you are staying away from danger’s way.
13. Get A Rainfly
It has been mentioned already that a rainfly is an important amenity for hammock camping.
Since you don’t want the elements to ruin your trip, you should be able to protect yourself from them. Heat and rain can easily disrupt your peaceful moments in your hammock. But with a rainfly, you will no longer have to worry about them.
A rainfly has to protect the entirety of your hammock from wind, snow, rain, and sunrays. In fact, they should be able to extend beyond your hammock for better coverage.
14. Get A Bug Net
A bug net is an essential part of any hammock camping. Camping with one ensures that you’ll have a comfortable camping experience. It helps to block out the elements, shielding you from rain, wind, and the sun. It will keep the mosquitos and other biting insects away from you so that you can enjoy your outdoor experience to the fullest.
15. Prefer Wide Tree Straps
As an outdoor enthusiast, I always advocate for the Leave-No-Trace principle. Generally, when we head to the woods, we should never do anything that would compromise the environment and its dwellers.
When tying hammocks, some people opt for cords. While these cords are effective, they can cut and damage trees. Instead of using them, you should look for webbing tree straps. They should be one-inch wide and durable enough to hold you and your hammock. Get a suspension strap that comes with adjustment points to let you configure your setup easily.
16. Use A Sleeping Bag
Sleeping bags are the best way to keep you warm in the wilderness. Fortunately, you can insert yourself in a sleeping bag while you are in your hammock. These bags are much warmer than blankets. They also offer more protection from the rain. The ventilation keeps you cool and wicks the sweat from your body. When you are inside a sleeping bag, you are also protected from insect bites.
17. Have A Sleeping Pad
A sleeping bag is already sufficient. But if you want added insulation, you should get a sleeping pad in your hammock. Sleeping pads come in all shapes and sizes, and they have dozens of different benefits. One of the most obvious benefits is comfort.
Sleeping pads are designed to cushion your body and provide a softer, more comfortable surface on which to lay your body. Another benefit is insulation. The more insulation between you and the ground, the warmer you’ll be. A thick sleeping pad will hold the heat close to your body and keep you warmer than a thin one.
18. Try A Pillow
Carrying a pillow while camping isn’t always fun, but it does have its benefits.
If you’re using a hammock, you’re probably well-versed in the benefits of a good night’s sleep. And that is exactly what you’ll get when you use a camping pillow. Not only will you have a soft, comfortable place to rest your head, but you’ll also be more inclined to catch some shut-eye. The most obvious benefit of using a pillow while camping is comfort. After a long day of hiking, biking, or paddling, you’ll be able to comfortably drift off to sleep without concern for your head and neck.
19. Keep Your Essentials Close
You may not be allowed to pack your food with your hammock, but you can always stash your essentials with you. Get a small sack to store your nighttime amenities. Alternatively, you can invest in a gear sling accessory that you can hang in the side of your hammock (or in your bug net or rainfly).
Always remember that the area covered by the rainfly can serve as your storage area. You can take advantage of this space to store your belongings.
20. Get An Underquilt
An underquilt is a special type of sleeping bag designed for use inside a hammock. It is a synthetic insulating layer that goes underneath the hammock, between the hammock’s bottom and the user’s sleeping pad. It helps keep the user’s sleeping pad cool by having the air space underneath the hammock, as well as providing insulation for the user.
A hammock underquilt/top quilt is a very versatile piece of camping equipment, and it can also be used in your own home during the winter to keep warm on cold nights.
Here’s a video that weighs the pros and cons of underquilts and sleeping pads:
21. Consider A Two-Person Hammock
The benefits of a two-person hammock are endless. For starters, it’s the most comfortable camping experience you can have. The weight is taken off your back, and your legs are able to rest and swing freely. You have a lot of space to move around, as compared to a one-person hammock. While it is true that these two-person units are large and heavy, they still give you the comfort and room that you need.
22. Wear Proper Clothing
Wearing proper clothing while camping is critical to the enjoyment of the experience. There are many factors that should be considered when choosing your camping attire. The most important factor is the weather. Almost all campgrounds have a website where you can check the weather and temperatures of the area for the time of year. You should check the weather forecast of the area and pack for the temperatures that will prevail during your stay.
Check this site for an extensive guide on what to wear when camping.
23. Pack Light
One of the most important things to remember when going on a hammock trip is to pack light. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to try to carry around too much weight. Not only will this slow you down, but it will also make your trip far less enjoyable. The fact of the matter is that every extra pound that you pack onto your back will make the trip that much more difficult on you.
So how should you reduce your weight? First, you should bring your essentials only. Second, you should pick gears that are designed for lightweight applications.
Here’s a video that shows how you can pack light on your camping and backpacking adventures:
24. Don’t Forget To Enjoy
Camping with a hammock is perfect for a comfortable night’s sleep! As a hammock camper, you’ll enjoy gentle rocking as you fall asleep and the ability to move the hammock up and down to avoid insects, changing weather, and even the sound of the wind in the trees.
There’s a lot of things to enjoy while in your hammock. There are a lot of fun activities you can do. Of course, don’t forget to practice the leave-no-trace principle while you are having the time of your life!