Hammock camping is a great way to keep comfortable and stay light on the trail. Whether you’re planning a long trek or just going camping with friends for the weekend hammock camping is an awesome way to do it and is far more comfortable than the traditional tent approach. This approach also makes finding a camping site super easy and for some reason I just feel like it’s cooler.
1. Get a tent for your hammock
Nothing will ruin a hammock camping trip quicker than not being prepared for rain. I’ve had instances before where the forecast called for a zero percent chance of rain and it still ended up raining in the middle of the night. Regardless of what the forecast says you want to have your hammock tent if you plan on using your hammock to sleep in. These are light weight and inexpensive and can be easily picked up at most sporting stores or online. Keeping a hammock tent in your bag gives you the luxury of shelter at any time for very little extra room or space in your bag. Most tents are easy to use and can be set up in just a few minutes with a little practice.
2. Get A mosquito net
This is another must for me simply due to the fact that the consequences for not having it are too high for me. When you’re asleep it’s essentially just a feeding frenzy for any bugs that realize you’re there. Mosquito nets start at just a few dollars and weight next to nothing. They’re super easy to set up and they will ensure that you are safe from pests in the night. This isn’t the most glamorous piece of gear that your going to have in your pack but it is one that you’ll for sure be glad you have if you find yourself in a situation that calls for it.
3. Bring a sleeping bag
Often times it gets a lot cooler at night than first time campers expect. Do not make the mistake of assuming the hammock and a sweatshirt will be enough to keep you warm throughout the night. Make sure that you pack a half decent camping sleeping bag with you. I have done this one personally and the discomfort kept me up half the night and I didn’t have the energy I would have liked to hike the following day. I even go so far as to keep a few hand warmers in my bag in case I get stuck out on a particularly cold night.
4. Do a trial run
The last thing you want is to realize you have a problem when you’re about to set up camp. I personally set up camp in my back yard and slept out there all night to ensure that I had everything i needed for the actual hike. Now I’m not saying sleep in your backyard, but I will it’s better to know what you need when your house is 10 feet away than when your 20 miles into the woods. Regardless of your personal approach, make sure that your have everything you need packed well ahead of time to avoid a great night on trail turning into a disaster.
5. Tree straps
This is actually one thing that i haven’t invested in yet personally but i feel its necessary to mention in this post due to the fact that everyone of my friends that uses a hammock makes fun of me for not having them. I must say I see the benefit of the straps when its time to set up camp and i’m sitting there tying knots like its the 1800’s and everyone that i’m with is set up in 10 seconds. I haven’t grabbed these yet simply due to the fact that I spend entirely too much money on hiking gear as it is and I just haven’t gotten to this particular thing yet. In time I’ll eventually invest in some but if you are looking to get into hammock camping and your more intelligent than myself I would highly recommend them.
Hammock camping can be a little intimidating at first but it’s hands down one of the greatest ways to experience life on the trail. With a little bit of preparation you can get all of the beauty that nature has to offer with a comfort level that you simply don’t get with a traditional tent. A great camping trip is something that everyone should experience at some point of there life and in my opinion hammock camping is the best way to go about it. Best of luck my friends, please share your hammock camping experiences as well as any questions you have with me so that I can continue to make posts like this and share information with those looking to up there hiking game.