Camping adventures are changing. No longer do you need to lug heavy tents into the wilderness to enjoy a good camping trip. In fact, you don’t even need a tent at all anymore.
The rise of the camping hammock is changing the way people tackle the great outdoors. Just as tents have become more ergonomic, hammocks in the modern age are no longer a cumbersome item for a backpacking expedition.
They might just be the future of camping.
5 Benefits of a Camping Hammock
Traditionally, going camping meant packing a lot of gear, either in your car, or on your back. As wonderful as exploring the natural beauty of forest and mountains may be, having a lighter load has remained a high priority for almost every would-be adventurer.
A camping hammock offers the solution to this problem in a number of ways:
1. More Comfortable
More often than not, it proves hard to find flat, soft ground to pitch your tent. With a camping hammock, you can forget about sleeping on rocks, muddy ground and tree roots.
Rather than crawling out of your tent, exhausted and groggy, you can awake refreshed and ready to hit the trail again. Once you get used to sleeping in a hammock, you might never go back to tents again.
2. Increased Versatility
Being able to tie up a hammock wherever you find two anchorage points gives you a lot more freedom about where to spend the night. Whether it’s between trees or rocks, under a pier or next to a waterfall, you’ll find a lot of ways to use your hammock on a camping trip.
Furthermore, you can throw it up during a hike to take a hard-earned rest or lie back and read for a little while. Likewise, whereas your tent gathers dust between trips, your camping hammock can be a permanent fixture at home.
3. Easily Set-Up
While many modern tents are easier to set up these days, the simplicity of hammocks means you’ll only need a couple of minutes from taking it out to relaxing in it.
4. Compact and Light
The best camping hammocks include features such as mosquito netting and a rain fly, yet they weigh less than 3 lbs. They are designed with space-saving and ease of carriage in mind, with some hammocks packing down to the same size as a tennis ball.
5. More Open to Nature
What’s the point of going into the wild if you’re going to hide from it at night? A camping hammock allows you to gaze at the stars as a gentle breeze rocks you to sleep. If you’re worried about rain, all you need is a rain tarp to protect you from the elements before waking to the sunrise.
How to Get the Hang of a Camping Hammock
For all their benefits, camping hammocks aren’t without their drawbacks. Whenever you are considering buying one for your next adventure, there are a few things to keep in mind.
While sleeping in a hammock is great on warm nights, there can be problems on colder nights if you aren’t prepared.
With tent camping, the ground provides insulation by returning the heat we dispel. However, in a hammock, that body heat is lost as it escapes through the bottom. These causes “Cold Butt Syndrome”.
To avoid this, it’s essential that you line the hammock with an insulated blanket or a sleeping bag. Another option is to use an under-quilt to add more insulation on the outside of the hammock.
7. Lie Diagonally
Contrary to common belief, you shouldn’t lie straight in a hammock. Your feet and head should not be parallel to the ends of the hammock, at least not if you want the best sleep. Instead, lie down at an angle, which makes it easier for you to stretch out flat, rather than curled up.
Adding a small pillow or even using some rolled up clothes is a great way to make it more comfortable. For those who want to share their hammock with a significant other, it’s best to get a camping hammock designed for two. Not only will they have more room, but couple hammocks are designed to support more weight, so you can rest easy that your hammock won’t snap and let you fall to the ground.
8. Practice Makes Perfect
While it may be easy to find places to hang your hammock, finding the perfect angles, heights and distances between the two anchor points is another story. Getting that right is key to comfort.
With a bit of practice, you should be able to make your hammock comfortable every time.
Hang Up Your Tent
A camping hammock saves you extra weight on your next trip, making the hiking days easier. Better yet, it allows you a better night’s sleep, curled up next to your special someone under the stars.
Your tent can stay in the wardrobe now, while your hammock finds a place in your backyard for lazy Sundays and family BBQs, until the next camping adventure beckons.
With a great hammock, that surely won’t be far away.
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