Spending time in a hammock when camping can be a lot of fun. Here are some tips to make sure you really enjoy time on your hammock:
1. Plan ahead
Preparation is essential when it comes to hammock camping. A lot needs to be taken into consideration. The first is the location. Not every place will be ideal to set up your hammock. You will have to find an area particularly with trees that are close together so that you can hang your hammock. By planning in advance, you will be able to take less time search for an ideal place to hang your hammock, and you can enjoy your hammock swinging for longer. Another significant factor to consider is the temperature. A hammock will surely not be as warm as a tent. The place where you hang your hammock should be a place that has little wind and where a fire can be lit and kept going all night. Planning helps a camper take care of the variables that are known and only leaves the unknown variables to be chance. Planning can also help you foresee various dangers or needs that you would have otherwise ignored if you had not planned. The night can be unexpectedly harsh during a hammock camping trip, and a little foresight will go a long way.
2. Remember your insulation
As mentioned above, a night in your hammock in the great outdoors can turn freezing. Getting some warmth and retaining it throughout the night will be of paramount importance. Insulation will help you avoid hypothermia which may be deadly in some cases. One option for insulation is the use of a sleeping pad in your hammock. Sleeping pads can either be self-inflating or closed-cell foam. The self-inflating pads can be blown up enough to keep you warm but not too much that it ruins your sleep. Pads made from foam are the most highly recommended since they tend to retain more heat for longer periods. Some hammocks come with built-in quilts that will help with temperature regulation. Conversely, you may need to carry light cover material if the night gets too hot especially in humid, swampy, forested areas. Body heat loss can have devastating effects in some cases and should be adequately planned for beforehand. Get really hot early in the night if you anticipate, it will be cold later and try lowering your body temperature if you think the night will be too hot. Temperature regulation in either direction is a life-saving tip concerning hammock camping.
3. Get a low sag
A hammock should be as low to the ground as it can be. One benefit of getting the hammock as low as possible is that it lowers your chances of falling out while you sleep. Falling off the hammock in a wild area could cause injury of even lead to an attack by deadly insects or animals. Getting deep sag on your hammock also means more access. When lying in a camping hammock, you will often keep your items close below you. When your hammock is too high, it will cause you a lot of strain when you require access to one of your things. You will have a better view and listen to what is around you when your hammock is hanging low. Being aware could be the difference in a life-threatening situation out in the woods. A lower sag is a lot more fun since it gives you a natural swing which is why most people prefer a hammock. There are better odds that you keep warm through the night when you are close to the ground since dense undergrowth will protect you from harsh, cold winds.
4. Position yourself well inside your hammock
Most beginners to hammock camping do not know how to sleep in a hammock; not properly that is. There are techniques for hammock camping that will optimize your comfort and luxury while sleeping in a hammock. One of those hammock camping tips is to sleep diagonally across your hammock. Instead of curving your body into a shape resembling a banana, find your body an angle. By positioning your body in such a manner, you body will be a little bit flatter and the hammock will absorb the pressure of your weight instead of your body handling it which is what would happen in the other case. Sleeping in a straight position takes a lot of work and could end up hurting you if you sleep that way all through the night. The diagonal method is much more comfortable and takes advantage of a hammock’s design.
5. Protect yourself against the rain
One prominent characteristic that a hammock lacks is sheltering from rainfall. However, hammock camping lovers have come up with innovative solutions to this problem. One of these solutions is a rainfly. It is a piece of water-resistant material that can be set up to resemble the top cover of a tent. The rainfly will help you put your mind to ease about adverse weather conditions. The rainfly has the advantage of sleeping in a hammock while having the protection of a tent. One can, therefore, get the best of both worlds. The other option is a tarp. Tarps often come in 8×10 (ft.) dimensions and can you can pitch them in many ways only limited by your creativity.
6. Keep the bugs away
The effect of insects while on a hammock camping trip could stretch far beyond the trip. Most hammocks have the option of purchasing them with nets to keep them away. The net can either be sewn in or installed after purchase too. The last thing anyone wants is to return early from a camping trip because they were bitten by mosquitos and contracted malaria. One can also carry bug repellent for backup purposes and peace of mind.
7. Use sturdy straps
You should use webbing straps when hanging your hammock around trees. Strong strapping will ensure your safety since your hammock will not likely be detached. Webbing straps should also be used on any other anchor points that the hammock may be reliant on during a camping trip. Polyester or polypropylene webbing straps are most advised since they evenly distribute the user’s weight and cause minimal damage to the trees or any other structure against which you may have hung your hammock. The straps should have little stretching capacity to ensure they can handle large amounts of weight. However, the straps should not be too tight not to allow deep sag and swinging.