Tip #1: 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 the 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.
Tip#2: 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 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.
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Hammock Camping In The Cold
When you’re camping using a hammock in the cold be sure to stay bone dry. Also, don’t wear too many layers while in your hammock, as you’ll likely overheat, sweat, and freeze. My advice is to take off your outer layer before climbing in your hammock.
Car Hammock Camping
There’s a better option than sleeping in your car while you’re taking a long road trip. Bring along your trusty hammock during those long drives so you can strap it up between a tree and your vehicle for extra convenience and comfort. This will allow you to stretch out while you sleep and avoid a stiff neck the next morning.
Watch Your Hammock’s Height
Something a lot of new hammock users don’t think about is the height they set up their hammocks. Never hang your hammock higher than you’re willing to fall. This one is better learned the easy way than the hard way for obvious reasons. One thing is for sure, you’ll only make the mistake of setting up your hammock too high off the ground once.
Best tip for me would be to make sure the ends of your hammock are equalized. You should have the two end points of the hammock at the same height. Our straps are a simple, easy, and effective way to do that in under 30 seconds.