Tents are a staple item of equipment for any camping trip, however, many individuals are starting to pack hammocks instead. They’re lightweight, comfortable and are good for the environment.
Sure, most experienced hikers know how to make good use of them, but there are a few things that first-time users may not be aware of. Let’s take a moment to discuss a few hammock camping tips for newbies.
Don’t use the spreader bars
A lot of hammocks are packaged with two, horizontal bars. These bars are used to spread the hammock out at the end so that your hammock will be more comfortable. However, what most people don’t realize is that spreader bars make the hammock less stable. They affect the balance. And this can be especially bothersome if you tend to move in your sleep. Don’t use the spreaders.
Search for a long hammock
It doesn’t matter how tall or short you are, you should always be on the lookout for a long hammock. Why? Longer hammocks make lounging more comfortable. A good rule of thumb is to look for one that is at least two feel longer than you are.
Place your hammock in a shaded area
One of the best things about hammocks is their flexibility. While tents require a smooth surface, void of rocks or gravel, and an ample amount of space, hammocks are just the opposite. All you need are two trees within close distance of each other.
However, it’s best to remember that they are sensitive to sunlight. The intense heat tends to weaken the nylon and causes the hammock to deteriorate. So be on the lookout for shady spots.
Dress in layers
One of the few downsides of hammock camping is exposure to the elements. This is especially the case in winter. Many people often struggle to stay warm, which is why it’s a good idea to bring extra layers along with you. Pack an extra pair of sweatpants, a blanket and fleece sweatshirt. And try to position your hammock near wind blocks such as cliffs and large boulders. These places can naturally protect you from the cold wind.
Use sleeping pads
A lot of people don’t realize that even if they’re not using a tent, they still need a sleeping pad. These pads help to add comfort and warmth. Ideally, your sleeping pad should be composed of closed-cell foam. It should also be insulating and feature a non-slip surface. The best sleeping pads are wide but not too wide as it could rip.
Use flat webbing straps
When shopping for a hammock, you’ll find two options: those that have ropes, and those that use flat webbing straps. If you are interested in preserving the integrity of the tree, choose a hammock that has flat webbing straps. Rope tends to damage the trees by scarring them and removing the bark. This gives bugs access to the vulnerable wood that is beneath.
Hammock camping can be one of the most enjoyable outdoor experiences. Not only are hammocks comfortable and lightweight, they can also save you a considerable amount of money. However, if you want to make sure that your trip is comfortable and memorable, you should keep these hammock purchasing and camping tips in mind.