Hammocks have become more popular in recent years and are now staples for camping trips. The majority of hammock campers are found in warmer climates, where sleeping outside in a tent can be a hot and miserable experience. Sleeping on the ground, even with a sleeping pad, is not for everyone. If you have a bad shoulder, back, or hip, try sleeping in a hammock instead.
A hammock that is properly set up has positive orthopedic benefits. If you sleep in a hammock, you are less likely to toss and turn while you sleep because the hammock molds around your body. Once you find your most comfortable position in a hammock, chances are you will stay in that position until you wake up.
Hammock straps are the most critical parts of a hammock. The straps hold the hammock to two points and must be strong enough to support a person while being tied at varying angles and to various objects. Strap length is very important for finding the best trees to strap onto. When hooking the straps to the hammock, you want equal tension between the two trees, and for the hammock to be fairly tight, with a little bit of give. When selecting trees, make sure they are thicker than your leg, and can support a heavy load. If lines are too slack or the trees are too weak, the hammock may give too much. This results in either an uncomfortable sleeping position or the hammock touching the ground.
It is difficult to sleep in a tent that is set up on a rocky or uneven surface. Hammocks are able to set up wherever you can find two points to strap onto. Depending on your campsite preferences, you may waste less time and energy with a hammock in looking for a perfect, dry spot to sleep. It only takes about two minutes to set up a hammock, and finding a tent that weighs less than a hammock is almost impossible.
Sleeping above ground keeps you away from bugs, poison ivy, thorns and small animals that crawl into your sleeping bag at night. Sleeping off the ground can also keep you high and dry in the rain, as long as a tarp or a rain fly is covering the hammock. When the bugs are out, a lot of hammocks come with the option of a bug net. When using a hammock, consider your destination and the weather at that time of year. If it is below freezing, you may not want to be exposed to the elements. Use your best judgment. Sleeping pads are ideal insulators for chilly nights, and can be placed in the hammock with you, a sleeping bag, and a liner for extra warmth.
Hammock camping is great for long backpacking trips, camping on the beach, or in hot climates. This lightweight camping method has become the norm for so many outdoor enthusiasts.