An outdoor overnight adventure is a thrilling experience, whether for the beginner or seasoned vet, solo travelers or couples/groups. Other than engaging your sedentary body in much-needed physical exercise, going out into the wild is great for shutting down the cacophony in the average city-dwellers” head. It is a great activity to get spiritually connected to life in the lap of nature, experiencing complete, even if temporary, freedom. Those yearning for the carefreeness of childhood should step into the world of wilderness adventuring, away from the heavily burdensome responsibilities of adult life. This fresh mindset allows one to learn new things, see life from new perspectives, and create happy lifelong memories to look upon.
A hammock designed explicitly for camping/jungle purposes should be the best friend one needs for these endeavors. Replacing the traditionally preferred tent, a hammock can reduce the setup labor/time, overall gear cost, and carrying weight, making it ideal for beginners. It can also provide a more immersive experience of the wild; a tent would, after all, obscure the wonderful view of clear starry nights.
Another advantage hammocks have over tents is that they are suspended in the air; with tents, one must watch out for problematic ground. A hammock eliminates the need to check whether the ground is rocky and unlevelled, cold, wet, crawling with rodents and ground bugs. Leave No Trace (LNT) practitioners also need not worry about any particular ground vegetation prone to damage from tents.
Lastly, being gently rocked in a hammock can result in a much better sleep experience for some people than sleeping on a fixed surface.
However, since hammocks need to be fixed on strong, live trees, any terrain lacking them will not suit this camping method. They are also ideal for solo campers; even though two-person hammocks exist, sharing a hammock space with someone else is not exactly comfortable. Also, privacy is non-existent if one needs to change clothes without a tent.
Given certain situations, hammock camping can be a fun and invigorating experience to try, but of course, it needs thorough preparation and research. Read further to get a headstart on any possible problems that one can come across while embarking on such an adventure.
Considerations for buying
Hammock technology has come a long way with many features to choose from, so picking a suitable one based on personal preference can be an overwhelming task.
However, here are a few basics one should look for when buying their first camping (not lounging!) hammock:
1. Weight. A hammock is obviously preferred over a tent because of lesser carrying weight in the first place. If more than one hammock is being considered for use and they collectively weigh more than 3 lbs, get a tent instead.
2. Size. Hammocks can be widely classified by size in terms of single or double. While ideally, a double-sized hammock is made to accommodate two people at once, some prefer using it on their own to sleep more comfortably in the additional space. A double hammock also means additional weight capacity, so it is more suitable for those on the taller/bulkier side. Speaking of tall, an appropriate hammock length for an individual is usually two feet more than their height.
3. Fabric. Most hammocks are made of nylon due to their breathability and quick-drying properties. An important thing to consider here is the “denier” (D) of the nylon, which is a count of the fabric’s thickness and, therefore, durability (and weight). A higher denier count means a thicker kind of nylon in the hammock’s construction.
4. End-use. The intended use of the hammock can influence buying choices. For example, a hammock for backpacking should ideally be of lesser weight, while one meant for camping should be of a more durable build.
5. Accessories. Some essential accessories for a hammock system may or may not be included with the product. However, they are, as mentioned, essential. Some things to be considered about the hammock’s accessories are as follows:
- Suspension system. A suitable set of tree straps is necessary with a hammock to set it up. Certain kinds of hammocks come with stands that do not require one to look for trees that are a reasonable distance apart. Ropes are not encouraged for setting up hammocks on trees since they can stretch, resulting in damaging the trees (remember LNT) and even risking the hammock to hit the ground eventually.
- Underquilt. This is needed if the expedition is to a rather cold place. It helps to provide warmth for the camper settling inside the hammock for the night.
- Tarp. This is necessary for protection from rain, wind, and snow.
- Net. A mosquito net is a must-have to protect one’s skin from the blood-suckers and prevent any disease they could be carrying as vectors.
- Ridgeline. This is needed for hanging up the tarp, mosquito net, or even putting wet clothes out to dry.
Given below are some recommendations to help start your research for a suitable hammock:
Covacure Camping Hammock
Made of fairly strong 210 thread-count parachute nylon, this hammock weighs 1.93 lb. It can hold up to 772 lb. This product includes a bug net with rope and two aluminum stands, two iron carabiners, and two tree straps that are 9.8 ft long.
Get yours here!
ETROL Camping Hammock with Mosquito Net
This hammock by ETROL is a very durable model made of 70D nylon taffeta and weighing 2.5 lb. It’sIt’s weight capacity stands at 550 lb. This hammock has a special zipper net feature that allows it to double up as a tent. Also included are two stands, two steel carabiners, and 2 x 9.1 ft tree straps.
Buy it here now.
Bear Butt Camping 2 Person Hammock
This is as simple a camping hammock as it can get. Made of 75D nylon taffeta and weighing 1.6 lb, this hammock can support 500 lb. Nothing else is included along with it except for two polyester tree straps.
Get it here.
Hammock Bliss Sky Bed Bug Free – Insect Free Hanging Tent
This hammock has a unique sleeve/pocket for an underquilt (not included). This 350 lb capacity hammock is made of 50D nylon and weighs 1.8 lb. While the built-in bug net is a good thing, the rope suspension system is a negative for LNT practitioners.
Get yours here!
YOOMO Camping Hammock with Mosquito Net & 10ft Hammock Tree Straps
Made of similar fabric as the Covacure hammock (210TC parachute nylon), this one by YOOMO can bear 600 lb while being only 2.16 lb itself. It features a detachable bug net, two polyester tree straps, and two aluminum carabiners.
Buy it here now.
WintMing Camping Hammock with Net and Rainfly Cover
It is unclear how much this hammock alone weighs, but this product which includes net and tarp, is 3.5 lb as a set. Constructed of 70D nylon, this hammock can hold 440 lb. two aluminum stands and two tree straps 10 ft in length are also provided with it.
Buy it here.
ENO, Eagles Nest Outfitters SubLink Lightweight Shelter System with Hammock, Straps, Bug Net and Rain Tarp
This extremely light hammock system weighs only 0.4 lb since its nylon is 30D. It can hold 300 lb, and net, tarp, and ridgeline are provided. In addition, it comes with two straps that are 8 ft in length.
Get yours here now!