THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SET UP A CAMPING HAMMOCK
A hammock is a great addition to your camping gear. Some campers bring along a hammock to create an additional area where they can just chill out and enjoy the views. Others, meanwhile, have chosen to leave their tents behind and sleep in their hammocks. For those who want to give it a try, here’s everything you need to know about how to set up a camping hammock.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TYPE
There are a lot of different types of hammocks in the market. You should choose one that’s right for you and your camping needs. If you’re going to use it for short periods of time, a typical canvas or rope hammock might suffice. However, if you’re planning to sleep in a hammock, you should opt for a bridge or bed hammock.
BENEFITS OF HAMMOCK CAMPING
More and more campers are choosing hammocks over tents. This is because you get a better quality of sleep. Sleeping while you’re floating on air is much more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. Just like tents, camping hammocks have been designed to offer protection from natural elements. It’s lightweight, portable and easy to set up as well.
Another benefit of hammock camping is enjoying the open air. This is why most people go camping in the first place. You get to breathe in fresh air, hear the gentle rustling of the trees and look up at the stars while you fall asleep. When you wake up, you’ll also immediately see the beautiful sunrise. It’s for these reasons that hammocks are now becoming a staple in many campers’ gear.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR HAMMOCK
Setting up your hammock is easy to do. Just as long as your gear is complete and in good condition. First, pick a good spot to set up your hammock. Find an area with sturdy trees that are about 4–5 metres apart. The ground should be even, and there shouldn’t be sharp rocks lying around. There also shouldn’t be dead branches above you as they can cause significant injury. Your hammock shouldn’t be too high from the ground, just in case your suspension straps fail.
Fix the points. Make sure that your chosen suspension system is securely strapped onto the tree trunks. Do not tie them tightly, so much so that you have created a flat surface. This won’t be comfortable for you as you will feel squeezed and enveloped in the hammock. Instead, keep it loose and provide the hammock with some extra wiggle room. A hammock that curves slightly will be more comfortable. Lying down at an angle also allows you some space to move around.
If you’ve chosen to sleep in a hammock instead of a tent, make sure that you have proper insulation. When it gets chilly at night, you should have the appropriate gear to keep you warm. You may also want to invest in bug nets to prevent insects, bugs or mosquitoes from biting you throughout the night.
Campers should also consider weather conditions when sleeping in a hammock. Most camping hammocks will already have an extra layer of protection against light drizzles. However, for anything stronger than that, you may want to have a shelter system in place. It will offer protection the same way a tent does, but you still get all the benefits of hammocking. In setting up your hammock, you should not cause damage to the trees. Camping is all about respecting and appreciating nature, after all. You can opt for quality ropes or tree straps to prevent damage to the barks of the trees.
At first, it might not seem like a good idea to leave your tent behind and only bring a hammock on your next camping trip. However, it’s a significant element to incorporate to enhance your camping experience further. You get a better vantage point to enjoy nature, and you’ll get to sleep more soundly at night, too, which is why learning how to set up a camping hammock will be a handy skill to have.
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