Most people believe that you have to deal with a tent when you go camping. However, I have found that camping with a hammock can be easier and more comfortable! Hammocks are easier to set up, break down, and carry. There are so many circumstances where it is better to have a hammock than a tent. However, there are certain things that you need to prepare for! So I will tell you from my personal experience how to camp with a hammock.
Benefits of Camping with Hammocks
- So much easier to set up and take down than tents!
- Lighter and easier to pack than tents
- In my opinion more comfortable than tents (even if you have a sleeping pad for your tent)
If you have ever gone camping and have set up a tent then you know how much of a disaster it is to deal with them! All the poles and holes and cloth make tents a nightmare to set up. I can easily set up ENO up in under 3 minutes. If you are setting up in the dark then tents are almost impossible, however you can easily setup a hammock in the dark.
Putting tents back away is almost worse than setting them up! You have to jam everything in and then spend a few minutes rearranging and squeezing until you can zip up the pack. Taking hammocks down requires no hassle. Just unhook the straps and bundle your hammock into it’s pouch.
Hammock’s are also light and easy to shove in your pack! They take up very little room and there’s no metal poles.
I enjoy sleeping in my ENO. I set it up all the time to enjoy a nice day! I think that hammocks MUCH more comfortable than tents even if you have a sleeping pad. Whenever I sleep in tents I feel as if I have to contort my body to fit with the rocks and other objects on the ground. I would just rather sleep comfortably in a hammock!
What type of Hammock?
I personally have an Eno, and if you wanna see why check out my Article about why Eno is best.
What you need in you hammock:
- Made out of nylon type material
- The hammock has straps!
- Easily put away into a pouch
A hammock is a type of furniture made from canvas or rope mesh suspended by cords on the end. So a hammock is a very broad term for a type of furniture. When I am talking about hammocks I am referring to Nylon hammocks; not the big heavy rope ones with metal stands.
NYLON: The hammocks I am referring to for camping are ENO style hammocks. Enos and other hammocks I am referring to are nylon hammocks that are easy to set up and break down. There are so many different brands for these hammocks out there. ENO, Wise Owl Outfitters, L. L. Bean has one, literally to many to name. I personally own an ENO and it has served me very well for over three years.
Straps: The most important thing to look for when you are buying a hammock is that it has straps. Straps are what make setting up hammocks easy. The general concept is that you hammock has straps you wrap around the tree and hook up to the ends of you hammock. DO NOT get a hammock that requires ropes, screws, stands, or anything like that. Your hammock should just be cloth with clips at the end to secure to the straps. You want to be able to easily set you and take down you hammock.
Pouch: Another thing to look for is that the hammock can easily be put in a pouch. ENO and several other hammocks like it have a pouch on the hammock so you can never lose it. The pouch is important because it keeps you hammock tidy and easy to pack.
Preparations for camping with a Hammock
First thing you need to make sure of is that there are trees where you are going camping! You will need something to hang your hammock between!
There are a couple of weaknesses of hammocks you have to keep in mind when you are camping with them.
- Nylon materials are not good insulators! Hammocks get cold!
Nylon materials are very lightweight and do not hold heat at all. If you are sleeping in an ENO it will get cold at night even if it is 75 degrees outside! So when you are going camping MAKE SURE you bring a sleeping bag or blankets. How cold hammocks get are a downside to sleeping in hammocks, but you can easily deal with the cold by sleeping with a sleeping bag or blankets.
- I would personally recommend a good sleeping bag! Sleeping bags are easier to keep under you so your back will stay warm.
RAIN! You have to be prepared for the elements to go against you. Every single time I have gone backpacking there is a monsoon at least one night! I have found if I have prepared properly the storms make the experience even more fun!
How to prepare for Storms:
There are several ways you can prepare your camping site for weather. The most important thing to keep dry is yourself! Many hammocks offer a rain cover accessory, which is very effective but pricey. I always bring a 10×10 tarp with me and hang it up over my eno. To set up the tarp I tie it about a foot over my eno, and then I secure the sides with spikes. I secure the edges of the tarps so I do not get hit by any sideways rain!
The shelter you have made for yourself also work great to keep your gear dry! Just throw your bag and other things under your hammock and the tarp will keep them dry as well. Make sure you notice incline and prepare for run down water. You can do this by placing all of your items on a water proof material.
Enjoy your easier way to camp
Hammocks make setting up your camping spot for the night a breeze. Taking a hammock down is also so much easier than having to put away a tent! If you prepare correctly you can be living the high life in your hammock on your next backpacking trip!
If you would like to know what kind of hammock I recommend you can check out my article about Camping with Enos!