Five Reasons to go Hammock Camping
Kevin Felts 06.29.17
Back in the early 1990s I ditched the tent and switched over to a hammock. A buddy of mine had recently bought a hammock, so I thought, “Why not?”
The hammock I bought was not very comfortable. It was like a fishing net that came together at each end and was secured to a ring. The ring was then tied to a piece of nylon rope. During the night, the strings would dig into my skin. The next morning, patterns from the strings were almost perfectly imprinted on my arms, back and sides.
Overall, the experience was better than sleeping in a tent.
Close To Nature
Hammock camping brings you close to nature. There are no tent walls to protect you from things that go bump in the night. There is also no protection from biting insects.
When I go camping in an area that I know mosquitoes will be a problem, I bring a tent or a hammock with a built in mosquito net.
If you want to shed pack weight, a lightweight hammock may be one of the better choices.
Weights from my personal gear:
- Amazonas parachute hammock: 11.15 ounces.
- Grand Trunk Skeeter Beater: 2 pounds 2.45 ounces.
- Eureka Solitaire tent: 3 pounds 5.60 ounces.
There is nothing like getting off the ground after a long day of hiking. Sleeping pads are okay. Being suspended from a couple of trees rocking back and forth is better.
Hammocks are not bothered by the contour of the ground, rocks, water, or anything else. As long as you have two good, solid trees, it does not matter what’s below.
Using my hammock, I have slept in areas that would have been very uncomfortable to sleep on in a tent.
Hot Summer Nights
Here in Southeast Texas the summers can be brutal. During July and August, the confined space of a tent can feel like an oven.
Sleeping in a hammock provides air flow all around your body. Moisture from breathing is not confined to the tent.
On those summer camping trips, I sleep much better in a hammock than I do in a tent.
If you want easy setup, it hardly gets any easier than with a hammock. No tent poles, no stakes, no ground cloth, nothing but a couple of ropes.
I can usually have my hammock tied off in less than a minute. Same goes with taking the hammock down. I can usually take it down in less than 2 minutes.
To me, if you want to get close to nature, ditch the tent and get a hammock. There is no better way to get close to nature than exposing yourself while you sleep.
Sleeping in the woods with nothing between you and nature, is the ultimate form of vulnerability. You have surrendered yourself to be one with nature.