Tips for Camping in a Hammock

Hammock camping is one of the most rustic, immersive ways to spend a vacation in the woods. Suspending in the air feeling like you’re floating on a cloud is something that almost can’t be described with words. If you’ve always been curious about why so many people are drawn to hammock camping, you’re going to love our tips and tricks to make the experience run as smoothly as possible.

Here at MyProScooter, we have plenty of experience with camping in a hammock. Much like any style of camping, we figured out everything we know through hands-on trial and error. To prevent you from making the same mistakes we did, we put together twenty bits of advice for you and your camping crew. Enjoy!

1. Choosing Your Hammock

Blue and Red hammock display

There are all sorts of hammocks to choose from, but you basically have two categories: Stand-alone and tie-up hammocks. Figure out what style of camping you prefer and pick whichever best suits your style. Stand-alone hammocks are heavier, but they offer more stability. Tie-up hammocks are super lightweight, but you have to find something to tie them on.

2. Pick the Right Weight Capacity and Dimensions

You can find hammocks for kids, teens, and adults, all with different weight capacities. Some of them are much more heavy-duty, while others are perfect for two campers in one hammock. Add two to three feet over your height to choose the length and the same for the width.

3. Test Out Your Hammock

Before you put all your eggs in one basket and hit the trails, test out your hammock to make sure it’s up to your standards. You should inspect it for any rips or tears in the seams, missing parts, and so on.

4. Check for Wind, Rain, and Other Weather Patterns

Man staring at the sunset

If you’re headed off to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, you need to have a strong weather-proof hammock. Although this is just one example, know your destination and make your selection based on it!

5. Secure the Hammock Perfectly

You can tie your hammock too loose or too tight rather easily. Everyone’s preference is different, so test it out and make it perfect. Keep in mind that it might slouch overnight with the weight added to it, so tighten it just a tad bit more than you normally like.

6. Stay Warm Out There!

Hammocks are thin for the most part. Even the densest hammocks out there aren’t enough to fend off the brutally cold winters in some places. Pack the same extra gear you would as if you were tent camping, with maybe some overhead covering as well.

Related: Best Hammock Tent.

7. Choose the Best Sleeping Bag

A good sleeping bag can be the difference between terrible night sleep and a fantastic one. Mummy sleeping bags are usually the best choices for hammock camping since they provide all-around comfort with a little bit of extra head and foot cushion.

8. Tie the Hammock Properly

If you don’t tie your hammock properly, you could wake up on the ground completely confused. We’ve all been there, and while it’s funny as can be, you should still learn to tie a hammock right, so you stay comfortable throughout the night.

9. Keeping Out the Bugs

Sleeping in a hammock is all fun and games until you get swarmed by a relentless group of bugs! Try to bring either bug spray, a citronella candle, a mesh bug net, or all of the above.

10. Pack Up a Pillow

Hammocks still need a decent pillow to sleep well, so don’t forget your favorite camping pillow at home. Smaller pillows generally fit better, but anything will do as long as you’re comfortable.

Plan for the Any Temperature

Although the weather report says it’ll be nice and warm, you never know when things can change completely. Don’t overload your gear, but maybe throw an extra sweater and a pair of wool socks for emergency situations.

12. Practice in a Backyard

Practice makes you better at anything, so take your new hammock and try to set it up in your backyard or at a friend’s house. The more you try it out, the easier it’ll be when you’re out on your own.

13. No Extra Weight in the Hammock!

Man sitting on hammock

Remember that hammocks aren’t made out of steel (the frames might be), so you shouldn’t bring in all your extra gear. If you can leave your backpack on the ground or tied up to a tree, you’ll reduce a whole lot of excess weight.

14. Bring Repair Kits

Like all camping supplies, hammocks can rip eventually. Pack up an extra patch or two (they weigh less than an ounce) in case you have to make an emergency repair far from home.

15. Consider Packing Alternatives

When you first start hammock camping, you might get frustrated and want to call it quits. To save yourself the trip back to your house, consider carrying an extra tent if you aren’t completely comfortable with your hammock setting abilities.

16. Avoid Private Property

Believe it or not, many campgrounds back up to private property. You don’t want someone to call the police or cut the edge of your hammock out of their property, so be aware of their land.

17. Tying High vs Low

While there’s tight vs loose tying, you should also be aware of how high off the ground you choose to secure your hammock. You want to make it the perfect height that allows your feet to rest on the dirt when you sit up.

18. No Shoes in the Hammock!

The only time you should bring your shoes in the hammock is when it’s too cold to bear it. Your shoes not only have dirt on them that you don’t want to track into the bed, but they could also rip a hole in the hammock over time.

19. Natural Wear and Tear

Hammocks naturally wear down through heavy use. Before you head out on any hammock camping trip, check for any damage that might need repairing.

20. Don’t Give Up!

Setting up a hammock can be time consuming at first. However, it’s a skill that you’ll be able to use for the rest of your life. Get ready for fun adventures, new ways of exploring the wilderness, and unforgettable memories!

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