Hammocks are great bedding solutions for campers. When camping in warmer weather, a sleeping bag or cot inside of a tent or other shelter can get really uncomfortable. Hammocks are extremely portable and can be set up in most camping situations, especially at campsites where trees or other sturdy means of support are available. Hammocks aren’t just for lazy afternoons anymore — camping in a hammock is the ultimate in outdoor comfort.
Most of the time you spend in a hammock while camping will be in what is called a “covered hammock”. These specially design hammocks are ideal for camping as they have a tent or tarp system of some kind to cover them. That means you can get all the comfort and convenience of a hammock sleeping system and still have protection from the elements.
Some camping hammocks come with mosquito netting for use when conditions require protection from mosquitoes. Still other hammocks for camping don’t come with a tent or cover at all — it is up to the camper to purchase a tarp or other cover to complete their hammock camping setup.
To figure out what kind of hammock you need, think about the places where you camp. If you are a cold-weather camper or camp in an area with lots of weather, you’ll need a covered hammock of some kind. If you’d prefer to sleep in the open air (but still want protection from bugs) you can find a hammock with an attachable mosquito net.
Once you’ve figured out the type of hammock you need, it is time to do some shopping.
<h4>How to pick a good style of camping hammock</h4>
The first decision you need to make when shopping for a good camping hammock is what material you want the hammock to be made from — rope, fabric, or string.
The string hammock comes to us from the Mayans — this is an ancient design that is still used today in traditional Mayan areas of the world. These are by far the most comfortable hammocks, as the thin string they use does not put pressure on the body or cause discomfort due to hot weather. The light string material will feel invisible when you rest in this hammock, and it is perfectly ventilated for warmer weather. The big downside tot he string hammock is that they require a ton of maintenance and won’t last more than a couple years of camping use. The thin string design means that snags and knots are common.
If you like the idea of a Mayan string hammock but want something that will last a bit longer, you can buy a heavier string Mayan hammock that is almost as comfortable as the thing-stringed version.
Hammocks made of fabric come to use from Brazil and Colombia. They are about as comfortable as the Mayan hammock, though a lot less ventilated, so you may not want to use them in warm weather. They are, on the other hand, more durable. Campers use these fabric hammocks for all season use. Rather than buying a cheaper cotton model, look for one made of something called Coralino fabric — it is far sturdier than cotton.
The traditional rope style hammocks, also known as an American hammock, is made of tough rope and uses spreader bars at the ends to make the hammock appear more “open”. These types of hammocks are much cheaper than any other, but are incredibly uncomfortable. The spreader bars actually weaken the hammock’s structure, making them unstable and more likely to “spill” their inhabitants. American style hammocks are not good for camping.
<h4>How to pick the right size camping hammock</h4>
Determine how much space you generally have to hang your hammock. Colombian style fabric hammocks are the shortest hammocks all told, and some of them only require about 9 feet to be properly hung. The Mayan sting hammocks and Brazilian style fabric hammocks require at least twelve feet to hang properly.
So what size do you need? Depending on how big you are and if you’ll be sharing the hammock, you may need very different sizes. Hammocks are classified in size like beds, and a “single” hammock is good for one person only. “Double” and “Queen” size hammocks give a single person more comfort, and may allow a person to share a hammock if both of them are on the small side.
Camping in a hammock means that your choice of campsites is limited only by your own imagination. All you need to setup your campsite is a couple of sturdy trees the right distance apart. Pick up a camping hammock and get yourself out of that old sleeping bag forever.