Hammocks or Tents: pro and con

Simplify

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What are your thoughts on hammock underneath a tarp vs a tent?

If you had choice between one or the other, which would you pick?
 

bsmit212

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I use hammock most of the year. I do still use a tent from time to time if there is not a good place to hang up a hammock or if it is a colder night.
 

Grandpa

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You won't see many hammocks in the west due to so many areas with unsuitable trees to tie to. Places above timberline or high desert are out. The thought of a hammock is intriguing to me but in
the last 15 years I have seen less than 5 in use.
 

Simplify

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Aren't there some types of hammock that come with insect screen and poles so they can be set on the ground in an area with nothing to tie to?
 

bsmit212

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I have never seen one wth poles to tie to. You could probably buy your own though. I also agree with grandpa, know your area. I live in the southeast so there are more than enough trees to hang from and hammocks are very common. Other areas are different.
 

Cappy

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Down here in the sunny swamps of Cajun country I guess we camp kinda different than the rest of the world. Ya cant really hike too far too much water. Not only that when most folks go camping and this is still true they are going to camp and do something. Fish, hunt, gather, and explore places to do that. Growing up it was always tent where possible. Set up a base camp in a favorite area. But some areas it wasn't feasible to camp on the ground mainly cause the ground was either limited, soggy, or underwater. So then we broke out the jungle hammocks. For us hamocks were wet weather(standing water) gear. My earliest memories of hammock camping was in the woods behind our home as a very young boy. My dad helped me and the neighbor kid set up 2 hammocks in the woods behind the house, and we sp;ent most nights there in the summer at our own private camp site. It wasn't till years later that it was a lesson, at the time it was just fun. I have spent many a night swinging in a hammock and truly love it, but for us it has always been plan B
 

Grandpa

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Aren't there some types of hammock that come with insect screen and poles so they can be set on the ground in an area with nothing to tie to?
I'm sure I have seen those frames but impractical for backpacking and for car camping we take cots. Again, I've heard the hammocks are very comfortable but have yet to try one.
 

Judy Ann

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I prefer a tent, but I have fallen asleep in my hammock many times when the bugs weren't to bad. My gear is tent related, but you could always start experimenting with over quilts and under quilts for a hammock. Shug has some great YouTube videos about hammock camping year round.
 

briansnat

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I've pretty much switched completely to a hammock the past two years after decades of tent camping.

Hammock pros:
-Incredible comfort
-No need to search for a flat, rock or root free site to pitch
-Hangs and and packs up in seconds.
-Gotta answer natures call in the middle of the night? Just unzip and lean over (works for guys only)
-Light weight
-Some models make comfy camp chairs when you aren't sleeping in them.
-You never have to share a tent again with your snoring buddy with the sardine breath.

Cons:
-If you are stuck in a long, rainy period hammocks can be kind of claustrophobic. However if you have a model with a detached tarp you can remove the hammock and sit under the tarp.
-Sleeps cold. You still need a Thermarest or other insulating pad, and more in the winter.
-You need to find two trees the right distance apart and also enough room to stretch out the tarp.
-In public campgrounds, no place to change.
-If you are camping with a significant other you miss the closeness of being in the same tent.
 

Simplify

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The comfort side of the hammock I find appealing since you really can't put a price tag on a good night's sleep.
 
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I can see where using a hammock would be a good idea, especially in milder weather. I've never tried it. I'll have to check this out and see if it would be a feasible option.
 

Blazer

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The finding of the two trees would be a challenge for me. Sometimes I find it hard just to find two trees I can hang a clothesline between. And there are lots of trees around but not always in a suitable campsite.
 

ponderosa

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The biggest disadvantage to hammocking for me is that you can't share a hammock very well. When I'm backpacking with my husband, I don't want or need separate sleeping space. And it's not an option at all with my kids. I do enjoy the heck out of my backyard hammock though, so I'd definitely consider it if I were soloing.
I'd also worry about staying warm. I have enough trouble with that in a tent. I've slept in the backyard hammock a few times, and even on mild summer nights with lots of quilts, I usually get sick of shivering and head for the house.
 

Woodland

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I've never camped with a hammock. I get cold easy so it would have to be a fairly warm night for me to sleep in one. We've always used a tent, dry and warmer for me anyway.
 

featherloosa

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I've never used a hammock, but that's mostly because I'm never camping by myself. I'm always with my relatives who prefer to cozy up in two separate tents.
 

lambdahammock

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I've pretty much switched completely to a hammock the past two years after decades of tent camping.

Hammock pros:
-Incredible comfort
-No need to search for a flat, rock or root free site to pitch
-Hangs and and packs up in seconds.
-Gotta answer natures call in the middle of the night? Just unzip and lean over (works for guys only)
-Light weight
-Some models make comfy camp chairs when you aren't sleeping in them.
-You never have to share a tent again with your snoring buddy with the sardine breath.

Cons:
-If you are stuck in a long, rainy period hammocks can be kind of claustrophobic. However if you have a model with a detached tarp you can remove the hammock and sit under the tarp.
-Sleeps cold. You still need a Thermarest or other insulating pad, and more in the winter.
-You need to find two trees the right distance apart and also enough room to stretch out the tarp.
-In public campgrounds, no place to change.
-If you are camping with a significant other you miss the closeness of being in the same tent.
Thank you briansnat

This lays out most of the pros and cons but I would like to address a few of the cons.

No place to change - You can change laying in your hammock, I've done it before but it's not easy.

Missing the closeness of a significant other - You can still lay in the same hammock together it's just sleeping together can get a little cramped.

Claustrophobic - You can raise the tarp up higher over your hammock to help prevent this but you might get sprayed with the water still. It's a trade off

Signing off,
 

Grandpa

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I've never used a hammock so I shouldn't chime in....but, as before, ya gotta have a couple of trees to hang them from while backpacking, and not many of those above timberline or down in the sandstone canyons. Hence, rather than adding more gear, I've stayed with the pad and bag on the cold hard ground. Mixed company hiking has also made me carry a little bigger tent so I can undress or change clothes discreetly. I just hate sleeping with my clothes on.
 

Roybrew

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I've 2 hammocks. A Grand Trunk single and an Enos double. I have spent a night in the single one, and I slept very well. I strung a tarp over it because I didn't know if it would rain during the night. It was an odd feeling being out in the open, but a tent can be a false sense of security. We mostly put them up in the yard when the grandson visits
 

lambdahammock

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I've 2 hammocks. A Grand Trunk single and an Enos double. I have spent a night in the single one, and I slept very well. I strung a tarp over it because I didn't know if it would rain during the night. It was an odd feeling being out in the open, but a tent can be a false sense of security. We mostly put them up in the yard when the grandson visits
That's great. Looks like he's having a ball haha
 
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