What You Need for Hammock Camping

Bear in a hammockTent camping is old hat. Hammocks have replaced tents in gear rooms across the globe. Well, the tents are still there, they’re just seldom used, covered in dust and cobwebs, because hammock camping is more convenient than camping in a tent. Hammocks are much lighter and more compact than tents, they are often faster and easier to set up, and you don’t have to worry about soggy or uneven ground.

The only limiting factor in hammock camping, is that you need two sturdy trees that are fairly close together. That means if you’re trying to set up a hammock in the desert or the tundra, you might be out of luck. However, if you’re camping in Northwest Arkansas, you can rest assured that there are going of be plenty of trees for you to set up a hammock.

There’s certainly no lack of trees in the Ozarks, but with the rolling hills and rocky soil, it can sometimes be hard to find a good place to set up a tent. That’s why hammock camping is the perfect alternative. Here’s what you need to know about camping in a hammock.

The very first thing that you need before you even consider hammock camping is… a hammock. There are now a ton of different brands making travel hammocks, but they are all pretty comparable. The two most popular brands are ENO and Grand Trunk.

You can’t just grab a hammock and head into the woods, though. There are a few more things that you need to camp in a hammock.

You need a hanging kit. Some hammocks include the hanging kit while others sell the kit separately. A hammock hanging kit is what keeps you and your hammock suspended off the ground. These can be made of flat webbing, tubular webbing, or accessory cord.

You don’t want to harm the trees that hold your hammock, so you also need a way to protect the bark. Whether it’s a sheath of 2″ flat webbing, a pad, or a bandana, you need something that will protect the tree. Your hanging kit can cut into tree bark, especially if you’re using thin millimeter accessory cord. Do what you can to preserve the trees.

If it’s cold or rainy, you will want a tarp or rain fly. Stringing up a guyline and draping a tarp or a fly will, of course, keep moisture off you and your hammock, but it will also help trap in body heat. This is crucial for hammock camping during the late fall through early spring.

With nothing underneath you to provide insulation, camping in a hammock can get chilly. Use an underquilt or a sleeping pad to provide extra warmth and insulation. A sleeping pad will also provide extra support in the hammock.

If you’re hammock camping in the summer, you probably want  to bring mosquito netting. This will keep bugs at bay and make your evening more enjoyable. You can either fashion your own shelter using netting, or buy a hammock that has built in mosquito netting.

Don’t forget your sleeping bag and travel pillow if you’re looking for extra comfort. Stop by the store to pick up anything you need, or ask us any questions about hammock camping!

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