Fall Camping in a Hammock

It’s now pretty common to see hammocks strung between two trees whenever you go camping. Hammock camping used to be on the fringe, but it’s become quite popular over the years. Hammock camping offers a number of advantages over traditional tent camping. Of course, camping in a hammock when it’s cold outside can be a little bit tricky.

Hammocks do not insulate as well as tents do, so it can be difficult to stay warm while camping in a hammock in cold weather. Here are a few tips for fall camping in a hammock.

Warm stones

Heat some large stones on the outer ring of the campfire before bed. Clear away any flammable materials below your hammock, and place the stones on the ground beneath your hammock to provide some extra warmth.

Consider an underquilt

If you are car camping – or don’t mind carrying a little extra weight while backpacking, bring an underquilt. An underquilt for a hammock is a piece of insulating fabric that hangs beneath the hammock itself. This helps block cold air while at the same time trapping your body heat.

Use a sleeping pad

Sleeping pads provide extra support and comfort in a hammock, but they also play a significant role in staying warm in a hammock. The concept is the same as the underquilt.

Make sure that your sleeping pad has an R-value of at least 3.0 to provide adequate insulation for cold weather camping.

You need a warm sleeping bag

Keep in mind that you will get colder camping in a hammock than camping in a tent. Dangling in the cold fall air will do that to you. This means you may need a warmer sleeping bag than you would bring for fall camping in a tent.

There’s not a required standard for measuring a sleeping bag’s temperature rating, but many sleeping bag manufacturers use the EN 13537 European standard. This standard provides an upper limit, comfort, lower limit, and extreme temperature rating.

Be sure to look at the rating on the sleeping bag, and factor in whether you’re a warmer sleeper or a cold sleeper.

Hang a tarp

Normally sleeping in a hammock means all of your warmth floats up into the stars. A tarp will help trap in some of that body heat. A tarp can also provide protection from precipitation or dew, which will help keep you warm and dry.

Wear warm clothing

Last but not least, put on warm layers before hunkering down in your hammock. Wear warm, loose layers. Socks are a must. Also put on a warm hat and a gaiter to cover your face and mouth.


What are your favorite cold weather hammock camping tips? Let us know in the comments below.

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