Avoid These Hammock Camping Mistakes

Hammock camping has evolved from a fringe fad to an acceptable alternative to tent camping. Of course, camping in a hammock and camping in a tent offer very different experiences. Avoid these hammock camping mistakes on your next outing.

Nothing below you

Forgetting a sleeping pad or underquilt is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when hammock camping. Staying warm while hammock camping can be a challenge, and insulation from a sleeping pad or underquilt is absolutely necessary in cold weather.

Underquilts are pretty straightforward. Using a sleeping pad while hammock camping can be a little tricky, however. You need an insulated sleeping pad or closed cell foam pad. If your sleeping pad is inflatable, make sure to under inflate your the pad enough that it follows the contour of your hanging hammock.

Nothing above you

Tarps are almost as important as pads or underquilts for hammock camping. A tarp can help block the wind, trap in warmth, and it offers protection from precipitation. Tarps also help keep your camping gear and backpacking gear dry.

Misjudging the weather

It’s just easier to stay warm when you sleep in a tent. A sleep system that keeps you warm in a tent in 30-degree weather may only keep you warm in a hammock down to 40-degrees.

Not looking up

One of the easiest, and most costly mistakes you can make when hammock camping is setting up a hammock without examining your surroundings. Hang your hammock using only living trees and look up to make sure that there aren’t any limbs that could fall on you in the middle of the night.

Hanging your hammock too high or too low

Hanging your hammock too low will have you dragging your back across the dirt by sunrise, but hanging your hammock too high can lead to injury. Your hammock should be easy to enter from the ground, and high enough so that your feet barely touch the ground when sitting.

Head over heels

You don’t want the head and foot ends of your hammock to be exactly level with one another. The foot end should be slightly higher so that you don’t slide down towards your feet in the middle of the night.

Anchor placement

Setting up your anchors either too far apart or too close together will cause problems throughout the night. You don’t want a tightrope, but you also don’t want your hammock to be too loose. You want a roughly 30-degree angle in the suspension.

Sleeping in line with the suspension

It’s much more difficult to stay comfortable and fall asleep when you line your body up with your hammock suspension. Instead, lay diagonally across the suspension line. This is really only possible if you set your anchors up in the correct position.

Forgetting extra cordage

Most hammocks either come with hanging straps, or you can buy straps specific to your brand of hammock. While you can typically find a good spot to hang a hammock using only these straps it’s always a good idea to bring extra cordage.

Extra rope, webbing, or other types of accessory cord can give you that little bit of extra reach between anchor points, it can help you rig up a line for a tarp, set up a gear line, or establish guylines.Visit Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters for any of your camping or outdoor gear needs. We have everything you need for hammock camping including hammocks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tarps, accessory cord, and more!

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