If you're new to hammock camping, here's what you need to know. It's the same as regular camping, but you sleep in a hammock instead of a tent. It's genius really, because hammocks are more comfortable and allow you to sleep wherever there are trees. In fact, you don't even need trees if you use posts. With a basic knowledge of knots and good equipment, you'll be completely hooked on hammock camping the first time you try it.
Comfort and Other Benefits
Experienced hammock campers will tell you the number one reason to switch is comfort. A good travel hammock supports your whole body and with a protective tarp and a cushy "underquilt," backpacking hammocks can actually be warmer than sleeping on the ground. Hammocks elevate your feet a little which is good for your circulation, especially after a long hike. Other benefits include lighter weight, faster set up, and flexibility in campsite selection.
A Low-Impact Alternative
Hammock camping is a way to camp without leaving a trace. Set your backpacking hammock up anywhere because all you need is a couple of trees the right distance apart, though you can also use posts or hammock stands. When you're hammock backpacking, you don't have to clear a site or use a public campsite. And when hung properly, camping hammocks do no damage to trees.
Let travel hammocks unlock your creativity. You're limited only by your imagination when your bed hangs between two trees. Hammock campers have slept over running water and Rocky Mountain boulders, on steep inclines and over damp ground. More people can camp in a smaller area with backpacking hammocks; likewise, it is easier to set up your sleeping quarters a bit off the map as well.
Hang Out with Friends
Coast to coast, from palm trees to piney woods, you'll find that taking a portable hammock with you opens up your travel possibilities. Lightweight hammocks are easier to carry than tents, and set up is simpler. Backpack with the whole family or "hang" with your friends at an annual event at a popular campsite. Hammock camping has taken off as a trend and there are many aficionados who blog and offer free tips.
Get your gear, get out there, and start hammock camping! If you camp at all, you'll love this alternative to clearing a campsite and setting up a tent. You'll have a new appreciation for trees even if you don't take on the popular moniker of "tree hugger," and camping will never be the same again. No more worrying about uneven, rocky, wet ground - not you - you'll be fine in your travel hammock.