Hammock camping is one of the great joys of camping and, as we all know, getting outdoors means a chance to do things a little differently. For some, it’s going a few days without taking a shower, or learning to cook without a kitchen. For others, it’s being comfortable sleeping in something other than a bed or even a sleeping bag.
Or, merely learning to let go, take a load off, and relax in your very own hammock. Hammock camping may seem like one of the first things people associate with hiking, but in reality, there’s not too much info out there.
If you’re interested in buying your first hammock but you’re not quite sure where to start, then here are some tips.
Why Do You Want to Go Hammock Camping?
What do you plan on doing with this hammock? Is it something you just want to lounge in, or do you actually plan on sleeping in it? Regardless, the hammock you’re bringing with you on your hammock camping trip needs to be appropriate for the weather and conditions you’ll be in. A hammock that’s meant just for chillin’ out won’t be so reliable in the dead of winter. Take this into account before you even step into the store (or get online).
Pay Attention to Strength and Weight Limits
No two hammocks are designed the same way. Some are meant to hold one person and some are meant to hold five. However, keep in mind that one large dad can weigh a lot more than his three teenage daughters. Also, think about whether or not you plan on sharing this hammock. Of course, the higher the capacity, the heavier the hammock itself will be. A higher capacity hammock, therefore, may not be ideal for lightweight backpackers. Lastly, consider the material your hammock is made from. It must be durable.
Don’t Be a Human Waffle
A hammock is not “one size fits all.” It’s much like a dress on a mannequin you see in the window of a store. That dress may look beautiful on the mannequin, but it might look like complete drag on your own body. (No worries, you’re beautiful!). This is a similar case when it comes to hammock camping. Your hammock may look super comfortable in the ad or the product photos, but in real life, it could destroy your back and turn you into what some people like to call, ‘a human waffle.’
Some Good Hammocks to Check Out
So, you’ve learned a lot about hammocks so far. But, what to buy? There are so many different brands to choose from. We could spend a lot of time just talking about them all. But, to give you a head start, there are a few we can recommend. Take a look at the Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro, the Grand Trunk Ultralight, the Hennessy Hammock, the Eagle Nest Outfitters SingleNest, or the Kammok Roo. There are also new hammocks hitting the market every day. As with any gear, just make sure you read the reviews.
Consider the Costs
Hammocks are a great addition to any camping or backpacking trip. Generally, they aren’t too expensive. If a hammock is something you’re eager to try out and plan to use often, then there’s no problem investing a bit more. Hammocks can vary anywhere between $25 and $200. Definitely, think about how much you plan on using it as well as the quality of the hammock before you spend your money.
Don’t Forget to Buy Accessories
Most hammocks don’t come with ropes or straps. Though it may seem like you’re getting ripped off, it’s actually better this way. If your hammock came with its own straps, that could mean it’s a lot less versatile. Make sure you’re aware of what yours comes with, so you don’t get disappointed when you open up the box.
Before you purchase any outdoor gear, it’s good to read up a little bit. Now, you’re ready to buy your hammock!