For some people, there is nothing better than sleeping beneath the stars. Camping, whether on a weekend trip or continuing a long hike, is beloved by many. Finding your perfect camping method will help keep you comfortable no matter the number of nights. For some, a classic tent will do the job just fine. However, many are starting to opt for hammock camping. Hammock camping is exactly what it sounds like. Setting up a hammock, throwing in a blanket and pillow, and enjoying the fresh air. Before going all in on your hammock camping essentials however, let’s go over some pros and cons of it.
Lighter and More Portable
For starters, hiking with a hammock can be a lot lighter and take up a lot less space than a tent. Packable hammocks usually fold up nicely into a bag that can be easily carried or packed away. Many models also make it possible for you to clip your hammock onto a bag if you’re concerned about space. Without the added weight of poles or stakes, hammocks will also be a lot lighter, making for less strain on your hikes.
Easier and Faster Setup
Hammocks tend to be a lot easier to set up than tents. Without needing to worry about the terrain, all you’ll need is two trees and two minutes to get your camping spot all set up. After a long day of hiking, the last thing you’ll want to have to worry about is fiddling around with poles, finding flat terrain, or pounding stakes into the ground. Hammocks are also legal in a lot more places than tents. Especially in cities, this makes the worry of getting kicked out of your sleeping spot a lot less.
Not only can you use your hammock to sleep, you can also set it up to use as a chair during the day. This makes it perfect for taking breaks, enjoying the view, and relaxing. You can also throw on a rain tarp over your hammock for those rainy days and nights. It’s pretty essential that with all hammock camping, you come prepared with some sort of rain tarp. Luckily there’s many types out there that are just as lightweight and easy to set up as the hammock. You can also purchase bug nets that go over your hammock for conditions where there are a lot of bugs or mosquitoes.
Ideal for Warmer Weather
Camping in a hammock will keep you nice and cool in those warmer weather conditions. With breathable material and open fabric, hammocks will keep the breeze and open air on you throughout the night. Tents tend to trap air in with you, making it hot and humid inside.
A good hammock tends to be a lot cheaper than a good tent. Even with the addition of a rain tarp or bug net, a hammock can cost a lot less than a tent. Maintenance will also be a lot more costly on a tent as hammocks are made with durable material that isn’t likely to tear or wear out nearly as much.
While tents can hold numerous people inside, hammocks, with a weight capacity and a snug fit, you can only fit one, maybe two, people. If you’re traveling with pets or friends, each person will need their own setup to be comfortable. Unless there are a good amount of trees or you’re comfortable stacking hammocks, this may also make it difficult for people to find spots near each other.
Harder to Sleep
While there is a way to set up your hammock and situate your pillows so that you are able to lay flat, some people find sleeping in a hammock uncomfortable. With the snug fit of a hammock, you will have less room to move your legs or toss around when getting comfortable. Some people can also get claustrophobic in hammocks and prefer the extra space of a tent.
Camping in a hammock, while allowing for that fresh air and unobstructed view of the stars, is a lot less private. You will be a lot more exposed and you won’t be able to bring your gear in the hammock with you. Some people may prefer the security of a tent over their head and all their stuff beside them. This is something you especially want to keep in mind when camping near bears or other wildlife that can get to your gear or food.
All-in-all, you’ll want to consider the terrain in which you’ll be camping, the weather, and your comfort level when deciding between a hammock or tent. Each option has its pros and cons, but each is sure to offer a unique and fun experience. If you’re able to, give each a shot and see which one you like best!