Site hosted by Build your free website today!


Advantages Of Hammock Camping    Selecting A Hammock Campsite   Setting Up A Hammock   Staying Warm In A Hammock   Buying A Hammock   Some Safety Do's and Don'ts

Advantages Of Hammock Camping 

  • When properly fit, they are far more comfortable than ground beds

  • Can come with a complete shelter with bug net and rain canopy

  •  Large 8X10-foot rain canopy makes a stand up shelter with a bed fit for a king

  • Reduced tossing and turning

  • Horizontal back- and fetal-sleep positions are possible

  • Reduced back discomfort

  • No more crawling around on the ground to make camp

  • Ultra lightweight

  • Adequate rain and storm protection

  • Make/break camp in rain w\o pack items getting wet

  • Adjust canopy for fair or foul weather

The  information following this icon pertains to Backcountry Camping. (Extreme camping, deep woods, no modern facilities, etc.)Unlimited campsites in forested terrain

  • Greater freedom than using tents or tarps

The  information following this icon pertains to Backcountry Camping. (Extreme camping, deep woods, no modern facilities, etc.)Generally takes only minutes to find a campsite

  • Sleep above rocks or roots

  • Sleep above briers, cactus, poison oak, etc.

  • Quick set up and take down

  • Use as lounge chair

  • Avoid snakes

  • Avoid slugs and spiders

  • Avoid sleeping on the hard ground, rocks or roots typical of many tent or tarp sites

  • Avoid sleeping on wet or uneven ground

The  information following this icon pertains to Backcountry Camping. (Extreme camping, deep woods, no modern facilities, etc.)Avoid crowded or abused campsites

The  information following this icon pertains to Backcountry Camping. (Extreme camping, deep woods, no modern facilities, etc.)Hide from cold wind behind mountain ridges

  • Avoid storm-exposed campsites

  • Camp at bug-free sites

The  information following this icon pertains to Backcountry Camping. (Extreme camping, deep woods, no modern facilities, etc.)Camp at scenic sites

  • Camp at sites with sunset or sunrise views

The  information following this icon pertains to Backcountry Camping. (Extreme camping, deep woods, no modern facilities, etc.)Camp out of sight

  • Avoid the food-robbing critters that are common at the usual ground campsites

  • Avoid high-risk bear territory by camping in low-risk habitats unsuitable for tents or tarps

  • Avoid ground mice and rats

  • Camp in greater peace and harmony with nature

  • Use as tarp and Bivy sack on the ground when no trees are available or temperatures drop

  • Convenient way to follow Leave No Trace camping ethics

  • Can be custom made for any camper's height or weight

Selecting A Hammock Campsite
The  information following this icon pertains to Backcountry Camping. (Extreme camping, deep woods, no modern facilities, etc.)

  • Avoid cold wind by camping on the lee side of hills, ridges or cliffs

  • Camp on steep rugged mountainsides

  • Camp on mountaintops with no suitable tent or tarp sites

  • Camp on cliff tops

  • Camp at base of cliffs, even in the midst of large breakdown boulders

  • Camp deep in the forest

  • Camp on rocky, brushy, wet or uneven ground

  • Avoid camping near springs, streams or lakes

  • Camp far from water sources by making dinner before stopping and making a dry camp

  • Camp in windy spots to keep bugs away

  • Avoid wet buggy tent or tarp sites by finding dry bug-free sites

  • Camp off the beaten track and out of sight

  • Camp close to towns without being seen or disturbed

  • Camp miles from the nearest tent campsite

  • Continue traveling until dark or later, knowing you can easily make camp anywhere only moments after deciding to do so

  • Avoid worry of finding campsites already occupied

  • Set up camp easily and quickly when bad weather strikes

  • Avoid setting up in areas prone to heavy dew, such as open grassy meadows on cold windless nights where all objects above the ground, including the hammock, will collect excessive condensation

Setting Up A Hammock

  • Select sturdy supports, such as trees, rocks, etc

  • Trees should be at least 4  in diameter

  • Select support spacing of 12-16'; generally 4-6 paces between trees

  • Avoid tree damage by using flat webbing instead of round ropes

  • Avoid tree damage by using overlapping 4-wrap knots

  • If forced to tie a knot in a hanging strap, insert a stick or a large loop of the free end of the strap into the knot to facilitate untying it later

  • Loosen the bug net support line before pitching the hammock

  • Position 2-4' of hanging strap on each end of hammock

  • Attach hanging straps at same height above ground for level hammock

  • Set up on sloping ground often requires tree knots at different heights above the ground in order for hammock to be level

  • Before occupying hammock, step back and visibly judge if it is level; readjust setup if necessary

  • Shorten one hanging strap or raise/lower one hanging strap tree knot to adjust pitch of hammock

  • Leave some sag in unoccupied hammock; do not stretch tight

  • Adjust comfort by readjusting setup if necessary

  • Adjust interior space below bug net by readjusting the support line after the hammock is occupied

  • To make camp in rain, set up canopy first

  •     To break camp in rain, take down canopy last

  • Use socks or bandanas to stop rain from seeping along hanging straps and reaching hammock

  • For lounge chair, hang bug net and bug net support line out of the way over the back side of the hammock

  • Remove bug net and bug net support line to save weight in winter

  • When bugs are not a problem, remove bug net for enhanced harmony with nature and better star views

  • Stow personal items like eyeglasses, wrist watches, flashlights, bandanas, etc. by hanging them from the bug net support line inside the hammock

  • Stow larger items like water bottle, shoes/boots, book/map, jacket, etc. within reach on ground beneath hammock

  • Hang backpack from hammock strap so it is beneath the rain canopy and does not touch the ground

  • When in porcupine country, hang shoes or boots from hammock straps; leave nothing on the ground

  • Hang wet or soiled clothing from hammock straps or rain canopy guidelines

  • Use 4-wrap knots for hammock and rain canopy as described in Chapter 1 to ensure canopy is centered over hammock

  • In high wind or stormy conditions, make sure all lines are tied tight; use extra pull tabs on rain canopy

Staying Warm In A Hammock

  • Use the Pea Pod Sleeping Bag completely around the hammock to avoid crushing insulation on bottom!

  • Hide from cold wind behind ridges, hills, cliffs, etc.

  • Use layering system (sleeping bag, sleep pad, clothes, blanket, jacket, vapor barrier bag, etc.)

  • Use sleeping bags and sleep pads as needed

  • Wear sleeping bag over you as a blanket

  • Use pile and/or fleece clothing, liner, or blanket

  • Use light colored fabrics for reflection of radiant heat

  • Wind/water proof hammock bottom for cold wind, then remove when warm temperatures return

  • Use aluminized fabrics to block 97% of radiant heat loss, but watch for excessive condensation

  • Choose sleep pads greater than 22  wide

  • Avoid extremely wide and thick sleep pads since they tend to buckle and create uncomfortable bulges

  • Use closed-cell foam pads (generally 1/4 to 5/8  thick)

  • Use foam-or down-filled inflatable sleep pads (generally 1 to 3  thick)

  • Use aluminum-covered bubble wrap sleep pads (windshield sunscreens or Reflectix sheets cut to size)

  • Watch for excessive condensation of body moisture with all sleep pads

  • Switch to 1  thick sleep pad when temperatures drop below about 400F

  • Avoid slippery sleep pads that shift underneath you; inexpensive non-slippery foam pads are available

  • Wear all available clothing in sleeping bag; be careful with non-breathable fabrics

  • Use vapor barrier bag or liner inside sleeping bag

  • Use Aluminized Mylar sheet (emergency or survival blankets) between hammock and Pea Pod Sleeping Bag (beware possible excessive condensation)

  • To avoid suffocation, never use vapor barrier over your face

  • Wear rain/wind suit over underwear inside sleeping bag for make-shift vapor barrier bag

  • Avoid all vapor barriers (including all waterproof/breathable fabrics) on the outside of sleeping bag since they will trap excessive body condensation

  • Most good quality sleeping bags already have DWR treatments on outer fabric for effective wind blocking

  • Do not wear all available clothing inside vapor barrier bag or everything will be soaked the next morning

  • If using a vapor barrier bag, have some dry clothing to put on in the morning

  • Vent your breath outside, not inside the sleeping bag

  • Air dry your sleeping bag as much as possible every day since body moisture accumulates in it every night

  • Eat nutritious, easily-digested food for calories to burn for warmth

  • Eat just before going to bed; use sleep-robbing sugar or caffeine sparingly

  • Snack during the night for calories to burn for warmth

  • Avoid dehydration by drinking lots of water day and night

  • When the gear you have is not enough to keep you warm--try sleeping on the ground, returning to the comfort of the hammock as soon as warmer temperatures return

Buying A Hammock

  • Choose a solid fabric hammock for proper suspension, weight distribution, comfort and safety

  • Choose a hammock with bug net and rain canopy

  • Choose a hammock with an extra large rain canopy for dependable, convenient and secure wilderness use

  • Consider a hammock with a rain canopy large enough to offer storm protection when pitched as stand-up shelter

  • Military-type jungle hammocks may lack the comfort necessary for long-term use

  • String net hammocks may lack long-term comfort

  • Avoid hammocks with spreader bars if they raise the user too close to the tip-over point

  • Avoid or return any hammock that tips over or feels like it will

  • Consider the weight of hammock, rain canopy and bug net; heavy units may be inappropriate for uses like long-distance hiking

  • Study the reviews in Chapter 7,  How To Buy a Hammock 

  • Review manufactures literature including the Internet sites given in Chapter 7 and Appendix 3

  • Some hammocks may come with rain canopies that lack guidelines or require additional waterproofing

  • Remember, hammock comfort in general is dependent on length. Longer is more comfortable, so avoid short hammocks

  • Choose a hammock with interior length at least 2 feet longer than your height for best comfort (stretched-cot type hammocks may not need this extra length)

  • For safety, choose a hammock suitable for your weight

  • For serious wilderness use, consider a hammock that also conveniently sets up on the ground as a tarp and Bivy sack

  • Consider a hammock with removable bug net for the increased-warmth use of a sleeping bag around the hammock

  • Consider a removable bug net for using the hammock as a lounge chair

  • Consider a removable bug net for weight savings during bug-free season

  • Consider a removable rain canopy for improved views when not needed

  • Consider the actual usefulness of extra items like interior pockets, bottom pockets, interior pad retainers, wind shells, bottom entry, zippers, etc.

  • Some extra features may be desirable for some uses, for instance car camping, cabin or backyard users may not be as concerned about weight and storm protection as long-term wilderness trekkers

  • Hammocks for children may need extra material strength for safety

Some Safety Do's and Don'ts

  • Avoid falling out by staying low in the hammock

  • Beware of spreader bars that raise the body to the tip-over point

  • Avoid catastrophic failure of the hammock materials

  • Inspect each hammock setup for incipient failure

  • Avoid or repair any damaged hammock

  • Repeatedly inspect hanging knots to avoid surprises

  • Avoid tying to dead trees or other supports that could fail

  • Avoid overhead dead branches or tree tops that could fall

  • Avoid overhead snow-covered branches

  • Set up the hammock at waist height or lower to facilitate safe entry and exit

  • Exercise caution getting in or out of hammock to avoid loss of balance

  • For better control when entering or exiting, hold the hammock with both hands, one on each side of the hammock

  • Avoid sunlight as much as possible to prevent deterioration of nylon and polypropylene materials

  • Avoid tripping over the canopy guidelines

  • Avoid walking into the hammock tie-outs

  • Avoid entanglements in the hammock materials

  • Wash the hammock and bug net as needed

  • Limit hammock use to one person at a time

  • Do not exceed the design weight limit

  • Do not swing in the hammock

  • Avoid sudden heavy movements in the hammock

  • Avoid punctures, tears or rips to the hammock fabric

  • Possible puncture problems exist inside the hammock from wristwatches, belt buckles, boots, shoes, eyeglasses, ear phones, portable radios, zippers on sleeping bag or clothes, writing pens, flashlights, etc.

  • Avoid snagging the hammock fabric on brush, limbs, briers, rocks, etc. while making or breaking camp

  • Avoid open flames; the hammock materials are flammable

  • Do not smoke in the hammock

  • Restrict and supervise children's use of the hammock

  • Do not leave infants unattended in the hammock

  • The physically handicapped may have difficulties in the hammock

  • Use a whistle if you set up far from the traveled path but need to attract the attention of others for help

  • Avoid contact with poisonous plants, including vines on trees; even dead plants/vines can cause problems

  • Do not completely enclose the Pea Pod Sleeping Bag; instead avoid suffocation and the buildup of excessive moisture in the insulation by leaving a large space for fresh air and the escape of your exhaled breath

  • Avoid high-risk situations susceptible to storm dangers such as lighting, excessive winds or flooding

Click here to go to The FUNdamentals of Camping Homepage
Click here to see EVERY TOPIC in this Website

           Copyright © 2000 Jon's Images, Inc. All rights reserved   

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ - By printing, downloading, or using  any info from this site, you agree to our full terms. Review the full terms by clicking here. Below is a summary of some of the terms. If you do not agree to the full terms, do not use the information. All information on this web site is provided as a free service. Under no conditions does it constitute professional advice. No representations are made as to the completeness, accuracy, comprehensiveness or otherwise of the information provided. This site is considered publishers of this material, not authors. Information may have errors or be outdated. Some information is from historical sources or represents opinions of the author. It is for research purposes only. The information is  AS  IS ,  WITH ALL FAULTS . User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages. We are not liable for any consequential, incidental, indirect, or special damages. You indemnify us for claims caused by you.