Hammock camping

Hammock Camping Tips

The simplistic hammock has been around for thousands of years, and it is still used today in parts of the world for sleeping.

Most camping hammocks are derived from the authentic Brazilian or Mayan styles of South America with their deep sag, tight weave, and gathered ends.

A few quick tips will get you well on your way with hammock camping, including getting that perfect hang.

The use of webbing straps around the trees provides a few benefits;

  • Prevent damage to the trees
  • Disperse the weight better
  • Make sure straps are in the 30-40mm width and made from polypropylene or polyester to reduce stretch.
  • Note: Avoid nylon straps as they will stretch.

Getting the proper “hang” is very simple.. basically you want your hammock to have a deep sag. Some have likened it to a smile shape.
To achieve this have your ropes or straps angled to around 30 degrees. If your “pitch” is too tight the ropes and hammock will have too much stress placed on them and could lead to:

  • the hammock to tear/seam failure
  • rope failure
  • high centre of gravity
  • uncomfortable sleep
  • probability of falling out

30 Degrees will get you:

  • long lasting hammock
  • low center of gravity
  • deep sag
  • high fabric sides
  • ensure you stay inside the hammock
  • allows you to sleep on a flatly (on a slight diagonal)

Lay on the diagonal. May seem a bit of at first..but even a slight diagonal will show more room and a more comfortable sleep.
If you sleep straight in the sag of the hammock you will find yourself quite bent…and your feet will want to drift to either side finding a spot with extra material.
With a diagonal position in the hammock you will find a more flat and somewhat weightlessness on your body and joints as the material supports your flater position.
Sleep like a pro hammock camper and pass on the knowledge of the secrets of the hammock.

Cold weather doesn’t mean the end of hammock camping!
Make or use a underquilt….a what? Underquilt..hangs around the outside of your hammock. Yes you insulate yourhammok from the outside.
To reduce heat loss from convection, insulate yourself by using a sleeping pad either closed cell or air. Having tried these …we prefer the underquilt over anything. Pads inside the hammock can move and become bothersome.

We made our own from a silver emergency blanket and a inexpensive down filled blanket. By putting the emergency blanket inbetween the hammock and quilt it provides a few benefits:

  • lightweight
  • reflects your heat back to you
  • wind break
  • Simply tie the underquilt around where the hammock ends are gathered up.

Newer hammock can have mossie netting sewn on them from the manufacturer..we have Botha open hammock and mossie net one…. Both are great and with enough side fabric on an open hammock you can gain some relief thy folding and pinning the side over you.

Typically the mossie nets have zippers one one side for easy access. These may have loops sewn on the netting to run a ridgeline keeping the netting pulled up and away from you.
You can also buy netting and see it onto your hammock.

Keeping the rain off you and your hammock is done with a tarp of 2mx3m should work well for most hammock. Run a ridgeline just above yourhammok straps and tie off in a diamond pattern..this will give you the longest portion of the tarp to go over you. Stake out the points to your sides and this will offer the easiest and most effective rain flys. Other tarp sizes can offer more combinations of enclosures. To better protect from snow, rain or wind.