Hammock camping has grown in popularity over the past decade as a lightweight, comfortable, and versatile alternative to tent camping. Understanding why people choose to hammock camp can help shed light on the benefits and advantages of this unique camping style.
Key Question: Why do people choose to hammock camp?
People choose to hammock camp for a variety of reasons including weight savings, comfort, quick setup, and adaptability across different terrains. The simplicity yet customizability of hammock camping appeals to many.
- Hammocks are lighter than tents, saving weight in your pack.
- Suspension systems like straps or whoopie slings are very light.
- No poles or stakes needed unlike a tent.
- Use trekking poles for setup so no extra weight.
- Lightweight tarp covers instead of full tents.
- Great for ultralight backpacking and thru-hiking.
- Lay flat and avoid sleeping on hard, bumpy ground.
- Adjustable for optimal hang and sleep position.
- Built-in ridgeline helps achieve consistent lay.
- Less condensation than ground tents.
- Mesh hammocks great for staying cool in warm weather.
Quick & Easy Set Up
- Find two trees and you can set up in minutes.
- Very easy to adjust hang height and tarp coverage.
- Avoid rocks, roots, and uneven ground.
- Don't have to clear tent platforms or find flat spots.
- Changing locations is fast and easy.
Adaptability & Versatility
- Works in forest as well as open areas lacking trees.
- Hang over water for views and bug protection.
- Use rock climbing gear to hang on cliffs or boulders.
- Modify for winter hammock camping with underquilts for insulation.
- Easy to find hang spots compared to ideal tent sites.
- Works in rain and wet conditions with proper rainfly setup.
Low Impact & Leave No Trace
- Doesn't damage vegetation like tent poles and stakes.
- Allows camping in places tents cannot go.
- Can hang over fragile alpine vegetation.
- Higher up so less impact on environment.
- Smaller footprint than a tent.
- Feel more immersed in the surroundings up off the ground.
- Unobstructed views around the hammock.
- Swaying motion can be relaxing.
- Provides a minimalist yet adaptable shelter.
- Fun alternative to regular tent camping.
- Easy to chat with friends versus isolated in separate tents.
- Fun to connect multiple hammocks together in a group hang.
- Share tarps and tie guylines to neighboring trees.
- Feels more open and communal than ground tents.
- Inexpensive nylon hammocks are about $20-$40.
- Lightweight suspension systems under $50.
- Tarps can double for ground use.
- Avoid buying multiple tents for group trips.
Pets Can Join
- Dogs and cats can lounge in hammock with owner.
- Keeps pets up off wet, dirty ground.
- Mesh bottom offers ventilation for pets.
- Allows them to enjoy the views and sounds.
People choose to hammock camp because of the significant weight savings compared to tents, sleeping comfort up off the hard ground, quick and easy setup, versatility to hang in many locations, and low impact on the environment. Additional advantages are the unique experience of sleeping above ground, the ability to hang out with friends in a group setting, budget-friendliness who compared to buying multiple tents, and pets can join in the hammock. Hammock camping offers a lightweight, customizable, and fun alternative to traditional tent camping that appeals to ultralight backpackers, car campers, and anyone seeking an immersive outdoor shelter experience.
- Hammock camping continues to gain popularity as more vendors offer innovations in design, features, and materials.
- Hammock camping associations and groups have formed worldwide for enthusiasts to connect and share knowledge.
- Many long distance thru-hikers switch to hammocks because they are so lightweight and adaptable.
- Hammocks work great for bicycle touring since you don't need flat ground to set up each night.
- May not work well for shoulder season camping depending on your climate, but underquilts and topquilts can add warmth.
- Ridgeline: A rope that runs lengthwise inside the hammock to keep the sides spread open evenly.
- Whoopie sling: A adjustable suspension system made of a continuous loop of lightweight hollow core cording with a button on each end.
- Underquilt: A insulated quilt that hangs below a hammock to provide warmth from cold air beneath.
- Topquilt: A quilt used on top while sleeping in a hammock in place of a mummy sleeping bag.
- Tarp ridgeline: A ridgeline above the tarp used to create airflow and provide headroom underneath.