What other way to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature than to lie back and take in the sights and sounds. This is the very reason that hammocks are becoming an essential component for backpacking and camping trips across the board. If you are planning on choosing a hammock, here are a few more factors that you should consider:
Size and weight of the hammock:
If you are looking for something compact, you have to pick a single hammock. But if comfort trumps size and weight concerns, most people prefer double hammocks because they are more comfortable.
Single hammocks: Most single hammocks have a 4 to 5 foot range. Having a single-wide saves weight. A single’s weight ranges from 250 pounds (the ultra-light ones) to 400 pounds.
Double hammocks: Double models have a width of 5-6 feet. In addition to offering more lounging space, it’s comfortable enough for two people. The ultralight ones weigh around 350 pounds and go up to 500 pounds.
If you are choosing a hammock for backpacking, weight is the key consideration, for camping, durability trumps over weight considerations.
Length of the hammock: Hammock lengths vary less than the widths, but look for camping hammocks that are at least 2 feet longer than your height–this is generally what the hammock is for people with average height.
The fabric of the hammock: Keeping in mind your camping requirements, another spec that can be useful is picking the hammock according to the right fabric. It’s helpful to look at the ‘denier number’ of the fabric. Heavy-duty fabrics have a higher denier number as compared to ultralight fabrics. Though an ultra-light hammock might seem like a great idea, it might wear out quicker in rough use as compared to a heavy-duty fabric with a higher denier number.
Accessories for the hammock: You need to consider if you need a suspension system to set it up, or if you need an underquilt or a tarp for rain or a net to ward off pesky bugs.
Hammock tents and sleep systems: Hammock tents generally include hammocks and all the accessories needed for sleeping overnight. Alternatively, you can buy a hammock and pitch your tent around it, so that it acts like a DIY camping shelter.
If you are going for a simple overnight trek where there are plenty of trees, then a hammock tent is a great option to a regular tent. For most people the decision between a hammock tent and a traditional tent comes down to personal preference.
A hammock provides a distinctly different sleeping experience that some people love and others do not. Before you commit, borrow a hammock and sleep in it a few times to see if you like it. Though there are many pros and cons of having a hammock vis-à-vis a hammock tent, here are a few factors you should consider:
The pros of having a hammock tent:
- You don’t need level ground (which might be hard to find during camping), to set it up.
- It has no impact on the vegetation.
- Ultralight camping options are lighter and more compact than most tents.
- It’s cooler than a tent if you are camping in the summer.
- It can also double as a camp chair.
Here are a few accessories you should consider buying if you are planning to buy a hammock for camping.
Suspension system: Most hammocks include carabiners that have a suspension strength rating that can withstand your weight. A pair of tree straps, your suspension system is purchased separately — so make sure that any strap you buy is at least 0.75 inches wide because thinner straps may dig into the bark and damage the trees.
Underquilt: While you don’t need any additional insulation when you are camping in warmer climates, you will feel icy cold if there is no insulation underneath you. You can either opt for slipping a sleeping pad into your hammock or buying a separate underquilt. An under quilt is warmer because it doesn’t compress the insulation between the hammock and you.
Rain tarp: A rain tarp hands above a hammock and uses guylines to maintain a taut pitch.
Bug-net: If you are looking to buy a bug net, buy a model with 360-degree protection.
A hammock is a great way to express your personal sense of style when you are out camping and also kick back and take in the wonders of nature when you are at your relaxed best.
Conclusion: To make the most of buying the right hammock, make sure you consider the camping season you are buying the hammock for. Also take into consideration the fabric, weave and how many people it can support at once.
After you’ve taken all these factors into account, it’s time to go hammock shopping to choose the right hammock for yourself.