Six Tips for a Smooth Hammock Camping Trip

Hammock camping is fantastic. When you combine the cool, fresh air, the smell of the dirt, trees (or maybe salty air, if that’s more your style) with the comfort of a great hammock, you’re on your way to much better sleep than you’d get on your average backpacking or camping trip.

But make sure you’re prepared for your hammock camping trip—you don’t want anything to stress you out on what’s sure to be a relaxing vacation. Here are some tips to ensure it goes smoothly:

Choose a great sleeper hammock.  Eagle’s Nest Outfitters makes this so easy. Check out ENO’s selection of great OneLink sleep systems, which include single and double styles. Oh, and they all include a rain tarp, bug net, the choice between SlapStrapPRO or Atlas, carabiners and stakes. Rest assured, Mother Nature will not ruin your trip. Oh, and thanks to the way everything packs together, you won’t forget anything at home.

Definitely use some Atlas Straps. When given the option of straps, choose the Atlas. Although they’re not the lightest strap, their daisy chain design and PolyFilament Webbing construction give you the most combined adjustment points, and least amount of stretch. And when you’re dealing with bigger trees, you’ll definitely appreciate the extra usability.

Pack a bug net. If your hammock camping system doesn’t already include one, get one, because you will definitely want one. Mosquitoes eating your face all night does not equate to restful sleep. So, for your own sake, and the sake of your camping trip, bring a bug net—or at least a bug net face mask.

Use a mummy-shaped sleeping pad. The reasoning here is simple: a sleeping pad with rounded edges will fit inside your hammock better than a rectangular one. Thus, the pad won’t fold up awkwardly in your hammock and you will sleep much, much better.

Bring warmer sleeping clothes and invest in a warmer sleeping quilt. One thing to remember about hammock camping is you’re going to be colder up in the air than you would be on the ground, thanks to the air passing over and beneath you as you hang. So bundle up a little and invest in an Underquilt and/or Topquilt rated for colder weather, like 20–30 degrees, to be sure of staying warm and toasty all night. Check out more info on Hammock Insulation in our post, “Hammock Insulation – Bags vs. Quilts.

By Sarah Esterman