Sleeping elevated is not to be mocked before you try it. There are many outdoor enthusiasts who prefer a hammock instead of sleeping on the hard ground in a tent (even if they invest in an awesome sleeping pad).
Of course, this can depend on the terrain you’re camping on (hammocks don’t really work without trees). But in this article, we’re going to highlight five reasons why camping hammocks are awesome.
They’re Lightweight and Compact
Compared to most one or two-person tents, camping hammocks are lighter and take up less space in your backpack. That’s a big factor whether you’re backpacking for multiple days or just packing in for a quick overnight trip with friends. Carrying a heavier pack will put more wear and tear on your body (especially your knees, hips, and ankles).
On the other hand, switching to a camping hammock will lighten your load and give you more space to fit other items in your pack. Whether you like to carry extra food, reading materials, or specific emergency supplies, camping hammocks are awesome because they can simultaneously reduce your pack weight and create space for you to pack more efficiently.
They’re Easy to Set Up
I must admit: tents have come a long way in the past decade or so. I remember older, canvas-style tents that were a pain in the rear to set up. Now, the poles snap together in an instant and the body is usually all one connected piece of material.
That being said, it’s really hard to argue that setting up a tent is easier than setting up a hammock.
Most are as simple as wrapping a couple straps around trees that sit your preferred distance apart. Then, all you need to do is clip your hammock to your straps and you’re ready to go. Some camping hammocks are awesome because they come with additional items, such as a rain fly or bug net.
These items can slightly increase the amount of time it takes to complete your setup, but something like the Kammok Mantis UL hammock is an all-in-one setup that takes minutes to put up.
They Keep You Off The Ground
I’m lucky to have grown up in the mountains just north of Lake Tahoe, California. During the summer months, we can get away with putting a pad down on the ground and sleeping out under the stars. But that’s not always the case everywhere.
I specifically remember leading a multi-day river trip in East Texas a number of years back, and I was very glad that I elected to bring my hammock and bug net setup on that trip.
Camping hammocks are awesome because they get you up off the ground. And that gets you away from the insects, reptiles, and mammals that call that ground home.
Even the biggest nature lovers out there most likely don’t want to wake up to a bunch of fire ants inside their tent. Camping hammocks are a great way to sleep elevated and to also minimize your impact on the ground where you decide to make camp.
They Offer Bug Protection
While this might not be true for EVERY camping hammock out there, most are compatible with a bug net and/or rain fly. Being up off the ground automatically makes it harder for crawling insects to sneak their way into your otherwise-comfortable sleeping arrangement. But a camping hammock with a bug net will also offer you protection from flying insects as well.
This is one of the main arguments I hear against camping hammocks. Because not all of them are enclosed, some users have complained about a lack of bug protection. But, in my experience, I haven’t found this to be the case at all.
If your camping hammock doesn’t come with a bug net, they’re not hard to find online. And many camping hammocks have small eyelets on either edge of the hammock where you can attach carabiners.
This allows you to go into what I like to call “cocoon mode” if you’re camping in a particularly mosquito-heavy area. Just clip the eyelets together and wait until morning to emerge as your beautiful butterfly self.
They’re Affordable and Versatile
It doesn’t require a huge investment to get into the camping hammock game. While it’s hard to find a good tent for less than $200, you can get yourself a great camping hammock (along with all the accessories) for under $100.
That’s a whole lot of savings that you can turn around and use on backpacking food, a great sleeping bag, new hiking boots, or whatever else you need for camping season.
Additionally, your camping hammock remains useful even when you’re not camping. I don’t know that many people who go RV camping and decide to put up a tent as well, just to relax in during the day.
However, I do know plenty of folks that set up their camping hammock outside their house or their RV so that they can enjoy an afternoon nap in the sun or have a relaxing place to catch up on reading their favorite book.
Camping hammocks are awesome because they’re affordable and you’ll get your money’s worth in no time. You’ll be able to lounge in your camping hammock on a lazy afternoon or pack it up for a multi-day backpacking trip.
It’ll fit inside of a small dry bag on your next river excursion and even inside your carry-on next time you go visit your family for a quick vacation.
Camping Hammocks are Fantastic
Personally, I only pull out a tent if I’m going camping in colder conditions or we’re bringing the whole family along and need space for our puppy.
If I’m backpacking with buddies or taking a solo journey, I almost always opt for my camping hammock. I love the weightless feeling I get when I find that perfect position in my hammock and sleeping in a hammock always makes me feel refreshed and ready to go in the morning.
Check out some of the camping hammocks for sale today at Gander. Let us know where you’re headed on your next adventure in the comments below!