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Choosing The Best Hammock: You’ve Been Doing It Wrong

Choosing The Best Hammock: You’ve Been Doing It Wrong

posted Gear Guides Hammocks

Hammocks are one of the most popular pieces of essential camping gear that true adventurers should carry in their supplies. Many campers are turning to hammocks now instead of tents due to the versatility, ultra lightweight, compact size, and the ease of setting up camp.

Choosing the best hammock can be difficult if you are not sure what to look for. If you’ve been shopping for a new hammock to take on your next adventure, whether as a weekend warrior, a hiker, or part of a Scouting group, the following tips may help you choose the best one.

There are certain factors that need to be considered when shopping for a hammock. This includes the environment and your destination, the size you will need, the weight capacity, and how much the hammock is going to weigh on your hikes.

Your Destination Is A Factor

The environment has a lot to do with the type of hammock you will need on your next camping trip. Many crisis volunteers prefer hammocks while working in the field due to flooding and insects since a hammock can keep them dry and protected while they rest. Certain hammocks come with insulation that can be used as padding on the bottom of the hammock to keep you warm in the colder temperatures.

Some feature mosquito netting that is either attached to the hammock or can be detached when not being used. Camping hammocks are made for air circulation which keeps you cool in the summer time, unlike a tent.

This is great in humid or dry climates that you may visit like deserts. You will need a heavier hammock if your adventure takes you to the jungle. You may not need the insulation, however, you will need netting to protect you from insect bites that could lead to malaria or other diseases.

Size Does Matter

Dimensions are another factor when considering purchasing a hammock. You will need to decide if you would rather have a single hammock or a double hammock. A single hammock is great for one person, but a double hammock can sleep two people or a camper who prefers a lot of space.

Some double hammocks can be 6.5 feet in width allowing you plenty of room to move and provide comfortable sleep. The length of most hammocks is around 6 feet, however, longer hammocks such as double hammocks can be 10 to 11 feet long. This is great for taller campers or those who require more room.

Weight Capacity

Whether you choose a single hammock or a double hammock, you will want to confirm the weight capacity. Most hammocks can hold up to 400 pounds of weight. Manufacturers do make larger varieties that can withstand up to 660 pounds of weight.

Research the accompanying hang ropes to make sure they will be strong enough. Many hammocks come with two solid steel carabiners and 5’6″ nautical grade hang ropes. Sometimes these are part of the kit when you purchase the hammock. Other sellers may offer them as optional pieces as accessories you can add to your camping gear.

You will want to look for a hammock made of durable material that is breathable and quick drying. Parachute nylon fabric is commonly used in camping hammocks due to the versatility and strength.

Camping With The Ultra Light Weight Hammock

The weight of your camping gear can be crucial when hiking for a long period of time. The advantages of using hammocks compared to tents are their light weight and compact features. Choose a hammock that will be easy to carry and easy to set up on the campsite. And an efficient hammock may only add an extra 2 pounds to your pack.

Choose a hammock that is tree friendly. You want the straps to attach securely to the tree, but not leave a trace behind when you clear camp. Some camping hammocks include a sack that will double as a storage bag for your gear while you sleep. You may be able to attach this sack inside of your hammock using an attached loop. This will enable you to keep your possessions dry and safe while you sleep.

If you take these factors into consideration when you purchase your next hammock for camping, backpacking, or traveling, you will have a more enjoyable and comfortable experience. Just keep in mind your hammock should be compact, easy to set up and take down, and be ultra lightweight.

The fabric should be breathable and quick-drying to reduce the risk of mold. You will want a strong hammock to reduce injury with plenty of room to stretch out. Make sure your hammock is environmentally safe and will not leave any traces behind when you set out from camp.


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