Double hammock camping has a lot to offer a pair of outdoor adventurers. Keep reading for all the information you need to get started on this exciting outdoor trend.
What Is A Double Hammock?
One challenge that many have with hammock camping is that they make the assumption that hammocks are strictly for one person. The truth is that double hammocks are actually very common and don’t add a lot of weight or bulk to a light pack. In fact, a double hammock can save an enormous quantity of weight if you are hiking with another person.
Just think about all the things that a hammock replaces and it is easy to see why so many people are ditching their tents for hammocks.
No Need For Two Air Mattresses
Many of us love our camping mattress but let’s be honest, even the lightweight mattresses are extra weight, especially when you add in that you need two. Many people that camp with a partner also bring along special straps to keep the mattresses from moving apart. With a hammock you save several pounds.
Hit The Trail With Daypacks
If you don’t have to carry a lot of equipment, then you can have a night or two out without using heavier expedition packs. This can make for a much more comfortable experience and you will be more likely to get out more if you can pack up and hit the trail quickly and easily.
Tents Can Weight 5-10 Lbs Compared To A 1-2 Lb Hammock
Tent and hammock weights will vary based on the style, amenities, materials, and brand but you can expect your hammock is going to weigh up to 80% less than a standard two-person tent.Little River Co.’s hammock (including straps) weighs about 2 lbs. Tent metal poles can really add a lot to your pack and you have to use straps to secure it to a larger pack than you need if just taking a hammock.
Double Hammocks Keep You Warm
Anyone that has camped much knows how cold the ground can be. If there is moisture present, it can feel even colder. A double hammock allows you to be suspended above the ground so you are not exposed to this.
Also the hammock creates a nest-like environment that uses the body heat of two people to make even camping in colder conditions, comfortable and doable.
A blanket or lining for a double hammock doesn’t weigh twice as much as that required for two solo hammocks so you save even more weight rather than having a tent.
The snug and closer quarters make it far easier to stay warm. Double hammocks are exceptional for fall and winter camping.
Straps Make It Easy To Camp Almost Anywhere
Adjustable straps mean that you can set up a double hammock anywhere there are two things to attach to. Getting the perfect swag or hand to your hammock is not hard when you have an easy way to adjust it. Trees are the most common thing to anchor to but there is no reason why you cannot use other things if they are able to support the weight.
Simple Set Ups For Areas Without Trees
Large rocks and more can be used to suspend a hammock however it is also fairly simple to make or purchase a suspension system that you can take along to hammock camp almost anywhere.
So even if you are a hardcore hiker that likes to get into some rough places and above tree line, then you should consider the benefits of hammock camping. Suspension systems do add some additional weight, but it is still far less than the weight of a tent.
Double Sleeping Bags For Hammocks
If you are sleeping double than sleeping bags that zip together or just one large one built for two can be nice to have. The ones that zip together offer more versatility if you occasionally camp solo. Since many hammock campers are trying to achieve lightweight packs, it pays off to purchase the most lightweight one you can for the warmth level that is needed.
Hardcore campers often have several different bags so they can be comfortable during any season of camping. Although high grade, lightweight materials cost more on average than heavier materials, if you plan on camping a lot, don’t settle for less just to save a few dollars. Sometimes it is the small things on the trail that make it a lot more pleasant to be out there.
One complaint that some voice about hammock camping is that the air space underneath the hammock can sometimes make it hard for your bottom portion to get and stay warm. This is of course only going to be an issue in the fall or winter months for most people. The solution to the problem is what is called an underquilt.
This is a quilted blanket that is made to go under you and provide more insulation. Some camping mattress or lightweight foam pads can work for this as well with some or no augmentation necessary. A mylar blanket or lightweight fleece may be all that some need for a higher level of comfort.
Sleep In Supreme Comfort
One of the first questions that many people ask when it comes to double hammocks is “are double hammocks comfortable?” Hammocks do offer a high level of comfort if set up properly.
One of the biggest hurdles is learning how to get in and out of the hammock safely and even this doesn’t take much practice. Some people also need a few days to adjust to sleeping in a different position than they are used to sleeping in within the confines of their own home.
Enjoy Less Expense
Hammocks are a lot cheaper than many quality tents. Sure you can pick up a cheap tent and get a few nights out of it but there is little guarantee how comfortable you are going to be, especially if it rains or the wind blows much at all.
Sure you can pick up a cheap tent and get a few nights out of it but there is little guarantee how comfortable you are going to be, especially if it rains or the wind blows much at all.
A good lightweight backpacking tent for two can cost $300-$1,000+, far outside of the budget for many people. With hammocks, everyone can have great comfortable access to the great outdoors without a ton of expense.
A Double Hammock Discourages Extra Baggage
A tent gives you more space to store things and spread out so you are more likely to bring along items that you think you need but don’t really use that often. Hammock camping is all about keeping it light and being able to move in comfort.
People that enjoy longer trail hikes with their partner will be amazed at how light they can pack for even very extended endeavors into the wilderness.
Share But Keep Some Things Separate On Long Trips
While double hammock camping means that one person doesn’t have to pack a shelter, it is important that each person carry some supplies in case they become separated.
A small medical kit can be packed in a container no larger than a small paperback book. There even exists very basic kits that fit into a tin the size of a pack of playing cards.
Each person should be sure to pack their own clothing. One of the worst things when out camping can be getting wet and then cold. Layers are best on any excursion. A high-quality rain coat can literally save your life on the trail.
High-calorie foods packed in waterproof packaging can make a big difference and should definitely be a part of each hiker’s pack. Water is crucial so even if one person has a high-grade backpacking water filter, the other should carry at least something that can turn water into safe and drinkable water. Water bottles with built-in filters or water purification tablets can be used for backup in case of an emergency.
Try It Out Before Hitting The Trail
Like any new experience, it can take some time to fine tune your hammock sleeping style and learn to hang it properly. Find a space where you can hang your hammock and then practice getting in and out of it. Try adjusting the straps and then getting in. Closely observe how the hammock hangs when you find the level of support and comfort you want. This will make it a lot easier for you to pitch your hammock at the end of a day on the trail, and get a good hang the first time.
It might be advisable to try out sleeping in your hammock in a backyard or close to home so you can test out sleeping positions. If you are sleeping in the hammock with another, the way you sleep that is most comfortable may very well vary from how you would sleep if alone in the hammock. If it seems that pressure is being put on a specific area of your body, then changing positions or adjusting how the hammock is hung will help alleviate these problems.
Many people recommend trying to sleep more sideways in the hammock rather than the standard up and down position. This helps spread out the support of the hammock so your chances of sore spots are greatly reduced.
Don’t worry if at first it seems like you are having a hard time getting comfortable. You will be amazed how quickly you learn what works best for you and your partner. A night of learning means a higher level of comfort when you finally hit the trail and get started on one of the life’s great adventures.
The Perfect Camping Trip With That Special Someone
Hammock camping offers a certain level of closeness and romance that tents don’t. A night or two out under the stars can be the perfect romantic weekend for the adventuresome and outdoor loving couple.
A double hammock can be a great gift as well. Many new hammock users are surprised when they get their hammock and realize how small a bag it can fit into. Planning out trips together can be a fun part of any relationship.
We all come in different shapes and sizes. Hammocks are like people in this respect. Always make sure that you are not exceeding the weight limit of your hammock. Many campers forget to include the weight of the gear and sleeping accoutrements that are in the hammock.
Larger people may find that a double hammock is a better choice for them than a single or solo hammock made for average-sized or smaller people. This also ensures that you have plenty of weight capacity and room for supplies and bedding.
It also pays to keep in mind that hammocks are often stronger than their weight limit implies but they may wear out sooner if the limit is exceeded very often. It is better to err on the side of safety.
Double Hammock Camping Planning
Since double hammock camping implies that you will be camping with another, then you need to make sure that you are intending on going on a trip you will both enjoy. Sometimes couples or friends that are camping together have very different levels of experience when it comes to the great outdoors.
Exceeding the abilities of someone on an initial trip is a good way to make sure that they don’t have the desire to go on another trip. You don’t have to plan a 40-mile trek in order to have a memorable and fantastic time out on the trail.
Camping In A Group
Exploring the wonderful world around you can be a lot of fun in a group. Getting together a few friends is not hard and you can feel good about encouraging others to get out in the wilderness and let loose. A trip to the woods can be very refreshing and help increase the productivity of everyone.
Many of those near wilderness areas likely have groups in the area that are dedicated to organizing outings or social events to connect with likeminded individuals.
Realizing What You Really Need
The type of trip you go on determines what you really need the most. The essential supplies for a hammock hiking and camping trip are listed below:
Nutrient and Calorie Rich Foods
Dietary concerns are different when you are on the trail because you are most likely burning more calories than you otherwise would. It is important to eat enough to sustain the energy level required for the type of trip you are on. Colder temperatures often result in higher calorie requirements so you can stay warm.
The concept of wearing layers cannot be stressed enough no matter what type of camping or hiking you are doing. Layers allow you to adapt easily to changing climatic conditions. Layers can actually be a lifesaver because they will ensure that you stay dry and warm.
Hypothermia is a condition that can occur in more types of weather than often gets acknowledged.
If you are hiking the Appalachian Trail and it is 65 degrees outside you can still get hypothermia if it is raining and you get cold and wet for an extended period of time.
Water Purification Methods
If you are just on a day trip you might be able to pack enough water to get through your trip. If you are away longer than that then a water filter or purification tablets will be necessary if you are away from traditional water sources. Some people prefer water bottles with built in filters rather than a pump system if they are just going away for a night or two.
Longer treks necessitate the use of real ceramic camping water filter. The more contaminated or dirty water is, the better the filter required. Filtering water from dirtier sources can mean changing your cleaning your filter more often than normal.
Your trip should be a deeply personal experience. While it is important to not go crazy packing unnecessary items, don’t discount things that mean something to you and add to your experience. If you want to write, then make sure to bring a journal and writing implements.
If you want to burn some incense and meditate in nature, then pack what you need. One of the beautiful aspects of hammock camping is that you save on weight so you don’t have to feel as badly or be overly concerned about packing some extra items that make for a richer experience for you.
Rain and Bug Protection
Even if you don’t see any rain on the forecast it is better to be safe than find yourself and your companion wet and cold. Double check your gear for a tarp or similar covering you can hang up for protection from rain.
Those that are in buggy environments will not regret packing mosquito netting and some bug spray. If you don’t want to use bug spray directly on your skin, you can spray it on your shelter and get really good results.
Your medical kit should be adjusted to the length of your excursion and how far away from services you will be. A very simple kit is all that is needed for day trips while those that are embarking for a week or two may want some major medical supplies in their pack.
An outdoor supply store can help recommend what you need for your style of camping or you can build your own basic kit that you can add on to for more lengthy excursions.
If you are in areas that don’t allow campfires, then a camp stove should be on your list of items to pack. A good quality propane stove can be a real nice thing to have even if an area allows fires because there is less risk of starting a forest fire and you can cook foods much more quickly.
Taking the time to build a campfire is sometimes just something you don’t want to have to deal with for a hot meal during or at the end of a long day.
Even a day trip should not be done without good footwear. The way you feel at the end of the day has a lot to do with what is on your feet. Shoes that fit well and provide a good level of support will make it more likely that you want to go on another trip.
Buying footwear online is fine if you have experience with the brand you are purchasing. If you are unfamiliar with a brand, then you may want to try on a shoe before buying. If the fit is not quite right, then a pair of high-quality insoles can make a huge difference in your hiking experience.
The Joy Of Car Camping With A Hammock
Sometimes you may not want to walk a long way to camp. Just getting out can be enough at times! A hammock can be pitched almost anywhere, especially if you have a suspension system that can be attached to the ground. Car camping allows you the luxury of being able to pack a lot of gear without having to worry about carrying it or unpacking.
Car camping with a hammock allows you the freedom to have a great time almost anywhere. With a double hammock, you and your partner can hit the road and have an adventure but still be back for work and school come Monday morning. A hammock is a small expense that can open up a whole new world to both of you.
Finding Great Spots For Camping
Some areas are more blessed with great spots than others. Luckily a hammock allows for setting up camp in areas that are not friendly to tents. You don’t have to worry about clearing out a spot to camp. All you need are two anchor points and you are set!
National Forests have many different camping areas to choose from. If you are a major traveler, then a hammock can be a great thing to have in your bag if you are exploring other countries or space is limited at a hostel or other boarding establishment.
Your local ranger station or parks and rec department website can offer a lot of good advice for where to camp. Remember to always check the rules for camping wherever you go. Some parks may allow you to pitch a hammock wherever but not build campfires.