The Camping Hammock – Why They Are A Must Have In Your Camping Gear
A camping hammock can be your best family friend. You can enjoy a perfect holiday in the summer with your family when you go out on camping. If you are a nature lover and love to go for treks and hiking, then these hammocks can help you immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. When you carry a hammock with you, you will be able to enjoy the comforts of your home anywhere you want.
History of the Hammock
Hammocks have come a long way since they first evolved. Many people believe hammocks began in the rich, ancient heritage of most Central American countries, including Guatemala, Nicaraugua, El Salvador and Costa Rica. There is also a history of hammocks beginning in South American countries like Brazil and Ecuador. The stories predate North Americans by 800 to 900 years.
The earliest hammocks were woven from the bark of the Hamak tree. The use of cotton in these original hammocks is a relatively new material adopted only in the last 50 to 60 years. – – Shortly after Columbus dropped anchor in the “New World” hoping to find shiploads of gems, spices and fine silks he found, instead, a load of natives of the Bahamas lounging in hammocks for their afternoon siesta and demonstrating their genetically superior disdain for time! Columbus decided to take a load of hammocks back to Europe with him, along with the few gold trinkets he was given (which would ultimately create the first gold rush in the new world and be the beginning of the end of many great nations), probably to substitute for the lack of other “Eastern treasures”. Soon, many European sailors, particularly the British and the French, found the hammocks very useful and practical for sleeping at sea.
Today…whether you’re on a multi-day hiking or paddling trip a great alternative to packing along a tent is to use a hammock. Hammocks are light weight and take up very little space in a backpack compared to a tent. When you are camping in an area that is not flat or the terrain is rocky a tent will not provide you with a comfortable sleep, where a hammock will. They allow you to get a great sleep without feeling the rocks and ground under you. There is also significant cost savings buying a hammock. A good quality hammock can be purchased for under $150. For a good quality tent you should expect to pay over $250.
One thing to remember when using a hammock is that you will need two trees that are close enough together to attach the hammock to. If you are camping in areas that will not have trees or the trees will not support the weight of you and the hammock then you are better off bringing along a tent.
What should you look for when buying a hammock for camping? A good hammock for camping comes with a built- in bug screen and also comes with a rain cover. You also want to check that the weight rating on the hammock is enough to carry your body weight. Ensure that the hammock is large enough to allow you to use a foamy or Thermarest in it if you are planning on camping in colder conditions. The foamy or Thermarest helps prevent your backside from becoming cold.
A good quality hammock can range anywhere from eleven ounces to around three pounds. The average weight rating is about three hundred pounds. Hammocks come in different styles. Some you enter from underneath and they seal automatically when you get in, others you enter from the top. A good hammock with come with tree saver straps to ensure that you do not damage tree bark. The tree saver straps are wide nylon straps that wrap around the tree. You need to follow the directions that come with the hammock you purchase as they provide you with the correct way to set the hammock up. Incorrect setup can cause the hammock to fall and could injure you. Before setting out on your trip try practicing setting up the hammock. Keep practicing tying the knots that will hold up your hammock until you have it mastered. There are different knots used to fasten a hammock to a tree, a common knot used is a bowline.
Types Camping Hammocks
The Travel Hammock Ultra Light Hammock
When you are going hiking or camping, it is advisable to carry as light luggage as possible. However that does not mean you have to sacrifice your comforts. This hammock is just right for lazing around, taking an afternoon nap, or even getting a good night’s sleep. It is made of pure polyester taffeta. The weight is just 12 ounces and hence, you do not add weight while carrying your bag pack. This is the best option to keep from sleeping on the ground. If you are traveling in an area where it may not be safe to sleep on the ground, using this hammock can offer very good solution.
This hammock is easy to setup as it comes with a hanging kit. The kit has ropes that are 10 feet in length, attached S hooks, and a detailed manual for fixing the hammock. The hammock can hold up to 250 pounds, and comes with 10 year warranty. It is 9.5 feet long and 4.5 feet wide.
Texsport Wilderness Hammock with Mosquito Netting
This is a multipurpose hammock that can convert into a tent very easily. The hammock bottom is made of cotton canvas. The hammock has mesh to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other insects and bugs. With this hammock you can rest assured of your safety and comfort. The hammock is quite spacious and measures 82″ x 28″ x 18″. The capacity of the hammock is 250 pounds. It comes with a nylon storage bag and weighs around 3 pounds. The price of this hammock / tent is only $35.
Hammock Bliss Single Portable Hammock
This hammock provides ultimate comfort to its users because it is designed to provide the most comfort to the body. This strong yet beautiful hammock can carry 350 lbs of weight. The other features of this hammock are its compact size; it is lightweight and can be washed in washing machine. The hammock can dry easily. It is equipped with 6 mm thick climbing rope which is 100 inches in length. In addition, it is easy to transport this bag as it comes with a travel bag attached which can also be used as gear pouch. The climbing ropes at the sides are made of 100% nylon. The nylon used in the ropes is of superior quality which can dry quickly, is soft, and does not rot.
Hammock Bliss Double – XL Portable Hammock
This hammock is designed to be spacious so that you do not feel cramped while resting. In fact, you can sleep in any direction in the hammock. 80 inches x 118 inches, it measures 25 inches more than any single sized hammock. The fabric used in making this hammock is nylon parachute silk which means it is resistant to mildew and will not rot. The 100-inch ropes come attached to the hammock so that it is ready to be hung any where. Another feature is that the hammock comes with the sack. The hammock is light weight and weighs just 21 ounces and hence is ideal for traveling. It can be washed and dried in the washing machine, and is available for only $50.
This one is composed of flat ends and it’s usually reinforced with spreader bars. The bars give the hammock a unique shape in the hang. For example, instead of the usual “banana” shape that is common with many hammocks, this unit assumes the shape of an open tube.
The design of the hammock gives it a streamlined set-up that requires very few adjustments.
Although, a bridge hammock is a great unit to have, its main flaw is that it tends to give you a squeezing sensation when lying on it. The cool thing is that there are some modern units that are designed to offset the sensation. One of the best bridge hammocks that you can go with is the parachute hammock.
Gathered End Asymmetric Hammock
It goes by this name due to its ends that are usually gathered into a single bunch on either side of the hammock. The unit has an asymmetric design that allows you to lie on a diagonal orientation which results to you sleeping in a flattering position. The main advantage with this unit is that it’s lighter thus the most preferred by many campers.
That said, camping hammocks offer many great advantages. First, the camping hammock is also less expensive than a sleeping bag. As an example, Alps Mountaineering Crater Lake sleeping bag was about $60 while the cost of a Marina Double Size Hammock was only about $30. This can be one of the reasons people are choosing to use the outdoor hammock over a sleeping bag.
There are hammocks that are more expensive but they usually come with more features and are made out of materials that are more resilient to the elements than a sleeping bag. Also, they are lighter weight and if you get what is called a “snakeskin” they are very easy to set up — your hammock never touches the ground.
Hammock tents are also more versatile. You can suspend them, you can use them on the ground or you can put them above you when you want shelter or want to have a fire. All of these uses can come from that one hammock.
Some people use their sleeping bags inside an outdoor hammock for more support. Many people use hammocks because they will leave no trace and they will not harm the trees. You can get webbing straps that don’t cut into the tree nor damage the bark or wood.
Another good idea for using a camping hammock is that air will flow through the hammock tent when it is a warm night. In the colder temperatures, you can close the flap or use a sleeping bag inside to insulate you from the weather. There are some outdoor hammocks that are created so that they protect you from the elements no matter the temperature.
You can also use a quilt inside the outdoor hammock or some companies have crated extra fabric or foam to keep you warm on cold nights. Camping hammocks also come with their own mosquito webbing that keeps the critters away so that you won’t be feasted upon at night.
When you just want a hammock at home, you can also use a hammock stand instead of using trees. This is a great way to enjoy your hammock tent when you are not camping. You will find that your camping hammock can be used in a lot more ways than your sleeping bag once you get the hang of it.
Some hammocks do take some getting used to because you either get into them from the bottom or the side; the side opening ones seems to be a little easier to get in and out of but both types will take a little time to get used to.
The nicest thing about having an outdoor hammock when you are camping though is the fact that you won’t need an elaborate bed to take with you. You don’t need a flat surface and you can still look up at the stars.
On the other end, there are a few disadvantages in using a hammock compared to a tent. A tent provides extra storage for your gear whereas a hammock does not. In wet conditions you will have to ensure that you bring along an additional tarp to cover your gear. Some people are also concerned about privacy with a hammock. A tent provides a place for you to change your clothes. Though you can change your clothes in a hammock it is much harder and provides you with a lot less privacy. Hammocks also will not provide shelter for a group of people who want to sit around and talk or play a game in bad weather.
Overall, whether you want to go camping in summer or you want to gaze at the stars and the moon lit skies, just tie the hammock and enjoy nature to the fullest. The hammocks generally are equipped with all the accessories such as hooks, pre tied knots, and thus you simply have to secure the hooks with a strong branch of tree. A camping hammock is an absolute must if you are going to spend the day or night outdoors.
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