Benefits and Drawbacks of Camping Hammocks to Consider
Camping hammocks are revolutionizing how we sleep out in the field as more and more people are using them on their trips. However, they are not necessarily designed to replace sleeping on the ground in a tent either. Let's look at some of the benefits as well as drawbacks associated with hammock camping, and this can help you to decide whether or not they are suitable for your particular needs.
Sleep Quality and Comfort
People who have switched to hammock camping usually mention that they provide an increased level of comfort that can lead to better sleep quality. Since a hammock can support the body and distribute more weight evenly, people tend to experience less tossing and turning while they sleep. This translates into feeling more rested and ready to go the following morning.
Hammocks are Easy to Set Up
Camping hammocks are different than the ones you find in lawn and garden stores that have large frames, netting and lots of parts. Camping hammocks can be set up in just a couple of minutes as long as you have trees to tie them in place. You don't need to prepare the ground, scout the perfect site or carry lots of cordage, stakes and bed mats. This can translate into being able to spend more time enjoying the outdoors instead of setting up and breaking down a campsite.
Hammocks Provide Greater Mobility
Due to the portable nature of hammocks, you have more flexibility when it comes to choosing where to set up your site. This added flexibility only enhances your time in nature, because you can pick where you want to sleep instead of where you have to sleep.
Hammocks Provide Greater Privacy
Because you have greater control over where you can set up camp, you can choose areas that are not full of other campers. You can also get further into the back country and find the solitude that you're seeking. Hammocks also make it easier to blend into your surroundings, and this is very useful in situations when you don't want to attract attention to yourself.
Some of the Downsides
It can be a challenge for some to get in and out of a hammock, and it does take some time to get used to the process. You also can't spread out on your back or belly in the same way that you can on the ground in a tent. Hammocks can also make some people feel claustrophobic. They are also generally only suitable for one person, even though some products are marketed for couples.
Finally, one of the biggest drawbacks to hammocks is that they are not ideal for cold weather conditions. While it is possible to insulate a hammock, it's often easier to find warmth in a tent while sleeping on the ground. Furthermore, since you lose the insulating properties of the ground, cool air can blow beneath a hammock and carry away heat.
At the end of the day, only you can decide whether or not hammock camping is your cup of tea. However, all it takes is a little bit of experimentation to find out. Bring one with you on your next trip, along with your tent and sleeping pad, and decide for yourself.