Setting up Your Camping Hammock for a Good Night's Sleep

Setting up Your Camping Hammock for a Good Night's Sleep

One of the nicest benefits associated with camping hammocks is that you can sleep outdoors and enjoy the fresh air.  However, unless you're camping in the tropics, that lovely air will also chill you at night. This is because the same material that breathes in order to provide you with comfort also allows cold air to pass through.  Let's take a look at a few simple things that you can do in order to keep yourself warm during cool evenings under the stars.


Use a Sleeping Pad

When people make the switch from tents to hammocks, one of the first things they try to ditch is their sleeping pads.  The logic is that if they are suspended above the uncomfortable ground below, then there is no more need for that extra padding.  However, sleeping pads play an important role in keeping us warm by shielding us from the air that moves through the material of our hammocks.

Additionally, sleeping pads can make the bed of a hammock a little firmer.  This can provide some additional support for those who are accustomed to sleeping on hard surfaces.  Finally, sleeping pads can help to widen the shoulder area of the hammock and reduce the amount of compression that we experience.  Most of the time, angling our bodies properly will alleviate this problem, but sleeping pads can provide just enough support to widen that space.  This can actually help us to be able to sleep comfortably in different positions. 


Prepare the Bedding

Organize and layer your bedding in such a way that you can slide into the hammock and fold everything over your body in one motion.  This will eliminate the frustration of struggling to arrange your sleeping bag or blankets once you are inside.  The trick is to avoid causing everything to bunch up once you slide onto the hammock, and this may take a bit of trial and error until you get the hang of it. 


Position into the Wind

Another important trick that a lot of people don't know about is to position their hammock so that the head and foot run along the same direction that the wind is blowing.  This will reduce the amount of crosswind that can penetrate the hammock and blow away body heat.  Positioning into the direction of the wind will also cause most of the air to move around the hammock instead of through it.  This will not only decrease the amount of cooling you experience, but it will also minimize the force that the wind has on the hammock as well.  This can translate into less buffeting, rocking and noise.

Finally, make sure that you, your clothing and your bedding are as dry as possible before getting inside the hammock.  Try to plan ahead so that you have time to let items air out or dry next to the fire before you settle in for the night.

While hammocks do leave us more exposed to the environment, following these suggestions can help you to enjoy a more comfortable and restful night's sleep.