Why a Hammock is Perfect for Backcountry Camping
One of the biggest advantages of backcountry camping is that you get closer to nature and farther away from well-traveled trails and campsites. However, it can be a challenge to find a good site to set up camp and pitch a tent due to the fact that these areas are undeveloped. One of the best ways to get the most out of backcountry camping is by using a hammock instead of a tent, and here are a few reasons why.
You're Lighter on Your Feet
Hiking through uneven terrain, squeezing through vegetation and dodging obstacles is a lot easier when you are carrying less weight and bulk on your back. Tents and their associated parts and accessories take up a lot of space, can be heavy, and their bulk can throw you off-balance. Camping hammocks on the other hand tend to be very compact, lightweight and don't have poles to assemble. Replacing a tent with a hammock is one of the best ways to thin out your backpack and redistribute weight to make your hike less strenuous.
The Wilderness is Your Campsite
When you go tent camping, the first thing that you need to do is decide on a suitable site. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the conditions in the area. With hammock camping, you are planting yourself above ground, so time spent on scouting and preparing a site can be used for other things. You can also set up your hammock almost anywhere, meaning that you can put yourself closer to sources of water, camp in more scenic locales and enjoy being farther away from other campers.
You can Blend in with the Scenery
Your profile is much smaller in a hammock than with a tent, and you can use this to your advantage, particularly if you don't want to attract attention to yourself. Hammocks are also easy to camouflage or conceal behind thick vegetation. You can also leave a smaller footprint as you enjoy the site as well as when you move on to another. You disturb the land less, and this is good for the environment all around. Finally, if you're keeping a small enough profile, you can end up scaring fewer animals, giving you the opportunity to get closer to wildlife.
You Can Move Quickly
One other benefit is that you can take down your hammock, pack it away, and head out in a fraction of the time that it would take to dismantle and stow a tent. This gives you the opportunity to be more flexible, spontaneous and have greater control over your overall movements. This all adds up to giving you more control over your time, and you can spend that more of that time exploring instead of working.
These are just a few examples of a wide-range of benefits and conveniences associated with hammock camping, particularly in the backcountry. Take a closer look at how packing a hammock can open the door to all kinds of possibilities that you would probably miss out on if you were stuck with a tent.