The adventurous alternative to tent camping is hammock camping, which is on the rise among campers because it’s lightweight, convenient and has no-fuss methods. But, it is not as easy as it looks. There are several things you must consider before hammocking, from weather situations to the campsite to food arrangements and more.
Without proper planning and consideration, campers are bound to make a lot of mistakes that may become stressful and inconvenient, ruining their camping experience. Lucky for you, we have listed the most common hammock camping mistakes which you can avoid for a comfortable and relaxing experience.
- Not Inspecting The Trees
Before hanging the hammock, inspect the trees for sturdiness and if they’re infested with pests, fungus or any other disease. Also, make sure the trees do not have any dead branches or leaves that could fall down because of heavy winds inside your hammock or on you while you are sleeping. Once you find a good pair of trees, ensure the distance between the two is enough to fit the length of your hammock.
- Lack Of Insulation
Sleeping bags and blankets inside the hammock are not enough to protect you from being cold during the night. You need insulation from under the hammock too, which is exposed to the harsh cold air throughout the night if you don’t use an under quilt. An under quilt is the best for insulating your hammock perfectly as it keeps your back from freezing and potentially falling sick due to prolonged exposure to frost.
- Not Maintaining A Sag
Your hammock should never be stretched tightly in a straight line, you must have a correct amount of sag in the middle of the hammock. Keep in mind, the sag shouldn’t be too much or too less. To achieve the ideal sag make sure the hammock tree straps or cords you used to hang your hammock in between the trees are at about a 30-degree angle.
- Hanging The Tarp Or The Hammock Too High/Low
The tarp above your hammock should be close to the ground but shouldn’t touch the ground as you need passage for ventilation. Hanging it closer to the ground ensures the body heat stays trapped within the tarp, preventing you from getting cold. While hanging it too high allows cold air to enter, rendering it useless.
Essentially, tying your hammock too high causes trouble while climbing inside it and could lead to injury if the tree straps or ropes break open. Whereas hanging it too low means your back will be dragging the ground. Make sure that you use the best way to tie hammock knots as it won’t loosen up easily and will keep you safe.
- Sleeping In A Banana Position
Sleeping curled up in the shape of a banana is not only uncomfortable but will strain your back and squeeze your sides. What you should do for a comfortable hammock sleeping position is to sleep at an angle. That is, your legs should face the right side of a tree, and your head on the left side of the other tree.
- Leaving Your Belongings Unprotected
Since you don’t have a tent to protect your gear from rains or wild animals, you must put extra efforts towards protecting your backpack, shoes and other things. You could get a waterproof backpack, a protective covering or rain fly to wrap your gear in. As for your shoes, stuff an extra pair of socks in them to prevent insects from going inside it or place them in a ziplock bag.
- Misjudging The Weather
Probably the dumbest mistake campers make is not analysing the forecast of at least a week following the camping day. Weather is unpredictable and changes in a fraction of a second. While you may pack equipment to keep you warm during winters, it won’t protect you from unexpected rains or storms. Therefore, pack according to the weather but also take into consideration the forecast of the following week to be on the safer side.