As a child, you probably remember that Popeye the Sailorman tend to sleep in a hammock. Well, that is based on how sailors used to do it! They bring hammocks to their ships back in the day to have a good night sleep across the ocean! Today, it’s no different. People use it as a tool for relaxation at the beach, or simply hanging it at their backyard to rest. But, it’s not only for that, people have found it as an alternative for a tent when they go camping as it’s lightweight, easy to assemble and comfortable. Let’s take a look at the facts of hammocks vs tent and how it become the new must-have item for camping.
Camping Hammock VS Outdoor Tent
According to The Sleep Judge, these are some comparisons between a hammock and a tent.
- A hammock is affordable than a tent. Tent usually is more ‘pricey’ than a hammock.
- A hammock is practical for individual use, while a tent is better for large groups.
- A hammock is easy to set up while a tent takes time to set up.
- A hammock is great for relaxation while a tent is great for keeping warm and dry.
- A hammock is not good for extreme weather, while a tent is not ideal for light traveling.
A camping hammock essentially allows you to replace a tent, with cover when necessary and enjoying the open air when it is comfortable.
- Comfortable. Rather than sleeping on rocks or uneven ground, with a hammock, you will rise above it all.
- Versatility. Using hammocks will offer you more freedom of choosing a location. You can tie it between trees, beneath the piers or over the stream of a waterfall!
- Multifunction. Besides sleeping, it can be used as a chair and a lounger
- Easy to set up. By using a hammock tent, you don’t need to worry about tent poles or stakes.
- Lightweight and space saving. You don’t need to pack a lot of items as you go tent camping. A hammock probably weighs less than 1 pound (0.45 kilograms), while a tent weighs over 4 pounds (1.81 kilograms)
Why use Hammock for outdoor?
These are several advantages that hammock camping can offer rather than a tent.
First of all, it offers more comfort. Sleeping diagonally in a hammock is more comfortable than sleeping ‘above’ the (sometimes uneven) ground.
Second, it offers consistency. The ridgeline that hangs your hammock lays the same every time.
Third, it offers more efficiency. It is quicker setting up a hammock rather than a tent. If you choose a tent, you have to find a spot, inflate the pad and then set up the tent. And its harder to clean. By using a hammock, you don’t need to get dirty on the ground.
Fourth, a hammock is lighter than tents. If you choose a tent, you have to pack the tent body, poles, stakes, and fly.
Last, it offers more exposure to nature. If you are looking to be ‘one’ with nature, using a tent will not do it. You won’t get to see the river or the birds chirping when you wake up.
5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SWITCH FROM A TENT TO A HAMMOCK
1. Hammock For Better Sleep
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, hammock offers a healthy and optimal sleeping position, which is the head elevated about 10-30%.
This also leads to another study that you tend to fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper in a hammock than in a bed.
Sleeping in a hammock that includes swaying is also good for altering the brain waves, and boosting oscillation and spindle activity.
Dr. Stefano Sinicropi, M.D, an expert surgeon said that hammock requires the user to sleep on their back, therefore it could be comfortable for people suffering from back pain.
2. No Hard and Uneven Ground
It’s easy to find two trees rather than an even ground. How many times you have to search for a ground which does not have a root of the tree or badly placed rocks? With hammock camping, you only have to find two trees (doesn’t have to be the perfect distanced trees), you just need enough distance to place your hammock and hop in.
With tent camping, you’ll risk your good night sleep tossing around because of tree root or rocks underneath, no to mention the time you have to set up your tent. With a hammock, you’ll never again care what the ground looks like underneath you.
3. You’re Closer to Nature
The best feeling about camping with nature is being closer to nature.
Isn’t it amazing to be awakened by the rays of the sun in the morning without the tent blocking the morning sun? Or go to sleep watching the beautiful stars in the night sky before you close your eyes?
Inside your usual tent during camping, you are restricted to do things like standing anytime you want, you can’t see the stars and it’s either cold or hot box inside. And, there’s always this little rock that you missed to remove.
With a hammock, you’ll spend more minutes just listening to the chirping of the birds and watching the wind rustle the leaves around you. You’ll enjoy watching the clouds and even see the beautiful sunrise. You don’t have to chitchat with your co-campers as how awful your sleep at the tent was but rather talk about how amazing being closer with nature is.
4. Same Features as Tents
Are you worried about rain? Mosquitos or bugs? Privacy or Cold weather? Are those the reasons why you can’t switch into a hammock?
I’ve heard some people asking these problems because they’ve been using their tent ever since they started camping. Hammocks aren’t just for you to sleep, it was not created so you just can sleep on it when the weather is nice. Hammock for camping comes with different accessories that can be used in any situation. The fact that the hammock is lightweight, you don’t have to worry about bringing its accessories as you can allot more space into it compared to the tent.
You can use a hammock tarp so you can ensure privacy especially if you want to change clothes. There’s also a hammock bug net that can be used to sleep comfortably without worrying about the buzzing of mosquitos and bug bites. For the cold weather or summer heat, you can set up a hammock rain fly.
The hammock accessories depend on what you need. You can choose to bring all or choose the one you need to leave behind. If there is no rain on the radar, you can choose to ditch the rain tarp. If there are no mosquitos around, then just don’t bring the bug net.
With a hammock, you have the option to bring which one you prefer depending on your needs.
5. Your Hammock Is Not JUST Your Tent!
Your hammock is your tent. But not only your tent, but it can also be so much more than a tent.
With your hammock, you can use it as your chair around the campfire or hang out with your friends as it’s for more than one person to lay around. It has incredible multi abilities to use.
Once you tried your first hammock, you’ll ask yourself why you just switch now!
How to Hang a Hammock
- Find a place to get your hammock hanging. You can screw the hooks into trees, posts or wall studs. To prevent damaging the tree, you can also use straps to wrap it around branches
- Choose trees that are 13-17′ (3.9 – 5.1 meters) apart. If you can’t find trees that are in the right distance, trees with the right space are enough as long as you can hop in and you can strap your hammock.
- Choose a strong tree with a trunk diameter at least 6″ (15 centimeters).
- Make the right angle where you can lay out diagonally.
Additional Hammock Camping Tips
- To prevent your body heat escapes out the bottom and make your bottom chilled, you will need a sleeping bag or insulated blanket.
- Bring neck pillows for extra comfort
- Lie at a slight angle to prevent you put your body in an uncomfortable position.
- Hang the hammock a little tighter, to get a flatter lay. And do lay your shoulders in the widest part of the hammock, so your body will not be squeezed.
Precautions of using a hammocks
- Do note that hammocks should be securely tied to the trees (or poles, or rock structure)
- The trees or pole should be steady, strong and able to carry your weight.
- Have a good visible check around the tree or poles to ensure no wildlife stays in the tree.
People with these conditions are not recommended to sleep in a hammock:
- People with scoliosis
- People with pinched spinal nerve
Your back may ache if you lie down for too long in a hammock.
Choose hammocks that suitable and best for you!
Before using a hammock for camping, you must consider the weather. If the wind, snow or rain is too extreme, it is not recommended to use an ordinary hammock because you will not be as protected.
There are brands that offer extra features for the nighttime such as mosquito netting, pockets for storage. Or thin and lightweight material that is best to use at daylight. Some offer self-standing support made from metal or wood.
If you are planning to camp in cold weather, choose a hammock with winter accessories. Nowadays, hammocks are not just for the beach anymore. You can use a hammock rain fly to reflect heat or to protect yourself from rain If after using a hammock, you experience constant back pain, see a spine specialist or your physician.
On the normal weathers and environment, using a hammock has more advantages than using a tent for camping. And after all, it offers more comfort, easy to set up and nature-friendly!
But, you have to consider several factors such as what kind of environment you will be in, what’s the climate like, how long you gonna be there and what potential trouble you might find in the woods such as animals, snow or heat.
Using a hammock for a first timer can be uncomfortable at first, but once you get used to it, you will never want to leave your hammock life! Also, choosing a hammock with extra features for ‘tricky’ weather might be the answer to it.