Are you ready to experience an unforgettable outdoor adventure? With the summer fast approaching, hammock camping is becoming more and more popular - and it's no surprise!
Refresh your mind and body while hanging in a peaceful paradise with nature as far as your eyes can see. However, there are some mistakes that novice campers make when enjoying hammock camping.
Keep reading to discover the ultimate guide to avoiding common beginner-level mistakes when hammocking outdoors. So you can look forward to perfect outdoor experiences every time you embark on an adventure!
Take Away Key Points:
- Different camping errors tackle drip lines, inconvenient height, lack of tools, and other mistakes to make your sleep less comfy
- You need to learn the conditions in advance & be fully prepared for potential risks
- Once you're ready, you can get your comfy sleep in a hammock without any issues
Table of Contents
- All camping hammock mistakes that hammock campers make
- 1. Lack of tests before a hammock camping trip
- 2. Camping hammock without an insulation system
- 3. Not using the hammock tarp for more protection
- 4. Using Paracord or rope to hang your hammock
- 5. Too much stretching
- 6. Hang your hammocks on the wrong trees
- 7. Not enough pacing between the trees
- 8. Sleeping parallel to the trees
- 9. Not inspecting your campsite
- 10. Making new campsites
- 11. Wrong height for hanging hammocks
- 12. Not setting up the drip line
- 13. Not understanding the weather forecast better
- 14. Lack of a mosquito net
- 15. Fearing your knots
- 16. Not fixing mistakes
- 17. Not securing the hammock tarp
- 18. Hanging a hammock too close to the fire
- 19. Camping hammocks in restricted areas
- 20. Forgetting your camping hammock gear
- 21. Not seeing the bigger picture
- 22. Avoiding DIY options
- 23. Lack of attention doesn't prevent falls
- 24. Preventing slides
All camping hammock mistakes that hammock campers make
If you need to learn new camping hammock tips to avoid uncomfortable nights and ensure a better night's rest, you must learn how to use your hammock correctly.
Here are the crucial hammock mistakes to avoid, stay warm and sleep comfortably on your hammock camping trip. Let's see.
1. Lack of tests before a hammock camping trip
Hammock camping may seem simple, but without proper knowledge and preparation, it can lead to several uncomfortable nights. However, there is an abundance of valuable information available that can guide you through the process.
Nevertheless, hammock camping requires thorough learning and cannot be approached haphazardly.
In addition to theoretical knowledge, it is essential to practice setting up your gear and hammock system to ensure it is in good condition before embarking on your trip.
2. Camping hammock without an insulation system
A common mistake that people make while camping hammock is underestimating the importance of a hammock underquilt insulation system. Since there is a 360-degree airflow around you, your body heat is susceptible to being taken away by the air, making a proper insulation system crucial.
Although under-quilts and insulated sleeping pads are two popular insulation methods for a comfortable night's rest and proper body heat, there are other sleeping bag alternatives available. They will allow you to stay warm for a good night sleep suspended in the air.
It's imperative not to underestimate the significance of sleeping bag insulation unless you want to experience the discomfort of feeling cold air all night long. Even if temperatures are moderate, carrying insulation with you is always advisable to remain warm during the entire night.
3. Not using the hammock tarp for more protection
Observing the stars is an incredible experience, particularly when you can do it while relaxing in camping hammocks. However, the weather can be highly unpredictable, and your stargazing plans may easily be ruined by unexpected rain.
It's essential to bring a tarp with you at all times in case of such an occurrence. It's wise to be cautious and prepared rather than regretful later. Similar to insulation, it's preferable to have a tarp and not need it than the opposite scenario.
4. Using Paracord or rope to hang your hammock
It is crucial to use hammock straps when setting up your camping hammock. While we don't want to overstate the point, this is a mistake that you cannot afford to make. As we mentioned earlier, research, proper planning, and practice are essential for successful camping hammocks.
The most effective approach to hang your hammock is using hammock straps as it ensures that you won't damage the trees. Hammock straps distribute weight evenly and do not cause any harm to the trees. Additionally, hammock straps are simpler to use than Paracord.
5. Too much stretching
It's essential to hang your hammock with some sag. Otherwise, you'll have an incredibly uncomfortable night. To achieve a comfortable position, aim for a 30-degree angle on your straps.
Having some sag is crucial as it's the key to getting a good night's sleep in a hammock.
6. Hang your hammocks on the wrong trees
The first factor to consider is the distance between the trees when you hang your hammock. Once you've confirmed that the trees are far enough apart, it's crucial to ensure that they're healthy and sturdy enough to bear your weight.
Additionally, it's essential to inspect what's above you. Dead branches in the trees are an obvious indication that you need to choose another tree for hanging your hammock.
7. Not enough pacing between the trees
Pacing out the distance between trees can help you determine the ideal hang distance. This is particularly useful for beginners, although experienced campers may not need to do so.
By pacing out the distance between trees, you can ensure that your hammock has a good hang and is not too tight. A 30-degree angle of hang is ideal, which means counting six paces between trees.
Choosing the right trees and ensuring the appropriate distance between them is critical for achieving comfort while hammock camping without causing harm to your body. However, if you're not concerned about comfortable sleep, you can skip this step.
8. Sleeping parallel to the trees
To achieve maximum comfort while sleeping in a hammock, it's crucial to position yourself diagonally across it. Images in magazines depicting people lounging parallel to the trees can be deceiving and may result in discomfort.
By laying at an angle, you'll get a flatter lay, which will lead to a better night's sleep. Contrary to popular belief, sleeping in a learning curve like a banana is not as comfortable as it may appear.
9. Not inspecting your campsite
This mistake also relates to the first one not conducting proper research. It's crucial to avoid using a tree that has a poisonous climbing vine on it. Failing to do so can put your health and safety at risk.
Poison ivy and poison oak can turn a camping trip into a nightmare overnight, which is why it's essential to be aware of what to watch out for on your next trip.
Before embarking on your trip, research the area you plan to visit and become familiar with the poisonous plants in the campsite.
10. Making new campsites
The objective of any camping adventure is to leave the natural environment undisturbed and not interfere with the wildlife. Consequently, some individuals opt for hammock camping to minimize their impact when venturing into the wild.
Nevertheless, setting up a new campsite, even for hammock camping, can cause damage to the environment and the new place. Therefore, it's a proper way to use established campsites in the same place instead of creating your campsite. You will preserve the wilderness as much as possible.
11. Wrong height for hanging hammocks
When it comes to hammock camping, it's essential to remember not to hang your hammock higher than the distance you're comfortable falling. This is a crucial safety measure! If you hang higher than allowed, you will fall and hurt yourself.
Keeping your hammock at a height of 17 inches above the ground is ideal. At this height, you'll be able to touch the ground barely with your feet while sitting in your hammock.
12. Not setting up the drip line
In hammock camping, your hammock serves as a bridge between two trees, just like a water bridge. Water always flows through the path of least resistance. Assuming that your hammock is at the correct 30-degree angle, the straps provide the route of least resistance for water droplets.
Not precautions to prevent water from dripping on your hammock can lead to soaking wet. Therefore, it's crucial not to forget about the drip lines. A simple method to prevent this is to tie a lark's head knot in the middle of the straps.
This ensures that the water droplets are absorbed into the Paracord and trickle down onto the ground instead of falling onto your hammock.
13. Not understanding the weather forecast better
To emphasize the importance of being prepared for unpredictable weather, this tip connects with the previous two. One cannot rely on the weather as most issues encountered by campers are due to sudden changes in weather.
It's impossible to predict what nature has in store for you. Therefore, it's crucial to be ready for any situation and pack extra gear accordingly.
It's advisable to make room in your backpack for all the gear and repair kit despite the additional weight. The extra weight is worth the investment in case of unexpected weather.
14. Lack of a mosquito net
Bug nets are a crucial piece of equipment for hammock camping, just like protective gear against poisonous plants. Insects and other bugs in the woods will make your stay in the wilderness unpleasant if you're not adequately prepared.
Different scenarios require specific equipment for hammock camping. Bug netting units are an essential item that everyone should carry. They're often overlooked, leading to unfortunate lessons being learned the hard way.
Without a bug net, you're virtually setting yourself up as a feast for insects. It's dreadful to wake up covered in bug bites with days of itching to follow. Therefore, it's advisable to bring a bug net at all times.
Two main types of bug nets are available: integrated bug nets that are attached and sewn to the hammock and separate bug nets that wrap around the entire hammock. Regardless of which type you choose, the critical thing is to have one.
15. Fearing your knots
Knowing knots is just something that comes with the territory of hammock camping. There are systems out there that are no-knot setups, but knot-tying is something necessary for your camping needs. Dozens of options for knots when using a hammock are available, but you can get by knowing just three or four well.
People doubt their knot-tying abilities a lot. It just takes practice. There are tons of great resources out there that will teach you how to tie the various types of knots.
16. Not fixing mistakes
Addressing any issues that arise is the key to achieving comfort. Minor tweaks here and there are to be expected, which is why practicing setting up your hammock is necessary.
It's crucial to experiment and make adjustments until you achieve your desired setup, especially in inclement weather conditions. Even small adjustments to your hammock and tarp can make a significant difference in whether you'll stay dry all night or get drenched.
17. Not securing the hammock tarp
Ensuring that your tarp or rain fly is securely staked down is a common mistake that many people make, including myself. Windy weather can turn the tarp into a sail, making it imperative to drive the stakes in deeply and ensure proper tension.
To prevent wind from getting underneath the tarp, try to get it to touch the ground, particularly for larger tarps. The last thing you want is to discover that your rain fly has gone missing or is flapping in the wind upon waking up or returning to camp.
In such instances, your hammock may become wet without the rain fly's protection. These issues have happened before, so please learn from them and ensure that you avoid making similar mistakes.
18. Hanging a hammock too close to the fire
It is crucial to avoid hanging your hammock too close to your campfire, even though it may appear obvious. As you always prioritize safety, everyone should remain vigilant about safety while exploring the outdoors.
Fire safety is the top priority, and this also holds for hammock camping. Remember that most hammock systems are flammable, with nylon being the primary material used in most hammocks and tarps. Since nylon is a synthetic material made of plastic, it can melt when exposed to heat.
Even a small ember from the fire could fly over and burn a hole in your hammock or tarp. Therefore, it is essential to keep your hammock at a safe distance from the campfire at all times.
19. Camping hammocks in restricted areas
With hammock camping gaining popularity, it is vital to verify beforehand whether your destination allows for such camping. As with anything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to camping in a hammock.
Most of the downsides arise from inexperienced hammock campers who use inappropriate equipment for their hammock setups, causing irreversible harm to the trees they hang from. Instead of proper straps, they use Paracord or rope that cuts into the bark of healthy trees, putting them at risk of disease or death.
The issue has become so severe that some National, State, and Metro parks have banned hammock usage altogether. Unfortunately, the actions of a few have spoiled things for many. It is crucial to be aware that your intended camping site may not allow for hammock camping and to plan accordingly.
20. Forgetting your camping hammock gear
Forgetting gear is a common occurrence, and even experienced hammock campers make such mistakes. This issue is not limited to hammock camping but applies to any camping or hiking trip. Because we are human, we tend to forget things.
However, as a hammock camper, it is essential to be particularly cautious and thoroughly check your gear before departing. Unlike ground dwellers, we cannot improvise without the missing equipment, as every piece of gear is vital for proper setup and comfort.
If you forget your straps, you won't be able to hang in a hammock for the night. If you forget your rain fly, you will probably end up sleeping under the stars in the rain.
Every piece of gear is crucial for hammock camping, so it's vital to double and triple-check your equipment multiple times before leaving. Hammock campers must always be more prepared than ground dwellers.
21. Not seeing the bigger picture
There are numerous fantastic resources available to help you learn how to hammock camp like an expert. Blogs, YouTube channels, forums, and other outlets offer invaluable information.
One of the best things about hammock camping is its versatility. You can think outside the box and create your solutions, as there are numerous gear options to experiment with.
You can choose your hammock's color, type (single or double), bug net (integrated or separate), sil-nylon tarp or ripstop nylon tarp, underquilt, or sleeping pad, among other options. There is a vast array of choices to mix and match.
The crucial point is to feel free to experiment and avoid selecting something merely based on what you read somewhere else. We encourage you to conduct thorough research and take advice with a grain of salt.
Develop your system and don't hesitate to adjust it according to your preferences. As long as you achieve your desired hang, do what works best for you.
22. Avoiding DIY options
This tip is related to the previous one. There are many Do-It-Yourself (DIY) alternatives available for hammock camping, and I strongly urge you to experiment with them.
DIY options can be superior to store-bought products and are often cost-effective. Don't be afraid to sew. You can learn the skill or seek assistance from a friend who knows how to sew.
If you search for them, you will find numerous excellent hammock plans and projects. Don't hesitate to try something new and exciting.
23. Lack of attention doesn't prevent falls
When getting into your hammock, ensure that you fully open it and take your time. It may sound like common sense or even amusing, but falling from a hammock is not a laughing matter.
Some people have had mishaps while attempting to get in or sit in their hammocks, resulting in them missing the hammock entirely and ending up on the ground.
In some cases, individuals have mistaken their underquilt for the hammock, resulting in similar incidents. Therefore, it is crucial to pay attention when entering your hammock and avoid rushing the process.
24. Preventing slides
Sliding down in your hammock while sleeping can be irritating, and many people struggle with this issue. Having your head or feet elevated too high above the other can cause sliding in either direction.
Most people who experience this problem try to keep their heads too high in the hammock. The best solution to fix this issue is to find your center of mass.
It's recommended to have your feet slightly elevated above your head to avoid sliding. Since gravity works against you, being closer to the center of your hammock reduces the likelihood of sliding down.
If you're a huge fan of the great outdoors and adventures for one night or more days, you need to be aware of multiple mistakes you might make and destroy your camping trip.
Being an avid hiker teaches you to always be perfect.
By correcting these mistakes, you will easily become a more experienced camper in your local park and similar areas.
Hi there, I am Orson Brown, a passionate explorer and the one behind Stop, Reset! Do you like hiking, climbing or camping, but don’t know how to get started? Follow our journey to prepare your trip best!