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Is it Still Safe to go Hammock Camping?

Hammock camping sounds like a great time, but we’ve wondered if it’s safe.

When staying in an RV, you can lock your front door at night, but what kind of security does a piece of cloth strung up between two trees have? The thought of wild animals can make you especially nervous.

Before you head out on a grand adventure sleeping in your hammock, you’ll want to know what we learned about it.

Let’s swing into the facts!

Serene young Caucasian woman, lying in the hammock, and enjoy a carefree summer day

What is Hammock Camping?

In recent years, packable hammocks have become very popular. The fabric folds up tiny, and the straps roll into compact balls, so you can bring a comfy seat no matter where you want to go. Just sling up the straps, attach the cradle-like fabric, and you’ll be ready to relax.

This craze has also popularized hammock camping. Instead of packing a traditional tent, some people opt to string up their Eno (a popular brand). This can be an excellent option for anyone who has trouble sleeping on the ground or can’t find a level spot to pitch the tent.

You may choose a different style depending on how you like to relax. The traditional parachute option has a low point in the middle and high points near the trees. You can also find flat-lay ones or options for two people. 

Those who plan to sleep in these suspended beds often opt for hammock tents. These usually have a built-in bug screen and a rain fly that you can hang above you. This kind of tent can serve as a lightweight option for solo backpackers. 

If you plan to spend the night suspended in the canopy, you’ll probably need a few things. Of course, you’ll need your straps, but you might also want a mosquito net and tarp. If you don’t have a special tent, don’t worry! You can add things can to almost any setup.

The Benefits of Hammock Camping

You can set this swinging up in a matter of minutes, making it an excellent option for tired backpackers after a long day of hiking. The ease of preparation will probably be enjoyed by just about everyone. 

Another great thing about hammock camping is sleeping off the ground. This means you won’t have to worry about water seeping through your tent’s footprint on a rainy night or pesky ants entering. Snoozing in a suspended position has also been proven to help people get a better night’s rest. These swaying nets are even a common way to treat people with insomnia.

This lightweight tent alternative can give you a peaceful night. You’ll doze well and won’t have to worry about laying on the ground.

Carefree girl relaxing in hammock while on camping

The Disadvantages of Hammock Camping

Now that we’ve sold you on creating a cozy nest suspended amongst the trees to sleep in, we suppose we should mention a few downsides too. Some parks won’t allow hammocks to be suspended from their trees, and others don’t have any trees to hang them from.

Though some can support the weight of two or three people, only one can comfortably lay at a time, and there’s no room for pets. They also don’t provide much insulation. With a tent, you’ve got a closed-in space and lie on a pad. But when you’re out in the open air, you can get really cold. 

You’ll also lack privacy. Obviously, an RV provides the most seclusion, but you can even get some solitude in a tent. If you plan to hammock camp, you’ll probably change clothes in your car or the nearest bathroom.

Need To Know: The Facts About Feral People in National Parks

Are They Safe To Sleep in Overnight?

If you still have an interest in this after perusing the pros and cons, you should know about safety. Portable hammocks may be lightweight, but they’ve been constructed of sturdy materials like nylon. The straps encourage friction, so you don’t need to worry about them sliding down the tree, leading you to crash into the ground. 

Some places may be safer than others to set up your suspended bed. Choose sturdy trees in a well-trafficked area and avoid camping hanging over cliffs and rivers. 

Don’t set up your site in an area with signs of recent animal activity. Frequent users of these hanging seats suggest setting them up about eighteen inches off the ground. At this height, you’ll be able to escape easily should you be approached by any unwelcome visitors, like bears.

Other safety precautions you can take to hammock camp safely include checking your gear before use. Invest in quality equipment, and if you see any rips, tears, or UV damage, replace it. Just like when you’re out in a tent or RV, share your itinerary with someone before you go. 

Are Hammocks Safer Than Tents?

These cozy sacks can be just as safe as tents as long as your equipment is in working order and you’ve secured it to stable posts. The main concern with sleeping aloft instead of on the ground is the lack of storage.

If you’ve hiked into the backcountry with nothing but a hammock, you’ll have to leave your pack outside. It could get rained on, stolen, or investigated by curious animals. In a tent, on the other hand, you’d just pull your backpack in with you. Of course, you could always hang your pack to prevent unwanted visitors. 

A tent can also keep you warmer in the winter months. During the summer, though, you’ll surely be happy with the airflow the latter supplies. Hammock camping can be perfectly safe as long as you take precautions. Prepare yourself for cold nights, double-check your gear, and carefully select your site, and you’ll have a great time!

Are You Brave Enough?

You can get your hands on these beautiful hanging beds just about anywhere these days, and we suggest you do just that. You won’t find a more relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors.

Even if you don’t want to spend the night in it just yet, you can set it up for a chill afternoon at your campsite. With some precautions and preparation, hammock camping can be safe and fun!

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