Is Hammock Camping Safe?
Yes, hammock camping is very much safe, fun, and enjoyable. If you set up your hammock correctly and take a few precautionary measures then you are set perfectly for hammock camping.
But you need to follow some rules and guidelines while hammock camping to ensure your safety.
Ways to Make Your Hammock Camping Safe
So what are these guidelines and what you should do about them,
- Look for a Natural Shelter- Natural shelters are blessings from nature, they protect you from rain, thunderstorms, heavy winds, and cold. So look for places that are covered by bushes, rocks, or large trees like Cedar Tree to set your hammock camp. These weather shelters cover your camp from extreme weather.
- Campground Rules- Many camping grounds have specific rules which you should obey in order to have a comfortable and safe hammocking experience.
- Movement in Hammock- Hammocks are limited space and you have to adjust your movement in order to get a good experience. Too much movement in the hammock can either turn the hammock upside down or the loop can break. Some campers have shared about their free fall from their hammock while sleeping due to this.
- Don’t Setup Your Camp on Trails- Trails are routes or passages for wild animals in the jungle. So when you set up your hammock camp make sure it’s not a trail, otherwise you will have to encounter them in the middle of the night. So always set up your hammock camp in a safe area.
- Don’t Store food or eatables near the camp- Wild animals have a great sense of smell. They can smell food from a very far place. If you store food very near to the hammock then chances are you have to encounter wild animals. So it is advised to keep food far from the camp, maybe on a tree.
- Procuring The Right Gear- Buying the right gear and taking them for your hammock camping setup is a pretty important thing to do. You need a lightweight nylon hammock that is waterproof, adequately long, durable, and should be able to handle 300-400 pounds of weight. A tarp/rainfly especially for rain and cold camping setup. Tree straps/huggers should be used to hang the hammock, they are good for the tree bark, hold weight, have multiple loops to adjust hammock height, and are easy to set up.
- The Right Sleeping Gear- Getting the right sleeping gear is important for getting a good night’s sleep inside the hammock. Temperature can drop even during summers that making sleeping in a hammock difficult. You need a good underquilt and a top quilt if you are camping in a cold area. A sleeping pad is enough if you are camping in the summer. As many campers say the success of cold hammock camping lies with an underquilt. So invest in a good underquilt and set it up correctly. After you hang the underquilt see there should be a gap between the hammock and the underquilt and this gap works as insulation and keep the hammock warm. Many campers who have died in hammocks are due to the temperature convection.
- Preparing for Rain and Thunderstorms- Summers start in the US from mid of June to September and it is the perfect time for many campers to go hammock camping in the wild. But the summer season brings rain, especially in the afternoon and evening time. A wide tarp will be the savior in this case. Try to buy a wide tarp approximately 4×4 meters in size so that it covers the whole campsite fully including your hammock.
- Camp Location- Don’t set your camp near a water source. The first problem is that water sources attract wild animals and another is that cold area flows from the pond or river nearby to your tent taking away the warmth.
- Check Weather Forecast- It is advised to check the weather forecast before going hammock camping. You can be prepared for rain or thunderstorms even hurricanes coming your way.
- Hanging Your Hammock- If you don’t know how to hang your hammock properly then practice in your backyard before you go out to the wild. Many campers have shared their bitter experience of falling from their hammocks mid-night because their knot gave away or the rope broke. The knot is very important and it connects the rope or strap with the hammock. Learn and practice the knots to avoid fallouts.
- Use a Bug Net- If you are in the wild, using a bug net is a must. Remember you are camping on the grounds of mosquitoes, flies, insects, and bugs. So getting a bug net is wise and safe for hammock camping.
- Set of Trees- Finding a good set of trees is not that difficult in the wild but if you are looking for a campsite in a barren or desert land then the chances are rare. You need a good set of trees at a suitable distance to hang your hammock. Avoid hanging on dead trees or trees that are too thin. Choose trees that are at least 6 inches in width.
- Terrain- Hammock camping is not dependent on the terrain and it can be hung on any terrain. But avoid places that are too rocky and steep slopes.
- Use a Pee Bottle- If you are 40 years or older and nature calls in the middle of the night, it is not wise to get up at a chilling temperature. Use a pee bottle to take care of business. This sounds gross but it does the job, It saves the warmth of your body and also saves you from any possible encounter with wild animals.
- Our last trip to have a safe hammock camping experience is to avoid your tent hanging under dead branches on top. Sometimes dead or broken branches hang from tall trees and often go unnoticed by a camper. So look for any broken branches hanging from the trees and try to hang your hammock far from them.
Hammock camping is safe if it is done the correct way. There is a learning curve for beginners but if you follow the guidelines then you will have an enjoyable hammocking experience.