I always thought camp hammocks makes were cool, but assumed that they were sort of a novelty. Portable hammocks, or so I figured, would just like folding camp chairs – something to make you a little bit more comfortable while you are hanging around your campsite, but far from a necessity.
I am a pretty serious camper, and when I go out into the woods I don’t take much in the way of comfort items. All I take when I camp is my tent, my bag, some food, and some clothing. That is about it. Sometimes I’ll take a good book to read or a harmonica along to play as we sit by the campfire, but never anything particularly large and bulky. I figure that camping hammocks, no matter how comfortable, were not for me.
I did not realize what a useful thing a camping hammock could be. Camping hammocks, after all, don’t really go along with the traditional approach to camping.
Traditionally, you get tents, sleeping bags, and maybe a sleeping pad. You sleep on the ground and use the sleeping bag to insulate you. Camping hammocks, however, greatly simplify the process. The really cool thing about them is that they insulate you from the ground. You may not believe this, but an all weather camping hammock is going to be more comfortable than all but the warmest looking bags. This is because you are surrounded by air. Ground quickly takes heat away from you, but the air does not.
By insulating you from the ground, camping hammocks allow you to stay warmer with less gear. They are thinner than comparable sleeping bags, and unless the weather is really wretched, you don’t need a tent or a rain fly. You can camp elevated above the ground in complete comfort in practically any weather. From fall rain storms to tropical nights, there are camping hammocks designed for whatever weather you happen to be living through.
Of course, there are some situations where the old school tents and sleeping bag accommodations works better. If, for example, you’re going to be dealing with snow, you want a tent. You want to be able to keep it off of you and your gear, and a camp hammock just doesn’t quite do the trick. Nonetheless, for less severe situations – particularly if you are camping somewhere with good trees – camping hammocks will work quite well and take care of your needs for shelter and comfort.