Last Updated: Apr 7, 2019

The Pros and Cons of Hammock Camping

  • BY Nick Bulanda

    Published April 5, 2019

For a long time, camping has been a mainstay mini-vacation for many American families. With camping in general becoming more and more appealing even to younger folks, it might be time you start to consider it for your next vacation! As more people become aware of the advanced options that are affordable on today’s market, such as a hammock with mosquito net and rain fly included, the popularity of hammock camping is one the rise.How do you decide between sticking with the tent or investing in a hammock? We’re here to provide you with the pros and cons of hammock camping, so you can make the right decision for your next trip into the great outdoors.

Pro: Comfort

The very first thing everyone must do when setting up a campsite is find the perfect spot. With a tent, you have to find flat ground, with no rocks, away from any mud or debris that might cause trouble for you tent overnight. Let’s be honest, when you’re camping in the woods away from a sanctioned campsite, it’s not going to be easy to find that perfect spot for a tent, and you will most likely wake up with a sore and stiff back. With a hammock, the ground simply isn’t a factor. You just need to find a couple of sturdy trees, set up your hammock and you are good to go. No need to worry about what’s beneath you!

With a camping hammock, you’re body is being supported by a strong, breathable fabric that provides enough support to keep you feeling limber and ready for adventure during the entire duration of your trip. Let’s be completely honest: nobody likes sleeping on the hard ground, and it’s one of the big reasons some people are deterred from camping. Thankfully, hammocks are here to help solve this problem. Maybe this could be why the popularity of camping is on the rise with younger generations?

Can you think of any better way to relax and experience the joy and calmness of being outdoors?
Can you think of any better way to relax and experience the joy and calmness of being outdoors?

Con: Shelter

When it comes to the pros and cons of hammock camping, one of the most negative aspects of is the lack of a secure shelter. Some people don’t exactly feel comfortable leaving themselves open to the elements, whether that be weather or wildlife. Anyone who’s spent enough time outdoors in the summer knows how bad mosquito bites can get, so imagine spending an entire night out in the open wilderness? Thankfully, there are options available to protect yourself while sleeping in your hammock. These items could include a mosquito net, a rain fly or more. In fact, in many cases you are able to purchase a hammock with mosquito net and rain fly in a bundle together. They’re easily available and usually pretty inexpensive, but that is something extra you need to be aware of before heading out on your trip, so it definitely could be a potential reason to avoid the hammocks this time around.

Pro: Ease of Setup

Compared to a tent, setting up a hammock is a breeze. Instead of dealing with an absurd number of poles, stakes and whatever else, hammocks are usually made to be incredibly portable and easy to set up. All you need to do is find some strong enough trees and cinch your hammock up with its included gear.  Most people don’t care for spending an hour setting up their tent at the beginning of their trip, and even worse having to figure out how to pack it all back up so it fits when it’s time to leave! With a hammock, relaxation and fun can take precedent over work. Isn’t that what you went out there for?

Con: Low Occupancy

An especially important factor for families and couples to keep in mind is that most hammocks are intended for only a single person to occupy. That could be a harder sell for large family trips, when it becomes less about travelling light and more about accommodating for a larger group. It’s undeniable that tents have the advantage when it comes to fitting in more campers, as you can get tents in sizes ranging from small, one-person tents to larger ones that can fit upwards of 10 people, or even more. Having said that, there are hammocks made for multiple people, but usually even those are intended for no more than two occupants. Make sure to check the size and weight capacity of your hammock before making your purchase if you think you might want to fit an extra person in it one day!

Regardless of whether you choose hammock or tent, a camping trip can be a wonderful romantic getaway
Regardless of whether you choose hammock or tent, a camping trip can be a wonderful romantic getaway

Pro: A Lighter Load

Whether you are backpacking into the woods or driving to a campsite, one of the things every camper should think about when planning their trip is how much they will have to carry. Tents can be a big hassle in this regard, while hammocks are often the exact opposite. Most camping hammocks, including all the gear required for setup, are made to pack down into one small bag, while the same can’t always be said for tents. For those planning on taking a camping trip all by themselves, there is little reason not to invest in a nice hammock. The pros and cons of hammock camping make the decision a little harder for larger groups, but when you only have to worry about yourself (and only have yourself to carry the load), it makes a whole lot more sense. Remember: one of the golden rules of going on any kind of trip is to pack as light as possible.

Con: A Need for Trees

This one is pretty basic and won’t be too large of an issue for most campers, but it’s important to remember nonetheless. Any time you’re going to set up a hammock, you’re going to need two thick and stable trees. Most places will have trees aplenty, but for those folks who like to camp in slightly more unusual places, it’s a potential problem you have to consider.

Closing Thoughts on the Pros and Cons of Hammock Camping

When it really comes down to it, in order to decide what camping choice is better for you, you need to take stock of how many people are going, where you’re going and whether you think you need to invest in a hammock with mosquito net and rain fly or not. We gave you ours, but you should make your own list of the pros and cons of hammock camping for you! At the end of the day, this all comes down to personal choice. However, we think that unless you have a good reason not to, hammock camping is the best way to really enjoy your time and experience camping. Remember, always make sure to practice general safety when hammock camping, no matter where you are.

Do you have any other points of the pros and cons of hammock camping that you think we missed? What about sharing your preferences for camping equipment? Let us know what you think down below in the comments, and happy camping!

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