We thinking sleeping in a hammock is probably the best way to sleep. Waking up in the fresh air with nature all around you is definitely an experience not to be missed.
Hammocks have been used as a bed for centuries. The key to hammock camping is to choose the right hammock and then to set it up correctly.
A relatively recent addition to the hammock family is the spreader bar and rope construction hammock. They look great in photos and give the impression of creating a flat hammock but end up having the opposite effect and lead to a poor nights sleep. Avoid!
If you are starting out, choose a simple hammock with a rope at each end made from a smooth breathable nylon. We like the DD Camping Hammock. You’ll need a tarp to attach above you to keep you dry if it rains.
The natural curve of the hammock is crucial to getting the flat, zero pressure point surface that makes hammocks such a healthy way to sleep. A common mistake is to completely eliminate the curve of the hammock getting rid of all slack and tightening it as much as possible. This is detrimental to your comfort. Don’t do it!
So here’s how to set up your hammock:
- Find two trees that are alive and sturdy, at least 15cm in diameter and between 3 to 5 metres apart.
- Attach your hammock to these trees at roughly your own head height, using your suspension cord.
- Centre your hammock and make sure it's approximately chair height or around half a metre from the ground. There should be a curve in your hammock, so don’t pull it too tight.
- Sit back into it like a chair.
- Lift both legs up towards the hammock opening and swivel your body round until you are lying flat inside.
- For the flattest and most comfortable lie, place yourself on the diagonal. This spreads the material out around you and creates greater width inside the hammock.
That’s it. Beautifully simple.
If you fancy having a go at hammock camping and bushcraft with the experts, we can recommend the Big Hat Bushcamp in Surrey, we have taken our kids there and they loved it!