Camping Hammocks Tips

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What are some basic hammock camping safety precautions?

More Hammocks Do's and Don'ts

Inspect each hammock setup for incipient failure. Avoid overhead dead branches or tree tops that could fall. Do not exceed the design weight limit. Avoid open flames; the hammock materials are flammable. Avoid contact with poisonous plants, including vines on trees; even dead plants/vines can cause problems.

   
What are some basic hammock camping safety precautions?

Camping Hammock Safety

Repeatedly inspect hanging knots to avoid surprises. For better control when entering or exiting, hold the hammock with both hands, one on each side of the hammock . Wash the hammock and bug net as needed. Possible puncture problems exist inside the hammock from wristwatches, belt buckles, boots, shoes, eyeglasses, ear phones, portable radios, zippers on sleeping bag or clothes, writing pens, flashlights, etc.. The physically handicapped may have difficulties in the hammock

   
My kids/significant other/friend is afraid of the nocturnal crawlies when we sleep outdoors. Help!

Hammocks as a Camping Enticement

Some are averse to camping because they fear insects getting in the tent, crawling on them while they sleep, etc. The camping hammock has a major advantage over sleeping bags and tents when it comes to pests. Sleeping on the ground invites a visit from creepy crawlers who may be attracted to your body heat, deodorant, or perfume. Sleeping off the ground gives you an added advantage in this area. Sleeping above the dirt means it's far less likely you'll wake up with something staring at you that crawled up in the middle of the night. An camoflage hammock or camping hammock could be just the answer for those averse to camping "because of the bugs". If your teenager or significant other is one of these, you could sweeten the camping experience by investing in a camping hammock for just this reason!

   
Is hammock camping environmentally friendly?

Hammock camping is environmentally friendly

Look at any tent campground and you'll see the patchwork of destroyed vegetation left by tent campers. With the increased populartiy of camping our forrested back country cannot absorb the influx. The answer has to be an equal increase in hammock camping. By sleeping above the ground the hammock camper barely leaves a trace they were there. The tent camper leaves behind a trail that can take years to heal.

   
Are there safety issues with camping hammocks on steep terrain?

Camping on Steep Terrain

Using a camping hammock on steep terrain gives the camper an advantage--you can go where tents cannot. There are a few safety factors to remember when using a hammock in such conditions. Beware of trees that are too close to ledges or steep drop-offs. If the roots are not deep and strong, the weight of the hammock may cause the tree to become unstable. Don't risk a fall in the middle of the night--look for trees that are firmly rooted in the soil, with no roots showing or exposed on the side of a ledge, incline or drop off. Newcomers to camping are often unfamiliar with the differences between healthy live trees, dead trees and weak, diseased trees. If you are camping in high terrain, choose your "hammock trees" very carefully.

   
Why do I need a mini-light with me in my hammock?

Camping Hammock Safety

Some of the simplest little things often turn into very big necessities on a camping trip. One of these-the mini flashlight-is often completely overlooked until you need to climb out of your hammock in the middle of the night. The flashlight is most valuable during the first night of your camping trip, when you are making your way back to the camping hammock. The camper without a light runs the risk of walking right into the hammock, the ropes and other supports. The camping or oversize hammock is often slung high enough that it's not thought of as a tripping hazard, but in the dark in an unfamiliar place, anything is possible. Pack a mini-light for those late night needs and avoid the problem altogether.

   
What are some basic hammock camping safety precautions?

More Hammocks Do's and Don'ts

Avoid or repair any damaged hammock. Exercise caution getting in or out of hammock to avoid loss of balance. Avoid entanglements in the hammock materials. Avoid punctures, tears or rips in the hammock fabric. Do not leave infants unattended in the hammock. Avoid high-risk situations susceptible to storm dangers such as lighting, excessive winds or flooding

   
How heavy are portable camping hammocks?

Carrying weight of your portable camping hammock

Folding hammocks can weigh as little as two to three pounds. This is including the bug screen, tarp and straps. This lightweight portability gives hammock campers a decided edge over tent hikers in endurance. There is simply no better way to lessen th backpack load that to replace a tent with a camping hammock. You can also put up hammock in a fraction of the time it takes to put up a tent. This additional time means you can enjoy longer hikes on the trail or other camping activities because less time is needed to set up camp.

   
Should I inspect my hammock before the trip?

Hammock Inspection!

Many people who get ready for an outdoor adventure have a personal checklist they go over before the trip. They go down the list making sure their gear is in good condition, without excessive wear and tear and free from mold, dry rot and other problems. Don't forget to include your back packer hammock on this checklist. Visually inspect the camping hammock before packing it up, by opening it to its full length. Once it's completely open, insure the ropes are in good condition and free from mold and debris. Check the "business end" of all attachments, ropes, fasteners and other interlocking or tie-together parts. Be suspicious of frayed ends, excessively worn ends and other 'distressed' weight-bearing sections. Remember that your hammock ropes, fasteners and supports have to hold in excess of one hundred pounds--and oversize hammocks need even just as much scrutiny as the smaller models. Don't risk an injury due to a ripped, torn, or otherwise questionable section of hammock.

   
Can I get a good nights rest with my camping hammock?

Sleeping well in your camping hammock

Ask any hammock camper what is the best advantage to hammock camping and most will tell you the ralxing overnight sleep. You are hanging above gorund so right off you're discounting any critters that may be crawling about. You're also taking any rocks, twigs or gulleys that your spine will fit into duting the night. Camping hammocks are designed to provide comfort for extended periods, sometimes as lonng as two to three days due to inclement weather.

   
How do I signal for help while hammock camping?

In Case of Trouble

Even with todays remarkable cell phone coverage one place on earth remains uncovered, forested wilderness. By sheer coincidence that's where hammock campers spend most of their time. Since cell phone coverage is most likely non existent, how do you call for help. I suggest getting a whistle and attaching it to your camping hammock. The best brand for this is the Fox 40 whistle. That's the one prfessional referees use to be heard above the crowds. It should carry well through any forest.

   
Can my camping hammock keep me warm?

More Tricks to Stay Warm in Your Camping Hammock

The first thing to look for in setting up your cold weather hammock camp is from which direction the wind coming. Determine it's origin and hide from it. Put your hammock behind hills, trees or anything else that will effectively block the wind. You can also rig most sleeping bags to wrap around your hammock thus keeping heat in. With your ability to hide in nooks you will be able to avoid the biting winds that tent campers must endure.

   
Should I pack spare rope?

Ropes

One item often overlooked when packing for a camping trip is replacement rope for tents and camping hammocks. Your camping or oversize hammock may require a different type of rope than the spare length you have stashed in your camping gear. Be certain you have the right type of rope for both--don't get caught short when you are at the camp area-you may need an additional length to reach that second tree, or you may discover that the existing rope is getting frayed or worn on the trip. Pack a spare, just in case!

   
Can my camping hammock keep me warm?

Staying Warm in Your Portable Hammock

The greatest advantage to hammock camping in the sumertime is it's biggest disadvantage in the wintertime, heat loss through the bottom of the hammock. If you plan on going camping and using a hammock in colder weather take precautions. Layering up your clothes is the easiest way to keep individual warmth. Also carry an insulating mattress that will keep any heat from escaping through the bottom of your hammock. A thick blanket should also be used. Keep in mind that cold weather camping will entail a heavier backpack.

   
Can my camping hammock keep me warm?

Eating Well to Stay Warm in Your Camping Hammock

Staying warm in the outdoors starts with a balance diet. Eating well and drinking excess water will help you body retain heat while camping with your portable hammock. Your body needs these fuels to maintain body heat. Don't forget to layer up and keep your head warm also. A nice vapor barrier can be used to increase body temperature. Add additional comfort to your hammock area with DuraCord outdoor rugs.

   
Can I avoid the crowds with my camping hammock?

Avoiding crowds while Hammock Camping

Always remember that your camping hammock is portable. It can go wherever you go. If you decide you don't like crowds today, then go deep in the woods until you find two trees. There you have your own campsite where noone but nature will bother you. If you want to make sure you're not bothered, look for the steepest terrain possible. Only a hammock camper can camp on the side of a hill.

   
What is a vapor barrier?

Increase Body Heat with a Vapor Barrier

When properly used inside the sleeping bag of your camping hammock a vapor barrier can significantly increase your body heat. A barrier bag can raise body temperature ten to fifteen degrees. A vapor barrier traps body vapor close to the skin raising the humidity around the bosdy to 100%. This shuts down the body's heat loss due to perpiration. This vapor stays and over the course of the night gradually raises body temperature.

   
What is good camping hammock etiquette?

Hammock Camping Etiquette

Your mobility when camping with a hammock will afford you the opportunity to camp in places a regular tent camper can't. You'll be able to camp in scenic overlooks or hang on the side of some majestic trailway. Just because you can do these things does not mean you should, especially if it means blocking the view of other campers. Nothing will build up the fury of a hiker pausing to look at natures beauty only to find a hammock camper cocooned up blocking it.

   
My backside feels cold in the hammock. What should I do?

Camping Hammock Vs. Sleeping Bags

Camping hammocks, such as Castaway hammocks, have a major advantage over sleeping bags in terms of heat efficiency. When you sleep on a regular bed, the mattress absorbs your body heat-all that foam and the bed sheets below your body retain the warmth. In a sleeping bag, you still retain some heat, but the earth beneath you cools at night. That lower temperature leeches away the warmth and can make your backside feel as if it's nearly freezing. A camping hammock or oversize hammock doesn't put you on contact with that cooler earth, which means you can retain more body heat in an outdoor sleeping situation. In a camping hammock you may still feel a cold backside, however, if you don't layer as much on the bottom of the hammock as you cover up on top. If you only need a thin sheet on top, use the same on the bottom; likewise add more bedding below in colder temperatures to keep your whole body warm.

   
Can I use my camping hammock to replace my tent?

Camping Hammocks-A Tent Replacement?

A camping hammock is one of the most comfortable ways to spend the night when you are out in the great outdoors. Many websites advertise their hammocks as being tent replacements; many people shop with this idea in mind. Comfort and sleep time enjoyment should be your primary concern when shopping for a camping hammock, permanent hammock, oversize hammock or any other type. Why? When you sleep outdoors, nobody wants to sing a chorus of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head". Camping hammocks can't protect you from the rain. True, there are diehards out there who will simply pull a poncho over themselves and wait out the storm, but your best bet is to pack a tent as a backup in case of a turn in the weather.

   
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Sherril Steele-Carlin