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  • Backcountry Essentials

5 Tips for Hammock Camping

In 2015, my kids and I tried hammock camping for the first time in the Uinta Mountains of Utah at 9,000 feet. Here were our lessons and some suggestions from our resident hammock expert at Backcountry Essentials, Niki Moltumyr:

  • Insulation – you will definitely want something underneath you to keep the cold night air from pulling away your heat. If you have an inflatable pad, try not blowing it up all the way, or a low tech foam pad like a Therm-a-rest Z-lite or RidgeRest works really well.

  • Use a Rain fly – The Big tip here is to think about using reflective cord to hang your tarp; you’ll appreciate not catching your neck at night. Both Therm-a-rest and ENO make rain flys that are lightweight and affordable.

  • Bug nets or not? – This is location dependent. One solution aside from a bug net, is to buy a double-wide hammock, like the ENO Double Nest, which will give one person enough extra material to burrito roll themselves up to keep the bugs out.

  • Tension Straps – These provide many points to attach to if you are short on anchors and they allow you to quickly change the tension of the hammock for either sleeping or lounging. I find it more comfortable to snooze diagonally in a taught hammock to prevent my legs from going to sleep. As you can see in the picture, rigging can also provide hours of entertainment.

  • Accessorize! – There are lots of fun accessories like lights to make your camping experience a party for all ages. My kids love the Luci Lights that inflate and change color; I like that the lights are solar rechargeable.