Hammock Camping: The Good and the Bad.

I don’t when and how I started hammock camping I think it came from having a cheap camping hammock in a camping box that got setup for the kids whilst camping once.

Hammock camping is so much more versatile than ground dwelling and extremely adaptable to weather conditions.

I started of researching equipment online and looking at various videos on YouTube people where posting about advice and different methods. As I said I started off with a cheap parachute hammock and a Quechua tarp I use whilst camping as an additional shelter.

Through trial, error and research I have found a method that I use regularly.

I found out the hard way that sleeping in a hammock in just a sleeping bag got really cold due to the compression of the sleeping bag underneath me.

I decided that hammock camping was for me and I researched what hammock I was going to buy.

Frontline hammock from DD Hammocks
Frontline hammock from DD Hammocks showing the mosquito net and snake skin on the right side used for storing hammock).

There’s loads out there on the market but I had chose a British made hammock from dd hammocks I really liked the look of the frontier hammock as it had a built in Mosquito net and also has the ability to slide a sleep mat into as I found out just laying a sleep mat into a hammock the mat will always move and you will become exposed to the elements.

The frontline hammock comes with tapes in each end to strap to tree trunks but after some research I wanted to adapt my hammock and install some whoopie slings into it.

Frontline Hammock showing the underblanket attached
Frontline Hammock showing the underblanket attached

The great thing about dd hammocks is the ability to attach their under blanket to the hammock. This item really does give you a warm nest to sleep in.

The underblanket hangs underneath the hammock creating a void holding warm air below you as you sleep.

Whoopie slings.
Whoopie slings make adjusting the ‘hang’ (height) of your hammock super quick and easy and no knots are required. Adjustable length is roughly from 40cm to 180cm per sling giving you plenty of room to choose suitable.
ve saif
I said it before that hammock camping is so versatile and it is, different tarp configurations for different weather, conditions and also the tarp itself  has multi-use.
Even when there are no trees to hang between there are many different ways to turn your tarp into a shelter.  Personally I find a 3m x 3m tarp the perfect size the one I use regularly is a dd hammocks 3×3 tarp but I would like to look into swapping this for a lightweight tarp.
I’ve played with different configurations for making a shelter and there’s two that I use.
Tarp
There’s many different ways to hang your tarp over your hammock and these all really depend on the conditions and weather.  If its really hot then you would want it out quite wide for airflow, if it is snowing then it would want to be in quite close so that snow slides off the tarp and perhaps if its windy the ends would be required to be closed to control the amount of wind zapping that heat out of your sleep system.
I use a 3m x 3m tarp and it is hung using a continuous ridge line.  The continuous ridge-line is made from 2mm amsteel and is about 10m long.  It runs through the centre tabs on the tarp, around a tree and is attached back to the centre edge tab using a soft shackle.  The other end goes around the tree and is attached to the centre edge tab using a soft shackle attached to a prusik knot to create tension.  Have a look at the video all iv’e done is replace the carabiners with soft shackles made from amsteel
My hammock camping kit
  • DD Frontline Hammock (with whoopie slings)
  • DD 3m x 3m Tarp
  • 8 x lightweight aluminium pegs (4 of which are rigged with 1.5m of 2mm amsteel for use with the tarp worms.
  • 1 x guy line for using if setting up a tarp tent).
  • 2 x Tree Huggers
  • Continious ridge line (made from 2mm amsteel with a soft shackle one end and a prusik knot and soft shackle on the other end.

The only other thing I would really consider is how to deal with rain running down you woopie slings.

How to stop rain egress onto hammock.

The easiest method I have found is attach a small length of line onto the whoopie slings before the hammock.

This will allow rain to follow its course and drip to the floor without getting your hammock wet.

Hammock Bling

There is so many bit you can purchase online to assist with hammock camping from clips, water breaks etc etc but to be honest by keeping it simple it has made my hanging equipment light and hassle free.  The only items of bling I have purchased is some tarp worms.  These are brilliant at keeping a bit of tension in the tarp and also allows me to have 4 x pegs with 2mm amsteel attached on them permanently so they are quick and useful when setting up the hex peek tarp shelter. Have a look at the items available at Dutchware
Tarp Tents
The great thing about hammock camping whilst hiking or even just taking a tarp is that your shelter can be built weather depending.  I don’t know what this method is called but its my favourite configuration if the weather isn’t extreme.  All that is needed is…
  1. 3m x 3m tarp
  2. 2 x trekking poles (or sticks but adjustable treking poles work the best).
  3. 7 x tent pegs
  4. 3 x guide lines (or a length of paracord)

There’s a good amount of space inside this you can fit two people and gear inside this configuration.

I could sit and write about how to errect this shelter but it would be easier for you to understand watching this youtube video on how to do it until i get time to get around to making my own ‘howto’ video.

Open Front Tarp Tent

Now the above method is ok if the weather is on your side but if it isn’t then there is a configuration to completely enclose yourself, the Tetra configuration.  Now remember a tarp shelter will not be 100% waterproof, you need to think about lay of the land, will water run underneath or down the hill.  Thinking about where you pitch this shelter is just as important as what configuration you will use.

Tetra configuration

This is perfect if the weather is against you.  You an completely enclose yourself inside, the door can be a bit fiddly to use but it will serve its purpose on protecting you from the the elements.

Problems with this configuration:

  • Can get very hot inside (only really good if major downpour)
  • Can condensate very easily if no air flow.
  • Access and egress can be a little bit of pain.

Hammock CampingHammock camping it comfortable, versatile, lightweight and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to setup.

You can camp all through the year as long as you are prepared with the correct equipment and setups.

Have a look at some of the equipment available at DD Hammocks

Please follow and like us:
error