Hammocks: the fun way to pack light and camp
We all loved hammocks as a kid even though it wasn’t always easy to figure out how to get into them. Hammocks as shelter have recently taken off in western cultures although they have been around for a very long time. A hammock is a very versatile option to replace the conventional tent shelter for outdoor adventures.
The top 5 reasons to trade your tent in for a bed between the trees.
A better sleep
Studies have been conducted in which it has been shown that the rocking motion of a hammock not only helps people to fall asleep faster but it also provides a deeper sleep. Neuroscientists at the University of Geneva completed a test with a rocking bed in which adult test subjects showed an increase in sleep spindles – these spindles are believed to be the brain trying to calm the sleeper down in louder environments.
What sets tents and hammocks apart? Poles. Poles can make even the lightest weather and insect resistant tents heavier than a hammock of similar abilities. Most high-quality hammocks are under 1 lbs!
Good for your body
Learning to sleep on your back may seem daunting but many that have made the leap from tent to hammock camping have noticed some serious benefits to their comfort and health. Many of these concerns are more for the backpacker than the paddler but the same benefits can apply. With your feet slightly elevated you will notice less swelling. The slight curve of the hammock can actually stretch your back muscles while you are sleeping in a gentle and beneficial way. The elevation angle for your upper body is considered optimal for the circulation to your brain and your airways to work easily and efficiently while sleeping.
Finding the perfect campsite
Your only real limitation to a hammock is finding two trees, and on the west coast, we don’t see this being a huge issue any time soon. There is no more worrying about uneven ground or rocks and roots digging into your back all night that you didn’t notice before.
If you ask the Henry brothers they will tell you hammocks are great for some paddling environments such as marshy areas where any shore to pitch a tent is distant… until the tide goes out that is. If there are trees growing in these marshy regions however, and you know how high the water will travel up the tree, just tie up a hammock and enjoy some zzz’s while your kayak floats tied safely below.
“When there are bugs and mangroves, sleeping in a netted hammock is essential” – Russell Henry
Just as we loved hammocks as children, nothing says ‘summer is here’ like stringing a hammock up in the park or even on your lunch break and hanging out for a while.
Even if you still love camping in a tent you have to admit, swinging slowly back and forth under a canopy of trees on a warm summer afternoon is something that can bring a smile to all of our faces – especially if it is a double hammock and shared with a special someone.