December 14, 2017

Hammock Camping Infographic Part 3

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Tired of the same old camping routine? Or maybe you’ve started to see some flaws in your regular camping set up that might be solved by changing things up a little bit? Sounds like you might need to give hammock camping a go.

CHAPTER TWO

TYPES OF HAMMOCKS

Be sure to hang out in the right one for your hammocking needs

If you’re keen to give hammock camping a go then getting the right setup is essential. There are a few different types of hammocks out there, some of which are ideal for camping and backpacking, and some of which are only really suitable for the backyard.

7 types of hammocks

The main types of hammocks that you are likely to come across are:

  • Backpacking hammock

    Lightweight backpacking hammocks

    Ideal for: thru-hikers, bikepackers and adventurers who like to travel light and fast and are willing to sacrifice features and a bit of comfort in order to cut down on grams.

    Desirable features: ideally weigh under 1lb (454g), pack small, and are simple to set up and take down.

  • Double hammock

    Double hammocks

    Ideal for: snugglers and cuddlers who enjoy hanging out together whilst enjoying a spectacular view. Or single sleepers who prefer a little extra wiggle room.

    Desirable features: at least 6ft (1.83m) wide and can hold up to 400lb (182kg) in weight.

  • Expedition hammock

    Expedition hammocks

    Ideal for: those venturing to places where tented accommodation would be a terrible idea (jungles, forests, swamps, icefields etc).

    Desirable features: built-in bug net and double layered bottom for extra warmth if needed.

  • Hammock tent

    Hammock tents

    Ideal for: those who seek versatility and like hammock camping in all conditions and scenarios.

    Desirable features: built-in waterproof rainfly and the ability to use as a bivvy, regular tent, or even a poncho! (see the Flying Tent).

  • Suspended tent

    Suspended tents

    Ideal for: those who like the best of both worlds and like monkeying around in the trees. An excellent way to hammock camp in bad weather.

    Desirable features: a waterproof rain fly and a high tension flat-ish base.

  • String hammock

    String hammocks

    Ideal for: relaxing at the beach in the shade of a palm tree, pina colada in hand. Or for backyard lounging.

    Desirable features: enough space to hold at least two people and sometimes with spreader bars at each end (as pictured).

  • Brazilian hammock

    Brazilian hammocks

    Ideal for: providing more comfort than string hammocks (no diamond patterned skin after laying in one!).

    Desirable features: gathered ends, strong, comfortable, and big enough for a small family to hang out in!

To complete your hammock camping setup, you’ll also need a few other extras like a tarp, suspension system and a bug net. Check out Chapter Nine for info on all your hammock camping essentials (and a few non-essentials too!).

 

CHAPTER THREE

HOW TO HANG A HAMMOCK

It’s easy when you know how. We’ll guide your through it

Now that you have an idea which of the above types of hammocks might be best suited to you, take a look at what to do with it once you’ve got it!

How to hang a hammock

Just hang it up and jump in?

Pretty much! Hanging a hammock is so much easier than you may first think. But it’s also very easy to get wrong. Hang it too high and you won’t be able to get in or out of it without the assistance of a precariously balanced stack of logs. Hang it too low, or in trees that are too close together and you might as well just be sleeping on the floor. Hang it between trees that are too far apart and the whole thing will be too stretched to provide any comfort.

A diagram showing a well hung hammockSimple!

It’s not an exact science, and you may find that you prefer there to be more or less sag in the hammock to find that sweet spot for the most comfortable sleeping position. But knowing the basics of how to hang a hammock before you attempt to seek comfort in it will certainly help.

Let’s break it down some more.

A step by step guide on how to hang a hammock

01Choose your anchor points

Good hammock hang

The ideal trees should be:

  • Around 12-15 feet apart – that’s roughly 6-8 steps
  • At least 6in (15cm) in diameter and strong enough to hold the weight of your loaded hammock.
  • Free from dead or unstable branches overhead, known as ‘widow-makers’.

Once you’ve hammock camped a couple of times you’ll start looking at all trees and woodland areas as potential hammocking spots. You’ll not see the wilderness in the same way ever again!


02Attach your suspension system to your anchor points

Attach anchor points

To ensure that you protect the tree you are anchoring to, you will need to use tree straps or a suspension system that is wide enough not to cut into the tree (i.e. not rope or cord). This is mentioned in more detail in thesuspension system section in Chapter Nine.

Assuming you have found trees that are roughly the ‘right’ distance apart, you will need to wrap your tree straps around the tree at around head height. Do this on one side, and then the other.


03Attach your hammock to the suspension system

Attach hammock to anchors

Many hammocks come with their own suspension system and a means to connect it to the hammock. However, if you don’t have a compatible system then you will need to set up your own. There are a variety of ways in which you can do this. But the easiest, and quickest way to attach your suspension system to your hammock is with carabiners – one at each end.


04Adjust your suspension straps

Adjust hammock

This is the bit that you will need to play with the more you hammock camp. Some hammockers prefer more sag, and others less. So you may want to try out different things as you go. For your first go at hammock camping, however, adjust the suspension straps so that there is roughly a 30º angle between a horizontal plain and the suspension line. Seestep 7.


05Check the height of the hammock

Check height of hammock

If you’ve followed all the above steps, then in theory the lowest point of your hammock should end up about 20in (50cm) above the ground. To check this, take a seat in your hammock – your feet should touch the floor comfortably as if you are sitting in a chair. Then lie back, and admire your first hammock hang!


06Try out your sleeping position

Lie in a hammock

Until you’ve mastered the hammock hang, it’s a good idea to try out your sleeping position before you bed down for the night. That way you can take your time to adjust the hammock to a position that suits you before the sun goes down, and before you get too tired to be bothered to change it. It’s also a great excuse for an afternoon snooze!


07Measure the hang angle

Hammock hang

The easiest and simplest way to measure if your hammock hanging is going to be a success or not is to do the quick finger test:

  • Make an ‘L’ shape with your fingers
  • Hold your hand out in front of you so that your pointing finger is horizontal (if you are on a slope then don’t use the ground as a measure if this!)
  • Your thumb should be pointing vertically up to the sky
  • The suspension lines should roughly run from the top of your thumb to the end of your pointing finger. This is around a 30º angle.

Use a hammock hang calculator

If you really want to make sure your hammock will hold you securely before you get in it, then use a hammock hang calculator.

Hammock Hang Calculator, hammock camping guru and author of The Ultimate Hang (a book that hammock camper should read), has created this super simple little tool to help you figure out the best way to hang your hammock. It takes the things you know, like your weight and the distance between your chosen trees, and calculates roughly how high up the trees to attach your hammock suspension system.

Pretty blooming useful!


Where to hang a hammock

Although hanging a hammock between two trees are probably the most common anchor points to choose, there will be times when those perfect trees fail to present themselves, despite your best efforts to find them. Thankfully, the trusty hammock and its super strong suspension system can also be hung in places other than between two trees. And many of these places are great if you’ve only got one tree available and you just need another anchor point to hang onto.

Other possible hammock anchor points:

  • Vehicles
  • Goal posts
  • Gazebos and pavilions
  • Telephone poles
  • Between rocks
  • Underneath a single horizontal tree branch

Hanging between two trees is a good place to start if you are new to hammock camping. But finding the right trees is one of the hardest parts of hammocking, until you get your eye in!

: https://coolofthewild.com/camping/hammock-camping

See iNews Cayman story published September 21 “Hammock Camping Infrographic Part 2” with additional link at: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/hammock-camping-infographic-part-2/

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