March 3, 2021

Hammock Camping Infographic Part 4

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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 FOUR

HOW TO SLEEP IN A HAMMOCK

Get the angles right, kick back and relax in comfort

It’s all very well knowing what all the different types of hammocks there are, and how to hang a hammock, but all that counts for nothing if you don’t know how to sleep in a hammock! Lying in a hammock is one thing, but getting comfortable enough to spend several hours in a suspended cocoon takes a little bit of practice and some inside info!

Brandon at Two Tree Hammock Co insists that:

Hammocking is all about angles, from the initial hanging setup, right down to the position of how you lay inside

He says that “to get the most out of your hang, lay at a slight 30-degree angle across the hammock vs lying directly down the middle. This allows you to create a much flatter surface area and the perfect ‘zero pressure’ cradle position for you to sleep.”

Wise words indeed.

How to sleep in a hammock

Here are a few more tips on how to sleep in a hammock as cosily and comfortably as if it were your bed at home. Well-angled snoozing here we come!:

01Hang your hammock correctly

As mentioned above in Chapter Three, this isn’t the exact science that it’s made out to be, and can take a lot of playing around with to get the right position for you. However, it’s a pretty good place to start. And the simplest way to make sure you’re on the right track is to check the hang angle which should be roughly 30º between the hammock line and horizontal.

02Get everything within easy reach

Before you get into your hammock, make sure you have everything you may need close to you. Set your shoes down close by so you don’t have to go searching around for them in the night if nature calls. Some hammocks, like the Warbonnet Blackbird featured in Chapter 7, have gear shelves built-in to the hammock, or you can set up a gear loft to store a book or a headlamp. The ridgeline of your tarp is also really useful to clip things to.

03Sleep on the diagonal

Once you’re set up, it’s time to get to grips with how to lay in a hammock. Most people will get into a hammock and lay with their head at one end, their feet at the other, and their body right down the middle. This position is fine for just relaxing in, but sleeping in a hammock requires a much more specific position.

It’s angle time!

Change your position so that your body lays across the midline of the hammock on the diagonal. This is one of the most important things to know to ensure you get the best sleep possible in your suspended cocoon. Spreading your weight across the width of the hammock not only creates a flatter area that is more comfortable for your body to relax on, but also spreads your weight and helps minimise the risk of CBS (Cold Butt Syndrone!).

04Put your feet up

Lying with your feet slightly higher than your head is said to be a more comfortable way of sleeping in a hammock as it prevents you from slipping back into the middle. And whilst some hammock brands even recommend that you set up their hammocks with the foot end a little higher than the head end, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. A little experimentation will help you figure out what suits you best in no time.

05Bend a knee

If you are a back sleeper then you may find that your knees can become a little uncomfortable due to them hyperextending with the lack of support behind the backs of the knees. If this is the case then you’ll probably adopt another position naturally, but one to try straight away is to bend one of your legs and pop the foot of that leg underneath the knee of the straight leg. Alternatively you can roll up some clothing or a towel and put it under both your knees.

06Stay warm in a hammock

In warm conditions, a sleeping bag or quilt will do just fine since you won’t be fighting against the cold ground or air beneath you. But to stay warm in a hammock in cooler conditions, you will need insulation beneath you as well as on top. Using a hammock sleeping pad or underquilt will keep your underside nice and cosy. Read more about these in Chapter Nine

Hammock in palm trees
CHAPTER FIVE

THE BENEFITS OF SLEEPING IN A HAMMOCK

From deeper sleep to improved memory. Hang out and get healthy!

Believe it or not, sleeping in a hammock isn’t just for those who have become bored with regular camping. It’s not just reserved for the wanderers out there who prefer to get away from it all. Oh no. There are also some excellent health benefits to sleeping in a hammock that have encouraged some wilderness sleepers to make the move into hanging out in comfort over battling through the night on the hard, cold ground.

The health benefits of sleeping in a hammock

So if you’re tempted to give hammock camping a go but are yet to be convinced, then maybe the health benefits of sleeping in a hammock might just sway you.

  • More sleep

    There’s a reason why babies fall asleep more easily when they are gently rocked. Yes, it’s lovely and relaxing, but studies also show that gentle rocking synchronises brain waves and facilitates the transition from being awake to being asleep. Get cosy in a hammock and you’ll be off to snooze-land faster than usual with more hours of rest ahead of you.

  • Better quality sleep

    Not only do swaying hammocks send us off quicker than normal, but once we’re off, the swaying motion also lulls the brain into a deeper than usual sleep. Deep sleep is associated with recovery, so even if our overall sleep time is no longer than normal, the longer we spend in deep sleep (N2 sleep), the more time our bodies are in a nighttime recovery phase of sleep.

  • Reduces stress

    The nature of hammocks promotes a sense of escape and calm, and even if you don’t plan on sleeping in one, spending a hour or so gently rocking in comfort is an excellent way to fully relax and unwind. The more relaxed we are, the better we are able to deal with stress when it does come along. So if you’re feeling the tension building, then hang it up and chill out.

  • Good for your back

    Sleeping in a hammock is an excellent way to help alleviate pressure points across the body and to realign the vertebrae from your neck right down to the base of your spine. And although there is little solid evidence to back up this claim, there is an abundance of personal accounts stating the improvements they have seen from extended hammock use.

  • Improves brain activity

    There are also links between hammock sleeping and improved brain function. The type of brain waves that are stimulated and reinforced through the gentle rocking of a hammock during sleep are also associated with increased concentration and memory. Hanging out really is the smart way to relax!

Hammock camping
CHAPTER SIX

HAMMOCK CAMPING TIPS

Invaluable advice from the experts. They really know how to hang out in style!

One of the best ways to get to grips with hammock camping it to just get out there and do it. You’ll soon find out what does and doesn’t work for you. But to help you on your way to becoming a pro-hammocker, these little gems of advice from seasoned hammock campers are certainly worth a read.

Expert hammock camping tips

Clarks Hammocks Staff Trick

#1: Add a stick if the trees are too far apart

“If trees are too far apart, use Clark’s Staff Trick. First tie your hammock to a tree and pull it out towards another support (such as a tree, boulder or stump) that is too far away. Then, find a sturdy branch that is 5.5-7 feet tall and place it where the second tree ought to have been. Wrap your rope around the top of the branch a couple of times and then tie the end down to the base of the second support (you may need to tie on a second length of rope so your rope can make it to the second support). As long as the branch is on solid dirt or grass, and directly in between the two supports, it will sway when you move around in your hammock, but it will not fall.”

Clark Outdoors


TIP #2: Beware the Widow Maker!

“You’ve found a couple of trees that are a good distance apart. This looks like the place to hang, right? Not so fast! Check your chosen trees first before hanging your hammock. Don’t hang your hammock on a rotten tree or your weight can pull it down. Also, look up: are there any dead branches above you that could fall? If a good wind could knock the branch down overnight, don’t hang under it. Always hang your hammocks on good, healthy trees.”DES from Motorcycle Hammock-Camping


TIP #3: Have fun and relax

“Hammock camping is a rad and easy way to connect with the outdoors and friends. An important part of hammocking is finding the right set of trees to hang your gnar on. But the most important part of hammocking is just to have fun and relax, it’s meant to be an easy way to just chill.”

Frank from Gnar Outdoors


TIP #4:Insulate your underside

“Don’t forget to insulate your underside. Everybody forgets this their first time and ends up cold and shivering at night. Your sleeping bag alone isn’t enough because it compresses under your bodyweight and you lose that fluffiness, which is what keeps you warm. In my hammock, I sleep on a blue foam pad because it’s cheap and lightweight. Another option is an underquilt, which is a blanket that goes under the hammock, to avoid getting compressed.”

Mike Lin at Rallt


TIP #5: Choose unobstructed views

“Remove barriers between you and nature. Hammock camping creates a next-level experience, integrating you seamlessly with the outdoors. Bonus: fall asleep to the view of shooting stars, rather than the roof of your tent.”

Kammock


TIP #6: Do what works for you

“Hang Your Own Hang (HYOH). In other words: do what works for you. If you are comfortable and enjoying the experience, then stick with it!”

Derek Hansen, author of The Ultimate Hang 


TIP #7: Experiment with hammock camping

“The most important thing when you are getting into hammock camping is to try several different techniques. It’s very rare that someone finds their sweet spot on their very first attempt. Versatility is one of the most overlooked benefits of hammock camping. Hang it loose, and then hang it tighter. Keep playing with this. As you change the tightness you’ll find it easier to sleep in different positions. At the right tightness, you can sleep comfortably on your side. Try it with a sleeping pad, and then without. I believe that most people who don’t prefer hammock camping just haven’t experimented with it enough.”

Jake at Hobo Hammocks


TIP #8: Use a hang calculator for your tarp as well as your hammock

“It’s not only your hammock that has to hang correctly between two trees: you’ll need to put up a rain fly for anything but the best weather. There are loads of rain flies that are pretty much mix-and-match with whatever hammock you like. But even a tree-spacing that you can hang your hammock comfortably in might be too short for your fly. Too short a space will mean your fly hangs slack and uneven, and may send streams of rainwater where you don’t want it. One way you can gauge whether the spacing between trees is going to accommodate your fly is to create a “hang calculator,” a simple piece of string that you have measured to fit the length of your fly plus an extra 8” for rigging. Make sure you can recognize the string you use so you won’t mistake it for some random piece of rigging.”

NMBL from Motorcycle Hammock-camping

 

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

See iNews Cayman story published September 21 “Hammock Camping Infrographic Part 3” with additional link at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/hammock-camping-infographic-part-3/

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