Once you have the basics right, hammock camping is easy as well as safe and fun. Just follow these simple instructions and you are well on your way to exploring the outdoors in comfort!
Note: If it is raining, it's a good idea to set up a tarp first! That will give you shelter while you rig your hammock.
To suspend your hammock:
- First, check for anything that might fall on you from above: trees with loose branches or insect nests should be avoided.
- Your two trees should be alive and sturdy, at least 15cm in diameter and between 3 and 5 metres apart.
- Attach your hammock to these trees at roughly your own head height, using your suspension cord – we also have further tips and info on the knots and suspension types you can use. Make sure the hammock body is centred between your trees. It may take a couple of attempts to get the hang just right – ensure it is about chair height for you, or around half a metre from the ground.
IMPORTANT: The flatter the angle of your hang, the greater the force applied to the suspension - so make sure there is enough slack in the hang of the hammock to prevent any breakages. Check out this handy calculator on The Ultimate Hang which shows you how it all works.
To get into your hammock:
- Check any knots are completely secure
- Spread the material out with both hands so that one hand comes beneath your knees and the other behind you
- If you are using a hammock with a built-on bug net, lift the netted half above your head
- Sit back into it like a chair
- Simply lift both legs up towards the hammock opening, and swivel your body round until you are lying flat inside!
For the flattest and most comfortable lie, we recommend placing yourself on the diagonal. This spreads the material out around you and creates greater width inside the hammock.
If you are using the Scout, Camping or Frontline hammocks, you have the option to cocoon yourself between the two base layers.
(Note that each hammock's respective weight limit should be halved when your weight is on one layer).
Depending on the time of year or the climate, you may wish to add insulation such as an underblanket, quilt or sleeping bag. Find out more about camping in winter, or simply browse our insulation range.
If you are going to be hammock camping in heavy rain, you may wish to think about upgrading your standard webbing to include a set of Hammock Rings, or even swapping it out for the Complete Whoopie Suspension System. Having an impermeable metal ring or karabiner in-line aids in water run-off, and prevents rainwater from wicking down the suspension into your hammock.