Hammock Camping: Common Mistakes

Picture This: It’s a brisk fall morning and pull up to the trailhead after driving for a couple of hours. You’re burning daylight, so naturally you decide to hit the trail as quickly as possible. After a few long hours, you’ve completed the trek to your camping spot. Before getting dinner ready, you decide to open up your pack and set up your shelter for the night — your new camping hammock. 

Sounds like a pretty decent day, right? Well, that all depends on what you find in your bag when you open it up. Have you remembered all of your equipment? Did you tear your shelter when you packed your stakes in your bag? Are the trees in the area spread too far apart for your hammock straps to reach? All of these problems and more could turn your nice leisurely weekend trip to something that closely resembles a nightmare.  

At Hennessy Hammock, we specially designed our camping hammocks to help outdoor enthusiasts adventure farther and more comfortably. By taking the concept of a hammock shelter and beta testing over 50 prototypes, we are happy to say that we have created the coolest, most comfortable tent in the world. That said, even with the best gear, accidents can happen. Continue reading as we discuss some of the common mistakes that people make when hammock camping, as well as what you can do to avoid finding yourself in a similar situation during your next adventure. 

Trip Planning With Your Camping Hammock

When it comes to any outdoor adventure, the most important part of the trip is preparation and research. You should be familiar with your gear and familiar with where you're going — and if you aren’t, it is important that you set aside time to learn. Below, we have listed a few of the common mistakes that people make on their hammock camping trips, as well as how you can avoid making the same mistakes yourself on your next outdoor adventure. 

Common Mistakes Made Hammock Campers

 Missing Gear

Traditionally speaking, when people think of camping, they think of setting up a tent. With tents, capers usually pack the poles, rain fly, shelter, and stakes back into the tent bag right away after each use. In doing so, they always know that all of the tent components that they’ll need are in the same place. 

When it comes to hammock camping, it is much easier to misplace the components that you’ll need to properly hang your hammock. Traditional tents have one use — meaning that tents are only ever set up when the user is camping. Camping hammocks, however, can be used as a tent during a trip or as a simple lounging location in your backyard — meaning that it is much easier to misplace gear that you’ll need on your next adventure. 

Solution: Before you embark on your next camping trip, spread out all the gear that you’ll need on the ground and verify that you have each component of your hammock tent. In doing so, you’ll be able to tell if something is missing before you are unpacking your bag at your campsite. After all, it would be a real shame to get to your campsite only to realize that you’ve forgotten the Hammock Webbing Straps that you’ll need to hang your hammock with. 

Lack of Research 

If you have ever heard a camping horror story, there is a good chance that the root of the issues stemmed from the camper being unprepared. All too often, people embark on long camping trips without truly researching the area that they’ll be camping in. 

If you plan on using a hammock tent on your next trip, it is incredibly important that you properly research the area that you will be in. First and foremost, what is the weather supposed to be like? If it is supposed to rain, it might be worth bringing a larger hammock rainfly. Next, it is important to check the projected temperature. Being that hammock tent is not insulated by the ground, it might be worth bringing extra insulation systems if the temperature is projected to drop at night. Last, but certainly not least, it is important for you to research what the tree cover is like in the area. If the trees where you intend to camp for the night are spread farther apart than the dense forest areas that you’re used to, it might be worthwhile to invest in some extra Hammock Webbing Straps.

Solution: Before you head out on your next adventure, be sure to thoroughly research the trails and campgrounds that you will be using. In doing so, you can rest assured that you’re prepared, or adjust your plans to be more prepared. 

No Repair Kit

If you are going on a longer trip — heck, even if you only plan on camping for one night — it is incredibly important that you pack a repair kit for your hammock. Nobody ever plans to have their hammock shelter damaged, but accidents happen. Zippers can break, branches can create tears, and cordage can break. What really matters is that you’re prepared when the damages occur. 

If you are camping and one or more components of your hammock fail, you might have to sleep uncomfortably on the ground or seek an alternative means of shelter altogether. That said, if you are prepared and have created a repair kit, you can rest easy knowing that almost all damages are fixable.  

Solution: Before your next trip, be sure to put together a hammock tent repair kit. Be sure to include an extra Hammock Webbing Strap, Fly Tensioner Replacement, zipper, and emergency patch. Once you are home safe from your trip, reach out to our team to discuss sending us your hammock tent for professional repairs!

Inexperience With Set Up

Sure, you might be excited to get out there and try your new Hennessy Hammock, but it is important that you familiarize yourself with it before you head out on your next adventure. In doing so, you will have a better idea of what hammock components that you’ll need to properly hang your hammock, as well as become faster and more efficient when setting it up. 

Setting up a hammock is not as easy as you might think — especially if you are planning on spending the entire night in it. Depending on where you are camping, you might have to adjust how you hang your hammock. The size of trees in the area, how far they are spread apart, and the components you have brought with you will all affect the set up process.  

Solution: When you get your new hammock tent in the mail, be sure to familiarize yourself with it. Make a checklist of the components that are necessary to hang your new hammock and then practice hanging it in your yard or at a nearby park. Not only will practicing make the set up process easier in the future, but it will also help you learn to identify the best locations to hang your new hammock. 

Improper Gear

When you go out into nature, it is important that you are always prepared. First, you must be prepared mentally by doing your research on the area and weather forecast, as well as creating a trip plan. Second, you must prepare by assembling all of the gear that you will need on your trip — and not all gear will make the cut. 

When you are shopping for hammock tents, you might notice that some brands are extremely affordable, while others are a little bit more expensive. Naturally, people gravitate towards the more affordable options. That said, there is a reason that affordable options are sold at a low price point — they aren’t built to last. At Hennessy Hammock, we manufacture and sell durable, high-quality hammock tents that retail between $69.95 and $319.95. Why? Well, our camping hammocks are built to last. Check out our camping hammock inventory today.

Solution: When building your camping hammock kit, never sacrifice quality for a low price. In the end, it is best to invest in a hammock tent that will last you for years to come. Additionally, be sure to invest in accessories that are specifically designed to be compatible with your hammock tent. 

Hammock Shelter Tips

Above, we have outlined some of the most common mistakes that are made by newer hammock campers. While we believe that it is most important to avoid the five mistakes above, there are a few other common mistakes that new campers make on their first trips that we thought we might point out. Continue reading as we discuss a few tips and tricks that can help you avoid making a mistake on your next trip. 

How to prepare for a hammock camping trip.

Check for “Widow Makers”

A “widow maker” is an object or action that can cause a sudden loss of life. When it comes to hammock camping, a widow maker is a dead tree or dead tree limbs that could potentially fall — leading to serious injuries and sometimes death. 

As a camper that directly relies on trees for setting up their shelter, it is extremely important that you inspect your camping spot for potential widow makers. After finding a spot without dying or deteriorating trees, you can rest easy knowing that your campsite is safe.  

Don’t Hang Your Tarp Too High

When people are hanging their camping hammock for the first time, it is not uncommon for them to hang their rainfly too high — after all, at first it might seem as if the higher the tarp is hung, the more space it can keep dry beneath it. 

In reality, you will actually want to hang your rainfly much lower. In doing so, you will be able to protect your hammock shelter from blowing rain and wind that comes from lower angles. 

Don’t Skimp on Insulation

One of the things that attracts outdoor lovers to hammock tents is the appeal of comfort. When you sleep in a hammock tent, you won’t have to feel every little rock and twing on the ground as you sleep. That said, to sleep comfortably in a hammock tent you will need to properl;y insulate it. 

While the ground might be cold and hard, it is a natural insulator. When you sleep in a hammock, air freely moves above you and beneath you — creating a need for insulation. While a blanket or sleeping bag might adequately insulate the top half of a hammock, you’ll want to sleep on a pad or hang an underquilt to insulate the lower half of the hammock.  

Angle Your Tree Straps Correctly 

When you are hanging your hammock for the first time, it can be difficult to determine what angle to hang your straps. If the angle is too severe, you might end up laying too flat in your hammock or end up with too extreme of a sag. 

Ideally, you’ll want to hang your hammock straps so that they hang off of the tree at a 30 degree angle. In doing so, you will create optimal sag angle and be able to sleep comfortably through the night. 

Hang Your Foot End Higher

As a newcomer to the camping hammock scene, it might not be immediately apparent how you should hang your hammock. In fact, most new hammock campers think that both straps should be hung at the same height. 

Logically, it might seem like hanging your straps evenly is the optimal way to set up the hammock, but in reality, the foot end of the hammock should be up to one foot higher than your head end. If the foot end is hung too low, you might slide towards the center of the hammock as you sleep. 

Hammock Tent Set Up Help

Are you new to hammock camping? If so, learning how to set your hammock up properly can seem like a daunting task. That said, while camping hammocks are more complex in nature than traditional tents, they really aren’t hard to set up after you have a little bit more experience. 

To learn more about how to properly hang your new Hennessy hammock, visit our camping hammock set up page. Once you have learned to hang your new camping hammock up, we urge you to learn more about another exciting Hennessy Hammock feature — ground set up! Check our our ground set up page today to learn how you can set up your new hammock comfortably on the ground. 

Order Your Hennessy Hammock Today!

If you are interested in hammock camping we urge you to check out our world-class hammock tents today. After 50 different prototypes, Tom Hennessy developed a lightweight, durable, and weatherproof hammock that combined all of the functionality of a traditional tent while adding the comfort of a hammock. 

Featuring camping hammock models for the weekend warrior and hammock models suitable for the most intense outdoor adventures, there is a Hennessy Hammock out there for everyone. Find your new favorite camping hammock today.

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