Pitching The Perfect Camping Hammock
Could there be a more iconic symbol for camping than having the perfect hammock set up?
Let's try and find what’s wrong with this picture:
It’s about 3 in the afternoon, you’ve just spent the morning soaking up the sun and the waves because, well, your tent is literally 50 metres from the beach. You’ve just finished a late lunch of freshly caught barbequed snapper washed down with an ice-cold one straight out of the esky. The kids are happily playing a game of their own invention, the Mrs has got a grin from ear to ear as she pulls out her favourite novel, and you, under the shade of a large tree decide to perch yourself on the recently erected hammock to let the subtle sound of the wind swing you into a cheeky late afternoon shut-eye.
What’s wrong with this picture? That’s right, nothing. And this is very likely the case thanks to that humble piece of cloth now slowly rocking you back and forth to sleep in the cool breeze: the hammock.
Now just because this humble piece of cloth is a fundamental that should be found in any camping equipment, just having a hammock doesn’t mean that it’ll bring you the kind of pleasure you know it can. Setting up a bad hammock is the kind of amateur blunder you want to avoid at all costs. Not just for your own happiness, but for your camping neighbours who have to witness this kind of modern-day tragedy.
We’re going to key you in on a couple of hot tips to make sure that next trip - the eyes that watch you will be those of envy, not horror. (If you want an accompanying visual check this guy out)
The classic hammock.
While there are plenty of fancy, fang-dangle hammocks trying to make their way onto the market, you really can’t beat what we sell as “the anywhere hammock”. They come in a range of different sizes so you can go solo or try and fit the whole family. Chances are, this will be the kind of hammock you take camping with you because they’re easy to pack and can go anywhere if your imagination is clever enough.
Usually, however, they work best with trees. Hopefully, there’s a few of those around… unless your idea of camping is putting up some sheets over the couches inside. If that’s the case, you probably shouldn’t be looking at this blog.
The first step is to get the right distance between two trees: If the trees are too far apart your hammock will be like a tightrope and you might find you need new undies pretty soon. If they’re too close, then there’ll be too much pressure on the trees and the ropes, not to mention your bruised rear-end if you get a little too excited to quickly to jump on.
We recommend suspending the rope at about a 30-degree angle from the tree. This won’t put undue stress on your material and will give you what is known as the deep sag.
The Deep Sag
If you can picture your hammock like a happy child’s smile then you’ve probably found yourself in deep sag heaven. When your hammock sags at just the right amount, you’ll feel comfortable in it and won’t have any risk of falling out. While everyone needs to find their own personal hammock style, this setup works best for the most amount of people. It also means you can lay on the diagonal.
The Diagonal Lay
A recent study found that two out of five people in every camping ground was not aware of the diagonal lay. Ok, we made that up, but this is where you need to do your part in tandem with the hammock set-up.
If you try and lie in line with the hammock your body will bend like a banana and it’ll get pretty uncomfortable pretty quickly. Maybe you like the feeling of being a banana, but if you don’t, lie from one angle to the other – you’ll find you get a much more even distribution of weight throughout the hammock and your precious afternoon sleep won’t get interrupted by an unwanted falling out.
The winter hammock and insulation
This probably won’t apply to you if you’re a summer camper. But if you like the idea of chilly nights by the fire, then it’s a good idea to insulate your hammock. The hammock isn’t the thickest of materials so if you don’t insulate your bum will get colder quicker than you think. Chuck a blanket or a sleeping bag inside and you’ll never want to get out!
The harsh reality of camping is that sometimes it rains. This can actually turn into a blessing if you’re well prepared. If you want to take your hammock game to the next level, then set up a tarp over the top so that it angles down and away from where you’re lying. You might find it’s the most popular place to be if it ever does happen to rain!
We’ve focused on the Anywhere Hammock, but there are other types that, if you’ll willing to cart around a little extra luggage, have the potential to provide you with some incredibly rewarding hammock experiences.
A frame can be a life-saver if there happens to be a lack of trees in your camping ground. Check them out here!
For the real fancy folk out there, or those who want to spice up their hammock life, check out the Anywhere Hammock Chair! It’s bound to be a favourite for shapes and sizes.
For our full range of hammocks go here, or come on in to your local Freddy’s and say hello to a friendly staff member!