Looking for the best sleep of your life? Look no further than your nearest hammock! Sleeping in a hammock can be incredibly comfortable, and it's a great way to relax after a long day. In this blog post, we will give you 14 tips for getting the best sleep possible in a hammock. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced hammocker, these tips will help you get the most out of your sleeping experience!
Garden hammock camping… here’s what we learned
1. Simplicity at its finest
The beauty of hammock camping is its simplicity. When you're accustomed to the complex process required for tent camping, including mats and multiple pieces that need to be put together, a hammock feels like a breath of fresh air! All you really require is one piece of fabric, some rope and maybe a sleeping bag if it's cold out - that's it!
2. You can make an adventure out of anything
When the virus struck, we had already completed 1,000 miles of our round-the-world cycling expedition. Even though we were forced to put a pause on our adventure, setting up camp in a hammock at home makes for an enjoyable experience. When darkness creeps in and you close your eyes under the stars, it's almost as if you're back in nature with all its elements engulfing your skin - no imagination needed!
On top of that, if the forecast predicts rain, you can always pitch your tent with a tarp (or make one out of some ponchos and tarps). That way it truly feels like you're on an outdoor escapade. It doesn't matter whether we are in lockdown or not; this is perfect for small garden journeys!
Related Posts: 12 Best Camping Gifts
3. Don’t try peeing off the hammock!!!
Don't underestimate the difficulty of this job - I certainly did. Trust me, it's not as straightforward and simple as you might think. Save yourself from making my same mistake! I know its sounds like a great idea, but it is not so don't try it especially if someone is sleeping below you.
Thankfully, the bathroom break was not recorded on camera - we just wanted to get ready for bed!
4. Those birds are loud!
Every morning, we are typically woken around 6-7 am by the melodious birds chirping away in our hammocks. Unlike sleeping in a tent where you can somewhat mute the sounds outside, with a sleeping hammock all the noises feel closer to us - like an alarm clock I'll never switch off! We've noticed that although there were plenty of birds frequenting our garden before this pandemic began, it appears their presence has increased exponentially now that human activity is more limited and nature is flourishing as a result. Anyone else think this is one of best ways to start your day?
The sweet sounds of birds fill the air, undisturbed by the hum of engines or aircrafts; muntjacs stopped by our house for a visit - something never seen before in this area! There have been more squirrels, butterflies and raptors than we ever had before. We even made some friends with rodents due to our green bins not being collected for two months- but that's another story entirely!
Let's capitalize on this incredible occurrence and keep the positive momentum going! Despite the current pandemic, nature has had a chance to regenerate in just a few months--can we continue allowing it to thrive after lockdown is over? I'm confident that if we maintain our commitment, remarkable conservation of natural resources will be achievable.
Warning: if you’re pitched under two trees very popular with the local bird community, pitch a tarp and expect it to be pretty messy in the morning. Better the tarp than your face though!
5. Why have we been tent camping so long?
We've owned these hammocks for years now (handcrafted from a charming Indonesian shop), yet we have always opted to take the tent along on hiking trips, cycling tours, and climbing adventures – why? The answer is simple: after all these years of research and development, the hammock has been perfected into an unforgettable outdoor experience. It's lighter than ever before with quick set-up time; you'll be sleeping in no time! A built-in mosquito net keeps pesky bugs away while providing ample breathability — so why bother carrying around cumbersome tent poles and pegs if you don't need them?
Not to mention, they are as lightweight as a bivvy and the perfect setup for an adventurous escapade. We can’t wait to plan some hammock-based hikes so that we can see how it holds up with extended hikes. Very grateful for the mosquito net!
6. The tighter the better
If you're looking for a good night's rest, hanging your hammock tightly is the way to go—it'll give you all the depth of sleep that you need! Hang it up properly and even sleeping on your side will be just as comfortable. This might not apply when lounging around in leisure but getting plenty of shut-eye should always come first.
7. The big sleeping bag question!
After multiple attempts, I finally figured out the best way to get into my sleeping bag in a hammock: should you A) enter your sleeping bag and then slip into the hammock or B) clamber inside the hammock and shimmy yourself into your snug little cocoon? At first, option A seemed like it would work well with a firmly pitched hammock. However, without fail each time ended up nearly flipping me onto one side!
At this point, I decided that attempt number two at option B was worth trying by wriggling myself directly INTO THE SLEEPING BAG while still nestled within the comfy confines of my beloved hanging oasis- luckily with much success!!
I unzipped the sleeping bag, spread it out on the hammock and snuggled inside. This method of zipping up easily with grace was undoubtedly the best option - we'll dub this choice 'Option C'! We wholeheartedly advise that you follow our lead to get a sound night's rest.
8. Sleeping in a hammock is probably the best way to feel connected with your surroundings
When you're camping in a tent, your world is practically encapsulated. Even with bivvy bag camping, this remains true - but when it comes to sleeping in a campervan, can we really call that 'camping'? For the ultimate closeness and connection with nature however, nothing quite beats hammock camping. You'll be able to feel nature's raw elements without obstruction; gaze up into the sky (or beneath a tarp); listen intently as wildlife chirps from above; and if Mother Nature grants permission on an evening where winds are strong enough...you may even have her rocking you to sleep! Contrastingly though-in comparison-sleeping in tents during windy weather won't provide such an inviting experience.
9. Keep everything close to hand
As you begin to feel comfortable and snuggled up in your hammock, you suddenly remember that the water bottle, headlamp or book - all essentials for a good night's rest - are still a few meters away. Sure, it may not seem like much of an issue but if you've already cocooned yourself into your sleeping bag then it can be quite annoying having to get back out again! This brings us on nicely to our next point...
10. Is sleeping in a hammock the most practical?
Although hammocks boast characteristics of size, weight, and easy assembly that are highly beneficial for camping trips, there are a couple drawbacks to be aware of. To begin with, you need trees to support the hammock which can be hard to come by in some terrains. Additionally, storing your gear is not always possible because it's too cramped or uncomfortable within the confines of the hammock itself; this is especially true when tackling extended hikes or cycle tours with increased amounts of supplies and equipment. While I'm comfortable to leave my bags against the tree in my garden, this is not an ideal situation when travelling. Additionally, it's just not warm enough for cold nights - even with a good-quality sleeping bag providing insulation up to -17°C. During a night spent at -2°C (despite wearing thermals and proper clothing), the uncomfortable chill forced me into an unbearable, restless sleep. It was simply awful!
Absolutely! You can get your hands on a luxurious hammock underquilt for ultimate comfort.
11. The double hammock!
Testing the double hammock has been on our bucket list for a while now. If you're not familiar with what I'm referring to, it's basically setting up two individual hammocks that are attached together by two trees (like bunk beds). Much to my surprise, Sarah wasn't so sure about this venture; however, we pulled it off flawlessly! Just make sure when securing the top one that you do an adequate job so its occupant doesn't tumble down on their partner in crime during the night. Refer to the photo below as a reference point if needed!
Other tips to keep in mind: let the person who typically wakes up earlier sleep on the bottom bunk, and try not to eat too many beans for dinner – there's limited space!
13. Is there a better place to read a book?
Imagining being engulfed in a tranquil comfort of a hammock bed, with the added bonus of curling up to an engrossing outdoor book - is there anything more fulfilling? I believe not!
The Best Hammock for reading: Hammock
14. The outdoors is worth protecting
What's more, these hammock camps serve as a timely reminder of how essential our environment is to us. It's time that we rediscovered the connection between us and the outdoors! Each morning, when you awaken beneath two towering trees with wildlife all around you...it truly brings home the luckiness of having such access to mother nature. We must ensure she continues being protected for generations to come.
I'm looking forward to planning a thrilling excursion where I can have the same early morning serenity but surrounded by lush woodlands in a breathtaking national park or embarking on an incredible cycling journey.