So I set out to try hammock camping two weekends ago. The thing about this is that I’ve been watching some You Tubers channels to learn more about living outdoors for a few days at a stretch. While I made it through Cub Scouts, probably by the force of my parents there, I never went through the boy scout track so all of this stuff is learn-as-I-go.
When I first saw some guys sleeping in tarp-covered hammocks I was immediately intrigued. As I already had a hammock for my camping trips from last year with bug netting all I needed was the tarp and a way to rig up a protective cover for warmth since I am not buying an under quilt until after the big trip in September. From the “I’m not made of money department” there.
I bought an inexpensive tarp from Chill Gorilla for this experiment. Pairing that with my cheap Eastern Ridge hammock with bug netting. Then hanging my rig with these awesome straps from Hommit. For an underlayer, I paired a wool Amry blanket with a super flexible thin rubber exercise mat. Once put together it was really comfortable. I had my sleep sack from Big Agnes which I used for a quilt. Being Summer it was pretty warm to start with but the temperature dropped to 63 so I was glad to have both a top and bottom layer.
Back to my learn-as-I-go track. My knots sucked. It was truly a trainwreck. Fortunately one of my fellow campers taught me how to properly use the plastic slider affixed to the tarp connectors. Then he also taught me how to tie a Taunt Line Hitch and a Bolan knot. The first is used to give you an adjustable knot to fix the tension. The second is used to secure the line from the plastic slider which is also used to set tension properly. Once this was all in place the tarp worked fantastically.
Now the experience. I love reading and napping in my hammock but I have never attempted to sleep all night in one. While I had a difficult time adjusting to my hanging bed, I fell asleep eventually and slept really really well. It was one of my favorite nights outdoors. One I hope to repeat once I do some more knot tying practice and learn the actual name of the “plastic slider.”
In the end, I definitely think there is something to this whole hammock thing. They look great, pack down to nothing and are relatively lightweight. Definitely a cool experience.