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Lightweight Portable Camping Hammocks - Small Outdoor Hiking Hammocks

Updated on August 17, 2014

One of the things which sucks about camping out is finding a comfortable place to sleep. If you've ever hunted around for a suitable campsite, spent time clearing the ground, setting up and still woke up cramped and achy or with a root or rock jabbing in your side in the morning, you'll know exactly what that means. Not so, if you are one of the lucky ones who discovered the joys of portable outdoor hammocks!

Camping and backpacking hammocks are the ideal alternative to sleeping bags, cots and inflatable mattresses...and whatever other method you've tried to actually get a restful night's sleep under the stars. You can set up portable hammocks anywhere you can find two trees together, no need to worry about clearing the ground and no waking up being poked by roots and rocks as you're suspended in the air. A lightweight hammock will reduce the load you have to carry in your backpack too leaving you more space for the thing you usually leave out or simply reducing the strain of carrying excess weight.

They are ideal for the single camper but you can also find light double hammocks for two people (more if you like) to snuggle down for the night in. These two person style models are larger and hold more weight but most will still fold down to as small as the size of a grapefruit.

Outdoor travel hammocks allow you to camp off the beaten path, making your campsite anywhere you like rather than having to stick to the well worn trails. They give you true freedom to roam and those who have already discovered the joys of using them claim they will give you the best night's sleep out in the open you have ever had.

Portable Backpack Hammocks With Bug Nets

Of course, one of the issues we all have when it comes to sleeping under the big sky is the bugs which love to try to crawl into bed with us or turn you into a all-night buffet. Keeping mosquitoes, spiders, and other creepy crawlies away at night is as easy (or hard) in an outdoor hammock as it is in a tent but there are manufacturer created solutions to the problem which work well. Bug proof hammocks with integrated mosquito nets attached are one solution which their users have found effective for keeping the little critters from biting. You can also buy separate lightweight mosquito netting to prevent bug bites which weighs very little and folds up small enough to add very little bulk to your backpack. Whether you choose one with a built in bug net or a standalone mosquito proof net cover you will be protected from the little critters.

Staying Dry In A Camping Hammock Outdoors

One of the things people who have never tried hammocking instead of taking a tent along on their hiking trips, worry about, is keeping dry when they set up camp. A tent has a waterproof canopy etc. which must surely be better than a overblown sleeping bag tied between two tree trunks right? Well, no actually, as the reality of this is far different. When you set up camp with a tent, you have to find a spot which is dry, has no pooled water or soggy ground, and which is not going to be affected by runoff if it does rain hard. Fail to do this and expect an uncomfortable night. Collapsible camping hammocks suspended above the ground have none of these problems, in fact, you can suspend them over a stream if you want to, you’ll be snug and dry above it. Most people use tarps stretched out above to keep any rain off and again, manufacturers sell these too.

Tree Straps and Strap Extenders

One of the few accessories you should definitely buy are tree straps for hammocks. These prevent the your weight from ripping up the bark and scarring the trees you suspend it between by spreading the weight over a larger more protective area. Tree straps also extend the length of your support straps, lengthening the cords or rope supplied to make it even easier to find a suitable pair of trees for your camping spot. Major manufacturers supply tree straps suitable for use with their own hammock brand so, if available, make sure you buy the one which matches to avoid any unforeseen issues with attaching the straps etc.

Double Hammocks For 2 People

One of the joys of camping for many of us is getting away from it all and exploring some of the most beautiful places on the planet. For others, it is an experience to be shared but that doesn't mean you have to go back to pitching a tent and following all the usual well-trodden trails. 2 Person or Double hammocks for two people are a popular choice among couples or families. These are larger and able to accommodate several users up to the weight limit which may be 400lbs or higher. You can also find jumbo size extra large hammocks for 3 people or more if you can pack 'em in there. These double wide models for two people are still a lightweight solution and will still take up relative little space despite their larger size, many are capable of folding up to around the size of grapefruit even the double sized ones.

Why Choose Backpacker Hammocks Compared To One Man Tents

There are many reasons why you would choose to hike with a camping hammock compared to a single person tent. Conventional wisdom says that camping out involves setting camp and pitching a tent but there is no reason why this should be so. Ultimately, you want to travel light and find a nice, warm, dry place to spend the night and there’s nothing to say a tent need enter into the equation. Many backpackers have found portable lightweight hammocks to be just as good, or better, than a tent and have found additional benefits too.

Outdoor hammock camping has a big advantage when it comes to finding a camp site. Traditionally, you have to find a good location, clear it of roots, rocks and other debris, make sure it isn’t subject to runoff and water pooling and generally work over the site to get it prepared before you even think about pitching the tent. Leave no trace? Hardly. Opt for a night spent suspended above all the uncomfortable stuff instead and you’re choice of camp sites increases to…well, just about every pair of trees you can find! The condition of the ground doesn’t matter, sleep over rocks and big puddles if you choose, all you need to worry about is setting up your product for a good night’s rest.

They are reported to be warmer than tents too. You’re experience may differ on this of course, but there are plenty who claim to have slept outside in temperatures which would have been most uncomfortable in the average tent but felt just fine wrapped up in a hammock.

Comparatively speaking, using one of these means you will more than likely be carrying less weight than if you were taking a one man tent along for the trip. The average one weighs far less than a tent does, especially when you add in things like an inflatable camping mattress and other things which can bump the weight up. Depending on how you travel, and what you take along, this difference might be negligible or it might amount to several pounds in weight shed off your back.

Which is more comfortable? For those who have tried it, the consensus is it is just more comfortable to sleep in an outdoor hiking hammock than in a tent’s sleeping bag/mattress pad combination. Again, it’s a matter of personal preference, but if you find yourself all achy and stiff after sleeping in a tent you definitely should consider the alternatives instead. You’ll never find yourself jabbed by a rock you missed or poked by a tree root or surprised by unexpectedly finding yourself in the way of water drainage in one of these either. It’s a much better way to sleep…and yes, side sleeping, stomach sleeping or laying on your back is all good as well.

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