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Choosing and Using a Camping Hammock

Updated on September 27, 2011

Want to Sleep in a Camping Hammock?

For many of us, a camping hammock may just give us a great spot for hanging out while we're outdoors. A place to get out of the tent and yet relax. We may read a book, snuggle with someone, or take a nap. For other people who camp outdoors, sleeping in a hammock can be preferrable. A camping hammock allows you to lay up off of the hard, lumpy ground. Your body is cradled, it's often much more comfortable, and you wake without the stiffness you might experience sleeping on the ground.

You get a beautiful view of the sunrise too and with the right netting, you don't have to worry about insects intruding on your private space.

Of course choosing the right place for your hammock is especially important if you'll be sleeping there. You certainly don't want dead limbs hovering above which could potentially fall on you in your sleep. If you're camping in colder weather, you will also need a bit of additional gear to stay warm. Pads, sleeping bags, and so forth will do the trick.

Below you'll see some good commercially available camping hammocks and you'll find resources to help you set up your camp and learn what you need to know if you're a beginner.

Buying Tips

If you are buying your first camping hammock there are a few things you need to consider:

1. Size
Obviously, you'll need a hammock that is long enough for your body. Generally speaking, you want the sleeping area to be at least 4 or 5 feet longer than your height. You'll also need to be sure the width is sufficient to cradle you without risk of falling out each time you move. Weight capacity as compared to your body weight is of course critical as well.

2. Durability and Strength
Nylon fabric tends to offer greater durability and strength than polyester or even cotton. Cotton will fade over time and in harsh conditions will degrade.

3. Portability
If you will be hiking with the hammock, then having one that packs down compactly and is light weight is critical. Polyester tends to be the very lightest. Many of these items come with their own bag.

4. Weather Resistant
Polyester will dry the most quickly. Having a rain canopy however is more crucial in case of rain. All hammocks should be dried completely before storing. Finding a hammock with mildew resistance can help prolong it's life. Nylon and polyester can be a good choice in this regard.

5. Comfort
Some people prefer a cotton fabric because it comforms to their body better and can provide a bit more warmth. Using a sleeping bag in the hammock will still be necessary in cooler temperatures. Comfort can also be enhanced by assuring that the hammock is properly hung and is long enough.

Having netting to keep insects at bay is another comfort and safety feature.

6. Set Up
Easy and secure set up is critical. Not all of these items come with the necessary hooks and ropes needed. Look for one that offers plenty of rope, just a few feet won't do. Carabiners are much better for hanging than S hooks. If the item you choose doesn't have all of the hardware you need, you can of course purchase these items separately There are videos below to cover basic hanging instructions.

Oversized Hammocks

This first item is a double wide camping hammock which is made of 100% nylon parachute silk (known for resisting rot and mildew) and has 100" of 6mm high strength nylon rope on each side. It measures 118" L x 80" W allowing it to accommodate two typical sized adults. It weighs 22 ounces and can easily be stored in the 8" x 10" stuff sack which is permanently attached to it to prevent loss. The empty sack can be used for storing necessities that you want to keep close at hand when lounging or sleeping in the hammock.

The second item, a triple wide hammock merely offers more size. It measures 118" L x 98" W. Perfect for big and tall people or for entire families. It weighs 26 ounces. These hammocks are machine washable and dryable for easy care.

Ultralight Hammock

The Hammock Bliss ultralight camping hammock is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and weighs a mere 13 ounces. It's been tested to hold up to 350lbs. It's made of soft, breathable, quick drying 100% nylon fabric. It measures 4' 6" x 7' 11" and comes with 80" rope on each side.

It includes an attached pouch for storing the hammock when not in use. It can be used as a gear bag when the hammock is mounted. It comforms to your body and will "cocoon" to help keep bugs away when desired.

The Grand Trunk Ultralight Camping Hammock is a very affordable option. It is made of 100% polyester taffeta which is mildew resistant and quick drying. It comes with an easy to use hanging kit: two 10' pieces of pre-knotted 4.5mm accessory rope and attached stainless S-hooks. It measures 9' 5" x 4' 5" when hung and can hold up to 250lbs. It stores compactly and is perfect for hikers who don't need more bulk or weight to carry. It weighs only 12 ounces and has an attached stuff sack for transporting. This hammock comes with a 10 year warranty.

No Bugs Hammock

This item has an important feature for those who want to sleep or spend serious time in their camping hammock. It offers "NoSeeUm netting" to keep even the tiniest insects away. It is attached the full lenth of the hammock and will lay well above the occupant. It even offers 4 loops from which to hang gear and two pockets as well so that things are close at hand, inside your bug-free space. Double pull YKK zippers make it easy to enter and exit this semi-enclosed space.

The hammock has 100" of 6mm climbing rope on each end for easy hanging. It weighs a mere 28 ounces but can support at least 350lbs. If you choose to use it without the netting, it's reversible.


The Eagles Nest Outfitters items are another of the most affordable camping hammocks available. They come in a variety of colors and are made of high strength, breathable woven nylon with strong nautical grade lines and high grade triple interlocking stitching for improved strength and durability.

Although these hammocks pack down to the size of a softball, they offer the room you need. The double nest can hold up to 400lbs and measures 6' 8" x 9' 10" and weighs only 22 ounces.

This single nest EON hammock measures 4' 7" x 9' 10" and weighs only 18 ounces. It can easily hold people up to 180lbs. These camping hammocks come with a 2 year warranty.

Hennessey Explorer Deluxe

This camping hammock is designed for people between 6' and 7' tall and weighing up to 300lbs. It includes an attached mosquito netting and detachable rain fly (canopy), 10' long, low stretch polyester ropes, and 2" wide x 42" long nylon webbing straps to protect tree bark.

It measures 108" L x 56" wide and can be set up within 3 minutes. It includes a stuff sack that makes transporting this hammock easy. It measures only 6" x 12" when packed.

Setting Up A Camping Hammock

Tying a Knot for Hanging Your Hammock- Just One Option


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    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 6 years ago from UK

      Another two and a half years to go before I shall need one of these wonderful things :-)

    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 6 years ago

      I remember when we visited my grandmother in the province, there was this fabric hammock that was tied to a sturdy tree. I tried the hammock and it surely made me quite sleepy.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      This would be nice to have and relax in.

    • irenemaria profile image

      irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

      I would just love to have one of these!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I can't think of a more pleasant way to relax than in a hammock. Every spring I set one under my tree in the back yard And taking a hammock on a camping trip is divine!