Hammock camping is becoming more and more popular these days. Hammocks are a smaller, more lightweight option than tents, that’s why many hikers and backpackers are trying them out lately. They are also fun and comfortable to lounge in when you’re just out relaxing in nature. If you’re interested to try out camping in a hammock, follow these essential tips to make your experience comfortable and smooth-sailing.

Buy the right hammock for you

When buying a hammock, be sure to purchase one designed specifically for camping. The cheaper, more common ones are good only for backyard use and are not suitable for the outdoors. Even if you plan to use it only once, go for one that’s made of strong durable material instead of an inexpensive one for your safety.

The size is also an important matter – be sure to choose a hammock with a higher weight rating than your actual weight. Go for one that is at least 2 feet longer in length than your actual height. Some campers choose a double hammock for more room even if they’re camping alone.

Consider the weight

Like any camping gear, hammocks come in a variety of sizes and weights. The size and weight won’t matter if you’re not going hiking or backpacking. But if you are, there are light and ultra-portable options to choose from. Purchase one that don’t come with too many accessories and hardware and can easily be stuffed in a small case for easy traveling.

Opt for wide tree straps

Use only wide tree straps to help protect trees from damage. Some hammock models come with webbing straps that are about 1 inch wide or you can purchase the straps separately. Using this type of strap will help preserve trees as opposed to cords that can cut into the bark.

Include a bug net

A bug net is a hammock camping essential, especially if your trip falls during summer or spring season where bugs and insects are aplenty in the woods. If your hammock doesn’t come with a built-in bug net, you can buy one separately, making sure that it’s big enough to wrap around your entire hammock.

Don’t forget the rainfly

Yet another must-have for hammock camping is a rainfly, which will protect you from the elements. Some models come with a built-in rainfly, but you can also buy it separately or opt to use a tarp. To make sure you’re protected from rain, wind and snow, the rainfly/tarp should extend past your head and toes when tied on top of the hammock.

Follow these essential tips for hammock camping to have a fun and memorable experience!