The Complete Guide To Hammock Camping

If you’re tired of all the set-up that camping requires, it might be time to pitch the tent. (Pun intended.) In the past few years, people have been doing just that—forgoing complicated camping tents for hammocks. (In fact, since 2014, hammock sales have more than doubled.) Interested in learning how to hammock camp? We’ve got you covered with a quick how-to and the gear you’ll need.

Hammock camping is a new fad with a long history. According to historians, hammocks were first used more than 1,000 years ago by the Mayans and later spread to other parts of central America and the Caribbean. These early hammocks—made from woven plant materials—offered natural ventilation and provided people with a safe sleeping spot away from roaming insects and animals.

By the 16th century, hammocks became the standard bed for sailors—a practice that continued through World War II. By this time, the design had significantly changed and unlike early iterations, these shipboard hammocks—made from thick, damp canvas—were notoriously uncomfortable. The design changed little throughout the 20th century. In recent years, however, technology caught up to the humble hammock and turned it into the durable, portable, easy-to-use product we know today. (And it quickly became a hit with modern-day campers.)

How To Hammock Camp

Hammock camping is pretty straightforward but there are few things to keep in mind.

  1. Choose the right hammock for you and learn how to set it up properly without damaging trees. Check out our hammock reviews post and our how-to for hammock hanging.
  2. Make sure the place you’re camping allows hammocks. Some cities and parks have started to prohibit hammock use because of people not using them properly and damaging trees and plant life.
  3. Bring proper insulation. Hammocks are naturally cooler than tents since air is allowed to circulate around you. Sometimes, even in summer, this can make you too cold. Be sure to dress in layers and consider using a hammock underquilt. (See below for our recommendations.)
  4. Pack a bug net. To prevent yourself from becoming a feast for mosquitoes, make sure you have a bug net you can hang around your hammock. (If you’re camping in a drier climate with less mosquitoes, this might not be necessary.)
  5. Have a rain fly ready. Unless you plan to head to the car when it rains, you’ll also want a rain fly.

Here are a few more tips on how to sleep comfortably in a hammock:

  • Readjust the hammock. If a hammock is uncomfortable, sometimes it’s simply too tight. Check your hammock straps and create some slack. (A hammock should hang about 18 inches off the ground with no one in it.)
  • Use a pillow. A little neck support goes a long way.
  • Lie diagonally. Start by laying in the middle of the hammock. Then shift your feet and legs about 10-12 inches to the right. Next, shift your head and upper body 10-12 inches to the left. Now you should be laying in a flatter (and more comfy) position.

reading a kindle while hammock camping

Hammock Camping Accessories

If you’re looking for additional gear that will turn your hammock into the perfect tent-substitute, check out the following accessories.

For Bugs – Camping Hammocks With Mosquito Nets

Chill Gorilla Hammock Mosquito Net

Chill Gorilla Defender Hammock Mosquito Net Stops All Bugs & Insects. Fast Easy Setup. Compact, Lightweight. Size 132" x 51". Camping Accessories.
  • NO BUGS GUARANTEE! 360° protection with our breathable ultralight see through mesh netting provides ventilation & even keeps out a noseeum. Enjoy the outdoors bite free! Hammock accessories.
  • COMFORTABLE DIAGONAL LAY. You won't get that in a hammock with mosquito net (attached). Our hammock bug net provides SAFE SPACE around your hammock or double hammock giving you more protection!
  • FITS ALL CAMPING HAMMOCKS. Any bigger & you're just packing extra weight! Smooth double zippers make getting in/out a breeze. FAST & EASY SETUP.
  • TRUST OVER 243 HAMMOCK BUG NET REVIEWS! Whether hiking, camping, backpacking, or lounging around at home our hammock bug net will keep you comfortable and bite free!
  • CHILL GORILLA & OUR GUARANTEE CRUSHES THE COMPETITION. Compare to Wise Owl, ENO, Legit, Nature's Hangout, PYS, Wecamture, Winner, Honest, NHO, etc. SIMPLY THE BEST VALUE FOR YOUR MONEY!

Legit Camping Hammock Bug Net

PYS Outdoor Hammock Mosquito Net

Hammock Bug Net - 12' Hammock Mosquito Net Fits All Camping Hammocks, Compact, Lightweight and Fast Easy Set Up, Security from Bugs and Mosquitoes, Essential Camping and Survival Gear (Black)
  • ✔ LARGEST HAMMOCK BUG NET ON THE MARKET: PYS outdoor offer the LARGEST hammock bug net on the market, fits ANY CAMPING HAMMOCKS. The size is 12'x 4.4', let you can move around in your sleep without feeling RESTRICTED.
  • ✔ SECURITY FROM BUGS - The hammock mosquito net keeps out all the bugs and mosquitoes! Sleep like a log and NO MORE kisses of death by bugs. The bug net uses superfine netting providing 360-degree coverage and protection. And it is breathable and provides ventilation.
  • ✔ TWO EASY HANGING WAY - The vertical zipper design allows easy access. It comes with a 12' hammock mosquito net and 1 ridgeline. Easy for hang on the tree straps with hooks or tie the tree with the ridgelines.
  • ✔ LIGHTWEIGHT&PORTABLE - The outdoor bug net is very easy to set up within 5 minutes even for beginners! And backpacker approved, weighs only 21.5 ounces, the bug net easily fits into its stuff sack. And comes with everything you need.
  • ✔ 100% SATISFACTION SERVICE - If you don't like your camping bug net, or whatever, please directly via Amazon to contact us, we will take care of you within 24 hours! Enjoy a worry free shopping experience for PYS Outdoor store!

For Wet Weather – Hammock Camping In The Rain

ENO DryFly Rain Tarp

ENO, Eagles Nest Outfitters DryFly Rain Tarp, Ultralight Hammock Accessory, Charcoal
  • Rain, rain, go away: The DryFly Rain Tarp is made of polyurethane-treated ripstop nylon and features the best water-shedding capabilities. Stay dry and cozy all night long.
  • Safe from any storm: Features a unique shape and a spacious interior with all the headroom you could ask for, providing an allover coverage area to keep you and your gear dry.
  • Adventure ready: Weighing only 22 ounces, the DryFly has a built-in stuff sack, making it super easy to take on trips or store when not in use.
  • Keep your gear dry: The DryFly Rain Tarp is versatile and durable, making it the perfect shelter for your tarp, to protect your gear, clothes, backcountry kitchen, or your furry friend.
  • Please note: ENO attempts to reduce potential waste by using every bit of fabric available in production, so the color of the stuff sack and stitching might vary from what is pictured. (Tarps do not come with stakes. Stakes are sold separately.)

For Cool Weather – Winter Hammock Camping

OneTigris Hammock Underquilt

OneTigris Night Protector Ultralight Hammock Underquilt, Full Length Camping Quilt for Hammocks Warm 3-4 Seasons, Weighs only 28oz, Great for Camping Hiking Backpacking Traveling Beach
  • Premium Materials: SEE Polyester Filling, 20D Ripstop Nylon Shell with a DWR coating and 300T Polyester Pongee Lining that's quick warm, comfy, wind-proof and water resistant
  • 4 Seasons Quilt: Comfortable temperature range 40°F ~ 68°F (5°C ~ 20°C), great option to extend the hammock camping season to whole year; combine the underquilt and insulation of a sleeping bag and you get a winter hammock sleeping system
  • Keeping You Warm: Full length and wide (9.2ft *4ft), designed to fit snugly to all standard sized hammocks, keeping you warm and toasty in chilly temperatures, no (Cold Butt Syndrome) CBS anymore
  • Quick Setup: Assembled bungee cord loops on both ends and strong carabiners for an easy and cozy fix to your hammock, very fast and easy to set up and take down
  • Compressible & Portable: Includes a free compression stuff sack to compress into a small size for easy carrying and store, perfect for camping, backpacking, hiking, mountaineering and other outdoor activities | Weighs 28oz/ 800g | Dimensions in 9.2ft *4ft

Uboway Hammock Underquilt

UBOWAY Hammock Underquilt - Packable Full Length Under Blanket, Camping Quilt(Red)
  • Lightweight Hammock Underquilt: Soft polyester cotton padding, warm and light, weighing only 590g, easy to carry, ideal for camping, hiking, climbing and other outdoor activities.
  • Suitable for Outdoor Use: Our hammock insulation is made from strong 20D ripstop nylon with reinforced outer stitching and a waterproof coating to withstand the complexities of outdoor weather.
  • Functional Underquilt: Our camping quilt can be matched single hammock or double hammock, or as a blanket on its own, and are suitable for temperatures from 41°F - 68°F/ 5°C ~ 20°C. They can be used all year round and are an essential piece of equipment for your outdoor use.
  • Large Underquilt for Hammock Camping: size 9.2ft (L) *4ft (W), large enough to accommodate conventional hammock sizes on the market. Fits snugly to the bottom of your hammock to prevent heat loss and protect against the cold, this is a great product for outdoor hammocks to match.
  • Easy to set up: This camping hammock quilt comes with elastic straps and short bungee cord loops at both ends for easy and comfortable attachment to the hammock. It is also very easy to store, just roll it up and tuck it inside the storage bag we provide.

ENO Hammock Underquilt

ENO - Eagles Nest Outfitters Ember Hammock UnderQuilt, Lightweight Sleeping Quilt for Cold Weather Camping, Charcoal/Red
  • KEEP WARM IN WINTER: With polyester insulation and a hammock specific cut, our UnderQuilt surrounds your hammock sides and bottom, protecting you from sudden cold snaps
  • FAST, EASY SETUP: Adjustable shock cords allow you to set up quickly for more time nestled in toasty goodness; Works perfectly with our DoubleNest or SingleNest hammock
  • WARM, DRY PROTECTION: 40D Ripstop Nylon shell and 30D Nylon Taffeta lining with water repellent finishes; Add the Spark TopQuilt for a 40-50 degree temperature rating
  • WINTER-READY: Protection at a lightweight 25 ounces that conveniently folds down into a 6.5" by 12" bag and extends to an impressive 8' by 4' (perfect for campers up to 6'6")
  • COMPLETE YOUR CAMPING EXPERIENCE: With our tree-friendly Atlas Suspension System, a SingleNest or DoubleNest hammock, and a TopQuilt for comfortable camping all year long

Check out these CRAZY Hammock Lovers (Makes my legs weak)