Last week I stepped out of my comfort zone and spent my first night ever sleeping in a hammock. Over my childhood and adult years I have spent more nights in a tent, sleeping on the ground than I would even begin to try and count. But why have I never slept in a hammock, you ask? Easy, I never thought to even try it. Plus people are always complaining about how cold they get in a hammock and how much their back hurts in the morning. Hmmm… freezing your butt off, and back pain. Sounds worse than sleeping on a futon.
I am happy to report, that after just one night in 20 degree weather, i’ll be returning to the hammock for more glorious nights of sleep. But lets back track a little and talk about how I got to this point. As you may know I have been investing a lot of time into my YouTube Channel. In that time investment comes looking at what is trending in the outdoor industry. I’ve noticed a few things trending, that being Ultralight Backpacking, and Hammocks. Hammocking is becoming the big way to save weight and simplify a backpackers setup. But if not done correctly, it won’t save you much weight or space, and that is the struggle I am seeing here. At least within a winter setup.
So what got me to head out into the freezing temps to test out the hammock?
Couple of things: I got my hands on a couple hammocks that I have been dying to to use more, and to see if hammocking makes sense for the type of backpacker that I am.
So what was the result? Overall a good experience. I’ll admit that I don’t have all the necessary gear needed to make sleeping in a hammock ideal, but I had enough to make the trial a worthy test. I took my existing Rab Silwing Tarp and set it up over my Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost hammock. I am glad there was no weather, because the tarp is not as long as the hammock, creating a problem for rain evasion. But what’s more important is the comfort level. With my NeoAir pad in the hammock it made for a very comfortable night of sleep, arguably better than some nights i’ve had sleeping on the ground. It’s not always amazing sleeping when out in the backcountry, but the hammock setup made for a comfortable night of sleep.
At this point it comes down to making critical adjustments to the setup to make it even better. Mainly i’d like to see it get lighter and more manageable. Meaning that in order for the hammock setup to make more sense than a tent, I need to get a tarp that works properly for a hammock and probably focus hammock camping for Summer use only.
Overall I am pleased with my first attempt and plan to make more attempts at it and perfect it a little.