I once went on a trip to Oaxaca Mexico. I stayed at a friend’s home, way out in the middle of the jungle. The home was luxurious but very hot because you couldn’t open up the windows. One day, I noticed that the indigenous people slept in hammocks covered by mosquito netting. That’s when I asked my hostess if I could sleep like that, providing I found the right type of hammock gear.
She looked at me strangely, but shrugged her shoulders and said, “Of course.”
That very day I went out to find a hammock and eventually had the best outdoor sleep ever.
Since that trip I have been on many camping trips, and my Oaxacan hammock has long since worn out. However, that trip taught me a lesson: hammocks are much more comfortable than sleeping bags, and when you have the right one, you’ll enjoy your camping trip so much more.
Which sleeping hammock do I recommend?
There are several options, but I like the huge hammocks best. These offer you lots of room to sleep and play, enough for two or three people. Of course the type of hammock you choose depends on the type of trip you go on.
I use a hammock called Bliss, which I found on Amazon. This is a huge portable hammock. It’s great for couples or tall people and even the kids can hop in. This is a relatively inexpensive hammock made of nylon parachute silk, which makes it the most durable hammock I’ve ever owned. It’s also extremely breathable and resistant to rot and mildew.
This is an ideal hammock for everyone because its larger szie makes sleeping out in the open so much fun. Although the hammock does ship with the rope, I decided to purchase inexpensive tree straps to make it easier to hang.
You can hang it with rope, and I saw those indigenous people sling that rope around the tree and tie the best knot I’ve ever seen, but I’m just not as adept at knot-tying. A sling only costs about $15 and you can have your hammock up within minutes. That certainly makes it worth the price for me.
If my trips are overnight and I plan on sleeping outdoors, then I carry a hammock that has a zip up tent like structure above it. I find this offers me the privacy I need, and it helps keep the night bugs away. Personally, I use the Texsport Wilderness hammock because it comes with an enclosed mosquito netting. This works for anyone who camps out in wilderness settings where there are lots of bugs and mosquitos. It offers a fully enclosed zippered option to keep you protected from the pests. This hammock is not really as large as I like but it is made of rugged cotton which is more comfortable for sleeping and the top mosquito netting is fire retardant nylon.
What I like best about this hammock is that it comes with an easy tote case, which means I can hang it from my backpack on long hikes. When it’s time to camp, I get out my handy little tree straps and I’m ready for the night.
Of course these hammocks don’t work well in inclement weather, because you can’t really sleep in them when it’s raining. On nice, clear summer nights though, they are ideal.
A Camper’s Experience
I love to go camping and sometimes I can spend months out on a trail. Personally, when I do this I like to travel as light as possible. That’s why the hammock makes the perfect summer sleeping option. It’s a lot lighter than a tent, and offers both daytime and night time relaxing options. Kids can have fun playing and swinging during the day, and you get the most comfortable sleep you’ve had in ages. The soft, gentle rocking of the hammock lulls you into a very comfortable sleep, one where you feel totally secure, knowing that those night crawlers are not going to get to you while you sway in the air.