Camping With A Hammock And Tarp Vs Tent

In my opinion camping with the hammock and tarp has more benefits to it than the tent. The tent is often dry, humid and hot inside it. In addition to this there can be lots of condensation in the morning on the walls of the tent. It’s heavy the carry around especially if you’re in a large party of friends/relatives and it takes longer to set-up.

With the hammock and tarp, as long as you’re good with knots they’re usually up in 10 minutes. The hammock keeps you off the cold ground and away from the bugs. Unlike tents the area beneath your feet does not need clearance of rocks and other debris, however perhaps a good idea just incase you didn’t tie the knot right and come crashing down onto some undesirable objects in the night.

The hammock also promotes a much deeper sleep provided you know the angle in which to sleep in it which is to say lie diagonally to get flat and not be banana shaped. Although the hammock keeps you off the ground there is still cold air circulating underneath you and you can get what is known as “cold butt syndrome” where you wake up in the night with a cold butt.

Many people assume a sleeping bag is sufficient for a hammock but unless it’s a down bag, unlikely to be of any benefit and even with a down bag it will be cold. An under quilt or a sleeping pad that is self insulated and perhaps self inflatable is a must. Even in the spring weather where night time temperatures can reach 4-9celsius you’re going to wake up feeling miserable.

That said, as long as it’s done the right way, and you’re in a place full of trees, hammock sleeping is the best way forward. You don’t need that much room to set one up and can set it up in areas you could never reach with a tent. It’s more affordable than a good tent depending on the make you go for.

The only benefit to a tent I can think of over a hammock is if there’s nowhere to put up a hammock. Other than that tents get the thumbs down from me. In Ireland this set up is rather unusual and a bit of a novelty so my hammock and tarp had attracted a lot of attention from passers by. “Look mummy, a flying tent” said one kid. Others came to admire the serious knot up. For some the idea of having to tie knots is much more of a pain than setting up a tent but once you learn these complicated looking yet simple knots you’ll never go back to sleeping in a tent again.

The hammock and tarp I own is from Free Soldier. It’s a multi-function hammock that has a built in bug net. It saves you having to hang one up and so one less thing to worry about. I used a self inflatable mat the napa 7 from regatta outdoors, a company based in Ireland. It’s a 3 seasoned mat but have to say I woke up in the middle of the night with a hot butt syndrome not cold butt syndrome so I may choose a much thinner mat in future during these summer months.

The problem with using sleeping pads is that they tend to shift around in the night. You can easily fall off the mat and onto a cold spot ruining your hammock experience so perhaps an under quilt would be better. It hangs beneath your hammock and puts a stop to the cold air circulating under your butt. I prefer these but on this occasion all I had with me was a mat.

Your supposed to put sticks through the hammocks loops to raise the bug net, but I just used some tent poles instead. Check out some photos below of the hammock and let me know what you think. Is camping in a tent or hammock better? Let me know in the comments.

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