Follow along as Stephen keeps us posted on his 2100 mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Full of honest insights, gear musings, pro tips, trail history and adventure!
More comfortable in hot weather: Hammocks are preferred by many users in hot environments because of the natural cooling afforded by the convection of breeze blowing around and under the user.
More versatile: A tarp that can be setup for hammock camping or a ground shelter increases options in dynamic and adverse weather conditions. The option to sleep enclosed on the ground can add some warmth on unexpectedly cold nights.
Invite your friends: A simple rectangular tarp sized for hammock camping can provide a group shelter for several people to hang out. Single man tents can’t do that.
Enjoy the view: Compared to an enclosed tent, hanging in a hammock at eye level with 360 degree views is a much more symbiotic and engaging wilderness experience. You don’t go hiking to look at the inside of your tent; you go hiking to look at the beauty of nature!
Get comfortable: Chillin’ in a hammock seems more appealing than propping oneself up on elbows on the ground. Plus, users are up high enough to appreciate views and a sense of space.
Reduce exposure to critters, pests and insects: Being off the ground removes users from hazardous ground animals, like snakes or ticks. The bugnet, weighing next to nothing, means you don’t have to compromise on your safety, such as exposing yourself to insect born illnesses.
Reduce your footprint: Hammocks reduce direct impact on the ground cover. Tent impact is often concentrated on a handful of ideal tent pads or level, clear tent sites. Hammocks and tarps are more versatile with where you can set them up, especially since you can setup hammocks and tarps above small to medium height ground vegetation. The open nature of hammocks and tarps disperses footprint and traffic impacts, whereas tents see heavy impact around doors and vestibules. This has the added advantage of greatly increasing the number of potential camping spots, allowing your milage to be less limited by the location of established campsites.