You’ll have the best time of your life while hammock camping. The time in the wild is exhilarating as you can be close to mother nature. It’s the best alternative to tent camping. You’d be surprised at how unforgettable and unique this experience can be!
You’ll need some basic things before you go out for hammock camping. The items you’ll need most are a hammock, straps, a functional suspension system, top and under quilts, a tarp, and a sleeping bag to keep you warm during the cold weather. You can also carry some additional items to enrich your camping experience.
In the following winter hammock camping checklist, you’ll find all the information you need to camp out for the next trip!
20 Essential Gears for Winter Hammock Camping
Hammock camping may sound simple, but in reality, it’s pretty technical. There are so many different types of hammocks and various kinds of suspension systems from which you have to choose.
Before going out camping, you’ll need to get some type of shelter that can shield you from unwanted natural elements and a bug net to keep all the bugs out. But you won’t need one if you plan to go in winter or a place where it doesn’t have bugs. There are also a few other things that you’ll need before going out camping.
So, to make sure that you have a better hammock camping experience, we’ve made a checklist, including all types of gear that you’ll need. If you’ve got everything here, then you’re packed to start the journey!
1. Camping Hammock
The hammock should be the first item to be on your list. You need to select the one that’s the perfect fit for you. There are multiple types of hammocks available in the market that can suit every type of camper. You’ll surely find the one that you need.
When choosing a hammock, you’ve to consider your weight, height, and length. The size has to be proper and comfortable. Try avoiding the lounging hammock, as it’s meant for casual outdoor purposes. Camping hammocks are durable, easily transportable, and made out of outdoor-safe materials.
2. Hammock Straps
To hang a hammock, you’ll need proper hammock straps. Though some hammocks include straps with them, sometimes you’ll have to buy them separately. Hammock straps are easily usable, and they also save the trees from being damaged.
But if you don’t have hammock straps, you can hang the hammock with the help of ropes. Also, make sure to select a strap that’s compatible with the model of your hammock.
3. Suspension System
New hammock campers often face a problem because of the suspension system that results in severe headaches. Most of these pain-inducing moments happen due to pairing the wrong straps with the hammock.
Purchase a complete suspension system for your particular hammock. The hammock is attached to the trees with the suspension mechanism. A full suspension system includes straps, a rope to string through the hammock, and hooks or clips to connect the rope and straps.
An under-quilt is an essential item for winter hammock camping where the temperatures get very low. It adds an extra cover to the setup, increasing warmth in the night.
You can make them yourself from sleeping bags. Just cut it in half, and that’ll create two quilts. Then wrap it under the bottom of the hammock to make an under-quilt. It avoids the problem of compressed insulation and keeps your back warmer.
Almost all under-quilts have a feature that helps to let in air if it gets too hot inside. So it’s better to get a heavier under-quilt than a lighter one for the cold nights.
Be sure to pay extra attention to which size and style you’re getting when buying an under-quilt. A full-size under-quilt will cover your whole body without any doubt. But the excess material around the calves and feet can end up being too much and add up weight to your backpack.
5. Top Quilt
Top quilts tend to keep cold drafts out of the hammock. Like the under-quilt, pay close attention to the temperature ratings while getting a top quilt. You can go for 40-50 degree quilts for summer tours and 20-30 degrees for multi-season use. But for the winter season, the quilts’ temperature may go as down as 0 degrees.
These can also be used for sleeping on the ground if paired with the right sleeping pad. It’s actually a pretty popular strategy for light backpackers as they look to shed unnecessary weight.
The main benefit of hammock camping is that it eliminates the need for heavy tents. However, you do need some sort of shelter that keeps you safe. A good combo of covers will surely keep you warm. But you’ll want a tarp over your head if there’s rainfall or snowfall during the time of your trip.
Tarps are a simple material compared to the other parts of the hammock camping system. Those parts have a technical aspect to them. The big decision you’ve to make is if you want a basic overhead cover or a shelter similar to a tent with doors.
7. Winter Sleeping Bag
For cold-weather hammock camping, you need the best quality winter sleeping bag. Be sure to get a model that’s compatible with at least 10°F colder than the coldest temperature you’re supposed to encounter.
You can use a mummy bag in the hammock because they’re incredibly lightweight and have the best insulation. Also, their shape is perfect for the hammock.
8. Mosquito Net
Most hammocks have built-in nets. So, you don’t have to worry if your hammock already includes one. But if it doesn’t, then you should invest in one to keep all the bugs out.
This is where you need to trust the brands and go for the best one that your hammock brand makes. It’s the easiest way to get the best one without having to go over a plethora of products.
You can go for a third-party one. But you’ll definitely be at risk, and it might not be a perfect fit when you try pairing them together. Choose from the premium hammocks, as they have an all-season cover.
Besides blocking out bugs, these covers protect you from any type of weather adversary. It literally wraps you into a weatherproof cocoon. So, you can consider getting one if you’re going camping during the winter.
9. Hammock Rainfly
This is the number one hammock camping accessory in times of rainfall. It keeps the sunlight away and provides shade in hot weather. A rainfly also keeps you warm and dry during the rain. Get a rainfly that’s big enough to surround the whole hammock.
A rainfly is a must if you plan to camp overnight. The purpose of a rainfly is to refrain the rain from getting to you and keep you dry. Rainfly is not needed in breezy weather or when you are setting it up on a beach or somewhere in your backyard. Also, the requirement of a rainfly is solely dependent on the weather and on where you’re planning to set the camp.
You must select a durable rainfly that covers the whole area surrounding the hammock. And it should also be water repellent. The rainfly should be able to withstand wear and tear during its use. A good quality rainfly should offer small pockets to secure your things.
Without a rainfly, you’ll be at risk of getting drenched and can end up catching a cold. Moreover, if the hammock gets wet, it’ll end up disrupting your trip.
Carabiners keep the suspension straps and the loops on the hammock tied together. They are extremely important in the time of tying the hammock to the trees.
Most camping hammocks include required pieces of carabiners. However, it’s better to keep a couple of them with you to avoid any unpredictable circumstances. Don’t forget to check the strength of the carabiners before the journey.
Paracords are very useful while camping. These paracords can be of great help when the straps of your hammock get torn or get weak because of the weight.
The best quality paracord can easily carry your body weight. Before operating with paracords, remember to use gloves or cover your hands.
Guylines are used to set up shelters and tarps. They’re also useful and often come in handy while you’re out camping.
The ridgeline is connected with the top of the hammock. It helps you get in and out of your hammock very quickly and gives you more freedom.
Also, you can hang clothes on it while you are resting or out sightseeing. These clothes can also work as a shade against the scorching sun.
The new hammocks in the market come with multiple pockets. This feature increases the price tag on the hammock.
But you can also buy extra pockets made out of fabric and attach them to your hammock with the help of ropes. The pouches are a very helpful feature and come in handy. They can store stuff like a cell phone, wallet, or snacks.
A torch is not only mandatory but a must-have item on the checklist for hammock camping. You can use a simple flashlight or get a lantern of some sort. However, the best choice is a torch lantern. So, you can use it as a torch and also as a lantern.
You can place the torch on the ground and work in its light. It can assist you in setting the hammock up during dark too.
16. Masking Tape
A masking tape is an essential item you should always keep in your bag while going hammock camping. This tape can be used if some things get broken and need to be fixed immediately. You can use it to tighten something like the straps.
17. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is a must-have thing while leaving for hammock camping. Injuries are very common in the wild.
A basic first aid kit will end up being very useful in those times. The technique is to only carry the essential items in a tiny box that’s easily storable.
18. Hammock Stands
Hammock stands aren’t that mandatory for camping. These are needed only if there are no trees to hang your hammock. These stands help remove the need to find trees.
You can carry these stands if you’re traveling by car or an SUV and set the hammock up at any place of your choice. These stands can be easily folded and stored.
19. Satellite Phone
You might need a satellite phone depending on where you’re traveling to and on the duration of your journey. As a satellite phone is used for the only purpose of calling, it stays charged for more extended periods. Sometimes, it can even last for weeks if used cautiously.
However, one thing to note is that it’s an expensive item and is only preferred when traveling to rocky areas where there are no signals whatsoever.
If you are going to a place where there’s a risk that wild animals will attack you, then a dagger will come in handy. Also, if you plan to hunt, carrying a blade can be helpful for you.
But first, you have to check the local laws for carrying permits and other necessary regulations related to this.
Read more>> The Complete Winter Camping Checklist 2021
Hammock camping is an exciting and fun thing to do. Surely your hammock camping experience is going to get much better from now onwards. If you’ve gone through this winter hammock camping checklist, you’ll have the correct gears with you before leaving for the trip.
So be sure to enjoy your hammock experience as there can hardly be any setbacks. And even if there’s any, you’ll be fully prepared for it. Just remember to go through the checklist before leaving because you can never be too careful!
Pavel is a true outdoor enthusiast with a passion for nature and a love for the great outdoors. He started Outdoor Fun Mag to introduce people from all walks of life to everything the outdoors has to offer and hopes that you’ll find something that excites you every time you stop by.
When not exploring nature Pavel works as an Electronics Engineer — a job that gets him thinking and makes sure he pays attention to all those fine details. This means that when he leaves work for the week, there’s no better contrast than the calmness and serenity of the natural world. By giving Pavel the chance to switch off and relax, his time spent camping and hiking allows him to feel refreshed.
In the future, Pavel plans to explore new areas and corners of the world with nothing more than a backpack and a tent. It’s an authentic way of seeing new places that allow him to de-stress and enjoy life, and he wants you to make the most of your life too.