Hammock Camping In Cold Weather
Hammocks were originally developed by native residents of South America for sleeping in. By suspending their beds above ground, inhabitants were better protected from snakes, biting ants, and other harmful creatures.
Hammocks were introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus when he brought several of them back to Spain from islands in the Bahamas. Later, they were used on board ships by sailors to maximize available space. Hunters, explorers and soldiers used them in the wild.
Quick NavigationA Hammock Lover’s Guide To Staying WarmAdvantages of Cold Weather Hammock CampingHow To Prepare Your HammockInsulation Quilts and PadsUsing What You Have To Stay Hammock WarmBasic Hammock Design For The Cold
A Hammock Lover’s Guide To Staying Warm
Hammocks are viewed as a symbol of relaxing and easy, leisure living in the tropics or warm summer months. Today they are used around the world and are becoming more popular as a sleeping respite in winter camping.
Why is winter camping just as much fun as summer camping? Because you have the right equipment. Okay, why winter camp again? Hammock camping in cold weather is great fun if you know how to keep warm and comfortable.
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Advantages of Cold Weather Hammock Camping
The advantages of camping in cold temperatures includes the fact that there are no bugs, no underbrush growth for great hiking, less people around and what view doesn’t look good covered in snow.
The cold air is brisk and seems to open up your lungs. Addtional features that hammock camping includes is the ability to sleep nearly anywhere.
You don’t have to worry about rocky, uneven grounds. Simply wrap the tree straps around a set of trees about 15 feet apart, then clip the carabiners onto the straps. The hammock should not be so tight as to stretch too far out.
There should be a little bit of a sag (about a 30 degree angle) so that you can sleep diagonally in it. When a hammock is strung too tight, it will begin to pull tight at the edges which is uncomfortable and also causes the hammock to tip too much.
How To Prepare Your Hammock
Hammock camping in cold weather is easier to set-up, than trying to set-up a tent. There are no poles and stakes to hammer into the ground. Besides, with a hammock you are not sleeping on the ground.
You are up off the snow or a frozen ground, hanging between two trees. However, remember that in hammock camping in cold weather, the wind can be your enemy. Since the hammock is suspended above the ground, circulating air beneath the hammock causes a cooling effect, which is why insulation is a necessity.
The “cold butt syndrome” is a common complaint in sleeping and resting in a hammock. This is a challenge to a comfortable hammock’s night’s sleep – your backside gets cold. To effectively hang your hammock, the right spot is everything.
You must locate a spot with lots of trees or behind a boulder or near a naturally formed windbreaker to hang your hammock. The key to remaining warm in a hammock is to have the right gear.
Insulation Quilts and Pads
- Underquilts: Many winter outdoor campers use a sleeping bag as a warm liner underneath the body. This is okay if the bag is rated to 15º F or less, with a down or synthetic fill. Underquilts are placed underneath the hammock to help hold in your body’s heat.
- Insulating Pads: Also, an extra large insulating sleeping pad in your hammock goes a long way to help in insulating you. Many inflatable pads can also be used in combination with underquilts, sleeping bags, or insulated pads to increase the level of protection from the chill of Mother Nature.
- Topquilt: A topquilt is really a down blanket with a foot box on the end. You can easily move around in the hammock and keep warm. You can also go to the bathroom very easily. They are similar to underquilts but the difference is that they come over the hammock and cover you from the top. This helps to trap the heat inside the hammock.
Using What You Have To Stay Hammock Warm
Hammock camping in cold weather requires materials for the underquilts, top quilts and pads which are purposefully designed in materials like down or synthetics. They help to keep these quilts and pads dry without any loss of loft, fill or warmth.
To save you more money, if you have an old sleeping bag lying around, you can use it to keep warm in a hammock. Sleeping bags are predominantly manufactured from down or synthetic dry proof materials.
Throw that sleeping bag down inside the hammock, crawl in and keep toasty warm! It’s very important to trap heat around your body when you winter in a hammock. To further save you money, you can use your car’s old reflective sun shade which helps heat reflect back to your body. You can lay it on top of you or lay it beneath your body.
Basic Hammock Design For The Cold
Strong fabric hammocks are very strong and more effective for the cold. The rope hammocks that you see quite often is used in warmer temperatures and they are made from cotton or polyester.
Be aware that you should not leave a hammock in direct sunlight for a long time because the sun’s UV rays will weaken the fabric.
Cold weather hammocks are soft, they conform to your body comfortably and they are not suseptible to mold or mildew. As lightweight as they are to carry, they are very durable and super tough. They are machine washable and dryable.