Transitioning from tent camping to the gentle sway of a hammock presents an element of the unknown. After all, just about everyone knows how to tent camp. Set up a tent and toss in a sleeping bag and you’re good to go. Well, not really.
Then there’s the cushion required to negotiate the hard ground and ongoing protocols to protect against bugs, mosquitos, and biting insects from sneaking into your tent. Truly, tent camping is less comfortable and more work than restfully sleeping in a hammock. But before you can enjoy being gently rocked to sleep under the starry sky, outdoors enthusiasts will need to gather together these hammock camping essentials to maximize the experience.
The Hammock Camping Essentials Checklist
Although this hammock camping gear list may seem a tad unwieldy at first blush, you will see the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. You may find that when you add up the weight and size of these hammock camping essentials, they are far less burdensome and expensive than you might expect.
This hammock camping gear list also effectively replaces your tent, stakes, sleeping bag, and potentially your sleeping pad in the big scheme of things. Hammocks also tend to improve a restful night’s sleep even above traditional beds. So, imagine the difference between sleeping in a hammock and on the cold hard ground!
- Under Quilt – These are the equivalent of a camping pad used under sleeping bags with some differences. An under quilt provides additional back support, if needed, as well as a way to insulate you from drafts on exceedingly cold nights. If you enjoy winter camping, a hammock under quilt is a must.
- Top Quilt – Sleeping bags tend to be too awkward for some hammock enthusiasts. This accessory provides the top-layer warmth and comfort that tent-users find in sleeping bags. They are specially designed for hammock use and generally a good idea when temperatures dip overnight.
- Sleeping Pad – For more advanced back support, there is a class of sleeping pads engineered to fit snugly into hammocks. They provide unique support, insulation and are crafted to stay firmly put. It’s not generally a safe idea to try to use pads designed for tent camping in this platform.
- Carabiners – For those unfamiliar with camping and hammock jargon, carabiners are fasteners that connect things such as the hammock, backpack and suspension items. It’s advisable to keep a few extra handy anytime you go hiking or camping. Coming up one short can become problematic.
- Paracord – This type of hammock and camping rope has versatile benefits and tends to be handy in a pinch. A length of paracord may mean the difference between setting up your hammock in camp or venturing out to find trees close enough together for your existing suspension system. Better to have it and not need paracord than need it and not have it.
- Guylines – Perhaps the most overlooked item in hammock camping, guylines allow you the flexibility of securing rain flies and even shelters if the weather turns foul. Make sure to keep this on your hammock camping gear list at all times.
- Extra Tarp – Along with the guylines, an additional tarp can mean the difference between experiencing the brunt of Mother Nature or remaining dry. An extra tarp can be set up to repel unexpectedly challenging elements, craft a make-shift shelter or just cover an area to eat. Expect the unexpected and bring an extra tarp when hiking and camping.
Running through a hammock camping essentials list may seem like a lot of additional gear on the surface. But, in reality, these products are tremendously lightweight. Many of them overlap with other camping needs and often prove beneficial on multiple fronts. At the end of the day, the goal is to enhance your outdoors experience and checking the boxes on this hammock camping gear list will lead to improved success.