Just under a decade ago the trees of college campuses began filling with brightly colored parachute hammocks, often with many stacked in a single tree. College students took also to the woods for these social outings, but today campgrounds, parks, and backyards across America are filled with families and adults enjoying the same pastime. Many have even decided to ditch their tents for this light weight, compact option of hammock camping.
Even if you don’t plan to spend a night in you hammock, here are some reasons why you should consider throwing one in your day pack:
- If you do spend an unexpected night in the woods it will be more comfortable with a hammock, and it can keep you above wet ground and critters of the night.
- You can set up a hammock if you get tired and need a rest during your hike, or if you find a beautiful vista without a comfortable spot to enjoy it.
- If you enjoy being in the woods for a long periods, but you wear out on long hikes you can extend your nature visit with a rest in your hammock along a short hike.
- Hammocks in nature are a great place to read, meditate, pray, or write in your journal. Poetry, scripture, and self-reflection are all enhanced by nature.
- You can meet up with friends for a hike and hang out in the woods for a while relaxing, chatting, or watching the clouds and birds.
My husband, David, and I both have eno hammocks, and we have always been pleased with eno’s quality and their accessory options. However, there are now several brands of camping hammocks to choose from, and you should always explore your options when purchasing new gear. If you do plan to hammock camp you’ll definitely want to look into accessories such as under-quilts, tarps, and bug screens, and there are even hammocks that are more like floating tents with these features already included.
Themed Hammock Hangs:
- Hammock book club – Read passages and discuss your favorite reads while hanging out in nature. This is a great way to combine hobbies, but you can also select books that are relevant to the outdoors.
- Hammock birding – Often we birders follow the birds, but sometimes sitting in one location brings many birds your way. When you are still and part of nature such as when resting quietly in an hammock, birds and other wildlife will resume their normal routine for you to get a whole new perspective on their behavior.
- Hammock reflection – Quite reflection in nature can bring powerful results. Hammock hangs can combine quite reflection with a visualization meditation or contemplative journaling. This can be a great activity for youth groups or troubled teens.
The possibilities of hammock hanging is only limited by your imagination and trees or other rigging sources. Hopefully, I’ve at least peaked your interests in trying your hammock out in the woods, your backyard, or a nearby park. However, if you still need convincing just check out these photographs of friends and family enjoying their hammocks in nature and their backyards.
All the ideas and opinions in the post are my own, and it is always recommended hammock users follow safety guidelines for hammock use. Be sure hammocks are only hung using no-impact straps to protect trees, and make sure hammock use is allowed in any public areas prior to use.
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