Where are you planning to hang out this summer?

Finally, it’s time for a holiday… Are you looking forward to your camping holiday? Not having to do anything for a while, the sun on your head, a gentle cooling breeze and the sound of a babbling brook in the background. And to complete the picture: relaxing in a hammock. Sounds tempting right? But what is the best hammock to go camping with? And what’s the best way to hang it up? Here are some tips about hammocks.

Choose the right hammock

If you’re looking for a new hammock, you will have noticed that there’s a huge range. What will you choose? The prettiest colour, ultimate comfort, or a lightweight version? First, you’ll need to decide if you want one with or without rods on the sides. The classic hammock is made of fabric and has an open weave, like a fishing net. These hammocks don’t have rods. That has a couple of advantages: the hammock provides plenty of support, is easy to store, and offers some privacy because the fabric envelopes you. But if you want to sunbathe, then a hammock with spreader rods is better. These types of hammocks become more like a sunlounger when you use them.

Hangmat camping

Weight, length and width

When you buy your hammock make sure you check the maximum weight capacity is, and whether it’s intended for use by one or more people at the same time. This information is always listed in the specifications. Also check how long the fabric itself is. A good margin to use as a guide is that the fabric should be at least 30 or 40 cm longer than you are. The total weight of the hammock may also be a factor if you want to go camping and carry as little as possible. For instance, there are special travel hammocks made of parachute fabric.

How big should your hammock be? If you don’t have any limitations in terms of weight and space, then choose the largest one possible. It’ll be the most comfortable to lie in. If you choose a double hammock, you can enjoy plenty of space by yourself, but also share your hammock with a companion from time to time.

Lie diagonally

And while we’re talking about lying down: in a hammock you don’t lie lengthwise, but diagonally. This way, your weight is well-distributed, and you’ll get plenty of support. And what’s the best way to get into a hammock? Here’s how: you stand with your back towards the hammock, and use your hands to spread the hammock out across its width. Then sit down. Now you can lie down easily. If you do it this way, the risk of taking a very public tumble out of the hammock is virtually non-existent.

Family hammock

Attaching a hammock

The most obvious way to hang a hammock at the campsite is between two trees. The best way to hang it is different for everyone, but here are a few tips. If you have a hammock without spreader rods, then it’s best to hang it up at around 180cm off the ground, and with both hanging points at the same height. The lowest part of the hammock will then be about 40 to 50 cm above the ground. Bear in mind that a new hammock will stretch a little. A hammock with spreader rods will sink less, so you can hang it about 120 to 140 cm off the ground. There are all kinds of mounting kits for hammocks, such as wall mounts, lightweight mounts, or rope constructs for attaching to a tree.

But what if there are no trees or walls or other obvious places to hang your hammock up? Then you ought to try a hammock with a stand. Just put the stand together, attach the hammock, and start relaxing. Do bear in mind that a stand will take up both space and weight in your luggage.

Hammock chair

Have you discovered hammock chairs yet? You have the comfort of a hammock, but you can stay in a more upright position. That’s handy if you want to eat or drink something. It’s also practical because a hammock chair takes up less space than a hammock, and you only need one suspension point.

Hammock

Did you know?

Finally, here are a few interesting facts. Did you know that hammocks originate from Central and South America, and that they were used by the indigenous peoples there for centuries? After Europeans discovered the hammock there, they adopted them as a handy way for lots of people to sleep on board sailing ships. Hammocks remain the standard ‘bed’ for many people in Latin America.

Hammocks for the European market are often produced overseas, for example in Colombia. To enjoy this exotic invention to its fullest extent, it is good to know the hammock you buy is produced fairly. Tropilex produces their hammocks and hammock chairs as fair and durable as possible. That’ll make you hang twice as relaxed!

Marieke Krämer
  • Author: Marieke Krämer
  • Marieke has been camping since she was a baby. Her family would go camping at some of the most beautiful spots in the Netherlands and Belgium. Marieke loves active holidays surrounded by nature, combined with visits to interesting cities, in areas such as the French Alps, Slovenia, and Scotland.

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