Hammocks vs. Tents: Which is Better for Camping?

Hammocks vs. Tents: Which is Better for Camping?

Posted by : Jonathan Adkins   /  

The thought of camping brings to mind visions of packing up a tent and heading off to a campground for a few days. Why not break free from that formula and experience a whole new way of camping by making a hammock your shelter of choice? Weigh the pros and cons to discover if hammock camping is right for you.

Tents require a lot of equipment for setup and are hard to carry unless you’re driving to your destination. If you prefer to hike from place to place and camp as you go, a hammock is a more practical option. Hammocks can be packed into backpacks and transported between campsites with ease. Setup is simple, allowing you to move on more quickly than if you were using a tent.

The ideal spot for tenting is flat and free of terrain features that can make sleeping uncomfortable. Hammocks only require a couple of well-spaced trees. You have to find the right conditions no matter which option you choose, but you’re more likely to locate a good hammock spot if you’re not staying at dedicated campgrounds. The minimalist nature of hammocks also means that you don’t need a lot of extra time to settle in for the night, so you have more time to take in the scenery before stopping to make camp.

Tents can get pretty pricey, especially if you need a model designed for backpacking or something big enough to house your whole family. You also need to find one that will stand up to changing weather conditions, which isn’t always easy. Hammocks are comparatively inexpensive, and each member of your party can carry their own so no one is stuck transporting all the sleeping gear.

If you camp in a hammock, you have to be comfortable not having a place to call your own an enclosed place to change clothes and get ready each day. This works out fine if you’re by yourself but is rather awkward when camping with friends or family. Plus, it can be a little harder to work out safe storage for your food and gear, especially if you’re hiking and don’t have a vehicle.

Camping Experience
If you enjoy being in the open air and looking out on natural vistas, a hammock gives you that freedom. Camping in a tent means going “indoors” to sleep and remaining closed in, possibly with several other people. However, it’s easier to stay warm and dry with a roof over your head, so it can be nice to have a tent if the weather becomes inclement.

Even if you’re a staunch tent camper, consider giving hammock camping a try. The worst that could happen is that you decide you don’t like it and go back to tenting the next time. On the other hand, the perks of hammock camping may convince you to change up the way that you experience future outdoor adventures.