AT Hammock Camping Tips from the Trail:1

So you decided you want to join the cool kids and hammock camp. In my few weeks into the AT I have a few tips that may help you to not run into the same mistakes/learnings I experienced.

1. Stakes

Make sure you get a substantial stake for your hammock tarp the super light sheppard hook ones may not be the best choice. Even if you are like me and brought the extra light ones against my advice at least make sure to use rocks to hold down each corner. I would go as far as putting rocks on the good stakes as I saw tenters loose them to high wind conditions. If you don’t one of them will rip out in the middle of the night and you will get wet and then this article will race through your mind.

2. Homemade Gear

With looking at YouTube and seeing a few hammockers, if I could give advice on homemade gear it would be to save your money and buy a substantial tarp and leave your shower curtain at home. I know there are a few of you out there that are experts at sewing but that seems to be the exception to the rule. Buy a nice sil nylon or even splurge on cuben fiber you will thank yourself down the road.

3. Insulation

Please don’t be someone who shows up to the North Georgia mountains with no insulation for the bottom of your hammock. I wouldn’t warn you if I didn’t witness this with my own eyes. You won’t be comfy and you will be miserable. At the very least carry a z rest which will help you with tip 4.

4. Shelter sleeping

Under quilts are great but if you choose to go that route I’d almost suggest bringing a light weight pad too. While hammocks are awesome sometimes the weather is going to be awful and the shelter may be the best option. I plan to carry a pad for this reason at least through the Smokies where if there is space in the shelter you have to stay in it as opposed to tenting or hammocking.

5. Ridgeline

Unless you are a master hammock hanger, most people myself included, I would recommend adding some kind of Ridgeline to your hammock to get consistent sag when you set it up or else you could get drastically different comfort levels from night to night. I saw several people with ENO hammocks send them home after a few weeks and I suspect this may have contributed to those choice since they don’t come with a Ridgeline.

Hope these tips help you if you decide the hammock life is for you. I plan to post more tips as time allows to prevent folks from sending there hammocks home as time allows.


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