Hammocks or tents?
This is a question that has to be answered before any camping trip. But why is that? Hammock Camping vs Tent Camping, Which one is best for you???
Well everyone goes camping to get their mind off thing for a few days. You want to refresh your mind and get back to the world. Now you can’t do that if you are exhausted after your camp because of lack of sleep.
This is why you have to know what is best for you. Whether you want to go with a hammock or a tent
As someone who has done both hammock and tent camping, I can share my experience of what it was like in both and you can choose for yourself which is better suited for you.
First of all, let me start off by explaining what is hammock camping and what is tent camping.
- What is Hammock Camping?
- What is Tent Camping?
- Key Points Of Differentiation: Hammock Camping vs Tent Camping
- Quick Review of Differences: Hammock Camping Vs Tent Camping
- Final Word
What is Hammock Camping?
Hammock camping is a form of camping where the camper sleeps in a hammock which is suspended on two or more supports. Now, one might say this easily explains what hammock camping is, but in truth, it isn’t enough.
In hammock camping, you sleep on a suspended hammock under a tarp that provides you with cover from rain and dew. The two supports, usually trees have to be around 10 feet apart and should be strong enough to hold your weight.
One should always have a sleeping bag for a night because let’s face it, it gets a little chilly in the mornings of even the hottest of days.
What is Tent Camping?
Tent camping is a type of camping where one uses an actual home-like shelter that may be made out of nylon or canvas that is collapsible and can be carried around.
For tent camping, the land needs to be quite even, or else cots need to be carried around too. Inside a tent, one needs to have a flashlight or lantern, a mini fan, and sleeping bags.
Key Points Of Differentiation: Hammock Camping vs Tent Camping
There are certain criteria that you must consider for comparing hammocks and tents:
- The cost of camping
- The topography
- Ease of setup
- Options available in the market
- No. of people
1.The Cost Of Camping:
From a neutral’s perspective, it may seem that a hammock should be way cheaper than tents, and yes hammocks are cheaper than tents but the numbers are quite close to each other. A decent hammock made out of nylon should cost around $20 to $40 for a single person hammock, but from my experience, a two-person hammock is recommended. It cost a little bit more than the single one but it gives way more freedom for your body to move while sleeping.
That was just for the hammock. Along with a hammock, you need a nylon tarp that will cost you another $20 to $40, add another $25 for suspension and then you have the underquilt to buy for another $60.A sleeping bag will also cost around $50.If you are to sleep at night, you need a mosquito net of around $20. So overall, I can say that you will need around $250 to $300 for a comfortable hammock camp.
Now for a tent, the costliest one is the tent itself. It costs around $120 to $150.To go with that, you need a tarp for the ground that will cost around $20 to $40, a sleeping bag of $50, and the additional costs of a sleeping cot, lantern, camping chairs, and fans. So overall, the cost comes out to be around $300 to $350.
So, a hammock will cost you around $300 and tents will cost you around $350.It usually depends on your budget and you can go camping at a cost significantly less than my number, but for a smooth camping experience, this was the minimum budget for me.
The type of camping you will likely be doing depends on where you want to go camping. The site of your choice dictates the camp type. Suppose one decides to go camping at badlands national park, South Dakota, the topography there is well suited for setting up tents but because there are not many trees there, hammock camping is out of the question. Yellowstone national park is another such place well suited for tent camping.
On the other hand, places like Olympic National Park in Washington are more suited for hammock camping. The park experiences quite a bit of rainfall and so tents can be problematic especially if one doesn’t have a cot to sleep in. Hammocks being more weather resistant are well suited for rainy days. The tarp can cover overhead and since there is no contact to the ground, the is no chance of seepage.
Yosemite National Park, California, and Big Bend National Park, Texas are some other likely destinations for hammock camping.
There are some places like Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and Glacier National Park, Montana where one can do both types of camping.
From what I experienced, a good knowledge of the destination is required to choose the type of camping one will be doing.
3.Ease Of Setup:
In the fields, tents are simpler to set up than hammocks Anyone, even someone new to camping can set up a decent tent. Usually, a tent site is easier to find than a hammock site.
But tents are limited in several ways. Tents should be set up in existing sites only in areas with vegetation or sensitive ecosystems. Haphazardly setting up tents can harm the environment. Tents are also difficult to set up if the terrain is sloppy, or the ground is rocky, rooty, or uneven.
Hammocks, on the other hand, take more time and effort to set up. One must have a good knowledge and experience of setting up a hammock. An amateur can make the hammock too shaggy or hurt the tree on which the hammock is set upon.
It is also difficult to find the perfect place to set up a hammock. Two trees have to be at a required distance and the size of those trees should be large. The knots are sensitive and a procedure has to be followed for setting a hammock up.
The mastery of this setup process can make things simpler. Following the procedure can reduce the time for set up. Hammocks don’t hurt the environment and don’t depend on the ground structure for its set up. So, it can be set up on any terrain.
Most of the places for hiking or backpacking have suitable locations for hammocks. So, it is a good option these days but one needs to practice setting up a hammock before actually going for the camp.
For a good night’s sleep, one has to be comfortable in what they are sleeping in. Both hammocks and tents, do a good job in this but in different aspects.
Tents will keep bugs out and rain off. The temperature may get hot inside and sometimes, water may seep in. When the ground is not entirely flat, the sleep may not be too comfortable. But a cot is easy to set up inside a tent and using that can ensure a comfortable sleep.
Hammocks are relatively comfortable to lay on. Hammocks can be good even for people with back problems. If the hammock is made of thin material, the gust of wind flowing below can take away the heat from your body. Because of this problem, an underquilt becomes very necessary. There has to be a gap between the underquilt and the hammock. The gap will store the heat from the body and result in a night of comfortable sleep.
Comfort level is one of the biggest advantages of hammock camping over tent camping according to me.
In this regard, a hammock is miles apart from a tent. Hammocks take up a minimal amount of space, the accessories included, where the tent will become a piece of luggage of its own. There may be some tents that are easy to pack but they will also cost more.
A hammock usually is of two types, one-person or two-person. They come in different colors and designs but tents surely have more options to choose from. One can choose to have a room for 2 people to 10 people. Tents are having separate rooms inside for privacy. Tents offer a wide number of features, but the price will also go up with every feature that is added. Hammocks tend to stay around the same price even with different features.
Hammocks can be carried around everywhere and also, they are easy to wrap up. If one is on a camping trip, if the system can be quickly wrapped up, it saves a considerable amount of time and effort.
6.Options Available In The Market:
So, for someone who likes to have options, tents are the way to go. It depends on whether the price of the commodity or the feature of the commodity is more important. As a camper, I tend to keep the price in mind, so I go for hammocks.
7.No. Of People:
If someone is traveling alone, then he/she can choose either a hammock or a tent. In that case, a hammock would be better since it is easy to carry and quite comfortable.
But if a large group is traveling together, hammocks may not be a good choice. Hammocks cannot provide the privacy that tents provide. Also, in a tent, more than two people can sleep together while in a hammock, only a single person can sleep at a time.
So, if you are hiking in a group, go for tents and if you wish to backpack alone, go with a hammock.
Hammocks are simply more durable just because it is a single sewn cloth while tents are three or more pieces of cloth sewn together.
One hammock can be good enough for quite a few backpacking trips, while a tent can only be used 2 or 3 times.
When someone plans to go for a camping trip, all they are looking for is excitement, and what is more exciting than sleeping above the ground, hanging in the open. Tents can give someone the peace of mind thinking they are inside a shelter and hammocks are exactly opposite to that.
So, if you are looking for a new experience and want thrill in your life, it is highly recommended to carry a hammock for sleeping.
Quick Review of Differences: Hammock Camping Vs Tent Camping
|Topography||Trees have to be around for setup||Can be used anywhere|
|Ease of setup||Little difficult to setup||Easy to find a site and setup|
|Comfort||Very comfortable||Not very comfortable|
|Carrying||Easy to carry around||Can be bulky|
|Options in the market||Not many||Many options available|
|No. of people who can camp||1 or 2||Better for a group|
|Durability||More durable||Can just be used once or twice|
|Excitement||Very exciting||Less exciting|
Hammocks and tents both have their uses. Using them firsthand can make you realize which one you like.
As far as my camping experience goes, I tend to favor hammocks more because of its refreshing feel but everyone has different tastes, so you make like tents more than hammocks.
In any case, it takes an agonizingly long time to decide which one to pick, and you have to do your analysis considering the trip you are taking and the pros and cons of both before concluding whether you will carry a tent or a hammock.