BY Nick Bulanda
Published April 5, 2019
It’s getting to be that time of year again, and groups of families and friends around the country will soon be packing their bags and hitting the open trail. For a few days, at least. That’s right, we’re here to talk about camping! With camping, and especially hammock camping, coming back into popularity, it’s time we go back over some of the basic safety items to keep in mind any time we decide to break out our favorite hammock with mosquito net and rain fly. Most, if not all, of these tips apply even if you’re camping on a campground, so make sure to keep these tips in mind.
1.) Do: Follow Setup Instructions
Look, we know it’s tempting to go in there and jump right in. However, at least for your first time setting up your camping hammock, you need to follow the instructions or guidelines that came with your set. If you didn’t receive printed instructions, or somehow lost or forgot them, these are almost always available online as well. Just make sure you check before you get out there, as there’s a strong chance you won’t have internet or cell phone access!
Failure to follow the instructions and learn the correct way to set up your camping hammock set could result in serious injury, so please heed our advice here. You’ll need to pay special attention to the recommended distance between trees, as that is a key aspect of correctly supporting yourself while in the hammock. We don’t want to have any accidents or mishaps ruin your vacation!
2.) Don’t: Hang Your Hammock On Your Vehicle
We’ve all seen it done, and many of us have even done it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. No matter how big your car or truck, it’s no match for the stability of a majestic tree. Hanging your hammock on your vehicle is one of the many dangers of hammock camping that many folks just don’t think about, but it can easily cause serious bodily harm to the occupant of the hammock. Whether someone forgets it’s there and drives away, or it’s simply not fastened on correctly, countless individuals have taken a tumble from a hammock improperly hung. Don’t be that person!
3.) Do: Prepare for the Worst
Bad weather happens. It’s a fact of life, and it’s often unpredictable. What’s not unpredictable are mosquitoes: if it’s warm enough, they’ll come out. And they do bite. Before leaving for your trip, remember to account for these factors and prepare accordingly. That means bringing items like bug spray, sunscreen and a hat or two. It can also mean preparing to the next level by bringing a hammock with mosquito net and rain fly included. That will keep you dry and free of annoying bug bites in the morning. Nobody likes waking up soaking wet and itching from head to toe.
4.) Don’t: Hang Hammocks Above Each Other
It sounds like a cute idea, and we hate to become the fun police, but hanging hammocks on top of each other is incredibly dangerous! The chance is always there, small as it is, that your hammock could collapse for some reason. By attempting to hang your hammock from a tree high in the air, that chance is increased greatly because there’s no way you’ll be able to secure it properly. Imagine falling from 12 feet in the air in a hammock and landing on the ground. Then remember that you’ll be hitting two or three other people on the way down because you hung your hammock above them. That’s multiple potentially serious injuries that could have easily been avoided!
5.) Do: Keep Food Stored Away From Your Immediate Campsite
One potentially unpleasant idea that you do need to be aware of if you’re camping in the wild is the possibility of a bear sighting. They might not be common, but they do happen. Not all bear sightings need to be a bad thing, either. Running into a bear in the distance during a daytime hike can be an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience. But nobody wants a bear rummaging through their camp in the night. To many folks, the idea of a bear attack is one of the most terrifying dangers of hammock camping, but it isn’t as big of a deal as many fear.
Even if a bear does make its way into your camp, you are more than likely going to be completely okay. All the same, it never hurts to brush up on your bear safety tips. One of the biggest steps you can take to keep bears from sniffing around your camp is to make sure all your food is secured in a bin, ideally in your vehicle or somewhere else safely away from where you’re sleeping. If a bear smells something delicious, he or she won’t hesitate to come poking around to find whatever it is, so you want to make sure to muffle the smell as much as possible. We all love Yogi Bear, but let’s keep it to the cartoons.
6.) Don’t: Sleep More Than One to a Single-Person Hammock
Every hammock should have a listed weight capacity listed somewhere on the packaging or where you purchased it, and though it might seem like a throwaway number, it’s very important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Most hammocks simply aren’t made for more than a single person, either in space or weight capacity. It is definitely possible to find some that are, and you’ll want to make sure you get one before heading out on your couple’s retreat.
Final Thoughts on the Dangers of Hammock Camping
The idea of leaving yourself exposed and out in the open all night might seem a little daunting to some at first. That’s okay! But it is completely safe as long as you follow the proper safety protocols. Simply following common sense guidelines and preparing for whatever may come will ensure you have a fantastic time on your next camping trip. If you think you’ve mastered the dangers of hammock camping and want to give it a try, we recommend picking up a hammock with mosquito net and rain fly package to take your camping experience to new heights of comfort.
If you follow these tips, you’re all ready to have a camping adventure you won’t soon forget. Do you have any other tips on the dangers of hammock camping you’d like to share? Let us know down in the comments below!