A hammock is your best friend if you want a minimum-impact shelter. No need for other equipment or any kinds of gear. All you need to do is find a tree, set up your hammock, and you’re done! With that said, there are a few hammock tips that you should keep in mind.
Opt for “Tree-Friendly” Straps
- Instead of using plastic zip cords or nailing the straps to a tree, why not use tree-friendly straps to minimize your camping footprint. Tree-friendly straps use a nylon/polyester material that can be webbed into the tree without damaging it.
Set Up Near a Water Source
- It’s advisable to set up your hammock that’s at least 200 feet away from any water source such as river banks or lakes.
Locate a Pre-Existing Campsite
- When setting up your hammock, it’s best to set it up on an already established campsite. You know the saying “Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.” This is because to reduce damage done in nature.
Don’t Set Up on Dead Trees
- Setting your hammock on dead trees increases the chance of injuring yourself. This is because dead trees tend to break easily since they can no longer support too much weight.
Check the Area
- Before you set up, approach the local land managers if setting a hammock on the area is allowed.
Check for Sensitive Plant Life
- Be mindful of your surroundings especially if you’re setting up deep in the woods. Insect nests, poisonous plants, and other hazardous things might be present in these areas. Avoid stepping on lichen and always clean your shoes between hikes to avoid transporting non-native species.
Hang No More Than 18 inches Off the Ground
- Don’t hang your hammock way high up the tree. Make sure to hang it no more than 18 inches off the ground to avoid getting injured in case you fall. Hang it on the thickest part of the tree trunk and avoid trees that bend easily in the wind.
Pack it Up
- When not in use, make it a habit to take down your hammock and pack it up. This is to avoid animals or any kinds of wildlife to play around with your hammock.
Inspect Before Leaving
- When it’s time to go, don’t forget to inspect your campsite and see if there are any other things that you may have left behind. Be responsible and take your trash with you so that you don’t leave any traces of garbage around the area.