Summer is almost here and the great outdoors is calling. Cross-country trekking is becoming a very popular pastime and its companion sport of motorcycle camping is making a splash as well. This is especially in the spring and summer months. You can hike the Appalachian Trail or do a cross-country trek/motorcycle getaway along Highway 101 and see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
However, the question is “what are you going to take with you in your knapsack, bike’s saddlebags or backpack?”
You can search the Net and find many, many solutions for the types of items you could be carrying. However, today we like to focus on the question of whether you should be carrying a tent or a hammock on your journey.
Many veteran bikers and hikers rough it, by just sleeping under the open sky with just a ground cloth or sleeping back. However, if you look at the news, the weather lately can change without warning and sleeping on the ground with just a ground cloth or even in a tent often finds you waking soggy and wet.
Hammocks, on the other hand, can keep you warm, mosquito free, and dry and these are only a few of the advantages that a hammock offers over the tent or the sleeping bag/ground cloth approach.
Hammocks are Lightweight, Portable, and Comfortable
One of the many problems faced by hikers and trekkers is weight. A typical backpack load can weigh between 30 and 50 pounds depending on what you’re carrying. This can wear you out after only a few hours on the trail.
A motorcycle can carry much more. However, a loaded down motorcycle loses its maneuverability and you look like something out of a “Mad Max” post-apocalypse movie. Even with the new survival motoped, which is basically a Swiss Army knife on wheels can only carry so much.
The Zombie Apocalypse/camping motorcycle looks even worse.
So you get the point weight is a crucial factor when traveling. But, you don’t want to give up your comfort. A tent can give you all the comforts of home and many offer stand up room, windows, and even a sun awning. If you bring an air mattress or a cot, you don’t even have to feel the ground through the tent’s thin flooring.
But once again, you need a car or SUV just to transport a tent that offers you this level comfort.
A hammock is one of the most comfortable sleeping devices ever invented by man. The first hammocks were leaves arranged in the bough of a tree and were used by our primitive ancestors long before there were beds.
Chimpanzees continue this practice today except in their case, they are more interested in avoiding predators and being close to a ready food supply rather than comfort.
Hammocks, Options and Amenities
Of course, a hammock by itself is not the end-all. You can get things to add to your Hammock to make it more versatile and useful.
One of the first items that many people get for their hammock is a mosquito net. This is especially useful if you’re camping in the woods or near Stillwater, such as a pond. Any body of water can harbor mosquitoes. If the water is stagnant are not fed, kept in motion by a running current.
Protection against mosquitoes as well as deer ticks is something most campers don’t think about until they are too deep in the woods to do anything about it.
The Grand Trunk Skeeter Beater Pro Hammock has the mosquito netting built-in as well. It has no–see-um mosquito netting which helps preserve your privacy as well. But you don’t have to buy a specially designed hammock, such as this one.
If you wish, you can obtain a specially designed mosquito net that will surround virtually any hammock you currently own. Weighing 17 ounces and with over 2100 holes.
This allows you to read while resting in your hammock and it keeps the bugs away and you don’t feel claustrophobic or enclosed.
The Hammock Bliss Mosquito Cocoon is made of no-see-um netting used in the Skeeter Beater hammock already mentioned.
However, if you are a person who is planning on hiking or camping in heavy brush country or areas where you know insects are going to be a problem. You need something that’s heavy duty and design to deal with the unexpected. Here is where the Snugpak Jungle Hammock fits the bill nicely as it is lightweight and measures only 8 x 7 x 2.5″ when folded into its carry bag. When unfolded it becomes is a full-size 9′ x 4′ hammock that not only offers you comfort, but protection from insects as well.
However, if you want to forgo mosquito netting entirely, then an electronic Mosquito repeller or mosquito bracelet is an amenity that you should leave home without. These technological wonders have been received well and give a good account of themselves in areas where mosquitoes are known to abound.
Many enjoy going outdoors to hike or camp in fall or early spring. In this case, an underquilt is what you need to go along with your hammock that will keep you warm, no matter what the weather is like.
Eagle’s Nest Outfitters provides you with such an option that make you feel warm and cozy allowing for a goodnight’s rest as it shrugs off the night’s chill with ease and panache.
Hammocks beat out a tent for comfort, weight, and portability. Whether it is a parachute, mummy or cocoon style and the best is chosen for you.
You can take your pick and get a hammock that fits particular environment you’re going to be traveling through camping in and fits your personal desires for comfort.
Many find the parachute design with its open-air design and its ability to close around one is the best camping hammock for all-around use.
But let your conscience be your guide, when you go about selecting the hammock that you will use when you take your next hike, camping trip, and nature excursion.
Hammocks are as old as man himself, but with the new materials and technologies, they are as new and unique as the 21st century.