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Alton’s Ultimate Guide to Hammock Camping


05 September, 2023

Alton’s Ultimate Guide to Hammock Camping

You might have guessed it already, but we’re big fans of hammock camping here at Alton. In fact, way back when we were a tiny startup in suburban Brisbane, our first ever product was a lightweight hammock.

Things have changed a lot since then, but we still have a real soft spot for camping hammocks. And, we’re not alone. Camping hammocks have been steadily gaining popularity thanks to their versatility, game-changing comfort and lightweight performance.  

In this guide, we bring together all of our hammock camping expertise into one place. From gear to comfort to setup, we cover absolutely everything you need to get started with hammock camping in Australia and beyond. Let’s get into it! 

Why try hammock camping?

Tents may be considered the ‘default’ shelter for a night in the wild, but there are plenty of reasons why you might consider choosing a camping hammock instead. Here’s why we are obsessed with hammock camping here at Alton:

1. Camping hammocks are incredibly comfortable. 

This can make a big difference to your sleep quality and make your overnight adventures more enjoyable. 

2. You can camp in more places. 

As long as you can access two sturdy trees or other anchor points, you can set up your camping hammock just about anywhere.

3. Camping hammocks offer unique advantages.

A high quality camping hammock can give you an edge in the wild because they are lightweight, breathable and incredibly versatile. 

4. Camping hammocks are more fun.

With a camping hammock, you can get closer to nature, build new skills and make memories to last a lifetime. 

So, are you tempted to try hammock camping? If you are curious about hammock camping, then our blog post, Why try hammock camping, is the perfect place to start learning more. 

What are the pros and cons of hammock camping?

In this blog, What are the pros and cons of hammock camping?, we share our first-hand knowledge about the benefits and limitations of this unique shelter system. Here’s our two cents on this debate:

Over the past few years, hammock camping has been quietly gaining momentum as an alternative to traditional tent camping. But, like anything, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. If you are thinking about investing in a camping hammock and want to know more about the unique advantages and disadvantages that come along with it, then don’t skip this blog post!

Our Camping Hammock Gear Guide

In our Essential Camping Hammock Gear Guide, we share our go-to gear checklist, as well as expert advice for how to choose the best camping hammock equipment for you. What you need will depend on the conditions, but this is our standard hammock camping gear checklist: 

Hammock Camping Gear

  • Camping hammock
  • Suspension system 
  • Rain protection (eg. waterproof camping tarp) 
  • Insulation
  • Bug net
  • Groundsheet 

Here a few considerations to keep in mind when selecting your new gear:

1. Check the size and weight rating.
Check product specifications to ensure it is strong enough to hold your weight and long enough to lie in comfortably.

2. Opt for high-quality materials.
We always recommend investing in hammock camping gear that is made from durable yet lightweight materials that are built to last. Not only can high quality gear offer better performance, but it should last longer and require fewer repairs.

3. Prioritise easy-setup, simplicity and adaptability.
There are some flashy hammock designs out there with all the bells and whistles built-in, but we always find stripped back, functional gear is easier (and more enjoyable) to use.

The perfect hiking hammock setup will vary depending on your preferences and the conditions you'll be camping in. If you are in the market for hammock camping gear, our hammock camping gear guide will point you in the right direction.

Hammock Camping Setup

From selecting your campsite to positioning your hammock straps, How to Set Up Your Camping Hammock Like A Pro is a ‘must read’ for every hammock camper who is serious about improving their setup. Here is a quick overview of the essential steps to setting up your camping hammock: 

  1. Research your campsite before you go.
  2. Find two strong trees or other anchor points.
  3. Attach your hammock suspension straps to the anchors.
  4. Secure the hammock between the suspension straps
  5. Check that your setup is secure.
  6. Attach a ridgeline above your hammock.
  7. Make your bed
  8. Add the final touches to your setup such as a camping tarp or bug net
  9. Follow Leave No Trace principles.
  10. Clean, dry and store your hammock camping gear after use.

Setting up a camping hammock isn’t rocket science, but it does take a bit of time and effort to learn the ropes. But, with a little bit of practice you’ll get the hang of setting up your camping hammock no time – especially if you read through the step-by-step guide in this blog.

Hammock Camping Comfort Tips

Whether you're a first-time hammock camper or looking to refine your technique, our tips on hammock camping comfort will be a game-changer. Here’s a quick overview of the comfort-enhancing tricks we unpack in this blog:  

  1. Invest in the right camping hammock.
  2. Opt for a user-friendly hammock suspension system.
  3. Find the perfect suspension tension. 
  4. Try a structural ridgeline.
  5. Lower the head-side of your hammock. 
  6. Lie at a diagonal. 
  7. Use the right insulation. 
  8. Test, adjust and repeat until you find your ‘sweet spot’.

Hammocks can be incredibly comfortable – with the right know-how! In this blog, we share the tips and tricks we swear by to improve your sleeping comfort. Read the full blog post today for the best night’s sleep you’ve ever experienced in the wild.

Winter Hammock Camping

We’ll admit that camping in winter isn’t always the most appealing idea. But, once you’ve pushed through that initial hesitation to leave your warm, cosy house, getting outside in winter can be a lot of fun – especially with a camping hammock. 

Here are our tips for warmth, comfort and safety when camping with a hammock in winter: 

  1. Go in with the winter-ready gear.
  2. Camp in a sheltered location.
  3. Use a waterproof tarp for extra warmth and protection. 
  4. Cocoon yourself with 360º of insulation.
  5. Don’t let your gear get wet. 
  6. Use a groundsheet. 
  7. Pack extra food. 
  8. Take all necessary safety precautions. 

Australian winters are mild compared to many places in the world, but there are still locations where the weather can be extremely cold and unpredictable. In this blog we share the benefits of using a camping hammock in winter, as well as some essential advice to keep you warm, comfortable and safe.

Happy Hammock Camping!

It doesn’t matter if you are brand new to hammock camping or a pro, the Alton blog is packed full of useful tips, tricks and guides to help you get the most out of your camping hammock adventures. 

We’ve covered why we love camping hammocks, the pros and cons of this unique shelter option, essential gear guide and setup, as well as expert tips to improve comfort and tackle winter conditions. So, what are you waiting for? It is time for you to get out there and put it into practice!

If you have any questions about camping hammocks, shoot us an email or DM us on Instagram, we are always more than happy to help.

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