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For the longest time, campers have relied on the shelter of a regular tent. Little emphasis was put in the hammock as a potential temporary camping setup. However, following the unending push by the pro hammock campaign team – championed by doctors, renowned world travelers, chiropractors, and orthopedists - more people are beginning to consider the hammock as their primary option for camping solutions. But are hammock tents a healthy home hack or a hippie- driven hype?
Let's take a look at the pros and cons hammock camping!
Why Hammocks are considered comfortable
Well, for starters, hammocks go way back as the ultimate sleep solution used in the ancient days. Throughout history it was common to see hammocks aboard military ships and hanged between palm trees in the tropical regions. However, despite the practice being a mainstay from the ancient times till now, this does not necessarily mean that the practice offered higher quality sleep. On the contrary, it was a safety solution from the dangers of sleeping on the ground – attacks from wild animals – and forest floor. However, more research into the comforts of hammock tents over regular ground tents, reveals that there are certain advantages you stand to gain from camping in a hammock tent.
Enable you to fall asleep faster
Following a recent article published in the journal “The Current Biology”, researchers argue that the swing motion of a hammock tent affords a faster route to sleep. In their findings, the researchers state why rocking to sleep is the best method for falling asleep especially in children. Cradle babies or those on a hammock tend to fall fast asleep due to the synchronization of brain waves that makes them feel more at ease. In other words, hammocks enable people with insomnia to find a short way of falling asleep. For these reason, hammocks can be considered as a comfortable sleeping option.
Deeper better sleep
Even though deep sleep is considered unhealthy, it helps with recovery process especially after a long tiring hike. According to research, the deep sleep stage together with the REM sleep stage play a vital role in your sleeping cycle. During these two stages, your body repairs itself – energy is restored, immunity is boosted and worn-out muscles and tissues are restored. It is hypothesized that also during this important sleep stage, the brain and other vital organs recover from daytime functioning. It is on this basis, that the claim the hammock helps in re-balancing your body organs originates from. However, this is yet to be proved and is considered for now only a myth.
Freedom from the gravity woes
The ground tends to be an unfair ordeal especially if sleep minus the comfort of an airbag or a well-cushioned. Getting up tends to be a major issue for grayed adventurous folks. With acute back pains and knee problems getting in and out of an ordinary tent can be a daunting nightmare. Furthermore, sleeping directly on the ground makes you more tired – you tend to wake up distressed. You also stand the risk of getting bitten by harmful animals such as snakes and scorpions. Hammocks on the other hand, give you the freedom of escaping from the unforgiving ground as you float on air. You get to have the same comfort every time regardless of how the weather or the terrain appears. However, hammocks are best placed in woody areas where you get enough options on where to tie your hammock tent. They are not the ideal option when touring arid areas with scarcity of vegetation (mostly trees).
Get entwined with Mother Nature
The whole idea behind camping is to get in touch with Mother Nature at its best. Well, a hammock allows you to do so at a little cost. Unlike a regular tent where you lose the air flow, hammock tents allow the morning breeze to heat your face at first sight - you get a chance to gasp natures first class breathe. Depending on your preference you can go for a see-through hammock tent that allows you to enjoy the night sky star display. For this reason, many find the hammock to be more comfortable than the standard tent.
Solitude alone or together as a couple
If you are a person who doesn’t like sharing your camping tent with others or you prefer the comfort of Mother Nature away from human contact, you would probably find a hammock tent more soothing. Furthermore, for couples who can’t stand being away from each other and love the comfort that comes with snuggling together, you might find hammock tends the ideal nursing tent. A hammock gives you the womb like feel that makes you feel alone in the comfort of your bedding.
Hammocks have all features that are standard to tents
The major setback that keeps most folks away from embracing hammocks as a sleeping alternative is the lack of a cover top. Such tent tops shield you from all elements and harmful mosquito bites. Furthermore, traditionally hammocks lack a gear loft that allows easy access to your belongings. Luckily, today's hammock tents have all the facilities common to ground tents. You get to have a mosquito tent, gear loft, and tarp. Furthermore, hammock tents are convenient for backpacks as they take up little storage space compared to ground tents. It’s no wonder why brands like Grand Trunk Skeeter Beeter Pro are becoming a household name.
Hammocks are usually easy to setup unlike ground tents. You only need to identify two typeable polls and the setup your portable camping site. Even without camping experience, any average person can easily set up a hammock tent. Furthermore, most camping expeditions out in the wild happen in woody areas where trees are in numbers thus making hammock tenting an ideal option. For this reason, most individuals opt for hammock tents.
Laziest way to get smart
Hammock tents are great for afternoon naps with a book in hand. The womb like feel calms your body down allowing easy blood flow to your brain that is engaged in intellectual enlightenment. Research further reveals that reading comes more natural on a hammock due to increased concentration levels. For this reason, many book lovers prefer laying on a hammock whenever they want to read.
Why Hammocks aren’t considered comfortable
Even though some people find the hammock tent to be more comfortable than sleeping on the ground some still remain skeptical to the ideal of adopting this realist trend. But why? Well, here are some few reasons that keep some individual hands away from the hammock tents.
Fear of toppling over
Hammock tents high center of gravity makes it easier to fall out especially if you tend to toss and turn a lot during sleep. Getting in might even be a problem for most people. This particular fear makes many individuals to detest the thought of sleeping in a hammock tent. However, you can counter the falling out effect by laying diagonally across the hammock. This give the air tent high walls that keep you centered in the shell-like structure.
Ankle strain and leg hypertension
The womb like feel tends to create ankle pressure and leg strain after sleeping in a hammock tent for a long period. Certain sleeping positions exact more pressure on your legs thus increasing your discomfort levels. You can relieve yourself of the pain with a good sag and by buying hammock tents that come with an in-built footbox.
Claustrophobia is the state of feeling trapped while the walls are closing in on you. Hammock tents tend to feel a lot the same. Hammocks with integrated nets and add-on tube styles are not the best sleeping solution for such individuals. They would rather go for a ground tent or a spacious hammock tent.
Some people can’t stand the feeling of being swayed back and forth before sleep. These effect is quite common in individuals that get sick when travelling long distances in a car. Sadly, there is no remedy for such individuals. It would be best to stick to a ground tent when out.
Cold butt syndrome
This is one of the major complaints of hammock tents. Whether sleeping on a hammock or directly on the ground, the air beneath tends to get compressed. Your backside gets colder when actually it should be warm since you are of the ground. As an alternative, it would be wise to incorporate pad or self-inflated foam beneath the hammock tent.
The shoulder squeeze is a result of the canoe effect. Canoe effect occurs when a hammock is strung tightly making the edges tighter. The canoe effect can also cause other problems such as tipping hammock with high center of gravity.
Certain hammocks are made using a stiff ridge of fabric right in the middle line that puts pressure on your legs. If the angle of the hang is wrong, the calf pressure may cause discomfort on the person sleeping on the hammock. A great way to get rid of calf pressure is by sleeping legs crossed.
Overall, the comfort of a hammock tent depends on one's needs. For those looking for a shell like sleeping experience at one with mother nature, they will find the hammock super comfortable. However, people who are claustrophobic tend to find the portable tend not comfortable.