Sincerely speaking, most people nowadays just prefer hanging between trees and enjoying their nights on a hammock as compared to a tent. This is because when dealing with a tent, there are so many things like the poles, tent stakes and rainfly among other things that you will have to deal with. Hammock camping simply involves locating suitable trees and stringing your hammock.
The problem only comes when the winter season approaches. The temperatures go below 45 degrees, and hammock camping becomes unbearable again. This is the time most campers will ditch their hammocks for tents. Did you know that with a winter hammock, you can apply some tricks and tips to enjoy your hammock camping despite how cold it might get? Read on and get to learn some tips.
How to keep warm in a winter hammock camping
When sleeping in a hammock during winter, you should focus on keeping warm. This will give you comfort and ensure that you enjoy your camping and that afterward, you will not have to get bedridden due to an illness caused by the cold.
Here are some of the measures you can take to ensure that you keep warm while sleeping in a winter hammock.
1. Get a nice sleeping bag
Having a sleeping bag you sleep in your hammock during winter is an ideal way to insulate yourself from the cold. They are popular and still a far much cheaper alternative compared to an underquilt. It may not be the best option to keep warm, but it still works. Its only fault is that the weight of the hanger depletes the fullness of the insulating material by compressing it.
2. Have a pillow protector
Even if your head will be warmly and comfortably wrapped up in your mummy hood, it will be an added advantage if you carried with you a pillow protector. That pillow will be a layer between the cold nylon of the hammock and your head. This will add up to the general warmth of your body.
3. Make use of a hammock specific underquilt
Most of the hammock manufacturing companies make underquilts which will not trouble you at all when used. These underquilts are better and more reliable than a blanket that you hastily attach to your hammock.
Other than the ease of use, a hammock’s specific underquilt is also advantageous in that it does not deplete the insulation capability of the hammock beneath you. In the long run, you will be feeling cozy and warm.
4. You can trap warmth
When sleeping a winter hammock, you can trap heat around your body by using a tarp. I would recommend that you use the Grand Trunk All Purpose RainFly which is a great hammock-specific tarp. You can easily string it to your hammock. If you don’t access that particular one, any other standard tarp will serve you.
5. An emergency underquilt
An emergency underquilt is ideal since it surrounds your hammock and offers you protection from the nasty winter weather. The emergency underquilt consists of blankets which have windproof and waterproof features. You only need to tie the corners to the ends of your hammock. Tie the hammock in such a way that the emergency underquilt sits snuggly on the sides and also at the bottom of your hammock.
6. Top quilt
The advantage of a top quilt is not only easing your entry into the hammock but also assists in keeping you warm while you sleep in your hammock. You can purchase one and better still, you can also make one for yourself.
To keep warm, you only need to sling it over you and zip it up to your calves. If you decide to modify the top quit, you can get a cheap sleeping bag which has been made to have a quilt design.
7. Get a multipurpose liner
If you are a prolific camper, a multipurpose liner will serve you best. This is because you can go hammock camping throughout the year without minding the season. The multipurpose liner is ideal since it is light in weight and will keep you warm while you are in your sleep.
The multipurpose liner can help you eliminate cold spots one you place it near your feet or shoulders.
8. Making use of self-inflating pads or mats
It is good to keep an open mind especially when you know that you are working with limited resources. Self-inflating pads and mats can serve you a great deal when it comes to keeping warm in a winter hammock. They are easy to inflate and deflate.
The inflation helps in adding to the mat’s and pad’s insulation capabilities. This could get devastating if it was your only insulation option and you find out that it has a hole in it while you are miles and miles away from home. This will require you to carry something extra, which is a repair kit.
9. Maintain good blood circulation
Even if there is a need for you to keep warm, you don’t have to wear too many clothes such that they inhibit proper blood circulation in your body. For instance, wearing about five pairs of socks will certainly prevent proper circulation of blood. This is because they all fit very tightly. Just wear about two pairs of socks, one which is thin and breathable and a top pair which is thick and cushiony.
For your boots, do not tie your laces too tight and wear gloves and liners which are also not tight. Tight laces, gloves and liners will constrict blood flow. Generally, poor blood circulation will prevent you from feeling warm regardless of how many clothes you wear.
The best way to ensure that your hands and feet are warm from the morning is by wearing your gloves, socks and liners as you sleep in your sleeping bag or hammock.
10. Make a wise decision as you decide on your meals
When camping during winter, the amount of calories your body needs will be a lot more than what it normally needs when the temperatures are not dangerously low. You need foods that will provide you with enough energy.
Some of the staple foods you would need for camping during a winter season are such as salmon jerky which is a great source of omega-3 and amino acids, dehydrated eggs, nuts, and carbohydrates which are energy giving foods. The ideal carbohydrates for a camper are oatmeal, candy, dried fruits and bread.
Carry with you some snacks which you can be munching during the day as you hike. A bite here and there is better compared to taking a break so that you can have your meals. The breaks will interfere with your day’s activities since you will cool down in the course of the break which will make adjusting so that you can continue with your hiking quite a task.
Have some soup or chocolate in an insulated thermos. This will keep you warm throughout the day which means that once you retire to sleep in your winter hammock, you will still retain the warmth.
11. Observe the 3–layer dressing rule
As you sleep in your winter hammock, stick to the three-layer dressing rule. This means that you should wear three layers of clothing and remain warm, dry and comfortable. This one has always worked for me. Let me explain how you should do this.
Among the three layers, you should have a base, middle and top layer. The fabric used to make all these should be either synthetic or wool. Cotton would be a bad choice. This is because it takes too long to dry up and in case it gets wet; its insulation capability gets depleted.
The base layer should be light in weight while the middle layer which insulates your body should not be too light nor too heavy. The topmost layer should be windproof, waterproof and well ventilated to enhance breathability.
It is my hope that all campers will no longer have to keep away your camping hammock whenever the winter season approaches. With these tips on how to keep warm in your winter hammock, I am certain that you can comfortably set out to your camping expedition during the winter season.
I am certain that in very rare cases or probably never will you find the temperatures unbearably cold such that you will have to quit camping. Again, if it gets too cold, to not push yourself to persevere the harsh conditions which could make you bedridden in the long run.
A hammock is ideal for a prolific camper compared to other types of shelters used by campers such as the tents. This is because it is compact and light which means that you can easily pack it in your backpack and set out for your camping spree. With proper preparation, you can comfortably keep warm in your winter hammock and enjoy your camping expedition.
Leave a comment on the article and let us know what measures you take to keep warm in your winter hammock. If you have a question, you can make an inquiry and I will certainly answer as soon as I can.