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If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about going camping and you’re looking for the best way to do so. There are so many different options for camping, though, making it hard to sort through. You can buy or rent RVs, cabins, yurts, and tents. You can do car camping or hammock camping. With all these different options in mind, we’re going to share the pros and cons of hammock vs ground camping, understanding that not everyone feels that RVing counts as camping anyway.
The Pros of Ground Camping
When people think about camping, they typically think about sleeping in a tent. The first advantage to ground camping is that you have a reliable shelter. Tents are lightweight and can be easy to set up. Ground camping allows you to set up almost anywhere, without needing trees. You can pitch your tent in the desert, or other open areas like fields or meadows.
People are used to sleeping on the ground and having mats or pads to lay on. When you’re camping, you’re away from home, so it’s nice to have things semi-normal. Tents provide extra protection and insulation from the elements and insects. You can also set up an air mattress in your tent. It provides a nice little space for hanging out during the day, for reading or resting during your trip. Tents can also be convenient for storing things in that don’t need to be secured, but just out of the way.
Another advantage to ground camping is that, if you’re not solo-camping but are out with friends or family, you have a space to share. Most tents can sleep multiple people while giving you some privacy as well.
The Cons of Ground Camping
People like to go camping to get out into the wilderness and to relax and re-charge. But even though being away from your routine is nice, it can be difficult to get quality sleep in a tent. It’s sometimes hard to find a place where you can set up on some flat, even ground. Even if you’ve found a relatively flat place, you might still set up and find lots of little rocks and sticks bothering you all night. If you’re camping in a campground, there can also be limited campsites, and they may only allow one tent per site (or feature other restrictions).
Though they offer better insulation than hammocks, tents can get kind of stuffy, especially in the summer. Even with the flaps open, it may be hard to ventilate properly, especially when you’re sleeping with multiple people in a tent, increasing the relative humidity.
Even though tents can be light weight, they have a lot of parts that can get messed up. When you’re setting up a tent, be careful not to get dirt into the strings or rods so that it continues to work properly. You may pull out the tent for camping and find that even though you have everything, the strings may have eroded on the inside and you can’t finish setting up.
Pros of Hammock Camping
Proponents of hammock camping have this in common: dramatically improved sleep. Hammocks are already associated with complete relaxation, and this is true for many people. Some people say that they sleep better in hammocks than they do at home. This is because you’re not sleeping on top of the rocks and roots on a slanted sleeping angle. You’re sleeping “in the air” and you’re alone. Both of these factors can also have their disadvantages, but hammock sleeping is also healthy. In fact, many native cultures sleep this way versus our western method of sleeping on flat surfaces. Some doctors say that sleeping on your back encourages better blood circulation.
Another advantage to hammock camping is that if you have some trees, a hammock is easy to set up. A hammock is also about the same weight as a tent. A one-person hammock is likely to weigh less than a five-person tent for example. Some people say that when they’re camping with friends, if the friends are tent camping and they have a hammock, the hammock always sets up first. This is because you don’t need to have a particular conditions for the ideal hammock arrangement – only some trees. These don’t even have to be very close together, since some attachments can help a hammock reach further. If your hammock is open you can see the stars easier, which is why many people go camping.
Cons of Hammock Camping
There are some obvious cons of hammock camping, which are basically the pros of tent camping. For instance, you must have trees. There are some portable free-standing hammocks, but these require more space, which you don’t necessarily have when you’re camping. Though hammock camping allows you lots of ventilation, it doesn’t provide a lot of space. You will have room for one person to sleep per hammock. You won’t be able to store much stuff in your hammock, and since you’re sleeping on air, if the air is cold, you may become very cold very quickly. Even if you have a great sleeping bag, you’ll be much colder on your entire underside than you would if you were sleeping on the ground. This may be great for summer, but not always great for year-round or winter camping.
It is also harder to have a hammock in the rain because you’ll need to set up an extra rainfly on the exterior, whereas a tent already provides this extra protection. If you’re used to sleeping in a tent, there is a bit of a learning curve for understand how to properly enjoy being in a hammock. They are only easy to set up when you’re familiar with them. Some people simply prefer sleeping on the ground and not having to sleep one specific way to be comfortable.
Read on to find the list of the most comfortable camping hammocks here.
Now that you know about tents and hammocks and have considered your own personal style, you can camp the way you want, whenever you want.