Hammock Camping
Credit: Kevin Callan

Camping in a hammock is like being in a pinata. There you are, sleeping above the ground, between two trees, with your underparts exposed. It seems wrong — but yet it feels so right.

There’s a sense of freedom sleeping in a hammock, being more exposed to the elements then you would be in a regular dome-tent. You go to sleep while the darkness closes in and the stars begin to twinkle. Then you awaken with the morning light and the fluttering birds. There’s no unzipping the fly and peaking out to see if it’s morning.

I also like the freedom of camping pretty much anywhere there are trees; a flooded swamp or remote boreal forest where campsites don’t exist, but places to hang a hammock do.

Being 50 years old, however, I was a bit anxious to give hammock camping another try since my last attempt a few years back — an early Spring canoe trip in Algonquin when temperatures dropped below zero. Hammocks can be cold to sleep in if you don’t prepare properly.

I did, however, give it a second attempt recently. I gotta say, it was a positive experience. It took a couple of nights to figure out how to sleep in a position other than straight on your back. After that, I came to the realization that I was getting some of the best night sleeps I’ve ever had on trip. Maybe I felt closer to the environment around me, or maybe it was more of a Huck Finn feeling, a different sense of adventure.  Whatever it was, I came to realize why this latest trend is outdoing some other camping trends like glamour camping — better known as “glamping.”

Have a look at my latest video on my hammock outing. I used Exped’s Scout Hammock Combi and loved it.