1. Check your surroundings.
First thing's first. Always check park rules about hammock camping. Some state and national parks may prohibit hammock camping. If hammock camping is prohibited, inquire about the potential to hammock between camp structures (roof coverings, gazebos, etc.) or between two cars. Make sure you only hang your hammock off of a pole or structure that is weight bearing to your body weight.
Steer clear of trails.
When setting up camp, stay away from hiking paths and game trails. You should avoid any area that are thoroughfares for humans or animals. Don’t put up any rope or line that would possibly be a tripping/blocking hazard to someone in your group or a neighboring campsite.
2. Choose your support.
Between two trees.
Finding a safe spot to hang is important. When choosing your hammock support, ideally choose sturdy and living trees that are about 12’ feet apart. We want to emphasize that the trees you hang from should be living, not dead.
Be on the lookout for hazard trees. A tree doesn’t have to be dead in order to pose a safety threat. Some hazard trees are obvious: big lean, rotten or cracked wood.
Tree-less? Not a problem.
In more developed campgrounds, there may be shade/wind shelters that may provide support for hammocks. Your vehicle may [also] be a good anchor. Always be wise about it. When getting creative about where to hang your hammock, ensure your weight is fully supported.
3. Always sit, then swing.
Sexy photos are tempting, but your life isn't worth the likes. Hang low. Aim to hang about 18” off the ground (knee high) when sitting in your hammock and make sure the surface uderneath is not dangerous if you were to fall. Your hammock should have a gentle curve when suspended - not too loose or too tight. You can adjust straps to be slightly tighter if you need to lay flat in your hammock.
When entering your hammock, sit first then swing your legs in. Make sure to put your weight in the hammock, not the gear pouch or bug net, because it's obviously going to break. We recommend laying diagonally for sound sleep and to prevent your hammock from cocooning. A 30-45 degree angle should do the trick.
We don’t recommend standing, jumping, spinning, or cartwheels in our hammocks. Save those for solid ground and save face.
4. Take Shelter.
Before you head out, always check the weather for temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and potential storms. Preparing for the elements is critical to hammock camping safety.
Healthy trees can come down in a storm, killing, and injuring people. The whole tree doesn’t have to come down in order to hurt someone. Large branches can break off. Check the forecast ahead of time not only for storms, but wind speeds as well.
When you're committed to staying outside, bring a weather shelter for your hammock. Shelters can protect you not only from rain and wind, but the sun’s UV rays, as well. We recommend our Maelstrom Tarp.
Bug nets are another must-have for hammock camping. The Cocoon Net & Pouch gives you 360-degree protection from mosquitoes and other no-see-ums.