Winter Hammock Camping

One way to camp in the winter is to use a hammock.  A hammock has the advantage of getting you off the ground when sleeping and thus it reduces the chance of getting wet – if you do it correctly.

The first thing you need is a suitable hammock.  This can be a lightweight polyester system like the Grand Trunk Ultralight Camo Hammock or something more fancy.  

Next, you need a suitable sleeping bag that’s rated for the low temperatures you expect to see when you are camping.  You can use any bag, however,  the bottom will be compressed by your body weight and will get cold since it’s suspended in the air.  There are a couple of solutions to this problem.  One is a special hammock sleeping bag like the Grand Trunk Hammock Sleeping Bag.  This bag and others like it are designed to wrap around your hammock so that the bottom of the bag is below the hammock and your body is not compressing it.  A second option is to use a regular sleeping bag with the addition of  an underquilt like the Vulcan Underquilt. The underquilt wraps around the bottom and sides of the hammock providing insulation in addition to that provided by your sleeping bag.  Either approach should keep you toasty warm, but if not,  you can also add an overquilt and/or wear more clothing.

Finally, you need a way to keep falling snow off of you.  This can be a tarp or other tent-like covering or something like the Hennessy Deluxe Size Cover for Camping Hammocks or HouseFly Rain Tarp if you want even more protection.

With a set up like this,  you should get great, warm sleep while winter camping, but, before you set off on your wilderness trek, be sure to test your hammock system as well as your other winter camping gear in your backyard to identify any issues.  It’s always better to fix a problem at home than to try to deal with it when you are far away from civilization.

Please share your experiences and questions in the comments below or by replying, if you got this post via email.

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