Everyone loves spending holidays with their friends and family. Ideally, in nature, enjoying the beautiful weather and fresh air. But nothing can spoil the good atmosphere like persistent insects lurking in the greenery. To your misfortune, many insects such as ticks, mosquitoes, flies, wasps, and ants are just as happy to show up in your tent or hammock.
While tents usually come with fine mesh windows, the situation is a bit trickier with hammocks. As the temperature gets higher, insects begin to come out in force. To keep these unwelcome suitors at bay, you need to make sure you have proper protection for your hammock.
Using any kind of hammock without an attached bug net may be quite a challenge, especially in areas infested by mosquitos. You can opt for a fixed (built-in) bug net or a separate bug net to go around the whole hammock. If you’re not using bug nets, make sure to have some insect repellents by your side.
Hammocks – the Rising Trend
A growing number of hammockers argue that comfort is one of the main reasons they switched from a tent. You’ve probably seen them while camping or backpacking or in your friend’s backyard. Or maybe you’re already using them. But how did this apparently simple product become so popular?
To answer that question, here’s a look at the reasons for the growth in hammock popularity, as well as the types of hammocks available.
Hammocks have evidently become trendy and sales have more than doubled worldwide over the last decade. There’s been an increase of 140% increase in hammock sales in recent years. And the trend is expected to keep growing. Here are some of the major factors that are driving up hammock sales:
- More people interested in outdoor recreational activities;
- A variety of innovative uses, materials, and designs;
- More campers/backpackers switching from tents.
Back in history, hammocks were mainly used to keep people off the ground and safe from the creatures. More recently, hammocks became popular among those who prefer relaxation and calm they find in outdoor hammocking. You just need to know where to hammock camp and you’re going to have an amazing camping experience.
Why Do People Use Hammocks?
To hang a hammock, you don’t have to be survival savvy. It’s as easy as hanging up a hammock using tree straps. Besides, most hammocks today have compact upgraded designs and lightweight, portable fabrics. You can easily pack them as they take up minimal space and weigh only around 1 lb.
Ease of setup is another reason hammocks have grown in popularity. Namely, you don’t need the perfect flat spot to pitch a tent. All it takes is two well-spaced trees and three straps to tie your hammock up. Or a hammock stand to hang it from.
- Hammocking is a great, inexpensive way to spend time with friends outdoors or in your backyard.
- Hammocks are highly versatile, with designs suited to everyone’s needs and not just adroit campers’.
- Most hammocks available today are multipurpose hammocks and you can use them both outdoors and indoors.
- You can hang a hammock anywhere you like, you just need two well-spaced trees or a hammock stand.
- Hammocks are a comfy spot to rest and relax after a long day or outdoor activities.
- People are increasingly using hammocks as a bed. The benefits include better sleep and falling asleep faster.
- Hammocks are good for your back as they relieve pressure points.
- Chilling in a hammock outdoors is a wonderful way to calm your mind.
Camping hammocks are lightweight, durable alternatives to tents. They’re typically water-resistant, portable, and significantly reduce your pack weight. And thanks to accessories, like tarps and bug nets, you have a shelter that provides an enjoyable night’s sleep.
Types of Hammocks
There are so many types of hammocks available for almost every person, use, and preference. Depending on your preferred type of activity, you can choose among a variety of styles, features, and materials.
- Rope hammocks. The type of hammock that will first come to your mind when you think of a hammock. Made from either cotton or polyester, this type is usually hung between two trees. Rope hammocks come with a spreader bar that keeps the two sides separated and makes them easy to use and more comfortable to get in and out.
- Camping hammocks. This type provides comfortable sleeping and relaxing options when camping. Camping hammocks are very light and easy to carry. All you need is two trees or – if it works out for you – a built-in stand.
- Quilted hammocks. A very popular type of hammocks that provides considerable comfort and also satisfies the aesthetic component. Typically reversible, these hammocks come with wooden spread bars to keep the hammock open for you. Quilted hammocks are commonly used by being hung between two trees, but may also come with a stand.
- Poolside hammocks. These hammocks are specifically designed to be used near a pool and made from fabric that is resistant to mold and mildew. They come with spreader bars and can be found in different colors and patterns and are also rather easy to clean.
Other Types of Hammocks
- Mayan hammocks. Made using bright colors and very finely crafted, these lightweight hammocks are amazingly durable. They are known for being able to carry a heavier amount of weight and are usually made from nylon and cotton.
- Nicaraguan hammocks. This type of hammock is spun using really soft cotton cords. Using an intricate weaving technique, these hammocks are very comfortable to take a nap in. Popular among people who value visual appeal.
- Brazilian hammocks. Hand-woven and suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, these hammocks provide significant comfort. This is a solid, visually appealing hammock, but the lack of airflow may be a problem if you’re using it in hotter weather.
There are hammocks made to be weatherproof. It means they can withstand the elements and are safe to leave outdoors. Besides, there are hammocks designed to appeal to your sight and sense of aesthetics. And that’s OK, too. You can hang them between the trees or opt for a hammock stand. But what materials are hammocks typically made of?
- Cotton. Most styles of hammocks use cotton for some of their hammock designs, as cotton provides the highest level of flexibility. Cotton hammocks are incredibly comfortable and people love them for the way they feel. Not quite resistant to mildew.
- Polyester. Less flexible than cotton, polyester has certain advantages. It is more mold and mildew-resistant. Ideal if you want to put a permanent hammock outside of your home.
- Nylon. Very durable and used for making quality hammocks. Due to its mildew-resistant qualities, and ease of cleaning, nylon is a great material for outdoor hammocks.
Insects and Hammock Camping
With the warmer weather, there are swarms of mosquitoes set to spoil your sleep under the stars. All the joy of camping outdoors notwithstanding, this may be quite a challenge. And mosquitoes just love to come out to play after the sunset.
It’s the idea of mosquitoes and bugs that prevents many people from sleeping in a hammock. It’s OK – you can hang bug-free. Sleeping in your hammock using a bug net is a totally new dimension of camping. Here’s a list of ideas for staying safe from the suckers.
Modular Bug Nets
If you’re a regular camper and use a hammock without a built-in bug net, there are separate bug nets available that go around the entire hammock. You’ll need to purchase them separately and just hang them over and around the hammock!
Modular bug tents tend to be a bit too expensive even more expensive than the hammock itself. There’s a gamut of easy-to-set-up bug nets that will work for any hammock. If you’re hammocking on a budget, you can make your own DIY bug net.
Fixed Bug Nets
If you’re looking for a solution to sleep safely and getting rid of mosquitoes, a fixed bug may be just the right choice. A fixed bug net hammock comes with a bug net layer attached to the hammock. The versions include bug nets with built-in ridgelines or those that can be hung onto a separate ridgeline.
Since the net isn’t attachable, this type of hammock may be a bit of a burden to carry. Especially if you’re camping in the winter or somewhere with no mosquitoes. And you can still be a bit from the bottom part of the hammock.
This type of hammocks can be also found under the name of jungle hammocks. They provide full protection even in the buggiest places. Being almost complete shelters, these hammocks may be a bit too pricey.
If you’re camping on a budget, you can try with a parachute hammock with a built-in mosquito net. They are almost the same as the parachute nylon camping hammocks, but they come with an attached bug net. If you flip them over, you can also use them as a normal hammock.
You should be careful about netting quality. It may feel lightweight and comfortable to the touch but will tear easily. To stay on the safe side, you should opt for a higher-quality bug net with a more textured feel.
Using Permethrin on Your Hammock and Gear
If you want to sleep under the stars without a bug net obstructing your view, you can treat your hammock and gear with permethrin to keep bugs at bay. While we recommend avoiding chemicals, permethrin may be the solution for mosquito-infested areas. Although poisonous in nature, this chemical is not harmful when it dries and is completely safe for topical use.
Once you apply it properly, it will leave no residue and will make a strong mosquito shield around your hammock. This is great if you want to camp light or if you just don’t want a mosquito net.
Use Natural Mosquito Repellents
If you’re looking for the easiest way to avoid mosquitoes is to hammock away from where you’re likely to run into them. Such as rivers and lakes. If you’re hammocking, you’ll have plenty of options for campsites, but you can never completely be rid of bugs.
Instead of using chemicals, you can try natural repellents, but you need to know that they are much less effective. Drinking a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, using natural oils, or applying these to your skin before camping in your hammock may keep the creepy crawlies away.
All the alternative solutions notwithstanding, you should know that using a bug net on your hammock is a very effective way to get rid of the bugs. But bug nets are not mandatory. You can camp without them and still have a great time. Ultimately, the fact that bugs are aiming to suck your blood and spoil your sleep doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your time in the wilderness.