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How to stay warm in a hammock: Part 2 (Sleeping bags & Sleeping pads)

How to Stay Warm in a Hammock: Part 2

So last week we discussed how to stay warm in a hammock using underquilts and topquilts (if you missed last weeks post find it here). Today we are going to determine the pros and cons of staying warm with sleeping bags and sleeping pads. Read on to learn more!

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are an excellent choice for staying warm in your hammock. When choosing which sleeping bag is right for you there are a few things to consider.

First, temperature rating. Every sleeping bag has a recommended temperature rating. For summer camping a 32 degree bag or above should be enough while winter camping requires a bag rated 10 degrees or below. Depending on where you camp and what season, you should choose a sleeping bag with the appropriate temperature rating. 

Next, thing to consider is the type of insulation. There is down, synthetic, or a mix of the both. Down insulation is great for a cold, dry environment. Synthetic is best for wet environments. 

Finally, weight is the last consideration. If you plan on backpacking, you will want to keep the weight of your sleeping bag low. If not, you may want a  heavier bag for additional comfort. 

Hint: You may want to also want to try a sleeping bag liner for additional warmth.

Pros & Cons

  • Pro: There are tons of different options at any price range so you are sure to find exactly what you need.
  • Pro: It requires no set up, it can be very light and portable, and comes together in one bag.
  • Con: Because your weight compresses the insulation on your underside, it does not retain heat well. If you decide on a sleeping bag you may need to add a sleeping pad to your purchase to keep your backside warm.
  • Con: It may not keep you as warm as a topquilt, underquilt set-up.

Sleeping Pads

There are two kinds of sleeping pads. Foam pads and inflatable pads. It largely depends on personal preferences.

Foam pads are very light weight, however they are large and bulky to transport. You can find them almost anywhere for a very low cost. They require no set up and are very durable. One of the best benefits is that unlike the inflatable pads they cannot pop. 

Inflatable pads can be very comfortable. They provide a warm air barrier between you and your hammock. They have some self-inflating options, or you can inflate them yourself. They can either be filled with air or some have insulation as well. 

Pros & Cons

  • Pro: This is the lowest cost way to stay warm-er in your hammock. 
  • Pro: There are many options at many price ranges, so you could spend as much or as little to get what you want.
  • Pro: It works! With a sleeping pad you will be much warmer in your hammock, no question.
  • Con: If you choose the inflatable sleeping pad it may require some set-up. It also may pop and be useless.  
  • Con: If your sleeping pad shifts at night you will be exposed to the cold. You are not as free to move around so you may be less comfortable at night. 
  • Con: It is another thing to bring along, it can add additional weight when backpacking.

Conclusion

  1. Combining any of these 4 sleeping solutions will allow for maximum warmth.
  2. When it comes to sleeping warm in your hammock, everyone is different. You may prefer a different set up, and that’s great! We want to hear what works best for you. 
  3. In general, the underquilt and topquilt set-up should keep you the warmest in your hammock.
  4. Know when not to go out. Even if you are prepared for the conditions, ease into winter hammocking. Be prepared to pack up camp if it gets too cold.

No matter what you choose to stay warm in your hammock, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, underquilt, or topquilt, we hope you enjoy your winter hammocking. Happy hanging!

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How to stay warm in a hammock: Part 1 (Underquilts & Topquilts)

How to stay warm in a Hammock

There are a lot of ways to stay warm in your hammock. In this two part series, we will dive into the options, discuss the pros and cons, and see what might be right for you!

Underquilts

An underquilt is used as insulation for the bottom of your hammock. It is made out of the same material as your sleeping bag but because there is no one compressing the weight of the insulation, it keeps the hammock-er warm. It hangs just underneath the outside of your hammock. 

Types of Underquilts

There are a couple options for types of underquilts. You can get a full length version which will span the entire length of your hammock. There is also the option for a 3/4 length and then a half size. To decide what size is best you need to determine what temperature you like to camp in, how warm or cold you like to sleep, how heavy it can be, and how much you are willing to spend. 

The smaller sizes are best if you don’t mind some areas of your hammock exposed to the cold. If you have a topquilt with a foot pocket, you may think about purchasing a smaller sized underquilt just to save some money. 

Much like sleeping bags, you can also choose either down or synthetic material to fill your quilt. 

Pros & Cons

Pro: More room to get comfortable. You are not restricted to staying in a specific position in your hammock like you might be with a sleeping pad.

Pro: Less layers/claustrophobia. Often times when you add layer after layer to get warm it can start feeling like you are trapped or stuck. In this case, you will only be dealing with one blanket in your hammock with you. 

Pro: Multiple people could sleep in one hammock. Because you are not restricted by the sleeping bag or sleeping pad, you could sleep two people in your hammock. 

Pro: The quilts are very lightweight. It is not much of an inconvenience to bring it along even when backpacking. 

Con: The cost point for these quilts can be quite high especially when you get into the full length down option. Prices typically range from $50-$200+. 

Con: It can be tricky to set up, because it needs to stay close to your body to keep you warm. However, once you get it figured out it is pretty simple.  

Topquilts

A topquilt simply keeps your front side warm in a hammock. Unlike a sleeping bag, it is open and lays on top of you while you sleep. Some have a “foot pocket” which just means the bottom is sewn up a little so your feet are covered on all sides. 

Pros & Cons

Pros: When it comes to down material, things can get pricy. However, quilts can actually be a little cheaper than a sleeping bag for their degree rating. 

Pro: A topquilt is a lot lighter than a sleeping bag because you eliminate an entire side. 

Pro: In terms of comfort, many prefer a topquilt to a sleeping bag. You do not zip yourself in and are easily able to escape for those late night bathroom breaks. 

Cons: Again, this set-up can be expensive, but will hopefully last you a lot of adventures!

So there you have it. How to stay warm in a hammock: Part 1. Check in next week as we go over some other ways to stay warm in your hammock. Happy (& warm) hanging!

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10 Tips for Hammock Camping with Dogs

10 Tips for Hammock Camping with Dogs

We know you want to bring that pup with you everywhere, and hammock camping is no exception. Here are some tips to make hammock camping with dogs an awesome experience.

1. Practice at home!

You will both be more comfortable if you try it before you hit the trail. This is ideal if you are thinking you want your pup to sleep with you in your hammock. It can also be a great opportunity to see how your pup will react to unfamiliar sounds. 

2. Groom before you go

Make sure your pup’s nails are nice and trimmed before you both cuddle up in your hammock. If they are a larger breed sharp nails may easily tear a hole in the hammock. A nice trimmed coat also makes tics or briars easier to find and remove after you return home.

3. Keep them close

There are several ways you can keep your pup close at night. You could keep them in your hammock with you with their leash around your hand. Another strategy is to tie a long lead to the tree nearest you, or to your hammock ridgeline. 

4. See them at night

Use this cool light to keep tabs on your pup during the night. Simply attach it to their collar so you can easily see them. 

5. Find a suitable campsite

If your pup is sleeping with you in the hammock you want to make sure exiting and entering the hammock is as easy as possible. Hang your hammock low to the ground.  It is also important you find strong, sturdy trees to hang your hammock to hold the additional weight. 

Make sure the campsite is as flat as possible. Any slopes may make it more difficult for your pup to get in and out of the hammock. If your pup sleeps on the ground slopes can also cause water to pool and leave you with one wet dog!

6. Come prepared

Just like you, your pup should have their own first aid kit. You should also come prepared with poop bags, and portable food and water bowls. 

7. Identification Tags

Your pup should have up to date vaccines and ID tags. Make sure your contact information is on the tag. It can also be a good idea to attach information such as which campsite you are staying at and an emergency contact number in case you don’t have service. 

8. Check out these accessories

  1. Dog Tent – If you and your pup don’t quite fit in your hammock, try a dog tent!
  2. Puppy Coat – For the colder weather try a coat to keep your pup warm. 
  3. Puppy Sleeping bag –  A sleeping bag or pad may be just what you need to keep your pup comfy and warm.
  4. Dog Cooling Bandana – For warmer weather bring something like this to keep them nice and cool.

9. Make sure dogs are allowed

Check with local rangers or online before you head out to your campsite that your pup is allowed. 

10. If possible, bring extra towels or blankets

Depending on where you are camping, it may be smart to bring an extra towel or blanket. Who knows what your pup may find or get into during your trip. If his bed or himself get wet or smelly you’ll be glad you brought these along!

Hopefully you will enjoy hammock camping with dogs if you follow these tips. Happy hanging!

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Tips for Hammock Camping with Kids

Hammock camping with kids can definitely be tricky. Check out these tips below and also check out this post from The Ultimate Hang for more great information about hammock camping with kids. 

1. Prepare Before

Set up the tent or hammock and do a test run with your kids. Talk about camping, read books, answer questions, or get them excited about it with this awesome felt activity wall.

2. Educate Them

There are so many things to discuss and explore while in the great outdoors. Download a constellation app or print off some constellation charts (check out this awesome post) and bring them with you. Or, learn about wildlife in the area and scout for tracks together. There are so many possibilities, just choose something you are passionate about and share your passion with them! 

3. Helpful Supplies

There are so so many helpful supplies out there for camping with kids. Here are just a few we thought were awesome. 

  1. Glow Sticks – These are great for so many things! They are the perfect amount of light for the tent/hammock if you have a little who is afraid of the dark. Or, put them in water bottles and play glow in the dark bowling! Other game options: ring toss, hopscotch, or tic-tac-toe!
  2. Portable High Chair – Speaking from experience, this would be an awesome thing to have at camp. There are tons of different options, but I like this one because it folds up to a normal camp chair so it won’t take up tons of room in the car.
  3. Sunscreen with insect repellent – It can be such an ordeal to get the kids sunscreened and then spray that nasty smelling bug spray on them. Try this sunscreen with insect repellent in it. 
  4. First Aid Kit – This is an absolute necessity when camping with kids. We keep a large first aid kit in our car with everything we could need, then a smaller waterproof one with us for little cuts and scrapes. 

4. Hammock Set-up

When hammock camping with kids, the hammock set-up can be especially important. The hammock should be secure, and low enough to the ground that the child can easily get in and out of it. For everyone’s comfort, and for warmth, it is important that everyone sleeps in their own hammock. However, you can set up the hammocks close together so the child hopefully doesn’t feel too far away from you.

5. Staying Warm

It can be difficult to keep all the warm layers in place with young kids. You might try the sleeping bag cocoon method with them – zip the sleeping bag around the hammock so it acts as an under quilt and over quilt. You can also try placing the sleeping pad inside the sleeping bag so it doesn’t move around as much. Another trick is to use quilt clips. They are an easy way to keep your under quilt from moving around in the night.

6. Involve Them

Help them build lasting memories by keeping them involved! Ask them to help set up the hammock or tent, help cook dinner, roast smores, and anything else you might be doing. 

Hopefully these tips come in handy the next time you go hammock camping with your kids. Happy hanging! 

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Fall Hammock Camping Essentials

Fall is my favorite time of year. You can finally go outside without sweating to death, you get to drink apple cider, pick pumpkins, enjoy campfires, and it is the most beautiful time of year to go camping! Here in Utah the leaves change so fast you really have to take advantage of getting outside while you can. (Check out this cool fall foliage prediction map to figure out when the leaves will change in your area.) Here is a list of things you’ll need, and won’t need, for fall hammock camping.

Make sure you add this to your fall hammock camping list! It will keep you dry in the case of a predicted or unpredicted storm. It is also a great way to keep you a little warmer as the temperatures begin to drop. The rain fly will insulate your heat and block any wind. 

One of the biggest bothers of summer camping is finally gone! There will definitely be less bugs during your fall hammock camping so sub your Skeeto Shield Hammock with a good ol’ regular Double Hobo Hammock. 

Bring: A Sleeping Pad or Underquilt

As the temperatures get colder, heat insulation will become more important while hammock camping. A light sleeping pad or underquilt should suffice for this time of year (depending on your location.) As you get closer to the freezing point you may need to add additional layers like a top quilt, as well as additional layers of clothing. 

Bring: A pillow

Aside from the additional comfort a pillow provides, it is also a way to keep your head warm! It provides an additional layer between the outside of your hammock and your head which insulates your heat. 

Don’t: Camp in a basin or open area

It’s not a good idea to camp at too low an elevation as the cold will pool in basins of low elevation. At too high an elevation the tree density may decrease exposing you to the wind. It is best to look for a mid elevation area with lots of tree cover for warmth. 

There you have it, your fall hammock camping essentials! We hope you enjoy your fall. Let us know if we are missing anything from our list. Also, you should head over to our website to register for a free survival knife. Check it out here. Happy hanging and happy fall!

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Hammock hanging guide: for beginners

Hammock Time!

Hammock Hanging Guide: For Beginners

I think one of my biggest fears before I purchased a Hobo Hammock was that the set up would be too difficult for me. I am not strong, I know nothing about knots, and my ability to eye a straight line is sub-par. When it came down to it, me being responsible for hanging something that was supposed to hold me up all night was just a little frightening. Have no fear! Trust me when I say if I can do it, you can do it. Hopefully this hammock hanging guide will answer any questions you might have and give you the confidence to hang that hammock!

On our website we have some amazing videos and some really helpful diagrams about how to hang your Hobo Hammock. You can check those out here. I thought it might be nice to run through how to hang your hammock and give some advice for all those out there that might be afraid to give it a try. 

The Breakdown

  1. Loop one end of the tree strap through the other. Cinch around the tree.
  2. Use the hammock knot to attach the carabeener to the tree strap. 
  3. Repeat with opposite side
  4. Hang! 

Really, it is that simple. There are some other considerations you can make for your own comfort and to protect the tree. For instance, you want a nice sag in your hammock. It reduces the tension on the tree which reduces the damage to the tree. If you pull your hammock tight you will also find it is less comfortable. You are looking for about a 30 degree angle between the ground and the line of your tree straps. 

How to Hang | Hammock Knot

The Knot

For sure the knot is the hardest part. But that’s also awesome because once you have the knot down the rest is easy! Here is a diagram that describes exactly what you need to do to make the knot. I may or may not have printed out this diagram and brought it with me (totally did) the first time I went camping with my Hobo Hammock. Then everything else is really, really easy. Promise. 

Tips & Tricks

  1. Comfort is different for everyone – I think the biggest tip I could give is that no person is going to get comfortable the same way. If you set it up and you aren’t comfortable, or you are hanging on the ground, try again! Practice a few times and I think you will find what works best for you. 
  2. Hammock Ridgeline Cord – Some people like to use a hammock ridgeline cord. Basically you attach a strong cord from one side of your hammock to the other. Some people say it makes their hammocking experience better because it controls the sag of their hammock. There is lots more information out there about it. Check out this video for more explanation. 
  3. The Hammock Hang Calculator – For more specific questions like how high to hang your tree straps, or a specific measurement for indoor hanging, check out the hammock hang calculator from The Ultimate Hang. It is a really cool tool!

Does it seem a little less scary now? Give it a few tries and each time it becomes less intimidating and you learn more about how you prefer to hang. Did we forget any tips or tricks in our hammock hanging guide? Tell us below! Happy hanging folks! 

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Clever Ways to use a Hobo Hammock

Labor Day is an awesome camping weekend. We hope you found some time to get outside with your hammock. We spent some time brainstorming and came up with some clever, useful ways to use a Hobo Hammock this weekend. Check it out! 

Terrasailing

If you are a fan of longboarding, or skiing, try using your hobo hammock as a sail. Either hold the opposite ends of the hammock in your hands, or tie one side of the hammock to your gear and hold the opposite side in your hand. The hammock should fill with wind and allow you to be gently pulled. 

Rain Cover for Gear

Forgot your rain cover for your backpack? Use your hammock as a rain cover to keep your gear nice and dry on the trail. You could also set it up at camp and use it as a way to catch fresh rain water. Place a heavy object in the middle of your hammock. As the water begins to soak through place a container below, soon enough you will have a nice bottle full of fresh rain water! 

Sunshade

Set up your hobo hammock and take advantage of the shade! Sit, lay, stand, read, whatever you like to do while you get out of the sun. 

Pillow

Hang your hammock then use the carrying case as a pillow! Fill the case with clothes, or whatever you have at camp and bring it into the hammock for some additional comfort. If you already have a pillow, use the case to carry things around camp. 

*If you like the color of this hammock, it is called The Sunset. Check it out and use code hhblogfollower for $7 off your order! 

Red and Orange Hammock

Bear Bag

Use your Hobo Hammock as a food bag on the trail. Place your food items in the hammock then wrap it up. It is recommended you tie the bag up at least 10 ft above ground level. You can use a carabiner or a simple slip knot to tie it up. 

Indoor Bed/Gear Storage

Hang your hammock inside as a bed, or hang it up and use it to store your gear for your next adventure. Unsure how to hang your hammock indoors? Check out this post for some great tips. 

So there you have it! Some clever ways to use a Hobo Hammock. We hope you had an awesome Labor Day Weekend. Let us know if you try any of these, we love to hear from you. Happy hanging! 

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The Best Hammocking Playlist

With back to school either here, or right around the corner, what better way to jump back into the groove than with a killer playlist. Whether you are looking forward to the structured, busy days ahead or already missing sweet sweet summer time, check out this hammocking playlist for some great music. We think it has a little something for everyone.

The Best Hammocking Playlist

Is it just me or is it impossible to find the perfect playlist? I feel like everything I follow on Spotify I skip half the songs. Our goal was to make a playlist you could actually enjoy while hammocking. Have we done it? Anything you hate? Or even better, what can we add? Comment below and we will get it added! 

My favorite thing about this playlist is I can totally imagine listening to it in my Hobo Hammock even though I am currently just sitting on my couch. It’s just got such a good vibe. But I may be a little biased. What do you think? Comment below! 

Connect with Hobo Hammocks

Are you following us on Facebook and Instagram? We often post discount codes and totally rad hammocking pictures. (There might even be a 25% off discount – I’m telling you, you gotta’ check it out!) Click on the social media icons below to check out our pages.

To stay up to date on special Hobo Hammock offers and promotions, join our email list. (There is also a pretty sweet discount if you sign up!) As always, use code hhblogfollower for $7 off your order. Happy hanging and listening!

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How to: Hammock Responsibly

We love hammock camping and we want to make sure our parks and lands are protected from overuse and impact. In order to achieve this we need to hammock responsibly.

Hammock Girl

Do you hammock responsibly?

Answer these 5 questions to find out

Q: How far do you need to hang your hammock from a water source?

It is recommended you hang your hammock 200 ft from any water source. There are important plant and animal life that can be found surrounding water bodies and we do not want to disturb or upset their environment. 

Q: What are the effects hammocks can have on the environment if not properly hung? 

If hung properly hammocks have a very low impact on our environment. However, if hammocks are not properly hung they can cause damage to the tree bark. You can use specific “tree hugger” straps for the lowest impact to the tree. 

Avoid hanging, nailing, or using plastic cording to attach anything to trees as this can cause additional damage. 

Q: What are some hazards you could find on a hammock campsite?

On a hammock campsite you need to watch out for dead trees, and tree limbs. Make sure not to hang your hammock from dead trees as they are not secure and can fall and injure you or your fellow campers.

Check the area for animal habitat or insect nests, as well as poisonous plants. Be sure to only build fires if they are permitted. If possible, use an existing fire ring. 

Best Hammock Guide

Q: What makes a good hammock campsite?

The best hammock campsites first allow hammocking! Check before you go to make sure that wherever your journeys bring you, they allow hammocking. Next, look for an already established campsite to avoid unnecessary impact. Look for trees with large trunks, and little undergrowth. 

If you are camping with a  large crowd try to split up and stay in smaller camp sites to reduce impact on one site. 

Q: Why is it dangerous to leave your hammock unattended while not at your hammock site?

Leaving your hammock unattended can pose a risk to animals as well as small children. As they explore they may easily become tangled in the hammock. 

Removing your hammock while you are not at camp also keeps it in great shape and prevents small animals or insects from damaging your hammock. 

So hopefully you were able to answer these questions and learn a little more. We all can try and hammock responsibly. Do you have any tips or tricks on responsible hammocking? Leave us a comment below! Happy hanging! 

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New hammock stand in Salt Lake City Utah

East Canyon State Park Hammock Stand

PC: East Canyon State Park

Calling all Salt Lake City locals! There is a new hammock stand at East Canyon State Park. It is a  multiperson hammock stand that can accomodate up to 8 people. 

The stand, built by Nido Structures, is called “The Weaver.” It is made from reclaimed steel oil pipe. The stand protects trees and tree bark from the damage that can be done from hammock straps. Color coded hammock clips also make set up a breeze. It is a safe, easy way to hang with your friends. 

“The Weaver”

We recently spent some time talking to Dan, Head of Design at Nido Structures, about “The Weaver.” We asked our fellow hammock enthusiast a couple of questions about the product and his life, check it out!

Q: What originally got you into hammocking?

A:  “Growing up, my house backed up to Parr Park in Grapevine, Texas. It was a sanctuary – really the highlight of my childhood. It was the place my friends and I went to get away from the woes of middleschool/highschool life! One day, someone showed up with a hammock, and the rest is history.”

Q: Tell me about the ideation and creation of “The Weaver”

 A:  “When I went to college (UT Austin), I met Olivia. She was equally as into hammocking as I was – so we started a club! Texas Hammocking served as a platform to meet other outdoor enthusiasts while exploring and serving the wonderful Austin Parks system. We also hung our hammocks up on campus. A lot. So much so, that hammocking got banned on UT grounds. This offered an interesting predicament to the hammocking club… We did some research and found that hanging hammocks in urban environments – where use is more frequent than in a forest – can strip the bark on trees, exposing them to potential disease and death.  So, we needed a way to safely hang hammocks in the city – where we spend most of our time! Our solution was the Weaver – a multi-person ‘urban forest.'”
 

Q: What have you learned in the process of creating “The Weaver”?

A:  “The biggest fact I’ve learned through making the Weaver is that a good team is absolutely essential. I spend a hefty chunk of my time around Alex, Zane, and Olivia, and I couldn’t be happier about it. It takes work, and a lot of communication, but it has been a rewarding experience thus far.”

Q: How many parks is “The Weaver” currently at?

A:  “East Canyon is our first Park! We are working hard to learn from this opportunity and expand to parks, universities, and other open spaces across the country.” 

As Nido Structures is a brand new company, they are looking for cool ideas! Contact dan@nidostructures.com with any ideas or places in your life that could use a hammock forest. Give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on their progress and events.

Read on to learn more about “The Weaver” hammock stand in SLC.

The Hammock site is located at Big Rock Campground site 25 at East Canyon State Park. Day use of the site is free and the cost to rent the site overnight is $20.00.  Call 801-829-6866 to make your reservation.  

Don’t have a hammock but want to hang? No worries! East Canyon State Park offers hammock rentals for $8.00 for the duration of your stay. Yurts and cabins are also available for rent. For more information about the park visit the facebook page or website here

PC: East Canyon State Park

So go enjoy the park, check out the hammock stand, build a hammock forest, and let us know what you think! The summer is almost over so take advantage of the days while you can. Click here for directions to the park. 

Don’t forget to bring your Hobo Hammock! Use code hhblogfollower for $7 off your purchase of your Hobo Hammock.