On my last motorcycle camping trip, I decided to leave the tent for the first time. I have brought the hammock before but was never brave enough to go away from what I was used to so I gave myself no option this time.
I was worried about a few things:
- My back. My back is of the utmost importance to me because if it goes bad it can go REALLY bad.
- Rain. My worst fear was that my hammock would turn into a bathtub in the middle of the night.
- Bugs. I don’t really care about bugs on me but I like some way of getting away from the biting ones just because they can make the rest of the week miserable.
So how was it?
It wasn’t bad. Overall it was enjoyable but there are some downsides that I didn’t expect and some things that could make it better.
In the order of my concerns:
- It was okay on the back. I could tell that I wasn’t THAT comfortable through the night but I wasn’t immobile the next day. I did toss and turn and getting out was a b**** but once I was in there it was okay. I actually spent most of the night curled into a ball on my side and was just fine.
- The weather held out so it was fine and I had a tarp if I needed a rain fly. I did wake up nice as some dew fell off a tree above me and smashed me in the forehead. Not too bad overall though.
- Here is where things weren’t great. My hammock has a bug net, which apparently has no effect at all, because I am bitten up one side and down the other. Apparently they can bite through the bottom of the hammock? Who knows. In a tent, you have a way to keep the bug on the other side and plan your attack. Also, after you successfully destroy the blood-sucking enemy, you can banish their lifeless bodies to a far corner of the tent. I smashed one of those evil creatures in my hammock, guess where it ends up… in the bottom with you. I felt like I was sleeping in a sea of smashed bugs for the night.
How could I improve the experience?
Really, there was only one or two things that I would change. The first thing is a place to put your feet when getting out of the hammock. Getting out and aiming for your sandals in the middle of the night is probably harder than landing on an aircraft carrier at night in a storm. That means you end up with dirty feet as soon as you get out and if you plan on getting back in, you have now dirtied your bed. Not ideal. I think having a mat or small piece of tarp to step onto would be a huge improvement.
I’m sure I’ll be giving it another shot, I’ll let ya know how it goes!