Hammock vs. Tent: Which One Should You Choose?

There is a lot of debate going on concerning which is the best between a hammock and a tent. Some people are hailing the good old tent while others are more for the recently popularised hammock. It’s difficult to say to say which of the two is the best because they all come in more handy than the other in different situations.

Let’s look at various considerations and see the winning gear in each of them.

1. Setup

Setting up a tent requires you to first of all find a level ground. Next, you will need to put up poles and then lay the canvas over them. You will then need to fasten the tent using ground pegs. Setting up a hammock on the other hand only requires you to find trees which are close together and which are strong enough to sustain your weight and then you can start fastening the hammock ropes around them.

Considering the two situations, a hammock wins because it is easier and faster to set up.

2. Protection from the Weather and Insects

Tents are usually waterproof so in case of a shower, you will not be rained on while you are inside the tent. A hammock, on the other hand, is open and therefore you are not protected from the elements. There are hammock rain flies but these are not very effective as the wind can interfere with them. The tent thus wins in terms of protection from the rain and cold.

Concerning protection from insects such as mosquitoes, the two gears tie because you require a mosquito net whether you are in a hammock or in a tent. In spite of the tent being protected, small insects like mosquitoes usually manage to get inside still.

3. Comfort During Sleep

When sleeping in a tent, you are safer than a person who is outside but your sleep can be affected by factors such as wet or damp ground, uneven ground which makes you slide about as you sleep, and rough objects on the ground such as twigs or stones which make your sleep uncomfortable.

Sleeping in a hammock, on the other hand, means that you are above the ground and consequently you won’t be affected by factors such as soggy ground or rough objects pricking or hurting you as you sleep. You, therefore, get to sleep more soundly and comfortably.

A hammock wins in this case.

4. Weight and Size of Gear

A tent weighs about 4 pounds. If you add the extra weight of a sleeping pad, the weight of a tent comes to around 5 pounds. The size of a tent is also quite large, it is around three times that of a hammock. A hammock is small in size and also weighs less, about 1 pound. Its weight, however, goes up if you add equipment like rain fly and bug net on top of it.

It could be easier to say that a hammock is the winner between the two in terms of a manageable size and weight but this isn’t the case. If you consider all the things which have to be added to a hammock, its weight and size become at par with those of a tent. It is thus a tie between the two gears.

5. Location

If you are going out in a tent, you have to find a suitable location on which to set up your tent. You will need to find a place with an even ground, non-soggy soil, and without objects like stones, rocks, twigs, and tree stumps. If you are however going out camping in a hammock, your only concern will be to find two trees which are close enough together so that you can set your hammock between them.

You also cannot say that the hammock beats the tent in this case because of the relative ease of finding somewhere to set it up. Ask yourself these questions, what if you are going camping in a beach area where trees are not present, of what use will a hammock be to you? Also, what of going camping in an area beyond the tree zone? Will you still need a hammock? You surely wouldn’t in any of those cases.

The two gears, therefore, tie with each other concerning their suitability for different locations. Remember a tent will also not serve you in case you are going camping in an area with damp or wet ground.

Taking the above considerations into mind, you can decide on which gear between a hammock and a tent to take along with you when going camping.

(Images: Wikipedia.org, ForestFoundation.org)

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