Hammock camping is a unique camping experience, and if you haven’t yet tried it, I would recommend that you try it to see if you like it better than tent camping. One concern you may have is if your hammock is waterproof and if you will stay dry if it begins to rain while you are sleeping in your hammock.
So, are hammocks waterproof? Hammocks are made out of water-resistant materials, and with the right gear hammock camping can be waterproofed to keep you dry while camping in rainy weather.
If you just set up a hammock regularly and then it rains, you obviously are going to get wet if there is nothing protecting you above you. Hammock camping can easily be adapted in a few different ways to protect you from rainy weather. You just might find that hammock camping is more pleasant than sleeping on the ground in a tent.
By the way, If you are in the market for a new hammock, then you should click here to see the one I recommend on Amazon.
Are Hammocks Waterproof?
Hammocks designed for camping are typically made out of waterproof materials. Nylon is a very popular material that camping hammocks are made out of. Nylon is strong, lightweight, and very water-resistant. Nylon hammocks can safely be used for camping in rainy weather. Many lightweight tents are made from nylon so you know it is a good fabric for camping gear.
Polyester is another fabric that is commonly seen with camping hammocks and camping tents. Polyester is also a synthetic fiber that is strong, lightweight, and water-resistant. If your hammock is made from polyester then you should have no problem camping with it in rainy weather.
Not all hammock fabrics are created equally with waterproofing features. Cotton hammocks are one of the most comfortable hammocks you can sleep in, but they may not be ideal for camping situations. For one, they are much heavier and take up more space than nylon or polyester hammocks. Additionally, they are also not as water-resistant when it comes to camping in the rain. Cotton as a fabric is just not ideal in wet weather because it holds onto water and it can easily grow mold and mildew.
So you should get a hammock made from water-resistant fabric such as nylon or polyester for camping, this still doesn’t mean you will stay dry if it starts to rain while you are sleeping in a hammock. You are going to need something else above you to keep you dry.
How To Hammock Camp In The Rain
If you are hammock camping and you want to stay dry in the rain (I bet you do) then you have a few options that can help keep you bone dry. Obviously, even though it is relaxing and nice to do, just hanging up your hammock and hoping for the best won’t keep you dry. You are going to need something protecting you from above and from the sides because rain doesn’t always fall perfectly vertically.
A regular tarp can be used and maneuvered into adequately keeping you dry while you are cozy in your hammock. To do this right you are going to need some guy line or rope and some extra stakes to tie down your tarp and actually make it useful. When I am referring to tarp in this manner I actually mean a regular tarp, like the one you would just put under your tent to protect it. BTW I wrote an article on that too, check it out here.
There are tarps made specifically for hammocks and hammock camping. These tend to be a lot easier, efficient, and effective than trying to maneuver a regular tarp but of course, they come with a slightly larger price tag. If you are more serious about hammock camping then you are going to need one of these because not only can they help keep you from getting wet in the rain, but they can also help with blocking wind and they will keep you warmer, which I will discuss more shortly.
Another do-it-yourself option that looks kinda weird but can work in light rain is using a canopy. A canopy is an easy solution that doesn’t require any skill to set up if you are just trying hammock camping and not sure if you are going to get into it. Simply set up a canopy above your hammock and enjoy staying dry in light rain. I like using a canopy while camping for many other reasons, you can check out the canopy I use and recommend by clicking here.
How To Stay Warm While Hammock Camping
Staying dry is half the battle with hammock camping. The other half of the battle is staying warm. Hammocks can be a chilly place to sleep if you are not prepared, but luckily it is easy to set yourself up for success and stay warm while hammock camping. If you are wondering if hammocks can keep you as warm as tents then click here to read a full article on the topic and find out.
The first thing you need in order to keep your butt warm while hammock camping is to get an underquilt. An underquilt is like a hammock’s equivalent to a tent’s sleeping pad. It resembles a sleeping bag that is suspended under the hammock in order to help insulate your bottom. If you don’t want to buy an underquilt just yet, don’t worry because there is another alternative that you could take advantage of:
Deflated sleeping pad
A deflated sleeping bag can take the place of an underquilt. Simply deflate the sleeping pad to a large degree and line it within the hammock. The deflated sleeping bag will insulate your bottom and prevent heat loss. It might not be as comfortable as an underquilt but it gets the job done.
The next thing that will help keep you warm is your sleeping bag. It will serve the same purpose that it would in a tent. It can take some getting used to being wrapped in a sleeping bag and in a hammock at the same time, but you will stay warm. You could try hacking your sleeping bag by placing it around the entire hammock and creating a sort of cocoon for you to sleep in.
The next most essential gear that you need to stay warm while hammock camping is clothing. Your clothing will be very important in preventing body heat loss. Dress in layers and put on and take off layers as you deem appropriate. Small things such as wool socks, beanies, and neck warmers can go a long way at keeping you warm too in addition to your base clothing..
Not only will a tarp properly hung above your hammock keep the rain away, but it can also contribute to keeping you warm because it can help prevent some wind from passing through you. Wind can make almost any temperature feel much colder than it really is. We refer to this as “wind chill” because the wind is actually pushing your body heat away from you and making you cold, even if the ambient temperature isn’t all that cold. A tarp can help minimize wind chill.
Why Sleep In A Hammock Instead Of A Tent?
Hammock camping can offer some great benefits over a tent depending on your tastes, preferences, and camping style. Many people that like to go backpacking prefer to use a hammock over a tent because a hammock set up can be lighter than a tent set up. If you want to know the full story on how much lighter hammocks are than tents then read this post I wrote.
Another reason why you might prefer hammock camping is that it could be more comfortable for you. Depending on your preferences, a hammock might be very comfortable for you rather than sleeping on the ground. I know this to be true for me. The secret is in how you lay down in the hammock. I go a little more in-depth on hammock comfort in this article.
Yet another reason you might want to prefer a hammock is if you are camping somewhere with a lot of trees and not a lot of nice cleared out space for a tent. Sometimes if you go dispersed camping in the forest or backcountry camping you will find that hanging a hammock might be easier than pitching a tent in some terrain.
Another reason to consider hammocks over tents is actually price. Both tents and hammocks could get pricey, but you can also get some very good quality ones for a very low price. The price entry to hammock camping can be very low for backpacking versus getting a backpacking specific tent. Regular hammocks can be used for backpacking, but usually, regular car camping tents are too big, bulky, and heavy for backpacking.
Do You Need An Expensive Hammock To Go Hammock Camping?
Just as you do not need expensive camping gear to go camping, you also do not need an expensive hammock to go hammock camping. The availability of low cost, but durable hammocks on the market today are a wonderful thing thanks to the internet.
You can easily get a very decent camping hammock for around $20 to $30 to get started and try out hammock camping, or just use it for occasional daily napping. The hammock that I personally use for camping didn’t cost much at all and I am very satisfied with their performance. If you haven’t yet seen my review of the hammock I used then click here.
Focus more on the value per $1 spend and less on the overall price tag. Judging by reviews from real customers online you can easily see good products for low prices, including camping hammocks.
Should You Get A Mosquito Net Hammock?
If you are camping where bugs are a problem, (especially mosquitos) then you will be glad that you have a hammock with a mosquito net. You have multiple options for this since you could get a hammock with a mosquito net already built into the hammock or you could get a separate mosquito net that covers your hammock.
I personally have one hammock with a mosquito net built into it and I like it very much for the protection it provides. You can see the one I have on this page. It might be more comfortable to get a regular hammock and get a separate mosquito net fixture that gets set up around the hammock. It all comes down to preference and needs in the end.
If you want to travel lighter while hammock camping such as backpacking then you might want to go for a hammock with a built-in mosquito net since its probably easier to set up and more lightweight then getting them separately. If you are car camping then weight and convenience matters less and comfort probably matter more so you might want to opt for the hammock and mosquito net to be separate.
Thank you for reading, If you haven’t already, be sure to check out what kind of hammocks I personally use and recommend in my review by clicking here.
How do you hang a hammock in the rain?
Set up your tarp first then set up your hammock under it so that you can hopefully keep your hammock as dry as possible when setting up in the rain.
Can you leave a hammock in the rain?
You could leave your hammock up in the rain, but it’s not a good idea to leave it up for an extended amount of time because more exposure to the elements leads to more degradation in the long run. Take your hammock and store it away dry whenever possible.
What size tarp do I need for my hammock?
An appropriate size tarp is going to be dependent on several factors, however, a standard 10’ x 8’ tarp can usually get the job done in most cases. The larger the tarp the better protection from rain it can provide you.
My Favorite Camping Gear
- Air Mattress: click here to check out my favorite on Amazon.
- Tent: click here to see my favorite tent available on Amazon.
- Sleeping Pad: click here to check out the one I love on Amazon.
- Sleeping Bag: click here to see the one I recommend on Amazon.
- Camping Stove: click here to see the best camping stove on Amazon.