The Great Debate: Hammock vs. Tent

The number one thing to always keep in mind when you go backpacking is pack LIGHT, because no one wants to be carrying a heavy pack if they don’t have to. Also you want to have room in your backpack too for the important stuff, because Ramen noodles are important (just kidding, kind of).

A tent is one of the most important things to pack, it’s also one of the biggest things in your backpack and heaviest. I mean you can get light tents, but still no matter how light of a one you buy, they’re still a pain in the ass somehow, even when you think they won’t be.

Then there are hammocks, lighter and more compact, perfect for those long trips. Seems like it’s too good to be true right? Well yeah, I mean they’re good if you want to have lots of room in your pack, but they really aren’t as protective as a tent.

They both have their flaws, so which one do you bring?

During Easter weekend, of course I had to go camping, because I couldn’t pass up the beautiful weather we were having for what seems like the first time in years. One of us in the group recently purchased a hammock for the purpose of camping and backpacking and brought it. We also brought a three man tent too, there was four of us, you can see where this is going.

I was lucky enough to be able to try out the hammock, now I have some thoughts on it:

I know this isn’t the best hammock photo out there, but at least my socks are nice right?

1. I like how compact and small it is, because no one wants to carrying a heavy pack on the trail. Literally takes up so little room, so you can pack extra Ramen (OK I’ll stop with the Ramen comments now, just kidding Ramen4life.) Like a tent too, you need to pack a tarp of some sort to stay dry in case it rains, which again a tarp doesn’t take up much room.

2. It’s super comfy, you don’t have to worry about sleeping on any rocks or the cold ground, I mean ground pads are a thing, but sometimes they slip out from under you, and you probably know that whole mess. Also super peaceful, because you’re just floating in the air like a cloud.

3. However, in order to be sleeping in the air like a cloud, it’s super hard to get to that comfy spot sometimes. Like if you thought trying to get into your sleeping bag while trying to stay on your ground pad in a tent was a pain in the ass, this literally hits a whole new level. I can not tell you how many times the ground pad slipped out under me and I hadn’t even zipped up the sleeping bag yet.

4. Last thought on the hammock, it’s great and all when there’s great weather, but not when it rains. I mean camping sucks when it’s raining, but I feel like in a hammock it sucks even more, because you’re sleeping under a tarp and praying that you’ll stay dry through the night. That does not sound like a good time to me, just saying.

OK, I lied guys, last one now. I also find that the hammock is much quicker and easier to set up.

Now, my thoughts on the good old classic tent:

Again not the best photo, but my pictures of tents is really lagging in my photo library I just realized.

1. It’s a classic, keeps you dry, it’s your own little shelter, it’s like a home away from home. You don’t have to worry about sleeping with a tarp right over you and staying dry.

2. You can easily put your pack in it at night, because there’s some sort of extra room.

Much easier to get comfy in when you’re trying to get into your sleeping bag at night. I’ve come to conclusion there is no way to avoid that whole ground pad situation I talked about earlier, (but please if you have a solution let me know, because ya girl is struggling), but there’s less slippage.

4. It’s literally like one of the heaviest things in your pack and takes up so much room sometimes.

Lastly it takes longer to set up, I mean unless you’re a pro, then all the more power to you, seriously.

I’m no pro, but these are just my personal opinions. The hammock could work better for you than it does for me or the other way around, to everyone their own. Honestly, I don’t know which I like better, because they’re both great, but they can also suck sometimes. Comment down below which you prefer!

If you’re looking into purchasing either, you can from tents here and some hammocks here.

Also, one of my favorite outdoor Youtube channels, Homemade Wanderlust (AKA Dixie), has some great thoughts on the debate, check out her video down below!

3 thoughts on “The Great Debate: Hammock vs. Tent

  1. I actually have 2 comments. First, I feel I have solved the ground pad problem. I use a cheap self inflating pad which is shorter than my sleeping bag, and slide it right inside my bag before I get in. There is no change in comfort, but I never roll off! (Self inflating pads are not self inflating – they are much more comfortable if you blow them up like a balloon. They are a miracle! I almost had to stop camping due to scoliosis before I borrowed a friend’s and was sold for life.)

    Second, I would like to strongly encourage you to try sleeping under the stars. I bring a tent, but only use it if it rains. In 2014, friends tried to get me to sleep outside my tent. I refused, but nature had other plans. A gale wind broke one of my poles. My first night sleeping without a tent was pretty scary. Not only was I worried about bugs crawling on me, but there were wild donkeys moaning all night around us. I was terrified one would step on me. Turns out, I was just fine! Now I lay my bag down directly on a tarp and sleep right out in the open. Sleeping without a tent is liberating, and waking up looking at the sky or the trees is the best way to start any day, hands down.

    Your post was interesting and informative. Thanks!


    1. Thank you for the ground pad advice, I’ll have to try it out next time I go! Also I want to try sleeping under the stars, but when we went over Easter weekend, it did rain a little bit, so we had worry about the whole tarp situation. Thank you again though for all the great advice! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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