I was asked recently if I had any tips to pass along on using a hammock while hiking. I use a Hennessy Hammock, but these few tips could be used for any hammock.
- Use SnakeSkins - These are designed for Hennessy Hammocks but could be used with other hammocks as well. The SnakeSkins are two long tubes that act as stuff sacks. Put them on before you hang your hammock, and then simply pull the SnakeSkins over the hammock when you are ready to take it down. Your hammock is now in a stuff sack and it is a lot easier to handle, plus it keeps the hammock dry and clean for storage.
- Ultralight tent stakes - Most hammocks have guy lines and to keep with the ultralight ideology, rocks and logs are suggested for tiedowns. However I find ultralight titanium tent stakes provide versatility, are more secure, and weigh next to nothing. You won’t need to carry more than 4 tent stakes for a typical hammock.
- Start up high - When hanging your hammock for the first time, secure the ends of the hammock as high up on the trees as you can. The cord used to hang the hammock will stretch at first and if you don’t hang your hammock high enough you’ll find yourself either a few inches above the ground or touching it. With time the cord will stop stretching, usually after 6 to 12 hangings.