is hammock camping cold

Is Hammock Camping Cold? (+How to Stay Toasty)

When you try hammock camping for the first time, the last thing you want is to freeze your nuts off. So, is hammock camping cold? Furthermore, what do you need to not be cold?

The short answer is this: A camping hammock is a thin piece of fabric that can feel chilly even on a summer night, on its own. By bringing a few hammock camping essentials, however, hammock camping is not cold. You can be as toasty as a bun in an oven.

Is Hammock Camping Cold? The Climate and Season Will Set a Baseline

Remember, the climate and season where you are camping will set a baseline for your camping experience and how cold it can become.

In this article, we will uncover why hammock camping is cold on its own, what you can do to avoid getting cold in a hammock, and some campsite tips.

Therefore, let’s dive into how hammock camping newbies who are just starting out can avoid freezing their butts off the first time hammock camping.

Is hammock camping cold on a summer night?

I remember one of my first hammock camping trips in the heart of July. It was a warm day, and the thought of a cold night never crossed my mind.

In addition, I set up my hammock in a clearing with a nice view, expecting a night of star-gazing and gentle breezes.

However, as the night progressed, the temperature dropped significantly.

Without any insulation beneath me, I shivered through the night, realizing that the hammock’s thin fabric was no match for the chilly air. As a result, it was a long, cold night, and I learned the hard way that even summer nights can be deceivingly cold in a hammock.

Is hammock camping cold on a winter night?

You can be warm and comfortable hammock camping in winter. However, solid preparation is essential and you should follow winter hammock camping tips and guidelines to make sure your trip is safe and enjoyable.

Generally, let’s look into why hammock camping is cold.

Hammock camping mistakes can leave you freezing in your hammock

Why Is Hammock Camping Cold?

In brief, let’s look into some of the reasons why hammock camping is cold.

Hammock camping is more exposed to the natural elements

First, while hammock camping, you are more exposed to the natural elements. Furthermore, when temperatures drop at night, you will be cold in a hammock unless you have the proper gear and campsite.

In addition, unlike its counterpart tent camping, hammock camping has no shelter from winds, rain, and snow. There is no roof or sides on a hammock, and the fabric gets cold pretty quickly.

Is hammock camping cold because it is simply not a tent?

In fact, a camping hammock, on its own, has no insulation.

Once the temperatures start to drop, your body will get colder from the ground beneath you. While a sleeping pad in tent camping acts as a comfort from the bumpy ground, it’s also keeping you warm as an insulating layer.

If you simply camp in a hammock, there is no barrier between you and the warmth-stealing terrain beneath you.

Leaving you with a chill butt, instead of a chill hammock camping trip.

What we need to do then is even the playing field between tent camping and hammock camping when it comes to insulation.

Therefore, this begs the question: How to avoid getting cold while hammock camping?

is hammock camping cold

How to Avoid Getting Cold in a Hammock

Is hammock camping cold with the proper gear? No, this is where we level the playing field. With the proper hammock camping essentials, you will hang out warm and toasty in no time. Also, keep in mind tips for beginning campers in general, such as taking small steps and packing for problems.

What do you need to avoid getting cold then?

  • Insulation: Get an underquilt, sleeping pad, or both (you can add reindeer pelts for extra warmth)
  • Sleeping bag or top quilt
  • Tarp
  • Change of clothes

Nice to have:

  • Pillow
  • Wool socks
  • Warm water bottle or pee bottle

Gear to avoid getting cold in a hammock


An underquilt helps you trap heat in with your hammock as it hangs underneath your hammock while deflecting winds and the cold. You can use an old sleeping bag with suspension as a DIY solution. Layering underquilts to get a better rating for colder temperatures is another trick you can try.

Secondly, you can also opt for a sleeping pad. Some like to get more of a “platform” to sleep in, while others hate it. A pad can also slip and slide around in your hammock unless it’s designed for a hammock.

Sleeping bag/ Top quilt

A sleeping bag is pretty much needed in most camping situations, unless you are opting for an equally good solution such as a quilt.

This is the main item keeping you warm through the night. A sleeping bag alone will be cold in the bottom, because it’s compressed against the fabric of your hammock, and won’t insulate you.


The tarp is your shelter from any kind of breeze, wind, rain, or snow. Without it, you are exposed to the elements. Note: The closer you bring your tarp to your hammock, the more insulating power you will get.

Change of clothes

Having a dry change of clothes can make a world of difference in keeping warm in a hammock. Getting out of sweaty hiking clothes and into some dry clothes will keep you warmer in your hammock. Preferably wool.

Furthermore, you can add some pieces of bonus gear for extra warmth.

BONUS GEAR for extra warmth

Pillow: The fabric of your hammock will usually get cold. Any part of your body that touches it can quickly become pretty cold.

As in waking up in the middle of the night suddenly freezing all over cause your head has touched it for a couple of hours. A pillow is nice for protection against the cold, while also keeping you extra comfy.

Wool socks: The same goes for wool socks. Or slippers. Something to keep your feet extra toasty and protected is always a nice bonus.

Warm water bottle (or pee bottle): Ah, the trusty ol’ warm water bottle. Boil up some water and pour it in. Place comfortably between legs.

Some campers swear by having a bottle close by for nighttime toilet breaks, as they don’t want to wander off into the forest in pitch-black darkness. Also serves as a nice source of heat while camping in a hammock.

Setting up a campsite to your advantage

Using your campsite to avoid a cold hammock camping experience

Picking the right campsite is important. Use the natural formations of rock and trees to shelter your hammock from the elements.

In windy or otherwise rougher conditions, this alone can make your hammock camping experience a whole lot warmer. Look for denser forests, or trees hiding behind a rock.

While sleeping in a hammock on a warm summer night might be appealing without the rest of the gear, the weather can turn. It is better to be prepared and not have to use it than to be stuck without the right equipment.

Conclusion: Is Hammock Camping Cold?

In this article we’ve explored the question: is hammock camping cold?

Even summer nights can become chilly when you are only using the hammock itself. However, with the proper gear essentials needed for warm and comfortable hammock camping – you’ll be hanging out all toasty.

I want to hear from you. Do you have any questions about hammock camping? Leave a comment below!

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