man sleeping in a camping hammock

Is It Ok to Sleep in a Hammock While Camping?

Looking back to before my first time camping in a hammock, I remember being a bit worried. Is it ok to sleep in a hammock while camping? Will I be comfortable? Can I sleep through the night?

It’s absolutely ok to sleep in a hammock while camping, as long as you have the right hammock, angle, and technique. Sleeping in a hammock while camping has made me much more comfortable. There are potential pitfalls you should watch out for, but as long as you follow these tips you will have a great time camping in a hammock!

How to sleep ok while hammock camping

As with any outdoor adventure, you should set your expectations right. It’s not like you are sleeping in your bed at home. But if you think about these challenges and prepare, you will have a very ok sleep in your hammock while camping. Even better yet, make sure you know everything you need to know to get started with hammock camping, and you will sleep like a baby in no time.

There are several challenges you will face when sleeping outdoors:

  • Bugs and mosquitoes
  • Animals
  • Light
  • Sounds
  • Sleeping position
  • Terrain
  • Staying warm
  • Staying dry
  • Bathroom breaks in nature

Then there are the hammock-related challenges:

  • Having the right hammock for you
  • Nailing the setup
  • Sleeping comfortably

Consider these challenges well before traversing into the wild with your hammock. Here are some of my experiences and possible solutions.

Bugs and mosquitoes

Unless you are camping mid-winter, which you probably aren’t if this is your first rodeo in a hammock, you are going to encounter bugs. Preparation is key. Your only defense will come from what you bring with you. 

In my opinion, the bare minimum you need is a bug net around your hammock. For me, that is the difference between waking hell and a good night’s sleep. I would also recommend that you get a bug net for your head for walking around.

Bug spray or cream can come in handy as well. Either make your own homemade variation or get some recommended products.


If you are going hammock camping, you are going to need trees. Where there are trees, there are animals. Consider where you are going, and take the right precautions for the area. 

Keeping a clean campsite, hanging your gear up to avoid animals rummaging around in it, and possibly running off with stuff, and keeping your food and trash in bags will help keep animals away. 

Be careful when stepping out of your hammock, and remember to check the ground and your boots. Shake out boots, or even place a sock on top to prevent animals from crawling in there.


When you are camping, you are at the mercy of natural light. That means you should prepare and set up your hammock and camp with plenty of time till sundown. You don’t want to be stuck with an unfinished camp and no place to sleep after lights out.

It’s smart to bring something to cover your eyes, as it can become quite bright very early. 


Nature is filled with strange and mysterious sounds. It can be daunting or quite relaxing. Either way, it can be good to bring something to muffle your ears, if you are sensitive to sounds while sleeping.

Sleeping position

In which positions do you normally sleep? Or rather which positions are you able to sleep in?

Stomach sleeping can be rather difficult in a regular hammock. I’ve managed to do it in my Haven Hammock Tent. If that is the only way you fall asleep, you might consider some of the lay flat-hammock alternatives.


What sort of terrain you are going to camp in is important to consider. You are much freer with camping in a hammock than in a tent though. You can pretty much hang your hammock as long as there are trees. While tent camping would require a flat, somewhat soft, and clean ground.

Staying warm

Staying warm is key when camping. When you are camping in a hammock, the underside of the hammock can become quite cold.

The solution is usually to get a sleeping pad or an underquilt for your hammock. 

Staying dry

Being soaked to the bone is definitely not ok when you are trying to sleep in a hammock while camping. Rain can start pouring from the skies when you least expect it. When you are tent camping, you are protected from the rain. When you are camping in a hammock, on the other hand, you don’t necessarily have a roof over your head – unless you bring a tarp.

A tarp is basically a hammock’s defense against rain. You can set it up multiple ways, but I would recommend you have one. And bring one.

Bathroom breaks in nature

Any camping brings the challenge of peeing or pooping in the great outdoors. Camping in a hammock is the same. 

I recommend trying to go number two while there is still natural light, as you don’t want to be walking around in the darkness at night. 

For number one, you should designate a spot rather close to camp before jumping into bed, or keep a container to hold your urine until morning.

Having the right hammock for you

What is the right hammock for you? That depends on a number of things. Health, cost, size, usage, etc. are things to consider.

You can always try something cheap to start off and upgrade from there. On the other hand, it might put you off future camping endeavors in a hammock altogether, if your experience is poor in a cheap hammock. 

Nailing the setup

You should get to know your hammock before you go out. Watch the instructions, or check out a Youtube video on how to set up your hammock. Do a test run and make sure you are able to set it up correctly before you travel.

If you want to sleep ok in a hammock, you should know how high to hang your hammock on both sides, which parts go where, and how to set up your tarp and bug net. Depending on your type of hammock, you might want to know a knot or two.

Sleeping comfortably

Sleeping ok while hammocking is largely dependent on lying as straight as possible. In a more traditional hammock, lying slightly at a diagonal angle will help with that. 

A sleeping pad can also help straighten the hammock.

Final thoughts

Now you have the answer to whether it’s ok to sleep in a hammock while camping. It is both doable and comfortable with the right preparation.

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