Hammock Camping Best Practices
The upcoming review of camping hammocks in Backpacker magazine is probably going to cause an increased interest in hammock camping
I learned of hammock camping from an equipment review in my local paper and then searching the net for more info brought me here. I spent 35 years backpacking and ground sleeping with tents, tarps, and biveys, but after just a few weeks of lurking I was convinced to give hammock camping a try. Now I use one of my three hammocks almost exclusively when staying on the trail, except I still use a bivey in a lean-to in the winter.
I'm guessing the same will be true for a lot of people who come across the backpacker magazine article as subscribers, or from searching the net, or from reading articles written in local papers by outdoor writers who discover the backpacker magazine article. And a lot of them are going to find their way to this forum.
I'd like to suggest that the forum add a category about hammock camping “best practices" for members to discuss ways in which hammock campers might reduce the impact of our chosen shelter on the environment and on fellow campers. Sort of an ethics and etiquette topic. Not just another LTN set of rules, but rather discussions about things specific to use of a hammock.
I hate rules as much as anyone when I'm in the wilderness. I go to the wilderness to be wild and free, not restrained and directed. But unfortunately, most of our readily accessible wilderness is managed, and that means rules and regulations we have to live with. Some self-regulation is also needed to prevent wilderness managers from concluding that even more regulation is needed.
I think this forum more than any other is the place for issues about best practices and etiquette when hammock camping. I certainly don't think we should leave that topic to ground dwellers.
Some of the obvious topics are hanging location, tree selection, and method of tree attachment.
Or maybe the owners and moderators should get together and propose a set of best practices to begin such a discussion.
In any event, now that I'm a "donating" member I feel free to make such suggestions and so I did.