For years, tents, tarps, bivy bags, and sleeping pads made up the camping gear of motorcyclists; however, hammocks have quickly emerged as a preferred moto-camping essential. Hammocks feature innovative materials, improved designs, offer better comfort, and mobility.
More motorcycle camping enthusiasts are drifting toward hammock camping because hammocks offer unique advantages that we will discuss in this article.
- Table of Contents
1. Small & Lightweight
When it comes to motorcycle camping, size and weight of the camping gear matters a lot. Hammocks even with rain and bug fly can be folded in a small compact size and can easily fit in the tank bag saving you space, or can be stored with other gear inside motorcycle luggage bags. Hammocks specifically designed for motorcycle touring, backpacking, and camping trips are 1/3rd the size of a tent when folded.
2. Easy to Carry
With hammocks, motorcyclists are not restricted to base campgrounds only. They can carry their hammocks in a backpack and set it up wherever they want. Sometimes hiking takes longer than expected due to walking on difficult trails, enjoying scenic views, and exploring other noteworthy attractions in the area.
The greatest concern at the time is to reach the base camp before sunset. Finding your way back to the tent in the dark can be quite challenging, and the thought prevents you from fully enjoying the adventure. Carrying hammocks with you completely alleviates this concern. Hammocks give you complete freedom of location as you would know your shelter and sleeping setup is with you. As long as you can find two trees, large boulders, or strong structures to tie it to, you can set up your hammocks on mountains, by the lake, near a cascade, up a stream, or a hiking trail.
3. Greater Mobility
Riders often travel long-distances to reach popular camping destinations and unexpected things may happen like miscalculating the distance, inability to find no-reserve open campsites, no hotels in the area, or extremely bad weather.
These unforeseen things will compel you to look for a quick shelter and spend the time by the road. Hammocks work best in times when things go awry. Wild-camping by the road is not legal due to safety concerns, so always set-up your hammock at least 150 feet away from the road. You can also seek permission to set-up hammocks on the farmlands, ranches, and backyards near the highways.
4. Quick to Set-Up
For hammocks, you need not spend time to find a leveled ground with no potholes, pools, muddy patches, and rocks. As soon as you choose a suitable campsite to stay, you can set-up your hammock. With more practice, setting up a hammock with bugs and rain flies takes less than five minutes.
5. Greater Comfort
Hammocks are set-up 4-8 feet above the ground. This considerable distance enhances the comfort of hammocks. No matter how much you try to clean up your campsite, there will always be some stray pebbles, rocks, and sticks that will poke into your skin as you try to sleep on the hard ground. In addition, sleeping on the ground can cause back pain, stiffness, and discomfort. Hence, hammocks are a comfortable option when compared to other camping gear.
6. Ideal for Rainy Season
Thanks to modern innovative fabrics, hammocks are crafted from waterproof materials that can withstand heavy rainfall. The rain fly protects the hammock from the top, and the high attachment points keep the water from seeping into the hammock from the ground.
Moreover, you can park your motorcycle under the large hammock tarp or rain fly to protect it from rain and corrosion that may result from it.
7. Less Luggage
Hammock is a versatile camping essential that is used not only as shelter but also as a chair, lounger, and a bed. You can sit or recline in your hammock and enjoy the view, read a book, take in the peaceful surroundings, and journal. After spending the day riding, hiking, and exploring,use your hammock for a restful sleep. The multi-faceted nature of hammocks greatly reduces the bulk from your motorcycle luggage as you need not carry other camping furniture. Riders can use this space to carry other items like blanket, pillow, insulating top and bottom hammock quilts.
8. Practical Even for Winters
Some campers argue that hammocks are not practical for winters due to the lack of insulation underneath. While the claim is true, it can be easily rectified. Riders can use an underquilt for insulation. A hammock underquilt is a blanket that traps air between itself and hammock preventing heat loss.
Another option could be using an insulated sleeping pad. Compact sleeping pads are readily available on the market that weigh about 30-35 ounces. They do not add bulk to the motorcycle and can be easily carried in backpacks. In addition, hammock specific sleeping pads do not slip or fall out of the hammock as you move while sleeping. If you are not sure which underpad will work best with your hammock, you can invest in the underpad system of the same brand as your hammock. Some hammocks also come with inner compartments, keeping the pad in place and preventing it from sliding out.
9. Ideal for Hot Weather
In hot weather, hammocks offer excellent airflow underneath, ensuring ventilation, cooling effect, and breathability. Even in humid weather conditions, hammocks do not feel clammy or suffocating.
10. A Chance to Sleep Under the Stars
When lucky to find a campsite with low mosquito risk, hammocks offer a chance to sleep under the star-studded sky with no roof obscuring your view. For an enjoyable experience, make sure you avoid places near lakes, streams, and other water bodies. Also, use a mosquito repellent and a bug repellant spray.
11. Allow Stealth Wild-Camping
Wild camping in remote areas can be risky. With no security and safe crowds near you, your motorcycle becomes more susceptible to theft. Dark or neutral-colored hammocks are discreet and create a camouflage effect, making it easy to hide in dense forests and wilderness areas and reducing the risks of potential attacks and stolen motorcycle parts.
Also Read: Ways to Keep Sissy Bars from Being Stolen
12. Value for Money
Hammock companies are actually interested in making motorcycle camping trips highly enjoyable for motorcyclists. Consequently, they are creating hammocks using modern fabrics that are durable, can withstand harsh conditions, and can last a couple of years no matter how frequently they are used.
Hammocks are cheap and offer excellent value for money in the long run as well, considering you won’t have to buy one every six months or so.
A hammock is a lightweight and compact camping accessory that makes motorcycle camping even more enjoyable. As soon as you climb in your hammock, you will feel relaxed and comfortable. Not to mention, the panoramic views you can enjoy thanks to the elevation a hammock provides.
While it is not necessary to skip out other camping gear, such as tent, bivy bag, sleeping bags, and pads from your motorcycle camping packing list, it is recommended that you make space for a hammock and reap the benefits all motorcyclists are talking about.