Safety is an integral element in camping that all of us should exercise every time we go hammock camping. The basics of camping safety apply to all kinds of camping. A lot of the safety elements in regular camping would apply to hammock camping as well—just with a twist. What are some of the things you should be on the lookout for?
First things first—your equipment
Beyond just the basic safety checklist when you’re setting up your hammock, you should also need to consider the effect you’ll have on your surrounding. First thing first, you should also think of what your equipment may or may not do to the environment you’re camping in. Choose hammock straps that are tree-friendly.
There are numerous tree friendly strap or eco-friendly strap manufactured out there. However, as a general rule, a wide hammock strap of a minimum width of 3 cm or more should suffice. Straps or ropes that are too narrow have so much more potential in harming the trees you’re using to hang your hammock. Avoid camping near the body of water. Put approximately 80 meters distance between you and water bodies. This is essential to help preserve the unique vegetation that helps hold the soil against the water.
Observe the tree you’re going to use as your attachment points
Consider trees as your best friend when you’re hammocking. You need them. So observe your trees well before you decide to hang your hammocks. Lookout for branches that seemed to be falling and/or fragile. Fragile or old branches could fall on you anytime when you’re sleeping.
Look for any signs of life in the tree as well such as bird nests. Avoid hanging your hammock in trees that are “occupied” if you know you’re going stop disturb them by your presence. Some animals, although not common, may even turn hostile.
Take a look around your surroundings
While the possibility of laying exactly on top of a snake hole is non-existent because you’ll be hanging above the ground, the basic camping safety fundamentals still apply. Make sure that you are not disturbing any fauna lives around you. Animals don’t attack when they don’t feel threatened. Fearful and wounded animals, however, can be extremely dangerous. If you see wild animals, simply observe them from a distance. Don’t get close to them; they will feel threatened, and it’s for your very own safety and the safety of the people you’re camping with.
Hang your hammock at a safe height
Never hang your hammocks too high above the ground. Don’t hang two hammocks vertically on the same two trees if you can help it. A safe distance from your hammock to the soil below is approximately 1,5 meters in height. This measurement can be compared to a “chair-height”. You should be able to get into your hammock as you would a chair. This height would prevent you from a potentially dangerous fall. Not to mention, getting into your hammock should be easy, and a hammock that is set up too high would only make it difficult for you to get in.