Hammock Comfort: Top 7 Tips for Sleeping Comfortably in a Hammock

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Hammock Comfort Tips free hammock camping video tutorial. Sleeping in a hammock has never been more comfortable!

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Video Transcription:

Hi, I'm Jason, and today I’m going to share my favorite tips for getting comfortable in a hammock. I’ll be using the Go Camping Hammock 2.0 in this video, but these tips will apply to any brand of gathered end hammock. 

I want to start by saying that comfort is subjective, and what works for one person may not work for another. So it’s important to experiment, to see what you find most comfortable. 

Tip #1

My first tip is to make sure your hammock is long enough to be comfortable. For most people, the longer a hammock is, the more comfortable it feels. Many hammock camping experts prefer hammocks that are 11’ long. It’s a great length for getting comfortable, but not too heavy or  bulky for camping or hiking.  If it’s much longer than 11 feet, it gets more difficult to find a spot to hang, because you’ll need more distance between the trees.

Why is a longer hammock more comfortable? For a couple reasons. First, it helps flatten out your body position, compared to shorter hammocks. This makes a big difference when sleeping in a hammock through the night. It also reduces "calf ridge", a hammock phenomenon, which creates a tight section of fabric that puts uncomfortable pressure on the back of your knees or calves. You might not notice the calf ridge at first, but after spending some time in a shorter hammock, you probably will. For these reasons, all Go Outfitters brand hammocks are eleven feet long. 

Tip #2 

My next and possibly most important tip is to lie at a diagonal angle when you’re in a hammock. This flattens out your body position and allows you to bend your hips and knees, similar to the position you’re in when sitting in one of those zero-gravity chairs. Many try sleeping straight down the middle of the hammock in the banana position, but their knees usually end up hurting because they’re hyper-extended. Some people, however, say they’re comfortable sleeping in the center of the hammock, so give it a try if you want. 

Tip #3

Use a structural ridgeline. A structural ridgeline is a strong piece of  low stretch rope that runs from end to end of the hammock. The ridgeline is shorter than the hammock, so it determines the distance from one end of the hammock to the other. This controls the amount the hammock sags, which changes the way the hammock supports your body. Most hammock campers find that if a hammock is set up too tight or too loose, it’s just not comfortable. The ridgeline locks in the sag of the hammock, so you can easily and consistently set it up for maximum comfort. Hanging a hammock with the same amount of sag each time isn't easy without a structural ridgeline, so I recommend using one. If you are making a ridgeline for your own hammock, a good starting point for the length is between eighty-two and eighty-five percent of the hammock length. 

Tip #4

Drop the head end. I recommend starting by setting up your hammock with the head end six to ten inches lower than the foot end. This moves your body closer to the head end, which helps reduce the calf ridge. Many people who try this find it much more comfortable than a level set up. Try different heights for the head end and foot end to see what you like.   

Tip #5

Set the hammock up at a comfortable height for sitting. This makes it easy to get into and out of and makes the hammock a great chair too. You want to make sure that the hammock is low enough, so that the edge of the hammock isn’t digging into the back of your knees, while your feet are on the ground. But also high enough, so it’s easy to stand up from the seated position. 

Tip #6

Try using  a pillow. I always use a small pillow when I’m sleeping in a hammock. I find it much more comfortable with a little extra head and neck support. A pillow makes it a lot easier for me to find a comfortable position. When you’re camping, you can also use a piece of rolled-up clothing as a pillow. Our Adventure pillow is a nice option and it includes a carabiner and shock cord so you can clip it to your hammock suspension, so it’s easy to find at night. 

Tip #7

Find your hammock’s Sweet Spot. After you have followed the above tips and have a very comfortable set up, it’s time to find the sweet spot. The sweet spot is a place in the hammock, and a body position where you experience next level comfort. It’s like floating on a cloud. How do you find the sweet spot? Experiment with minor adjustments such as changing the diagonal angle, moving your body closer to the head end or foot end, bending one or both knees, shifting your weight slightly to one side or the other, and so on. Try this over a few days and once you’ve found the sweet spot, you’ll probably be a hammock camper for life!

I hope these tips help you to get the best sleep possible in your hammock. Happy Hammocking!