Ever since spending 3 nights at Rocking J’s Hammock Hostel in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, I have been obsessed with hammocks. I was a bit apprehensive about spending the night in a hammock, but it was the cheapest option in town. For only $4 at the time, you got a storage locker, a sheet, and your very own hammock. That super sturdy Brazilian hammock hugged me like a mama rocking her child and I slept the best I had in years.
Until then I had only been in those old school American styled rope hammocks. They hurt and dig into your back leaving that awful waffle print on your skin. Turns out the super compact and portable hammocks of today are made from soft and comfy parachute nylon, nothing like those uncomfortable cargo net style hammocks of old. They are extremely durable, lightweight and compact making them excellent travel companions for your round the world journey or weekend backpack trip. Here are five reasons to make room for an ultralight travel hammock in your pack:
As far as hammocks go, make mine a double. Put up a hammock at your campsite, climbing crag, or hostel and I guarantee people will be drawn to you. Hammocks make people happy pure and simple. Many hammock companies make two person hammocks and Hammock Bliss even makes a triple. The Hammock Bliss Triple is the world’s largest portable hammock and has plenty of room for you and your two closest friends.
Impromptu Sleeping Shelter
What no rooms left in the hostel? How about I just give you 5 bucks and rig my hammock in those trees over there. A travel hammock is just as good as carrying a tent, you always have a place to call it a night if need be. This summer I met a guy biking across the US and he didn’t even carry a tent. He used a hammock every single night and if he couldn’t find a place to set it up, the hammock doubled as a nice ground cloth. Some travel hammocks are designed to sleep in and even come with a mosquito net and rainfly.
Sleeping in a Hammock is Good For You
In some Central and South American cultures, people sleep in a hammock every night of their life. This isn’t because of poverty; it just may be the most healthy and restful way to sleep. Many doctors and sleep professionals say the best way to sleep is on your back with your head slightly elevated 10 to 30 percent – sounds like they are describing a hammock to me.
Great For Nap and Relaxation Time
One thing I have difficulty with when I am traveling is finding a good place to take a nap. Napping is just one of those luxuries I don’t get at home and it is so nice on the road, especially after a long night imbibing in the local culture. If you need some alone time, just hike a little ways back into the woods, set up your hammock, and enjoy some well-deserved siesta time.
A Hammock Isn’t Just a Hammock
When traveling, I make sure everything in my pack has multiple functions and a travel hammock has a variety of different uses on the road. It can be rigged up as a sunshade, used as a ground cloth or blanket, as a pillow in its travel pouch, or you can use it as a backpack cover during freak downpours.
When you are making your packing list for your next big trip, consider leaving some room in your pack for one of these nifty travel hammocks.