When out in the backcountry, the hammock is one piece of gear I hear mentioned all the time while discussing ‘what’s new’ or I’m involved in a ‘is it worth it’ type of gear discussion. It generally starts with a backpacking trip and someone sets up their hammock. In a group you will inevitably hear, “Man, I knew I should have brought mine” or “I’ve been wanting to get a hammock for a while now.”
Hammocks can be a great alternative to a tent, especially in the summertime. Although, it doesn’t need to be summer to enjoy the luxuries of a hammock. There are plenty of ultralight minimalist that use a hammock throughout the year. With a warm rated sleeping bag and the right accessories/weather barriers you can used a hammock just about anywhere there is a place to set one up. If you live in an area with minimal trees, rock outcroppings work great and you just have to be a little more strategic with your location. If you live in the arctic tundra, well, you may be out of luck.
Things to consider when buying a hammock: