A Must for Back-Country Campers
Hammock camping is quickly becoming the preferred method over tent camping among back-county campers. The combination of a hammock and a tarp has several advantages over sleeping in a tent. First, you do not need to worry about having flat ground to pitch a tent. You can camp on a hill side, rocky ground, or even wet areas with a hammock in comfort. Check out these cool pics from a Google search.
When done properly hammock camping also leaves less of a foot print on the environment. Backpackers love to eliminate weight from their packs. Every ounce that can be eliminated adds up. A hammock and tarp are much lighter weight than a tent.
Suspension Straps – A Critical Element
One of the most important pieces of equipment in a hammock camper’s kit is her/his suspension straps. They are also called hammock tree straps. Since the hammock camping rage started a few years ago, I have talked to dozens of backpackers looking for webbing to make suspension straps. Everyone has their personal preference and opinion as to what is the best type of strap to use.
Things to consider, but…
When choosing a material for a suspension strap consider the following:
- Tensile Strength
There are several relatively new synthetic “high-tech fabrics” on the market that have exceptional characteristics in all these aspects.
The draw back to using these materials is price and availability. These materials are expensive and usually only available in large quantity.
Materials That Will Get the Job Done
Materials that are easier to acquire that will get the job done are nylon, polyester, and polypropylene.
Nylon will stretch over time. You do not want to get your hammock in the perfect position only to wake up in the middle of the night to your backside touching the ground.
Pretty Darn Appealing
Polypropylene is the lightest weight of these three materials. If you want to eliminate every possible ounce you might try polypropylene. This lightweight webbing also has very little stretch. Polypropylene is completely water proof. It will not absorb water.
The one negative aspect to polypropylene straps is durability. Polypropylene is susceptible to UV damage and will breakdown over time. You might find yourself replacing polypropylene straps every couple of years.
Polyester is probably the best choice for most hammock campers. It has very little stretch; it is UV resistant and will not rot, mold, or mildew.
We supply webbing to several manufacturers of hammock camping systems. If you have questions about any of these materials please feel free to contact us. Happy camping!