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Gear: dangling between the trees; why a hammock (and the right hammock gear) is a great outdoor hack

One of the things I find truly wonderful about Norway is the right to stay in nature (read more about it here). When you travel with a heavy backpack, one of my favorite items is a hammock. (and of course the correct hammock gear you need to stay steady and comfortable). In my modest opinion; it is a great outdoor and hiking hack. They are lightweight, they occupy minimal space, and allow you to sleep almost anywhere without having to consider a rocky surface. However, there are a few factors to consider if you rely solely on a hammock as your accommodation.

A Norwegian Landscape

Be sure to consider the temperature. Even in the height of summer, when the evenings hardly cool down, lying completely still in your hammock exerts additional pressure on the bottom of your sleeping bag, resulting in reduced insulation between you and the air flowing beneath the hammock. My absolute recommendation is to bring along a large sheepskin. It provides a luxuriously soft surface and offers fantastic insulation.

If you have a bit more to spend, consider purchasing a reindeer hide here in Norway beforehand. This ensures a delightful night's sleep. Invest in a good hammock as well. Take your own weight into account and decide whether you want a mosquito net or not.

Despite the weather forecasts, you may still be surprised by a nocturnal rain shower. To protect yourself from this, it's handy to bring along a tarp that you can suspend high above your hammock using guy lines. This will also shield you from the morning dew.

I wrote about it before. But do bring a proper sleeping bag. And with proper I mean one that has a 'hood' that you can pull over your head. They often come with a special pocket meant to be stuffed with a sweater or any other fluffy fabric to mimic a head pillow. And again, do not underestimate the temperatures. Consider one that is still comfortable in -10 degrees celcius. You will not regret it, I promise. I have two. One suitable for the summer, and one very thick one for the autumn and winter.

The final tip is for just before bedtime. Make sure you move around a bit. For example, do 30 squats. When you crawl into your sleeping bag with your muscles warmed up, you can be sure of a comfortable slumber. It's not your sleeping bag that provides warmth, rather, it retains the available heat within. And that heat comes from you. That's why a hammock is a great outdoor hack! Convinced right?


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