A hammock should be part of every camper’s “must have” gear. They are a perfect addition to the car camping experience as well as a lightweight alternative for solo campers.

Sleeping well in a hammock is all about getting that perfect hang. Not too tight, not too loose.

Next Adventure staffer, Jared L., talks about getting that perfect hang from your hammock. Using a Wilderness Technology Double Hammock in conjunction with a WT Hammock Suspension System we walk through the basics of getting a comfortable hang along with a quick primer on hammock camping, side sleeping, and staying warm.

Hey, I'm Jared, and today we're going to show you how to hang a hammock here at the Next Adventure Warehouse.

If you’re familiar with hammocks, you probably know that there's a thousand different ways to hang them. We’re just going to talk about one of the easiest ways using these daisy-chain straps.

This is the Wilderness Technology Hammock Suspension System. There are a bunch of different companies that make these, Wilderness Technology happens to be a brand that Next Adventure carries. It is a long nylon webbing strap that has a loop at one end, and then all along the length of the strap are a bunch of smaller loops called daisy chains that have been sewn into it. These are what you're going to attach the end of the hammock to.

With a big tree, you’d loop this around once. We're probably going to go around three or four times to take up some of the extra length and give it some friction to hold my weight. With a nice grippy tree, you’d probably only have to go around once. After you loop the strap around, you've got this big open end here, just tuck the strap through it and now you've got this nice long daisy chain that you can attach your hammock to at different points. Open one of the loops and just clip the hammock carabiner into them. Let me go hang up the other side and get the hammock in the air.

This is a Wilderness Technology Hammock. I grabbed the double hammock out of the warehouse here. The double hammock a little bit wider, I've actually had myself and my wife both hanging out one of these. They are pretty sturdy. You’ll notice that on either end there's a rope with a carabiner hook that clips right into one of the daisy chains. Grab the other end and head over to your other strap. Clip right into it as well.

You're looking for maybe a 30-degree angle on your straps because you want to get a little bit of a sag in your hammock. If you get your hammock too tight, it's going to wrap around you like a burrito. You’ll be kind of cocooned in and it's not going to be comfortable at all. You definitely want a little bit of a sag here. If you need to adjust the length or the sag, all you do is just unhook it and you can drop it down to another one of the loops. This will make it hang a little bit looser. You can go up exactly the opposite and make it tighter. It’s infinitely adjustable.

I tend to go for something with about a 30-degree angle on the straps. This leaves a nice healthy sag. People talked about having a loose hang, if you've got a loose hang - you can just hang loose in your hammock.

To get in, I go right to the middle and tuck it down under my butt, slowly lean back into it, spin around and drop your legs over. If you want to get a nice flat hang, you can lay at an angle, put your feet over to one side and your head over to the other side, then just kick back.

With these double hammocks, if you're the only person in it, scoot over to one side. Then I'll often put something like my cellphone in the pouch so I can drop it over and use it as an extra little cover to keep a little bit warmer while you're hanging in your hammock. Wraps you up like a little taco.

I often take a hammock when I’m solo backpacking. Hammocks are a lot lighter than most tents. You don't have to worry about finding that perfect flat spot. These daisy chain loops get a little bit heavy, so I'll often use what's called a Dyneema cord. It's a super thin rope that was designed for sailboats. I'll use a short piece of webbing to wrap around the tree to protect the bark and then I'll use this Dyneema cord, which is significantly lighter as my attachment point between the tree strap and the carabiner here. There's a thousand different ways to tie things up.

Hammocks are starting to become kind of a big thing in the camping community. They're super good for car camping, just as a place to hang out. They're also great if you want to take them backpacking. They are super lightweight, just hang a tarp over it got a good shelter. There are all sorts of under quilts that hang under them to keep your backside warm. Just throw a thin blanket over the top of you and thats about all you need in mild weather. I routinely camp in a hammock in snow. I just surround myself with a good layer down, then put a solid tarp over me. I can actually get a full four-season system going with a tarp and hammock that weighs under two pounds. It’s not a bad option at all.

They are very comfortable to sleep in. A lot of people say you can't side sleep in them, I'm definitely a side sleeper. It's all about getting the right angle inside the hammock, you just don't want to be straight along it and wrapped up like a taco. Getting that angle flattens you out and gives you lots of options. They’re very comfortable, they cradle you nicely, and with a gentle breeze they can rock you to sleep.

So that's how to hang a hammock. You can find any of these hammocks or the daisy chain suspension system either in our store or online at nextadventure.net.