Let's Talk Storage.
It’s easy to fall in love with the idea of hammock camping. A cozy bed, floating in the air…gently swinging with a breeze. But then reality sets in - “Where do I put my stuff?” You don't want things outside where they can get wet, blown around, or picked over by nocturnal critters.
People typically camp with all sorts of gear. Changes of clothes, water bottles, headlamps -- so much stuff! And where does it all go? It would be pretty uncomfortable to have all that gear float around with you in the hammock so let’s talk about your storage options. Read on, or watch the video below.
Most camping hammocks have one or two pockets to help ease the storage burden. These pockets tend to be fairly conservative in size due to the nature and construction of the hammock body.
The Haven Tent, on the other hand, has more pocket storage than any other camping hammock available. With a total of 6 pockets! Two extra-large pockets at the head and foot ends of the hammock accompanied by two smaller pockets on each side. The Haven Tent accommodates the storage need of everyone from extreme backpackers, to backyard campers.
What is a structural ridgeline? Glad you asked. A ridgeline ties to both ends of the hammock and runs parallel to the ground. It serves to hold the hammock shape even if the trees are not perfectly spaced. Not all hammocks have a ridgeline, but they are easy enough to rig up.
A side benefit to having a ridgeline on your hammock is the storage potential. Having a line run from end to end of your hammock is great for hanging small things. Clothes, gear organizers, and of course lights. That's where we got the idea for the Haven Ridgelight!
If your hammock has enough room inside, you may even be able to hang your pack right inside the hammock. That's one thing we love about our Haven rigeline.
The Haven Tent ridgeline is incredibly strong... strong enough to support your body weight and just about anything you bring with you. The added advantage to the Haven is that it also has enough room above your feet to hang your pack or boots. To do this, simply rest the bottom of your pack on the spreader bar, and attach a small carabiner to the ridgeline and handle of the pack. If your bag has a lot of straps, you can also tie them around the ridgeline so that it hangs higher.
The easiest way to think of a gear sling is as a mini-hammock that hangs below your camping hammock to hold all of your gear. Many hammocks (especially your standard gathered-end hammocks) don’t have much room inside, so beyond a small pocket or two, you don’t have much in the way of storage inside the hammock.
That's when gear slings come in handy. A big sling can hold a lot of gear! There are some disadvantages to this though. It is one more piece of gear to set up and take down, it can be hard to access if you need something in the middle of the night, and be aware that critters (especially raccoons) have been known to pick through a low-hanging gear sling.
You'll notice that we don’t have a gear sling for the Haven Tent, simply because we like to keep all of our storage inside the waterproof layers of the rainfly and tent. Fortunately, our design has a lot of internal space so an extra gear-hammock isn't really needed.
While we're on the subject of storage we should warn that if camping in bear country, don't store food, deodorant, toothpaste, and other toiletries with you inside the hammock! If you can smell it, they can too. Always make sure to store your food in a bear-proof container outside of camp or keep it as high up and as far away from you as possible.
For more information on Bear safety while hammock camping, check out this article. Hammocks provide about as much protection from bears as ground tents, which is to say, not much!
Now you are equipped with all the information you need to sleep easy inside your hammock next to your lights, books, water bottle, clothes, boots, iPad, and everything else you camp with!