How to Stay Warm in a Hammock?

If you ask me, I would say that hammocks are always a good idea. I take my hammock with me whenever I go out! It is perfect for the park, the woods, the mountains, the beach, and any other location you can think of. Yet, sleeping in one as opposed to chilling in it is quite different.


If you are planning on sleeping in your hammock on one of your upcoming trips, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind. Taking your hammock only will likely not be enough. You will also need to take a few other things that will help keep you warm throughout the night.

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As a person who has spent countless nights sleeping in a hammock, I will give you a list of things you need to have with you if you plan to spend a warm, cozy night in a hammock. If you follow my list and take the things I mention the next time you go camping, you will not feel the night’s chills at all!
All the things that are part of the list are lightweight, come at an affordable price, and will not take up a lot of the space in your backpack. Still, they are crucial to having a successful slumber party under the stars. So, if you are craving a good night’s sleep under the open sky, read the list and even consider taking a few notes!

camping in winter

A Step-By-Step Guide That Helps Stay Warm in a Hammock:

If you have slept in a hammock before, you know how chilly it can get during the night. Those who have not tried it before might be in for a rude awakening. That is – unless you know exactly what to take with you!

I want to protect you from having a negative hammock camping experience, so I will give you a list of things that you must take with you if you plan to spend the night in your hammock. Here is the list:

1. Be smart when choosing a place you set your hammock

There is nothing to shield your body from the wind and the cold when you are sleeping in the open. This is also something that you have to think about when you are hammock camping. The place where you hang your hammock can cause you to be colder or can keep you warmer during the night.

What I would suggest is that you do not place your hammock right in the open. If woods or cliffs surround a place, you will be better off placing the hammock there. That kind of place can help shield you from the cold wind.

2. Add a sleeping bag to your hammock

If you are planning on hammock camping, that does not mean that you cannot use a sleeping bag. Place one in the hammock, and when you are ready to call it a day, jump right into it and let it keep you warm throughout the night.

When using a sleeping bag, you are trapping the warm air around you and making it harder for the cold air to reach your body. If you do not have a sleeping bag, you should try to invest in one that is also hammock-compatible. This type of sleeping bag keeps you warm and makes you even cozier.

If you have a regular sleeping bag, that one can also be suitable for hammock camping. Make sure that you check if it fits in the hammock before actually taking it on the trip. If it does not fit your hammock, you can always switch the bag for a sleeping pad.

3. Place a hot water container in your hammock

If you plan to sleep in a hammock and you fear that you might get cold, you can always heat some water and put the container next to your body. Make sure that it is not too hot because you want to avoid burning yourself. You will be better off using a container instead of a plastic bottle.

If you are going to place a sleeping bag in your hammock, you can add the water containers in there as well. Try pushing them to the sides of the sleeping bag or place them near your feet if they tend to get cold during the night.

4. Use an under-quilt or over-quilt

I love using a quilt in my hammock because it makes it more comfortable and makes me feel at home. I have a special quilt that I take on trips and it is the best thing to keep yourself warm throughout the night.

Nowadays, a lot of companies create top quilts for hammocks. These top quilts are very lightweight and compressible, so you will be able to take them with you even if your backpack is full. The under-quilts are also quite lovely, but they are not always hammock-compatible.

5. Put on an extra layer of clothes

Going on an outdoor adventure always requires taking an extra layer of clothing. Considering how easy it is to get sweaty or make your clothes wet or dirty, you will want to have something you can change into.

When it comes to sleeping in the great outdoors, it can also be a good idea to have up to 3 layers of clothing available. The base later is usually best for people who sweat a lot as it can absorb moisture and keep you warm. Then, you can use an insulating layer to hold off the heat from your body. Finally, you will need an outer layer to make your body warmer and keep the rest of the clothes dry.

A combination of three layers is excellent for colder weather, while you can always take one layer off if you get too warm. Combined with the sleeping bag, quilt, and those hot water containers, this should all be enough to get you through the night, even if the temperature drops more than you expect!

How Cold Can You Sleep in a Hammock?

You can sleep in your hammock if it is a bit cold outside, but how cold is too cold for hammock sleeping? This is something that you have to take into consideration even before you set off on your trip!

No matter what time of the year it is, it is always good to check the climate when you are still planning your trip. Going to the outdoors when it is too cold or too hot, or when there is a high probability of heavy rain, might not be a good idea. You might not want to postpone your trip, but it could be for the better!

The ideal time for camping and sleeping in a hammock is in early autumn and late spring. It is not too hot or too cold during that period, so you might get lucky enough to have the perfect sleeping conditions. Still, you will need to check the expected temperatures before you set off on the trip.

If the temperature is anywhere from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you might be a bit cold but will still be able to sleep in a hammock. If the temperature drops to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, having a quilt and an extra layer of clothes will help you have a good night’s sleep in your hammock.

Sleeping in a hammock will be almost impossible if the temperature drops below 40 degrees. Sleeping in the open in temperatures around 40 degrees is not my cup of tea. I would not recommend it if you want to avoid catching a cold. At that temperature, I would recommend sleeping in a tent instead of a hammock.

Now that I have covered that, I want to say that some camping extremists like to challenge themselves. If you are one of them and you want to try spending the night in your hammock, even in cold weather, be my guest! Even I would try it once to get it out of my system.

tents and a hammock

Is It Warmer To Sleep on The Ground Or in a Hammock?

I did not know this when I first started camping, but sleeping on the floor will keep you warmer than sleeping in a hammock. Air is generally a bit colder than the ground all year round. Once you know this piece of information, you can use it to your advantage!

Let’s say that you are planning on taking a trip at the warmest time of the year. If you are still wondering whether to sleep in a tent or your hammock, I would recommend going for the hammock. Sleeping in the air will provide you with a slight breeze that will keep your body colder during the night.

If you plan a trip in late autumn or early spring when the temperature is generally lower, you might be better off sleeping in a tent. Since the ground is a bit warmer, it will keep your body warmer. At the same time, you will not have to worry about the possibility of a wind making you that much colder!

Finally, I would like to mention that sleeping in a hammock during the winter is almost impossible. You should not do this if you do not have the best winter gear. Nothing short of the best 4-season tent will keep you warm in that case!

Wrap-Up

Well, I hope that what you read this far helped you learn more about the best ways to stay warm in a hammock. Even at low temperatures, sleeping under the stars will be that much cozier once you know how to keep your body warm.

If you have hammock-related stories that you want to share with me, please do so in the comments below. I would love to read all about it. Who knows, some of your pointers might even end up on my next list as well!

Andrew Mullen
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