Hammock or Ground Sleeping? - A comparison with advantages and disadvantages
Hammock or ground sleeping? I want to compare the two sleeping styles based on their facts. Opinions are divided on the topic.
From Martin Gebhardt. Check out his “About me” page.
👉 The key facts for the guide
- Hammocks offer a good sleeping comfort, are quickly visible, especially with striking colors, and require trees for hanging. They offer a good overview as you are not lying on the ground, and encounters with animals are low.
- When sleeping on the ground, encounters with insects are high, sleeping comfort depends on the thickness of the underlay, and one is dependent on a straight and non-rocky surface. Visibility is difficult as you are lying on the ground, and encounters with animals are possible as you are at eye level with, for example, wild boars.
- Both sleeping options can be protected from rain by a tarp and insulation against cold and wind, weight and pack volume as well as speed of setup and dismantling are strongly dependent on the material.
- The choice between hammock and ground sleeping depends on the situation and personal preferences. Factors such as the duration and effort of the trip, weather conditions, and the weight of the backpack should be considered.
The next survival event is coming up.
But how should you spend the night?
Is a hammock better, or sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag?
Opinions differ on the topic because it strongly depends on personal preferences.
Now, I want to compare the two sleeping methods based on their facts.
The comparison between hammock and ground sleeping
First: When I ask people around me, the answer is as individual as the people. It is mainly personal preferences that play a big role.
Of course, if you have back pain, it's better to take the sleeping bag (here's my top list) and the hammock if you want to stay invisible, you sleep on the ground.
But now let's put these preferences aside and focus on the facts.
Based on the facts, everyone can then determine what harmonizes best with their preferences.
- Insect encounter: very low
- Rain protection: possible with a tarp
- Sleeping comfort: good
- Visibility level: quickly visible, especially with conspicuous colors
- Dependent on: trees, ground doesn't matter
- Animal encounter: low, as it is higher than animal height (e.g., wild boar)
- Overview: good, as it is not on the ground
- Insect encounter: high
- Rain protection: possible with a tarp
- Sleeping comfort: depends on the thickness of the underlay
- Visibility level: difficult to see, as on the ground
- Dependent on: flat and non-rocky ground
- Animal encounter: possible, as at eye level with a wild boar, for example
- Overview: not good, as you lie on the ground
What do both sleeping options have in common?
There are factors that are strongly dependent on the material. Is a hammock heavier than a sleeping bag with a bivouac? This cannot be answered in general.
For example, if you prefer a softer sleeping surface, you can take two sleeping mats (here is my top list) with you into the hammock, which in turn creates weight to carry.
Or some people can set up a simple hammock in five minutes, while others need a full 30 minutes to set up a stable construction with a different hammock model.
The following facts are strongly dependent on the material:
- Insulation against cold and wind
- Weight and pack volume
- Speed of assembly and disassembly
My conclusion: it depends on your situation and your preferences.
You should proceed as follows: Consider beforehand how long and how strenuous your trip will be.
If you will be walking a lot, a heavy backpack is a disadvantage. Therefore, take a lightweight hammock with you.
If your trip is around the corner in winter, and you require it to be really warm and windproof, it makes sense to bring your bivouac and several mats as well as a thick air mattress and accept heavy luggage.
Now, my question to you: What is your personal choice?
Ground sleeping or hammock? What do you swear by?
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