There are very few engaging debates these days except for Mac vs PC, Ford vs Chevy and Chicago style pizza vs New York style pizza. In each case, the choice is straightforward. However, in the case of hammocks vs Tents, most people get stumped.
Often, people say one is superior to the other. In fact, there are campers who take one along only to wish they had carried the other or even both.
Making a choice is not easy, which is why we have listed the pros and cons of each item so that you can have an easy time choosing the item to carry with you in your next outdoor camping experience.
Generally, a hammock is much cheaper because it does not require that many gears to set it up. Plus, a good quality hammock will cost you a little under a 100 bucks at your local gear store.
However, if you are thinking of camping outdoors overnight, you might have to carry a few more equipments like the rain trap, hammock under quilt, a bug net as well as a suspension mechanism.
On the other hand, getting a tent for your outdoor experience will not require you to purchase additional equipment because it will come with everything you need to set it up. That includes a stalking system, poles, and a canopy.
In addition, you have the freedom to choose the size of the tent you want to depend on the number of people who will use it. There are tents for one person, two people or even more. If you are looking for a quality tent, the price ranges between 160 and 300 bucks.
While the tent seems like the most reasonable choice, a little extra comfort like an air mattress, sleeping pad or bag comes at an additional cost.
A hammock is an ideal choice if you do not mind a cradle or being compressed while you are asleep. Your sleep will not be that comfortable if you tend to turn and toss or if you are stomach sleeper.
A hammock makes a lot of sense if you suffer from arthritis. Plus, you will not have to worry about sticks or rocks pricking into your side as you slumber. In contrast, most campers prefer to carry tents along because they allow them to create a traditional sleeping arrangement outdoors.
So, if you like to sleep on your side or you enjoy an occasional turn while you sleep, take a tent with you. In addition, the ground offers a stiff surface and that means you can carry a cushioned pad or mattress along for your camping adventure.
Something else that campers love about the tent is the fact that it can house more than one person. While there are hammocks that fit two people, sharing one with another person is quite an uncomfortable experience.
Size and Weight
A hammock is the smallest and most lightweight shelter for an outdoor experience. In fact, nearly all hammocks weigh a little under a pound. That means, if you have to carry your backpack for so many hours each day or have to take light equipment with you, a hammock makes even more sense.
Unfortunately, if you choose the hammock, you also have to carry the straps and a rain tarp, both of which add to the weight of your backpack. If you want a little more comfort, and wish to carry under quilt, bug net or hammock pad, you may have to bear a little more weight.
Tents are somewhat heavier. Actually, a tent fit for one person weighs about 4 pounds, which is more than a hammock and all its additions.
Protection from the Elements
Hammocks are made from water-resistant nylon so it will not soak up when it rains. The user is protected from the rain by a rain tarp. In case of a sudden downpour, while you are sleeping in the hammock, you can cover up with the rain tarp and there would be no need to worry about the ground flooding with water.
Water soaking will not affect the hammock or your equipment. Besides, using the hammock can keep you warm during a cold night. However, you should not use the hammock during a severe winter.
On the other hand, a tent is the best camping gear during unfriendly weather because you will be protected from harsh snow, strong winds or pelting rainfall. Nevertheless, tents are defenseless against flooding.
A tent has other advantages. For instance, you have more space for your belongings away from the elements. Also, you can keep warm inside the tent during a harsh winter with insulation and your portable heater.
If you can find the right spot with many strong trees, you will realize that setting up a hammock is quite easy compared to putting up a tent. Although putting up a hammock requires a little practice, it becomes easier once you master the art of assembling a hammock.
You do not need to walk around to find a flat surface or a less rocky ground. However, things become tough if you have to set up camp in an area with very few trees. In contrast, tents are not as difficult to set up as they were a few years ago due to technological advances.
The only difficulty with tents is that you have to find a place that is flat with no rocks or debris. Therefore, if you find yourself in a dense forest, rocky terrain, muddy location or steeply sloping ground setting up camp will be a huge challenge.
If you are still stumped and unable to choose between the two, here is what you can do. Think really long and hard and focus on what you need based on the tips we have listed above. Whether you prefer the hammock or tent, each has its pros and cons.
Alternatively, carry both, experiment with each while camping, get a feel for their similarities, and differences and you might end up choosing a favorite.