I have a bumper sticker on my car that says “Life’s Better Outdoors.” One of the main reasons I decided to pursue marine biology/environmental science was my love of things outside. Fresh air, animals, sunshine, there was no way I ever pictured myself working 40 hours a week inside. Growing up, my family frequently took camping vacations. My brother and I became pros at setting up a tent while our parents unpacked or bought food. Since I’ve been living on my own for the past 7 years, I haven’t taken a single camping trip. I don’t have a tent, so that could be an issue.

I have missed camping and one day I made s’mores using a camping stove on my porch. For Christmas, I received a sheltered hammock system with rain tarp and bugnet. I asked for a hammock thinking it would be a lot lighter than carrying around a full tent and I read it was very comfortable. For my summer job as a trip leader I’ll be camping for almost a full month in California. I decided to test out the hammock in the backyard.

Setup took a little longer than expected, about 35-40 minutes. I waited until I was really tired and practically falling asleep on the couch when I went outside. I got in the hammock and zipped up the bug net so I wouldn’t get eaten alive by mosquitoes. I laid in the hammock for about 2 hours without being able to fall asleep. My feet were elevated and my whole body was curved. When I started losing feeling in my feet, I gave up and went in the house to sleep. In the morning I researched “how to sleep in a hammock.” I found out you are supposed to lay diagonally across the hammock so you can be more flat. I tried lying in the hammock that way and it was a lot more comfortable. I will have to try it out another time, and hopefully be able to stay the whole night. Otherwise I need an alternate sleeping arrangement for my month in California.

Do you have a hammock sleeper system? Ever tried sleeping a full night in a hammock? Was it comfortable?

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